Posted on 29-11-2009
Filed Under (WOMAN) by admin

The Indian EXPRESS/ The Financial EXPRESS article 

For men, a woman is an essential object of lust. Women engage in sex without love to overcome monotony, out of monetary greed or the poor ones, for livelihood purposes. But it is sustaining emotion that every human being is in search of. I’ve understood from early on in my 30-year consulting profession that to excel in delivering sustaining emotion I have to master anthropology, psychology and sociology. Living in France I did that from highly recognised French professionals. This helped me bring sustaining emotion for products and services from end-customers of different industries in the world.

In professional research I interact with numerous kinds of people, more women than men as they are the biggest spenders in the world. In handling about 2000 projects from engineering design, medical, food, luxury goods to feminine products like cosmetics, perfume and lingerie design, I had to study the emotions of different hues of womenfolk. For example, for women’s lingerie in Europe it was important to portray the woman’s character as extremely provocative and exuberance to attract men while simultaneously evoke acute jealousy in other woman.

The first time I went to Pompeii, a city near Naples, Italy, buried by volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius in 79AD, it was after reading about the hygienic, legal brothels of that time still visible today. In 1862 ancient Pompeii’s colourful whorehouse Lupanare was excavated. Its risqué murals exhibiting varieties of creative sexual positions advertised the services on offer. So unlike, I thought, from the hypocrisy that tries to hide the other woman today. Whether it’s the escort girl, mistress or prostitute, men use them, but has a thought ever been spared for the concealed emotion these women feel?

Escort girl: Even in India newspapers openly advertise the services of an escort girl. It’s quite normal that models and celebrities excite men, but their hidden fantasy for the exotic is revealed in the ads promoting highly educated society girls, young air hostesses, foreigners, or students. Escort girls have said that working in a company is too restrictive with basic, stressful work and no hope for job escalation. As an escort girl she can have huge earnings, better than a CEO, the work is relaxed, independent, there’s choice of working hours, taking a day off, and better still, she can choose her client. She can judge the quality of a man’s sexual requirement from the telephonic call and give her involvement accordingly. If a man’s emotional expression is high, she knows she can earn like an unlimited taxi metre bill.

The experienced escort girl cribs that the younger ones earn more with less work. The rate for 18 to 23-year-olds is high, a little lower for 24 to 30-year-olds, but the 30+ experience a huge fall in earning. In the case of accompanying a man for a romantic escapade, the escort girl tends to fall in love with his tenderness in exotic locales in those few days. She stops taking other client calls, but at the end the man quits as per the deal. It’s very difficult for these young girls to keep real emotion hidden, to realise later the insincerity of displayed human sentiment.

Mistress: A woman of 35 to 40 years can easily succumb to becoming a mistress, not for economic comfort, but because she misjudges the strength of her own emotion for the man she cannot fully call her own. In her sincerity she tries to make him happier than happy. The man laps up this energetic dose that fills the gap in his boring life. If the woman slowly becomes possessive, trouble starts. Men are at ease in this ambiguous situation if there is no pressure.

Then there is the 45-year-old married woman who’s fed up with family routine. Accumulating all her husband’s defects in her mind, she falls intensely in love with another man. If he’s a younger bachelor, he would try in great reciprocal love to get this married woman as his wife, but she will never rock her family boat. She loves her duel life, the revengeful grandeur of getting her own back. A married woman is an exciting mistress, men enjoy the strong feeling of jealousy, and her nurturing role. The mistress tries to find a confidant to talk about her restless lover’s passionate love plus how she’s handling her husband and society. But she is true to both, she won’t hurt either husband or lover, she just wants challenging love to make her life inconsistent.

Christine Deviers-Joncour, 56, author of her memoirs called "Whore of the Republic" is best known in France as a mistress. Between 1989 and 1997, she was mistress to Roland Dumas, a former Resistance fighter, foreign minister and head of France’s highest court.  For four years, she was being paid by the Elf oil company to smooth its relations with the government, via her lover. As per prosecutors, Christine received around £7.5 million in salary, expenses and bribes. Dumas admitted his love affair, but denied ever being politically swayed by his mistress. He got off on appeal. This prompted everyone in Paris to say it was all a fix, the politician walked free, the mistress spent six months in jail. Dumas didn’t even speak to her on her return from jail. She has nothing now, lives off the goodwill of her friends. Hers is a classic tale of love gone awry.

