Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Good planning is good business" by Christopher Charles Benninger, Architect.

Pune Mirror. Sunday 25th October, 2010.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reflect, and you will see.

Reflections – the physical and the metaphorical. The mirror has two faces – yours and yours. Are you Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? Do you know? Will you ever know? Does anyone ever know? They say the face in the mirror is yours, but then even that isn’t exactly your face, is it? There’s the whole inverse image and things that are the principles of reflection. So the face is yours, yes. But even that face isn’t yours. How do you know then, who the real you is? Is it the person on this side of the mirror or that? How do you determine? It’s by the metaphorical reflection, the reflection which makes you think about and ponder over life and other things. Reflect, and you will see.

Running circles of procrastination

Procrastination – the word that describes and defines the lives of a lot of people. It is the most common reason for things to not go according to plan. People delay completing their responsibilities all the time for various reasons, and more often than not it always comes back to haunt them. Everyone talks about how they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing at the time that they’re supposed to be doing it. No matter what needs to be done, no matter how urgently – there is always room for a little fun activity before it, causing the urgent matter to be postponed. It doesn’t even need to be a fun activity; it can even be absolutely nothing. It’s amazing how anything seems like a better prospect when there’s work to be done! And it’s even more amazing how procrastination is a vicious cycle like we’ve never seen before. A procrastinator will always vow never to procrastinate again, and fail miserably!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Petty happiness.

“Four hundred years ago, another well-known English guy had an opinion about being alone. John Donne. He thought we were never alone. Of course, it was fancier when he said it. "No man is an island entire unto himself." Boil down that island talk, and he just meant that all anyone needs is someone to step in and let us know we're not alone. And who's to say that someone can't have four legs. Someone to play with or run around with, or just hang out.”

- Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy

There are a lot of people I know, who have pets that are huge parts of their families. Not necessarily dogs, but any sort of animals. Cats, rabbits, even white mice. When I say pets are huge parts of families I mean, they really ARE huge parts of their owners’ families. Owners treat them like they would any other family member, spending large amounts of money on grooming. Doggy parlours are slowly becoming hugely popular, and the concept of “pet field trips” are also becoming rampant. My personal favourite example of how pets are becoming inherent part of human families is people celebrating their pets’ birthday by inviting the pets of all their friends to have a nice party with treats and other animal goodies!

The way that owners incorporate their pets in their lives differs from owner to owner, but the one thing that remains constant is this: Each and every pet owner I have ever come across maintains that it was the best thing that ever happened to them. They all talk of unconditional love, loved greetings after long periods of absence. Pets are indeed awesome, they are. No one likes being alone, nobody wants to be lonely. And human company, in busy times like these, is a tough thing to find. Everyone is busy trying to make their own mark; everyone is struggling to fit in. the intimacy and closeness of human contact is difficult to find, and at such times pets provide the comfort and warmth that is unavailable otherwise.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Risking it.

Risks are not everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone is comfortable taking them. In fact, “don’t go chasing waterfalls/please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to” seems to be the theme song of everyone’s lives. No one wants to take a step that does not have sure shot results, results that will guarantee success. They all want to take the road that has been well-trodden upon. No one wants to take the road less traveled, preferring to be safe and sheltered. I mean, what if the path less traveled turns out to be disastrous? No one wants to take responsibility for that, do they?

But then, what if everyone thought that way and didn’t take risks? Nothing path-breaking would ever have been done and history wouldn’t be the adventurous story it is. It would be a boring, dull account of how no one did anything! But it is not, it is exciting and it is filled with people who did what everyone else thought impossible. America would never have been found if Columbus went along with everyone’s beliefs that the Earth ended at the horizon. Electricity wouldn’t have been discovered if Ben Franklin had thought about what an idiot he might seem like flying a kite in a storm!

So take risks, let people call you mad and crazy. Sooner or later, you’ll show them!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Performance high.

There are two types of people in the world – the ones who are superbly comfortable being on stage and the others who are not. Whatever said and done, going up on stage takes a lot of courage. Whether it is to sing or act or dance or speak, the adrenalin that rushes through your veins can be one of two kinds – exhilarating or terrifying. For some, the adrenalin is the simplest way to get a high, performing is something that gives them that high. But whether you’re afraid of the stage or not, the adrenalin rush ends up being the same for everyone. Even the most terrifying experience of being up on stage, eventually turns into a story worth telling to all of your friends, family and loved ones. Being on stage is something that everyone enjoys, even if the pre-performance nerves makes them physically sick!

Friday, October 22, 2010

At the end of the day

It’s been a long day. It’s gone by mostly at work/college; some of it spent cribbing about being broke and some of it spent bickering with a close one. You get home tired, cranky and grouchy.

