Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kerala life and nature

I have added these pictures here for Tara who is a real artist with talent especially in mural paintings.Ever since I have seen mural paintings depicted in walls of Dutch Palace in Fort Cochin,I was fascinated by those paintings.One of my clients for whom I have constructed 4000 sft house in 5 cents in Kaloor,Cochin has put one mural painting in his living room and it looks real great.4000 sft house has got half house and half office with two seperate stair cases going up in the same building one for the family and other for business visitors.After I built the house my lawyer client has become a judge of High court of Kerala and there after spacious office space is mainly being used for peaceful day time sleeping of policemen who consider the duty with High Court Judge as something like a sleeping duty.They put on their uniform in the morning when the Judge go to court.After that they start their sleeping duty quite well only to be disturbed when the madam of the house send them out for some errands.

I have requested Tara who is working as a web designer designing websites for foreigners to try to design websites for me.I have been finding it difficult to locate a reliable and capable webdesigner as all companies here in Cochin simply try to loot money in advance and do nothing for months and years together.They have only pure contempt for local clients for whom money has more value than their foreign clients for whom very little dollar has to be paid for their work.These money thirsty webdesign companies convert dollars and Euros into Indian rupees and start laughing.In between if any Indian clients come,they simply ignore them,do lousy job by entrusting Indian client job to some trainees and fools in their company.

I have loaded all these pictures for Tara to use for my webdesign work.I only hope against all expectations that at least she will do a justifiable job for me.I have a weakness for real artists and I hope my weakness will not be converted into tears by Tara

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trip to land of communists-Kannur

I have visited Kannur which is treated as land of hard core communists with young unemployed men getting killed for the party simply to get added to galaxy of martyrs when leaders like Pinaray who live like mafia kings laugh madly thinking about the fortune of adding martyrs for the cause of good life for people like Karat, Pinaray and Jayarajans
Politburo of Marxist party comprising of extremely intelligent people who consider themselves as people who cannot make mistakes due to their extra ordinary intelligence have recently made an announcement that Pinaray Vijayan is the innocent man who will never make any money out of any deals. Even his mafia king like outbursts to media is only expressions of his innocence. Earlier same politburo has found that nuclear deal contract with USA will make India a colony of USA.Even though Manmohan Singh has signed nuclear deal these wise men are too busy to search for any indications of colonial rule of India by USA and that is why they are silent about it now. Having declared Pinaray as innocent, they find several actions of Comptroller and Audit General, High Court of Kerala, CBI and State Governor as great injustice done to an innocent man.
I was visiting Sivapuram near Kannur for design and construction of a traditional nalukettu with modern architectural features. Very near to the site, I saw a memorial for poor misguided youth who died so that people like Pinaray and Karat can live in luxury. My client is a Switzerland settled person. They have told me that all their people are hardcore CPIM people. I could not help asking with fear in my words-Men of Pinaray? I was greatly surprised to hear their reply-We are dead against that looter and his men like Karat who make a looter hero and a man who refused to call him innocent, as great sinner. I was hearing such comments from everywhere from people of all walks of life in Kerala. But this red bastion was supposed to follow the dictates of wise men of Politburo. Instead they have shared the common view that Karat and gang will sing final song of this so called revolutionary party.
Development is yet to reach this red bastion. One of these men whom I met told me that development and education should be prevented at all costs.”Why” I asked. If people are educated and have jobs, who will come to fight for party and die to become martyr?
Whichever eating places we tried had only neychore (Rice mixed with ghee), biriyani and non vegetarian dishes and the national food of Keralites found in every restaurant of Kerala, Porota eating of which is really harmful to human body and so eating food on the way was difficult for a vegetarian like me. Even in the early morning when we got into a small eating place they have only fried fish and Appam to offer. Appam was not even properly cooked. Others were happily eating it with fish curry! Generally people were not looking healthy and individually all of them look harmless. I wonder how these people can fight and die for politicians who are only trying to loot the land.
On the way we passed through Mahi which was previously called as Mayyazhi described so eloquently in the book,”Mayyazhipuzhayude theerangalil “written by M.Mukundan. This tiny place by the side of Mayyazhi River flowing into sea is an island inside Kerala state belonging to another union territory called Pondicherry which is far away inside Tamil Nadu.Due to difference in state affiliation liquor and even petroleum products are cheaper in this place. Liquor shops are so many in numbers and even petrol pumps are unusually more in numbers. Apart from these increased no of liquor shops no development of any nature has come to the place. Mayyazhi church stands just like in the olden days by the side of road.
I could even see an old iron bridge made by British being used even now near Kannur even though the bridge rattles heavily when vehicles pass through it with space just enough for one vehicle to pass through. Probably authorities will think of an alternate bridge only when this bridge collapses possibly with an accident claiming few lives of ordinary people. Even with these poor infrastructure facilities there is a talk of fourth international airport in Kerala coming up at Kannur which shows how pathetic are the priorities of “innocent” politicians simply trying to loot money
Pictures of Iron Bridge and nearby scenery, Mayyazhi River, Mayyazhi church can be seen along side