Sex worker: An anonymous quote says, “Prostitutes have very improperly been styled women of pleasure; they are women of pain, or sorrow, of bitter and continual repentance.” The tragedy of sex workers is that they have to become experts on emotion selling while stonewalling their real emotions. Drama is their most sustaining factor. They cannot refuse anybody and very quickly read their client’s facial expression to address the relevant sentiment. For regular clients, displaying emotion is critical. It seems that lower income clients are sensitive and sincere. For wealthy men, increasing the bill size is no problem if the woman can demonstrate heartfelt emotion.

Men entice prostitutes, make them fall in love with the promise of protection and marriage, but when the woman gets involved, the men do not return. With a tear in their eyes the women say they call themselves sex workers because sex is their livelihood. Their business is jeopardised if they cannot magnify instant emotion sharing with clients. The famous 20th century painter Henry de Toulouse Lautrec lived for a while in a brothel near Moulin Rouge, Paris, the landmark for cabaret shows today. With mutual love and respect he captured their subliminal feelings in paintings, and said prostitutes were the best possible models as they never consciously posed.

It’s women’s emotion, whether real or not, that runs the male world. Sex, money, emotion, love and drama all combine when having a relationship with a mistress, escort girl or sex worker. To really understand the human psyche, give some thinking space to this hidden aspect of social life to get a chalk-and-cheese understanding of human emotion.

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Posted on 22-11-2009
Filed Under (PARADOX) by Shombit

The Indian EXPRESS/ The Financial EXPRESS article 

Subtlety resides in the subliminal private garden of every person. Subtlety introduces an element of elevation into society, it contributes to a civilisation’s refinement. Empowered sections such as entertainment, politics, journalism, industry and religion that help to form and influence public opinion usually need to exercise subtlety to gain credibility.

Entertainment: Participating in different creative seminars in the West I’ve had occasion to mingle with film directors to cameramen, effects men to actors and actresses. I’ve always heard them say that technique is a mere slave of the storyline, that subtle expressions or undisturbed narrative is more memorable than on-the-face usage of effects. Yet their motion picture industry has undergone immense innovation in effects to create gripping suspense and spectacular drama.

Bollywood and TV serials drive the common man’s entertainment. So they bear a certain moral responsibility to induce knowledge that can improve or contribute to people’s thinking process. Bollywood’s ‘angry young man’ theme connected in some way to the situation of unavailability of everything in the pre-liberalised era. But today’s films spend so much money on effects and foreign locations that its unclear whether they are made for Indians or NRIs who want exotic melodrama not seen in Western films, from the country of their ‘native roots’ enacted by performers they can identify with. Today’s young in India have this motto: ‘earn more, work more, enjoy more.’ The entertainment media takes them into escapades replete with effects and décor, but when the workplace is shown it is actually an advertisement camouflaged to be part of the plot. For example a specific insurance company may be used as the hero’s office and those insurance products named in the film. Where is that subtlety the mass entertainer should be exercising to uplift society?

Politics: Most politicians often forget to address subtlety. TV captures them holding forth abrasively against an opponent, or very irresponsibly, just switching off when someone else is talking. I’ve observed male politicians tend to make chauvinistic and snide remarks about women politicians, harshly disrespecting societal codes of conduct in addressing women. This sets disgraceful examples of lack of subtlety in the modern democracy.

When Francois Mitterrand was France’s presidential candidate for the second time, he and Jacques Chirac were competing in a final TV debate. Chirac, who had served in President Mitterrand’s government as the Prime Minister, suggested that for the TV debate the two candidates should address each other in their given names, not in their official titles. But Mitterrand continued to address him as Mr Prime Minister. Respecting the establishment norm of using titles helped clinch the closely fought Presidency for Mitterrand as the French appreciate the subtlety of decorum. The whole of France still talks of how Chirac’s insensitivity made him lose, that he was indifferently looking at the ceiling when the President was speaking.