Ever have days that end like this? Reaching home just fed up with everything and everyone. We all have, at some point or the other. What is the remedy for such a mood? Is it a good, long bath? Is it a warm meal? Or is it a good night’s sleep? Well, it’s different things for different people. For some, it’s all about the perspective. A simple thing like looking up at the sky and taking in the sound of silence the night presents, the black velvet of the sky, the big balls of gas stuck so strategically in place they appear to form shapes, and that big sometimes-round thing that, when looked at, seems to make all bad things disappear.

Sitting out there for a while, absorbing the sights and sounds of Nature, makes you forget about mundane things, and just lets you be whoever and whatever you want to be at that particular time. It brings about a strange calm within you, yet charges you up somehow. It leaves you ready to face the challenges of the next day. Work, broke-ness, and petty squabbles can come as much as they want – you know you can face them, as long as there’s a moon and some stars in the sky and a balcony/terrace from which you can view them clearly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"In Search of Architecture" by Christopher Charles Benninger, Architect.

Pune Mirror. Sunday 10th October, 2010.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sandy feet and sandy bliss.

Soft sands all around me, I walk on ahead. Golden sands all around me, I walk on ahead. The sea, blue and grey and white and wavy, to the front of me, I walk on ahead. Taking in the salty air, I walk on ahead. Then, I stop. I’ve reached the edge – the point where sands meet waters. I look down at my feet, sandy and wet. I notice the grooves each of my toes has made; notice how they don’t stay grooves for much longer. The waves come and wash them away, and as they retreat leave no trace. As I walk further into the water, I feel the waves around my feet; I feel the sand underneath them. I feel the breeze around me; I feel the sun shine down on me. It’s bliss, this feeling. Unmatched and unrivalled. I look around me, and there is nothing to see. Except the vastness of the ocean, the enormity of the waves and the infinite distance.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TAIN Evenings presents...

TAIN is hosting artist Diana Buhariwala on the 12th and 13th of November, 2010 in Pune. Diana has been painting since the age of 3 – beginning to hone her skills on the walls of her house. Now at the age of 22, and currently pursuing a Masters in English Literature from Nowrosjee Wadia College, Diana finds painting therapeutic – mostly because it’s a means of expression for her, a means that she finds reliable.

Her inspiration comes from many places, but mainly it comes from looking at a blank canvas. For her, a blank canvas is a crime and she feels that it should not be left blank for very long. Diana specializes in Nature and landscapes, but is currently experimenting in horses. She has showcased in Bombay previously, three years ago at a private exhibition.

For Diana, being cash-strapped is less important than being idea-strapped. She needs to express herself via her painting almost immediately after she gets the image in her head. She lives by the ideal that “Don’t ever keep your heart away, just fertilize the most primitive idea that the Maker imprints your mind and let it bloom as a fresh flower.”

Should you wish to attend this event of TAIN Evenings, please send us your Name, Company and contact number at

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Rethinking Social Networking" by Ashish Kulkarni

It’s all the rage nowadays, and hardly anybody is left unaffected.
The new, new measure of success isn’t the bottom-line anymore – it’s the number of
followers you have on Twitter, or perhaps the number of friends you have on
Facebook. Firms the world over were a bit late in joining the bandwagon, but once
they got in, they’ve entrenched themselves.
Every corporate Tom, Dick and Harry is hell-bent upon having an online presence, and
have set up entire teams for managing Twitter Feeds, Facebook Pages and
Here’s the worrying bit – hardly anybody has stepped back to ask a couple of basic
The first question: why are you doing this?
Forget the how – there are a million consultants out there with fancy-schmancy
presentations that will tell you about the how. It’s the second (oft-hidden)
question that is resolutely ignored – why? If you haven’t thought this through, you
might well end up with ten thousand followers… but very little else.
And in effect, you’ll end up with the online analogy of having put the cart before
the horse.
First, have a clear idea about what you’re going to do with your followers – are you
trying to find a community? Or are you trying to give voice to a community that was
otherwise offline, and disparate? Are you marketing via your online following? Or
are you marketing to these communities, or are you depending on these communities to
do your marketing for you?
If these questions haven’t been answered as part of your online strategy, you’re
going about it the wrong way – take it from us.
The second question: what next?
So let’s assume you have a strategy, and let’s assume that it’s worked. It’s six
months down the line, and you have a big fan following, and it’s with a specific
The problem is, an online presence is a double-edged sword. That fan following is as
likely to interact with each other as they are with you – social networking makes it
easy to attract people, sure – but it also does not prevent these folks from talking
to each other. Be warned – your tribe is as likely to do negative marketing for you,
as they would be willing to spread the word if you do something well.

