Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Charles Correa, rest in peace!

If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too; 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
- 'If' by Rudyard Kipling

Charles Mark Correa, one of India's greatest sons has passed away. Correa was one of the master's of modern post-independence Indian architecture, creating works which exuded a very unique Indian aesthetic, which were unabashedly contemporary, but which were always rooted in their context. 'Critical Regionalism' can best be used to describe his works. Correa has inspired a few generations of Indian architects through his body of work. He was one of the thought leaders who defined the direction of architecture after the turbulent years of the Independence struggle, deriving a uniquely Indian concept of space. He was someone who did away with heavy theoretical and conceptual postulating but someone who explained his designs in simple terms as ideas which ordinary people could directly relate with. His body of work stands testament to the timelessness inherent in his designs. It is indeed a deep loss for our architectural fraternity. 

Rest in peace sir. Your works continue to inspire us and will continue to do so for countless generation of young architects!

Learn more about Charles Correa, India's greatest architect here

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