So, last night in the Vaatika, we meet an English guy
Who teaches Architecture and Urban Planning in
And he says there’s a new zone outside
A spanking new 21st Century construction of glass and light
Of Malls and Offices
Perhaps the Indians think their old cities are irredeemable so the best thing to do is start completely anew
Except they haven’t connected it to the main sewers
And the water doesn’t always run
And the ground beneath the flashy blocks is simply soil and stone and the usual rubbish
And I wonder if its like Fatehpur Sikri outside
The fabulous palace complex
Built by Akbar the Great
[he of Rushdie’s The Enchantress of
In the late 1500s
But where after 15 years building, and vast vast expense, Fatehpur was abandoned
after 14 years
Because there was no water
No-one had thought to check the water table
And some think Akbar one of the wisest men who ever lived
But he looks like a major league twat to me
And his great construction one of the
Earth’s greatest follies
What a plonker!
To waste all that effort and money
All that labour
All that taxation extorted from the hungry at the end of a sharp sword-tip
On something so ingloriously useless
Its not comedy its tragedy
Well I don’t know what the great architectural blunders of human history are
But that would be near the top of the list
What a jerk!
But the point is
Are the Indians doing it again in Gurgaon?
And as I’ve never heard of anyone else making this big a mistake
… the water might run out, of course, for any city
It happened to some
But in Fatehpur Sikri there was never enough water to start with
So what this makes me wonder is
Because you’ve done something before
Good or bad
Are you much likelier to do it again?
And all those countries which never committed such a colossal blunder
Are they far less likely to do it than the Indians…?
It makes you think huh?
Does me …