Archive for the ‘India’ Category

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, fort in diu, india

Diu Fort, India

Above is a negative of a sketch I did of the Diu Fort in India.

Click here for more>>>

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Shore Temple: Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu (Chennai), India, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Shore Temple: Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu (Chennai), India

This is a negative of my sketch of the Shore Temple (Mamallapuram) in Tamil Nadu, south India.

Click here to read more on the Shore Temple >>>.

little voice

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visual recipe, tumeric rubbed shrimp, tumeric, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, drawing, sketch, design, art, illustration

Visual Recipe - Tumeric Rubbed Shrimp

Today’s Visual Recipe is Tumeric Rubbed Shrimp, courtesy http://www.nutritiouseats.com by Melissa. This recipe by Aarti Sequeria seems very tasty. If you get the chance to try them, let me know how they tasted. Have a great weekend! Thanks Melissa!

Link to recipe >>>

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, chuck close

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

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the lion house, trinidad, chaguanas, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, colin laird, architecture

The Lion House - Drawn by Colin Laird

This is the second day of my dedication to Trinidadian architect Colin Laird, for his contribution to the art of architecture, the profession of architecture, and to the Caribbean’s built environment. Above is a drawing of The Lion House in Chaguanas, Trinidad done by him. In April 1991 Surendranath Capildeo retained the services of Colin Laird Associates to advise on and supervise the restoration of the Lion House. The Lion House stands today because of the dedicated work of Architect Colin Laird and Restorer Glen Espinet.

This internationally famous house, one of the most important heritage buildings in Trinidad, reflects North Indian architecture as remembered and self-built, down to the clay bricks, by Baba. It has since been immortalized as the Hanuman House in Vidya Naipaul’s “House for Mr. Biswas.” The house on Main Street, Chaguanas, the ancestral home of the Capildeo family, was restored by Suren Capildeo, Naipaul’s cousin. The house is also preserved in paint by artist, Adrian Camps-Campin.  “Among the tumbledown timber-and-corrugated iron buildings in the High Street at Arwacas, Hanuman House looked like an alien white fortress,” Naipaul wrote. The house was built by Naipaul’s maternal grandfather, Pundit Capildeo, who arrived in Trinidad, aged 21, as an indentured labourer on board the Hereford in 1894.  He came from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, India and his destination was Woodford Lodge estate, Chaguanas.

Within months of his arrival, it was arranged that he should marry the Trinidad-born Soogee Gobin, whose family was well established in the area.  The Gobins, who owned a shop, paid off Capildeo’s bond and as a wedding gift they gave the young couple the land on which the Lion House stands.  Soogee ran a store there while her husband carried out his priestly duties, and in 1923 they began to build the Lion House.  Built in the north Indian style, the trapezoid-shaped house is unique in local architecture.  It has walls almost a foot thick, and Pundit Capildeo is said to have made with his own hands all the bricks used in its construction.  The house contains lot of decorative plasterwork, with figures and patterns embossed on or etched into the walls, and several rooms feature mirror work.

The store occupied the ground floor of the four-storey building, and the family lived above it.  The third floor is taken up by a prayer room, and from the flat roof there is a panoramic view of the canefields of the Caroni plains and the hills of he Central Range.  The lions that gave the house its name stand at each end of the wall around the first-floor gallery.  Vidya Naipaul was born here in 1932 to Pundit Capildeo’s daughter Droapatie and her husband Seepersad Naipaul, but he never knew his grandfather.  Pundit Capildeo died in 1926 while on his fourth visit to India.  His widow, Soogee, became the head of the family.  A strong-minded woman, she had over-ruled her husband’s reluctance to send their children to school, which he regarded as a corrupting Christianising influence.  Thanks to Soogee, even the girls attended school and learned to speak, read and write English.

Soogee bought properties in Woodbrook and travelled to Port of Spain every week to take care of her son, Rudranath, who was to become a university lecturer and politician, while he attended Queen’s Royal College.  It was for the sake of access to better schools that in 1940 Soogee moved the whole family to Port of Spain.  After that, the Lion House was rented out or stood vacant, and fell into disrepair.  When eventually it was renovated, it was with no respect for its original style and structure.  In 1998, however Suren Capildeo, the son of Soogee and Pundit Capildeo’s son, Simbhoonath, has repainted it white and restored the grandeur of the Lion House, which stands as a monument to the indentured Indian labourers.