- Ashish Kulkarni

(Ashish is currently working on his PhD from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. He teaches Economics and Statistics at various colleges in Pune. He runs a boutique consulting firm, BPD Consultants, specializing in data analytics and training.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


If a house could have enough space to accommodate all the worldly goods
And then have space to spare
If a house could provide protection from the hot summer cold winters and the thunderstorms
And yet seem light as a feather
If a house could hold together all the loved ones in a strong bond of emotions
And yet be sweet memory for those who have drifted away
If a house could give a warm and cheerful welcome when one returns tired and gloomy
And yet take the entire heavy load off your shoulders
If a house could sing the songs of joys the lullaby of the babies
And also the elegies and the dirges of people gone beyond the pale
IF a house could unstintingly provide spaces to the young ones to gambol and to play
And yet be there as a steady support to the old and wise
If a house could provide nooks and corners and private spaces for whispering sweet nothings
And live as sweet memories ever after
If a house could provide comfort to the old and infirm in their twilight years
And be a beacon and lighthouse to all those adrift at the sea of life
Then my friend this house is not a mere structure, made of stone cement and steel
It is a home more precious than all the worldly wealth that has been hoarded in it
And, worthy of more love and affection and loyalty then all who reside in it

Inspired by the poem of the same name by Rudyard Kipling.

Ravi Kulkarni
TAIN Constructions

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'll be anticipating...

Anticipation is an exhilarating emotion, especially when the anticipation you’re feeling is for a holiday. Looking forward to it, planning for extensively provides a kind of excitement and eagerness that is unmatched by no other. All you can think of is the number of days and hours left for your plan to take action. You could be sitting in the middle of the most boring (but important!) meeting of your life, but it is the thought of the holiday that instantly brightens up everything. You could be burdened with assignments due in unmanageable days, but it is the thought of the trip that motivates you to complete it.

Anticipation is a good thing, because it gives you something to look forward to. But what happens when you anticipate too much? They say too much of anything is a bad thing, so I assume it stands true for anticipation also. Anticipation can sometimes be all pervasive, not letting you concentrate. You could be sitting in the most boring (but important!) meeting of your life, but the thought of your holiday keeps distracting you. You could be burdened with assignments due in unmanageable days, but it is the thought of the trip that keeps you from completing it – instead tempting you to sit and daydream for hours.

I don’t think anyone really likes anticipation that much.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

TAIN Evenings

Creativity. Design. Vision. Enthusiasm. Inspiration. Integrity. Words to describe the TAIN brand. Words that mean something, making us who we are and giving us goals to achieve. Reminding us to incorporate them, in every step of the way.

TAIN Evenings are a series of cultural events, which bring to life the words that describe TAIN as a brand. With an aim of showcasing cultural talent along with establishing a two-way communication with relevant customers, these evenings are exclusive, intimate and interactive. Designed for individuals that are interested in art and culture; and for artist who have immense talent in their fields – TAIN Evenings provides a platform for invigorative interaction between the two, so it is meaningful rich for both parties.

Watch this space to know more about upcoming events!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Let there be gardens" by Christopher Charles Benninger, Architect.

Pune Mirror
Sunday 26th September, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life is like... a Subway sandwich.

Two days ago, I had a sandwich from Subway with a friend. Now, anyone who’s eaten there knows how messy the process is. A guy I used to know called it the “Subway test of attraction”. Anyway, for those who haven’t ever eaten at Subway, a little briefing – the subs there are filled to the brim with a lot of veggies, sauces and maybe (depending on the person eating it), meat. It’s next to impossible not to spill when you eat them, resulting in everything dribbling down your chin, onto your clothes and the table top. Not very attractive, no. Not at all, as a matter of fact. They are supremely good, but you need to prepare yourself with a load of tissues. You just do.

While placing our order, my friend asked for extra olives in hers. Her logic being that she knew she was going to lose half of them while eating and she was preparing for that event, so that she still had a sufficient amount left IN her sub for her to eat. Sound and smart, right? It seemed so to me at the time. But then we sat down to eat and sure enough she was spilling most of her olives and struggling to keep the bread together and just generally making a mess, while I seemed to manage my sub just fine. I did spill a lot myself, but that as I’ve said was inevitable.

Which brings me to the point of this post – could the reason why things go wrong in our lives be that we anticipate and plan for the worst? It seems good sense to be prepared and take precautions to prevent a disastrous future, but sometimes I wonder if by doing that we’re provoking destiny to mess with us. If my friend had had the normal amount of olives in hers, and not gone out of her way to make sure there were extra, maybe eating it wouldn't have been so overwhelming and she wouldn’t have struggled to hold the two pieces of bread together and made such a mess of the whole thing. Her logic, while being sound, could also have been the reason for her downfall – metaphorically, of course.

This makes me think that sometimes, maybe planning extensively is the worst thing someone can do. Maybe we should just take it easy and let life take its own course and not meddle with it. I’m not saying we should sit back and wait for things to come to us, or wait for life to take us wherever we want, no. I’m saying have a plan, and work towards it, but don’t plan too far into the future. You will spill your olives, no doubt. It’s inevitable. But you never know how many more olives you might end up spilling, if you think and plan and map out each and every step.