Journalism: French comedian Coluche, famous for his irreverent sense of humour, had said, “In a dictatorship you’re told: ‘Shut up!’ In a democracy it’s: ‘Keep talking!’…” But the media in India, the world’s biggest democracy, need not have taken that literally during the Mumbai terrorist attack, exactly a year ago. In the run-up for TRP ratings, Indian TV was at high pitch, initially describing every live move of the Indian security forces to halt the terrorists. There was huge competition among the TV channels. How can we distinguish between a reality story and dangerous happenings affecting national security?

TV also kills subtlety and devalues ‘breaking news’ by reporting the mundane and the extraordinary in the same mouthful of air. What’s worse is putting a chirpy advertisement after exposing news of some tragic disaster. The program TRP may be high, but if you ask viewers their reaction to seeing such an ad at that time, you’ll definitely find a negative flurry. Perhaps subtle discretion is required on when to air different ads if the news content is shocking.

The impact of the Internet and electronic media has taken the print medium to another dimension in the West. Reading newspapers has authentic value of everyday life and the printed daily continues to be valued as a strong opinion leader. India’s young generation already reads less, and with newspapers becoming more and more led by brash advertising rather than the news subtly inducing ideas, will the cyber and ephemeral world win over?

Industry: Industry spends heaps of money on advertising, finding super locations, hiring the best cameraman and trendiest film stars, but when the brands reach the retailer’s shelves, how do they present themselves? Our advertising skill is blatantly copied from the West, but with hazy subtlety. Almost 100% stores there are self-help supermarkets, whereas in India only 3% of selling outlets are organised retail, the rest are individual or mom&pop shops. Here you will find food products jostling with detergents, rice, dal and loose oil in large containers being totally susceptible to, and probably infested with, cockroaches and rats. There is a total disconnect from the TV ad and the condition of sale. Will the consumer remember the product’s advertisement when she goes shopping? Ads create a brand’s awareness and pull, but if the marketer lacks the subtlety of elegant display at the point of purchase to jog the shopper’s memory, chances are the shopper will purchase whatever the kirana retailer recommends.

Religion: Every individual has the right to worship through any religion, and I respect all religions. But in the name of God, when almost all the religious houses blare out prayers or religious songs in public loud speakers, is it not mass disturbance and total noise pollution? When will we become sensitive to not impose on the privacy of others? At the end of the day, this becomes another form of lack of subtlety.

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Posted on 15-11-2009
Filed Under (PARADOX) by Shombit

The Indian EXPRESS/ The Financial EXPRESS article 

Looking the same is a major crisis, especially when people have money. The first response is to differentiate in lifestyle. For industry, differentiation in deliverables is essential to increase net worth. The culprit in making all the world’s bricks look alike is digital technology. That’s when a sense of aesthetics can make a difference.

Indian women have had an inherent, exceptional sense of beauty from time immemorial. Their ornamentation is the most spectacular, from the nose ring, bindi, alta, mehendi on the feet and hands, anklets, finger rings with chains ending in bracelets, bangles matching every dress, ear rings that reach up to accentuate hairstyles and jewellery on the hips. Women’s hips are so universal in aesthetics that strokes from Western masters, from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso, have eulogised them in paintings. I’ve never found two women on Indian roads to have the same design of saris. Chewing pan was an ancient culture used by women to give sensual appeal to their lips. Even today’s young local Indian girls fuse Eastern and Western wear to make beautiful fashion statements. However, there are a few of the very affluent who distinguish themselves from this cultural fiber with hotchpotch combinations, and lose the glamour of Indian women. In general, it’s amazing how Indian women from all walks of life are conscious about aesthetic art in their looks.

But for most Indian men, aesthetics is “wot’s dat?” Earlier this week, waiting for flight confirmation at Mumbai airport during Mumbai’s cyclone I was just opposite a toilet when suddenly a man in a white lungi emerged wet from the toilet, shivering as though he’d taken a dip in the Ganges. In the corridor between him and me, travellers were passing by, beautiful air hostesses pulling trolley bags, foreign tourists and Indian executives all proceeding for security check. In full view of this traffic, the man lifted his lungi, took out blue boxer underwear from his bag, and jumped around alternatively on either foot trying to draw them up. When successful, he swung the lungi away in a flourish, and in swift movements continued to use it as a towel to wipe his body and hair. He then wore a shirt and trousers, took out a mirror, combed his hair getting ready to take the plane. As I enjoyed this scene, I was reminded of rural railway platforms with only a tap, and was surprised that even the security guard failed to send him inside the toilet. What a contrast in aesthetics, the man was totally oblivious to everyone’s curiosity!