Sources: http://www.nalis.gov.tt

http://www.thelionhouse.com/

Abstract Architecture of the day:

Abstract Architecture, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, milton glaser

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Indian Institute of Management, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, louis kahn, india, ahmedabad, architecture, sketch

Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India

Above is my sketch of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India by Louis Kahn.  I am working on my water coloring techniques… sometimes they are good, and other times… well they need work. Below is the sketch after coloring it.

Indian Institute of Management, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, india, ahmedabad, architecture

Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India

I visited IIM several times while in India. My friend worked there and she would give my buddy John and I tours of the Institute. We even had thali in the student dining area. The project is large with deeply recessed windows in buildings to avoid the hot Ahmedabad sun. This casts the most dramatic of shadows on the facade, making these pure forms striking. Lush green gardens populate throughout aiding in cooling. Thick walls, ample shade, and gardens… smart techniques for such an unforgiving climate. The quality and choreography of the external and interstitial spaces are noticeable and will stand the test of time.

There is a new addition that was done to IIM by HCP Design. I must congratulate them for a job well done. They transposed the same concept, design elements, techniques, and married old and new materials just beautifully! This to me, is a very successful project. Exhibiting a similar character trait to the original buildings, the new campus is true to what the architect Bimal Patel calls ‘die-hard modernism’ being ‘rigorous in plan and construction’, with exposed in-situ concrete used to shape the geometrically strong forms. As a contrast, brick infill panels distinguish domestic rooms from academic spaces – a very familiar nod to Kahn that is seen throughout Ahmedabad – and elegant, perforated metal screens designed by renown screen printer Walter D’Souza, bringing just enough ornamentation to the otherwise relentless pale smooth surfaces.

Abstract Architecture of the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, oprah winfrey

3.5″ x 5″ Strathmore Sketchbook, ink pens and Sharpies

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Diu Fort, India, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture,

Diu Fort, India

This is a sketch of the Diu Fort in India. I drew this from a photograph taken by myself when I went there from Ahmedabad in August 2009. I was standing on an upper area of the Fort looking back at the entrance. From the Fort you can see all around; talk about a winning vantage point. No wonder Diu remained in the possession of the Portuguese until 1961. They could see you coming MILES away..

The state of Gujarat in which I lived was a dry state like I mentioned before, and Diu was the closest “wet” place to go. When I say closest… the drive from Ahmedabad to Diu was about 7-8 hours long. I went there on two different occasions, and always had lots of fun. The island is pretty small and can be seen by scooter in a couple of days. My friends and I would rent scooters and ride throughout the entire island. We saw and met friendly locals, and foreigners. Everyone having a great time. My friend Alex (for some reason) had a strong desire to hold a wild pig in a headlock while there, and pin it for 5-10 seconds. I don’t know why… My friend Bob would always warn him, “I’m telling you… those pigs are gonna kick your a$$! They’re gonna scratch and bite the sh*t out of you!” Man, so much laughter… Alex never got the opportunity to get beaten by a pig though… I was more than ready with camera in hand to catch the debacle… the beat down of Alex by this pig.

On one of our rides we were driving around not caring about getting lost because the island is small. We came upon a fork in the road. Go left or right… Unsure of which road to choose I asked the men around which way it was back into the city. He told me, “Go right, the other way is to Gujarat… the people aren’t too nice there..” My friends and I laughed, thanked him and rode off… as we said to each other, “Dude! We live in Gujarat!”… LOL

Our days consisted of a wonderful meals, drinks, riding with the wind in our faces, relaxing on the beach, sea-bathing, sight-seeing, and scooter-racing. We raced in the day and late into the nights… It’s a wonderful place to go. I discovered Old Monk in Diu; it’s a velvet smooth dark rum with a hint of vanilla. Mmmm… really good… lovely aroma. I miss it all! If you can, DO DIU!

