Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MANDU: THE CONDITION OF UNLEARNING

There are some visits that being premeditated and some being left to be imagined trips. The visit to Mandu has always been of later type. The visit to Mandu has been most sought out destination after my graduation since 1990. It’s an invigorating occurrence when imagined place collapses in to quintessential time.



The usual departure happened early in the morning attempting to clock 560 km drive within the daylight. The destination was well within the planned time and got enough time to set the visit to first monument at walking distance near market sqaure. The photographing monuments either early in the morning or late noon times are ideal when sun altitude penetrates the aperture, creating long shadows, almost echoing the dead presence of living past. The Friday Mosque and the palace were kept axially, forming a central square, yielding expanse of street view & clear street fa├žade from high plinth. These examples are perhaps the last reminder of statement of building built on high plinth. The high plinth seems to be antithesis to our understanding of contemporary architecture. The similar experience captured at Rupmati palace and Baz bahadur palace where presence of each monument is reinforced with strategic view location within the building if not by axial placement. The Jahaz Mahal complex itself dwelt on ideas of framing views either the next monument or lakes. This is another trait of architecture, either being framed or frame outside. The conceptual understanding of aperture/ window hinges on what is framed (metaphor) and what is unframed (memory). The metaphor and memory unconditions the perceptual time of viewer.

The scale of Jahaz Mahal seems exaggerated from the standard norms of building built during that time, but experientially well within the control.  The architectural manifestation of various characteristics and experiences are some of the imperative lessons that one can discover from. The visit has definitely reinforce the notion that history re-invent indispensable message back to life, where architecture needs to undo a lot to recapitulate on what it destined for.

History is suppose to encapsulate the state of mind that necessitates humility, rationality and progress, I hope that process of reassigning the acquired proficiency enlivens the condition of unlearning.









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