Take a look at a man’s shirt pocket: all kinds of papers bulge from it plus modernity participating with the mobile phone. Hand set aesthetics have undergone a sea change, becoming sophisticated and trendy, as also the retail outlets of service providers. But check out how they are junking public eye space with ugly telephone towers in the city or outskirts, no maintenance, other electric and telephone wires hanging out, sometimes becoming like a net on the road.

Mushrooming real estate in cities and small towns may have presentable décor inside, but its public view has no character, just unbecoming sanitary pipes and exposed electrical transformer gadgetry. Old skyscrapers with cracks filled with putty create designs. Is that because most of society’s decisions are taken by men?

Western Europe after the World Wars had to go for quick habitation to bring immigrants to make their roads and buildings. These badly constructed 1950s and 1960s buildings with poor aesthetics and sanitation became horrible ghettos that created problems of corruption and delinquency. So they were ceremoniously bulldozed in the 1980s. India’s current architecture may face this same problem 20 years hence.

Paris is considered the world’s most beautiful city, attracting the world’s largest numbers of tourists, 82 million in 2007, larger than France’s population of 62 million. The tourism revenue France got that year was 37 billion Euros. In contrast, just 5 million tourists came to India of 1.2 billion people, and spent 7.26 billion Euros (Rs 50,730 crores) in 2008. This statistic also proves that per capita tourist spend in India was approximately 1450 Euros, higher than France’s 450 Euros. Culturally and historically I don’t see that we have any deficiency that we cannot attract tourists like France does.

Paris was planned to become beautiful and modernized. Napoleon III commissioned George-Eugene Haussmann to renovate the city. Through 1852 to 1870, the Haussmann Plan redesigned Paris with broad streets for trains and better traffic flow, public utilities like water, drainage and sanitation, and buildings in homogeneous architectural wholes that unified the urban landscape. Over 20,000 houses were destroyed, slums cleared away and over 40,000 rebuilt. Huge controversy was raised by writers like Emile Zola accusing Haussmann of corruption and architects like Charles Garnier deploring the ‘suffocating monotony’ of monumental architecture. But 140 years later, Haussmann’s work is the most valued heritage property and his buildings the most expensive in the world. In fact the city plans of London, Moscow and Chicago have borrowed liberally from Haussmann.

India does not have a renovating culture. If you come from south Mumbai on the Santa Cruz flyover, just look to your left. Below eye level are unfortunate slums (this always bothers me as I too was under privileged in early life and wish for this terrible situation to end in the 21st century). Just move your eye up, and you will miss the building balconies for all the people’s dirty linen washed in public, or rather, clean linen, shirts, trousers, bras, panties and saris hung out to dry for public viewing. Actually building aesthetics have totally given way to rods, grills, air conditioner boxes, moulded paint. Without renovating all these buildings you suddenly find new construction sold at exorbitant prices.

Since a few years I’ve started frequenting Mumbai for my work in India, I’ve found a new type of décor in apartment building staircases, pictures of gods and goddesses in ceramic. I admired this very interesting move until my client told me it was to prevent people from spitting pan juice in staircase corners. What a clever idea, I thought, as god is highly respected in the country. But lo and behold! In another public staircase, the gods were stained with thick red spit. What is it that can instill the aesthetic sense in us as a people?

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Posted on 08-11-2009
Filed Under (PARADOX) by Shombit

The Indian EXPRESS/ The Financial EXPRESS article 

About 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to safe sanitation, and half of South Asia suffers the indignity of open defecation. This lack of hygienic facilities is a fundamental cause of disease leading to 1.5 million children dying every year as per UN figures.

Can India’s 2020 promise to become a developed country free from poverty be fulfilled without improving our hygiene and civic responsibility?

Hygiene: Landing in Amritsar international airport a month ago I felt really proud that India’s B class towns are becoming so advanced. High rise roof in modern glass and metal architecture; even the new baggage belt looked better than the latest German engineering. This thrill was knocked out by the foul smelling toilet with insects running around.