Click here for a few photos of Diu >>>

Diu Fort

The Fort of Diu occupies a prominent position. It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD. The fort is skirted by the Sea on the three sides. On the fort stands a giant Light House. Several canons still stare menacingly from top. The main front wall is having five huge windows with stone galleries. The Fort has been creatively lit, which creates a breath taking views at night. Rugged yet gentle, fierce yet loving. The majestic structure stands on the coast of DIU as a sentinel. Once inside, you are overwhelmed by the gaunt majesty of the ancient stone work which transports you to a bygone era of gallant soldiers where time stands still.

http://diutourism.co.in/diu-fort-diu-india.php

Thought for today >>>

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Aloo Paratha, visual recipe, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Visual Recipe - Aloo Paratha

I have an exam today so I didn’t get the chance to do a new Visual Recipe for you all. I have however posted my Aloo Paratha Visual Recipe for you. Hope you enjoy! Click here to read previous post>>>

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

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udaipur, india, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture

View from the Hotel Tiger in Udaipur, India

5” x 9.5” hand-made paper sketchbook, with ink pens

I did this sketch in 2008 in India. It was my first trip to Udaipur… and all I could think of was, “Finally, meat and beer!” I was really craving burgers, and so were my friends. We craved alcohol, meat, french toast, pancakes… we were dribbling before we got there. My email to my friends and family recounting that day is pasted below:

Friday 15th August 2008 – UDAIPUR

 So we packed up our stuff, met the driver downstairs, loaded our stuff and bounce de starter to Udaipur. I think it’s a 4 hr. drive, I kinda fell asleep on the way. But it was kinda hard to fall asleep bcs every 30 seconds is horn! Geez an ages!! Only horn..horn horn horn.. I couldn’t really sleep, but I did get a rest. On the way everybody and deh brudder was going home bcs is buses and people like crazy! See de pics, you will see people on and in de buses. So we reach Udaipur, checked in our hotels, and headed back out. We went to the rooftop of the Tiger Hotel for lunch. I had onion chicken with chapattis. Chicken never tasted so good! By the way, we outta Gujarat. Udaipur is in Rajasthan. So meat and alcohol was legal again. So I had onion chicken like I said, with some orange juice. It was delish! After eating, I took pics on the rooftop…just amazed by the place and what I was seeing, we proceeded down to Lake Pichola and the Lak Palace Hotel.

Udaipur is known for its art, jewelery and craft. Lots of leather, leather sketch books, shoes, sandals, silver jewelery, saris, etc. On the way to Lake Palace we would meet people, I met a little boy (can’t remember his name now) and he walked with me all the way and was telling me about Udaipur, etc. He was 9 yrs old. He is in the pics too. Across from City Palace by Lake Palace I was dumbfounded..I couldn’t believe this was India, it felt European! We took pics and walked, passed the cows who were just chilling on the bridge, etc. After that we went to a temple at the junction, then went home to freshen up and reconvene for dinner. On the way home we saw monkeys (mommies/ daddies and babies). You will see in pics. We went to Savage Garden for dinner. By the way, before I forget, the ice creams in India are some of the best. They are creamy and rich. I think it’s because of the milk they use. For dinner I had bruschetta for starters and some kinda thing for dinner. They were both good. I had vanilla ice cream for desert…mmmmm finger licking, spoon licking good. After we went home, I watched some Bollywood on tv until I fell asleep.

udaipur, india, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture

View from Tiger Hotel across Lake Pichola to Lake Pichola Hotel

Read a little history about Udaipur below:

Udaipur is in the state of Rajasthan, latitude: 27.42°N, longitude: 75.33°E, covering over 37 sq. km and 577 m above sea level. It is on the banks of the River Ayad, in a valley surrounded by the Aravalli hills, near Lake Pichola. A series of canals connect several artificial lakes in Udaipur leading to it being called ‘the Venice of the East’. The lakes surround imperial palaces, built in the seventeenth century of marble and sandstone, and lend the status of heritage city to Udaipur – with a legacy of 500 years of architecture, culture and natural beauty. The capital of Mewar State, Udaipur, takes its name from Maharana Udai Singh, who founded the city in 1568 after retreating from the third attack on the city of Chittaur by the armies of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is likely that the strategic advantages of the surrounding terrain influenced his decision.

