Talking about his newly released book Castles In The Air, author Sangeet Sharma, an architect by profession shares his unique experiences of being in this profession. The book is witty with acerbic humor. Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page, every scene unfolds like a screenplay, depicting the brutalities of life in architecture, and life itself.
In conversation with this correspondent, the author shares more about his book, his inspiration and about his life.
Architect to author. How did this transition happen?
I am a professional architect. I belong to the family of architects. It is there in my genes.
I am not a full time writer, I am 'also' a writer. From a small hobby, it is now a full time passion and I am almost a full time author by default, if not spending all the time on it practically but mentally full time.
Storytelling has being an idiosyncratic nature in me and from the childhood I wished to be an able storytelling Santa Claus. In continuation to my adventure I pursued it intensely and was able to reach a level of a considerable repute. I have authored six books, including a book on poetry. The journey is ongoing.
How did the idea for a book like this emerge? Did someone inspire you?
Writing this book was necessary: Necessary, because the nature of this profession was on a somersault. It was important that someone bell the cat— I became the bell; and I become the cat.
Laughter is said to be the best elixir and the book is a satire on architecture and building industry. I know the bricks and concrete of the profession by heart.
I am a practicing architect himself, and have delved into the journey of a professional practice. The book is witty with acerbic humor. Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page, every scene unfolds like a screenplay, leaving the reader amazed with the brutalities of life in architecture, and life itself.
The book is not for architects alone; it is for the clients who initiate jobs establishing noble and worthy projects. It is for the builders and contractors who execute them; it is for the craftsmen and the masons, who, by the dexterity of their hands create magic in details. It is for the services consultants and allied engineers who ensure the smooth functioning of the buildings. It is for the sculptors, painters, and artists who induce art into architecture. It is for the students of architecture who will be in the profession in times to come and should be well-prepared to face the challenges ahead.
It is for lay readers who are curious to know how architecture and allied vocations function.
The book is for the eager housewives who misconstrue design with decoration. It is also for the politicians who are the kingmakers and implement the magnanimous visions into reality.
It is for all who are even remotely connected with the building industry. It was important to communicate and regale at the industry.
Who is one person you consider a genius, when it comes to architecture?
Le Corbusier. the French architect who designed Chandigarh is the one, I consider genius. Chandigarh was Le Corbusier’s most eloquent illustration of architectural planning and design as his master plan reveals. In the fifties he gave a liberating direction to architecture in independent India. When one thinks of Chandigarh one thinks of Le Corbusier but it is not only his mind but also a mélange of the ideas of many creative minds which gave the structure of the city its present shape.
he was a complete artist and multifaceted personality that so very inspires me he created a change in the world as to how the buildings should be made beautiful.
What led you to share your experiences as an architect in the book?
Architecture and building industry passing through turbulent times. It is also a reflection of society and the aspirations of the society. This was the best time to write a story on how this industry shapes us.
Many contributed to make the framework of this narration:
My observant eyes, naughty banter at parties, agonized clients, contriving builders and contractors, competitive fellow professionals, vindictive teachers, unprofessional colleges, unsupportive professional bodies, lecherous girls at architects’ meets, conniving staff members, clueless government officers, sadistic engineers and high-headed bureaucrats, flawed architectural agreements, uninterested students, unconcerned hostel wardens, aggressive principals, brutal seniors, scheming invigilators, heartless examiners, nagging wives, incompatible families, interfering patrons, egoistic couples, partial journalists and opportunist vendors formed fodder for this book...