February 4th, 2001

Building Words

Two friends, two books: Gerson da Cunha's book of poems, so Far, arrived at the office a few months ago. Typical of Gerson to brush it off, and concentrate on greater things, like ridding Mumbai of pollution/hawkers/illegal encroachments and corrupt bureaucrats. Typical, because this one-time ad executive has always eschewed the personal for the greater good. After heading Lintas for 10 years, Gerson threw it all up to work on child development issues for the UN. Now, back in Mumbai, as convener of AGNI (Action for Good Governance and Networking in India), Gerson brings his experience to bear on more prosaic issues than what the muse inspires. "The poems began just as inward introspections," he says.

Another friend, Gita simoes sent me a book she helped produce: Women in Architecture: a conference on the work of women architects - focus South Asia.

A quick perusal reveals a durbar of talented women architects with some great building between them. "And what of all those nameless hands/that chiselled and carved/hauled and lifted, place and set each block of someone else's dream," asks the poem by Lata Ramaswamy, at the beginning of the book, "must they remain quite forgetten, forever unknown."


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