On a routine market observation visit, a newly built public toilet in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar looked good from the closed car window. But on stepping out, its sharp stink immobilized me. On its left a permanent store was selling fresh flowers. I wonder how people differentiate floral fragrance from the toilet’s ammonia or faeces smell.

Most spectacular is Mumbai’s Rolls Royce showroom, just 500 meters from Worli Gutter, a putrid garbage drain that joins the sea. Just imagine this ambience when buying the world’s most expensive and sophisticated car. New Delhi’s up-market South Extension displays the latest Japanese, Korean electronic products in neon lit splendour, but their toilet on the floor above is ugly, dirty and reeks. The purpose of a high flying lifestyle escapes me when the fundamentals of better living are far from being in place.

Civic responsibility: When people sweep their own premises, it may not occur to them that they are gifting dirt to their neighbours. This aptly reflects our complete lack of civic responsibility as a people.

Incidentally, India has developed an excellent hygienic habit in the jet washer in modern public WCs. This is undoubtedly superior to Western toilet paper that keeps the body unclean all day. Until you see water spots in the toilet seat, you never know if its water from the jet washer or a human body. The question is, how do you educate people?

I remember when I left for Europe in 1973, the toilet cleaning I was accustomed to in my refugee colony was specified people carrying away drums of human excreta on their heads every day. I feel ashamed that this disgraceful profession still exists in India. Later at Kolkata’s art college I learnt of the Indian style sanitary toilet. But it was in the plane to Europe that I first saw an English style commode. In the student’s hostel in Paris we used a common toilet. A Greek friend was one day knocking the bathroom door, but I didn’t reply. So he climbed over the open top and found me with my feet on the toilet seat Indian traditional style. I didn’t even know that I had to put the seat cover down and sit on it as in a chair. It took me nearly 6 months to literally learn and get used to this Western toilet culture.

Men’s habit of relieving themselves anywhere, with no shame that women are walking by, is total disregard of civic responsibility. Women need a bio-break too, but you never see them using the roadside; so men’s being insensate is quite unpardonable. While working for a supply chain logistics company on how frontline staff should be customer sensitive with their packet delivery system, one of our researchers followed a competition delivery van of a globally reputed company with a camera. The van stopped outside a customer’s gate, the man got off, first relieved himself on the customer’s wall, and then went in with the package!

In every urban corner you’ll generally find overflowing, odorous dustbins. Before India joined WTO, our public dustbins mostly had Indian products; now they also have beautifully designed, non-bio-degradable plastic wrappers from famous multinational brands. A few responsible Bangalore citizens took the initiative to collect garbage from homes for bulk disposal in large black plastic bags. The other day I happened to drive through greenery in Mutkur village off Varthur lake, and suddenly saw mounds of black plastic bags dumped alongside the village walkway. Vultures and poor children were rummaging through the garbage, breaking the bags to find some surprise.

But this situation was not always so. The earliest recorded covered sewers are in the Indus Valley Civilization cities. In 2500 BC, the people of Harappa in India had water borne toilets in each house linked with drains covered with burnt clay bricks. They considered sanitation an important public health measure essential for disease prevention.

Today’s lack of hygiene and civic responsibility is damaging the aspirational value of all business. Whether an industry is in manufacturing or service, the real delivery to customer hands is from the shopfloor or frontline people. Did anyone check the difference between the factory workers’ toilet and the corporate office one?

The factor differentiating organised retail from wholesale, mom&pop or commodity markets is housekeeping. But housekeeping is totally alien to those hired to maintain cleanliness, so the retail soon looks dishevelled. Inside an American fast food outlet in Delhi’s Greater Kailash, the dustbin was being cleaned next to people enjoying their chicken. You may mistake the car park behind the market as a garbage storeyard, but it’s a question mark that even globally renowned companies mushrooming in India make no move to clean up the environment. Perhaps as part of 2020 development, the government should create a separate Ministry for hygiene and civic responsibility to take serious action together with MNC and Indian companies.

