Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hotel Taj Mahal - India's Icon?

"no", says gnani sankaran among others things
very leftist, but raises serious issues which reflect our common perspective to the mumbai episode, as well as our overall approach.

i have always felt uneasy in 'rich settings' like the taj.
that comes from 2 notions which need to be worked upon:
1. being completely comfortable with oneself
2. being judgmental


Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

i dont particularly like icons (they all seem to be cricketeers or something generally) but do think that the Taj Mahal hotel in mumbai look(ed)s awesome. Likewise VT (or CST if you like). In fact, to my untrained eye the two 'look' similar from the outside (forget the inside - at any rate i am equally un/comfortable in both
interiors). They are welcome contrasts from the glass exteriors and funky facades that 'modern' buildings seem to have...

nice points (1) and (2)! i believe strongly in both, and personally find (2) tougher than (1)...

Ludwig said...

slisha tangential, but this is one of the most reasonable things i've heard over the last few days...

am now so grateful i don't have a TV. watched a couple of hours at my aunt's place last night, and gag reflex only.

Ludwig said...

> am now so grateful i don't have a TV

except when there's sports on. or the odd movie.

csm said...

lud - great link.
lu - great move on the TV
l - where do you watch the occassional sports and the movie?

k - the taj hotel has perhaps moved from being a salubrious monument to now a lugubrious monument.
what JN tata wanted to do was to 'cock a snook' at the brits and after having accomplished that, the 'c-a-snooking' never stopped.

Ludwig said...

thank you thank you.

the TV move started off more or less involuntarily. i've actually stepped into many electronics stores and looked at TVs. the problems is that the only ones i really liked are the sexy hi-res flat screen ones. thankfully (in hindsight) way out of budget.

heart of hearts, i am a despo TV junkie. when i go to a home that has a TV, they usually have to call someone with an oxyacetylene flame to separate me from the remote.

so for sports and movie nowadays "...i get by with a little help from my friends..." or i start calling up relatives who i haven't spoken with for ages and have casual chats and all. or i hang out outside TV shops. the T20 final was watched in the metropolis of Razole, East Godavari outside a TV store...

such is life.

Purvs said...

I disagree with Gnani strongly, and in general with the argument that only the "aam aadmi" is the "real" India. There is no real and false India. Every citizen represents the country and the country represents each one of us. The Taj Mahal hotel is a historic monument as is CST. They both mean something to a lot of Mumbaikars, whether their paths cross or not. Each of these buildings says something different about the city and about the people who frequent them. It is completely unfair for just the aam aadmi to claim Mumbai. It is as much mine (who goes to Leopold all the time) as is Dinesh's (who travels from VT all the time) as is Sangeeta's (who goes to the Taj every week).

How dare he?

sameersampat said...

Purvi, from my reading of Gnani, I think he would agree with you that "every citizen represents the country". His argument is that popular media, and thus popular opinion, values some (the rich and powerful) more than others (Aam Aadmi). This is reflected in the way the media covered the attacks - priority to Taj, Oberoi, Jewish center over places like VT. I must say I agree with him there.

Gnani is outright distasteful, however, when he starts stomping on peoples' (victims and police officers) graves.

CSM, I think it is ok to feel uneasy in 'rich settings' (or 'poor settings' for that matter). Such settings really put material wealth disparity in your face in a way that you can't ignore - you being uneasy means you're not ok with that disparity. Seems ok as long as it doesn't prevent you from seeing the human aspects of each setting.

Purvs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.