A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to Taramani

A funny thing happened to me on the way to Taramani. I lost my research focus, met up with a bunch of film producers, and then re-found my theoretical direction! Over the past three months, I’ve been looking at the history and development of Taramani, a sum 2,000 acres of quasi-public land in South Chennai. … Continue reading

Iconic Secular Traffic Calming

It is dusk and the full moon gives a quiet glow to the street. The daytime noise of vehicle traffic is replaced by the gentle chaos of pedestrians feeding into the street to converse with neighbors. We are on an architectural walk through the streets of Velachery. At the junction of two residential streets is … Continue reading

Works Cited

The meticulous art of post-graduate source citing does not operate in India as it does in the other parts of the world. Many student theses in the School of Architecture and Planning do not contain a source page; Wikipedia is considered an acceptable footnote. I have gotten used to this and enjoy reaching the conclusion … Continue reading


The data in professor Sanjay Kumar Singh’s article, “Future Mobility in India,” predicts India’s CO2 emissions to increase to 93.25 million metric tons in 2020. That will be 73.45 more metric tons than the 2001 CO2 levels. In the era of climate-change speak, auto image-based cities like Los Angeles and Detroit are trying to reduce … Continue reading

Nungambakkam, Paris

Crossing over the Cooum from Egmore brings you south, to the Nungambakkam district of Chennai, which at 4:00pm yesterday, struck me as delightfully Parisian. Many governmental institutions are located along the Cooum, on College Road.  Across the river, high rise apartments are a mirage of Aubervillier. Nungambakkan is one of the wealthier districts of Chennai, … Continue reading

River Beautification

CMDA (Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority) recently released the 2026 Chennai Master Plan. The central theme of the Plan is Chennai’s transformation into a global city. In preparation for this identity, the Cooum River—one of three water bodies that runs through Chennai—is slated for two major development projects: the creation of an elevated express way and … Continue reading

Chennai Subway

The Chennai subway runs roughly from the Northeast Chennai Beach Station to the Southwest area of Guindy. But to call it a subway is misleading; there’s nothing underground. The sun passes through the train car and settles on the dust of vintage ceiling fans. This tired train service moves throughout the city like a good … Continue reading

Public Signage

A clever reversal of typical break up langauge, “not me but you” is a national scheme, currently implemented at institutions of higher education throughout the world.


You first feel the effects of Chennai’s pollution on your teeth. There’s a chalkyness that settles on the enamel. By the third day here, I found myself obsessively running my tongue over the front of my teeth and gums, hoping to wipe off this persistent taste and feeling of increasing brittleness. One of my colleagues … Continue reading