Sustainable Development and Systems Thinking: a Case Study of a Heritage City by Pramod Paliwal

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Mamallapuram, tamil nadu, chennai, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Shore Temple at Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu (Chennai), India

This is a sketch of the Shore Temple (Mamallapuram) in Tamil Nadu (previously called Chennai), south India. Standing in front of the temple is a woman with her orange sari dancing in the  ocean breeze. I went to Tamil Nadu (Chennai) in October 2008 to spend Divali with my friend, Harish. He is originally from Chennai and was going home from DC for vacation. I left Ahmedabad, along with my housemates who were also originally from there and were heading home. I was bound with bright-eyes and bushy tail to Chennai. Harish and his family (hello Appa) were the perfect hosts for my entire stay. His dad who I affectionately also called “appa” made sure I was always well fed. He always had a snack of some sort for me. One of the many places Harish took me was Mamallapuram. It was beautiful…the beach was too! As one of the Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram, the Shore Temple has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks Harish & Appa!

Here is a bit more about the Shore Temple and Mamallapuram below:

The Shore Temple, is erected on the beach not far from the great relief of the Descent of the Ganges. The temple was planned in such a way that the door of the sanctuary opened to the east, in order to catch the first rays of the rising sun. This in itself resulted in a rather peculiar arrangement, since it necessitated the placing of the maṅḍapa and the temple court at the rear or west end of the main sanctuary. The terraced spires crowning both shrine and porch very clearly reveal a development from the form of the Dharmarāja rath. In the Shore Temple, however, the dependence on the vihāra type is less marked, owing to the new emphasis on the height and slenderness of the tower, like an attenuated version of the Dharmarāja rath. Actually, the characteristic Dravidian form of a terraced structure with the shape of the terminal stūpika echoed in lesser replicas on the successive terraces still prevails, but these recessions are so ordered as to stress the verticality of the structure as a whole. Such hallmarks of the Pallava style as the pilasters with the rampant lions persist in the decoration of the façade of this structural monument.

shore temple, Mamallapuram, chennai, india

Shore Temple - Tamil Nadu, India

From the Māmalla Period there date the remarkable rock-cut temples of Māmallapuram or ‘Seven Pagodas’ on the sea-coast below Madras. The work here was under the patronage of the king, Narasiḿha. The principal architectural monuments consisted of five temples or raths that are really free-standing sculptural replicas of contemporary structural buildings carved from the granolitic outcrops on the shore. These monuments are of the greatest importance for the later development of Dravidian architecture because they reveal the dependence of the later Hindu style on pre-existing types of Buddhist architecture. Especially revealing for this latter aspect of the style is the Dharmarāja rath. It has a square ground storey with open verandahs, which forms the base of the terraced pyramidal śikhara above. It has been rightly suggested that this typical Dravidian form is an adaptation of a Buddhist vihāra, in which successive storeys were added for the accommodation of the monks. The terminal member of the structure is a bulbous stūpika, which is repeated in smaller scale on each of the lower levels of the terraced superstructure. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this and the other raths at Māmallapuram lies in the open verandahs on the ground-storey. The pillars are of a distinctive Pallava type with the shafts of the columns supported by the bodies of seated lions.

Reference: The Art and Architecture of India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain by Benjamin Rowland

Smile…

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sketch, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, vodafone

Phone on bed

6” x 9” Pen and ink on handmade paper sketchbook

In November 2008, I met a gentleman who came to India to work with us on a project. I saw his drawings for a proposal and was very impressed, you could tell he had a good hand. We became friends and when he returned to the US, we would chat and draw… We would choose an object or view that we had in front of us at that very moment, sketch it, take photos of our sketch, and send it to each other to compare. It was mutual and simultaneous sketching via phone/ emails/or Skype. I did the sketch above during one of our chats. Thanks Matt!

Stay tuned for more…

Have a productive day!

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