Jul '12 - Jan '13
The cab driver stopped at the gate and motioned to me that he could proceed no further. Hauz Khas Village was reserved for pedestrians only. It was a narrow street filled with alternating boutiques, restaurants, clothing, cafes, art galleries, etcetera. An alcove in the rhythm turns into a narrow alleyway, leading not to sweaty cooks and tired dogs, but rather to more retail and signs advertising rooftop dining.
The restaurant sits on the roof of a 5-story row house. It overlooks the lush green landscape of Hauz Khas and one can view the pedestrians walking leisurely along its brim. A body of water, once a 12th century storage tank, is flanked by a mosque, madrasa, and domed tombs. The land has since been taken over by Delhi's well to do offering of shopping, dining, art, and leisure, all of which are in close proximity to home.
After dinner, a stroll through the madrasa exposes its value as a public space. The opulent mass offers its mystery and peril fit for any noble teenager's exploration. For the lovely couples, private balconies may be arranged, and for larger parties, exquisite card rooms are provided- all on a first come first serve basis. All such spaces beckon for occupation, as there exists no reason why one should not dangle ones feet from a 12th century madrasa, while sipping masala chai.
An Indo Inquisition is a thirteen-week train expedition across India. The journey will document the influences of international modernism and British occupation, as well as compare the effects of wealth accumulation, culture, religion, and poverty with economic growth and their effect on the built environment.