Friday, July 10, 2009

Is Architects costly?

I often hear this comment from probable clients that hiring professional services for design and construction of a house will be very costly and it is better to avoid professional architects/engineers when you decide to go for construction of your house

Most of the people trying to build a house are generally not well informed on design and construction of a house. Nearly 90% of houses are not designed or built with professional guidance. Non professional contractors spread this word of mouth communication that Architects and Engineers are costly and obtaining their services will only make your house construction costlier.
Few days back an NRI lady living and working in an African country contacted me through one of my friends saying that house construction started by her without any professional service or guidance has now reached a situation where problems, contradictions and utter confusion prevail in the house under construction and she wanted me to visit her site and guide her for balance works.

My friend in fact had also told me that about a year back he advised her to seek my services from the beginning of construction. As usual local contractors came into the picture and advised her against such a “dangerous and costly” move.

She has seen a house somewhere on the way which she liked in its external appearance. She searched and found out the person who prepared drawings for that house. It was a not so qualified person willing to give drawings for a meager fee. She obtained drawings with similar appearance but in the process compromising on several essential aspects and features inside the house as both plots were naturally different in dimensions and orientation. Who bothers about all these? She simply wanted to have similar appearance and in the process let there be compromises on the design and facilities for the house. Elevation should look same. That is all.

Finally when I visited the house under construction I could understand the confusions and problems with each set of workers doing their work without any management control and costs going up like anything and she demanding changes, breaking of work and every worker involved really confused about confusing needs and demands of the owner. Luckily here owner of the house has no financial constraints and changes and breaking and modifying works already done can happily go on. Funniest part is that at this late stage she is willing to pay anything for my services. I have to save her from the mess created by each and every type of worker working without any clear cut directions or well thought out design and plans.

I got an email from a client few days back trying to modify his existing house. His first sentence is this: Will obtaining services of an Architect will be very costly for the modification and if so what he should do. I replied to him saying that not obtaining professional services for the construction work will be very costly. In fact money you save, by not hiring a professional will be lost several times more and you will have no other option but to live for the rest of your life with plethora of problems and inconveniences due to improper design and improper work in your supposed to be dream house. You cannot simply escape from the effects of your penny wise pound foolish decision of not obtaining professional services

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lohithadas and other art lovers

Art lovers like writers, poets, architects, painters and those who are involved in creative art forms of any nature has got one thing in common. They value and cherish the pleasure and satisfaction derived from doing an art work with perfection to the extent possible. While enjoying this pleasure and satisfaction they sometimes forget to collect monetary remuneration for the work of art to the extent deserved by them. They simply get mesmerized by the pleasure on attaining perfection in their creative work and less payment or sometimes nonpayment is not treated as something serious enough to fight and demand for.
I myself had faced similar situation several times by not collecting exact price for my work from my client. Several people have cheated me utilizing my weakness of not collecting deserved money for my work with professional billing and collection. But over a period of time I have realized my folly by watching like a fool when the man who have simply invested money has collected more than double my remuneration for the work, by selling my work. My painful efforts and struggles with the work have made someone else richer. Slowly I have realized that I do not have to make some thankless being an extra ordinarily rich man due to my incapability to collect due price for my work
Writer and Director of films Lohithadas died unexpectedly due to his inability to organize money for a bypass surgery of heart even though several men including actors made money and fame through his hard work. Like a true art lover, he might not have collected due remuneration for his devoted work. He might have reached happiness and satisfaction by simply observing success of his work unmindful of how much money reached his pocket through the work .

Our people are quite good in praising a person after his death. They may even build memorials for him after death. But no one will come forward to even financially help the so called great man while alive and struggling for existence.