Hygiene derives from Hygieia, the Greek goddess for good health preservation and disease prevention. Let’s take her blessings to modernise India, teach people basic hygiene as an initiative in civic responsibility which betters everyone’s body and mind for work and enjoyment.

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Posted on 01-11-2009
Filed Under (PARADOX) by Shombit

I’ve often visited India accompanying different Western client CEOs who want to understand the Indian market climate. In 1993, Victor Sherer, the CEO of Grand Metropolitan Corporation where I was engaged in a global project, had come with me to check out opportunities post India’s economic reforms.

Accustomed to everything being linear in Europe, Sherer was fascinated by India’s haphazard, colourful ways. The bargaining practice thrilled him. When I warned that it’s difficult to get hard discounts in the bonafide stores on his left, but very possible with hawkers on his right, he was effusive: “Such vibrancy within just 10 metres!” Neither did he understand Kolkata Gariahat’s potholes, and invariably fell into them. “Give up your Parisian style of ogling at beautiful woman who expose exuberantly or doing window shopping,” I’d say, but he continued to be watchful.

“Poor people wear colorful clothes to overshadow their poverty,” was Victor Sherer’s exotic eye on India. His conclusion that colour hides poverty continued to intrigue me. It took almost 10 years for me to get the answer while working on a few projects that addressed very low income people. On my consumer interactions through home visits and roadside meetings, people said colour means that some extra work has been done to make it worthwhile, even when the price is low. In the psyche of India’s masses, colour brightness is the pay off.

In 1995, Jacques Vincent, the outstanding CEO who transformed Danone into a global diary leader, asked me to help him evaluate business potential in India. Having worked to create and renovate 175 brands of the Danone portfolio in multiple countries throughout the world, I was eager to showcase my own country’s real picture. I arrived in advance from Paris to organize visits to urban rural markets and consumer homes.

Jacques met me at Kolkata airport at 11 pm, skimmed over the 5-day agenda, and before going to his hotel immediately chose his first dinner option to be Bengali food my mother had cooked at home.  After dinner we went to Keoratala crematorium at 1 am. This prelude to his next day’s business schedule was to show him how life ends for 8 million Indians who are cremated every year. The activities connected to death made a huge impact on a Catholic European where death is a silent ceremony. From electric incineration to the wooden burning ghat, Jacques was hallucinated experiencing reality play out. He exceeded my planned 30 minutes there by staying upto 4.30 am: “Death also has an angle of festivity,” he commented.

At a marriage ceremony a few days later, the tuberose garlands took him by surprise as he’d seen tuberose at the crematorium too. That our culture allows the use of the same flower in marriage as in death is totally alien to Catholic society.

Being absent from India since 1973, I started to see the country with a new eye developed by French and European culture. On the way to the refugee colony I spent my childhood in, I felt shocked at people hanging on open doors of high speed suburban trains. My father reminded me that I had traveled exactly this way when going to art college. I immediately recalled how people sometimes hit the electric bar outside and die. In fact, as per Mumbai statistics, 824 people fall off trains every year, and every day 4 people die and 4 are injured in railway track accidents.

Working for a French industrial design consultancy in 1979-80, I got involved with some very advanced design for SNCF, the French national railways company, and learnt that electric train doors cannot be kept open when in running condition. Electric trains first started in India in 1925, and later for new technology, there was SNCF collaboration. It dawned on me that it may not have occurred to Western companies, habituated as they are to the mores of a sparsely populated nation, to deliver products to overpopulated countries as per the recipient’s culture, discipline, habit, population or respecting their value of human life. I’ve heard that India’s electric train doors did close initially. But closing doors would limit passengers to 250 instead of the required 500 passengers at peak period. So the mindset of servicing a billion people is not to reduce passengers per train, but open the doors for ventilation. This of course, is a totally wrong solution.

From this example I knew that to work for my native country with my European skills, I had to first address our myriad cultural skews that are not comparable to any other country in the world. China may have a billion people but we have multiple nuances among our billion people. The stark paradox of million vs. billon people countries came alive to me here.

For developmental projects in different industries, India often takes professional expertise from developed countries. Their execution may be sophisticated, but their relevance to the Indian masses may fail to register. Take a look at our several new airports with world class aesthetics; see how the narrow security system can still detain flights. Toilet doors are so small when people have no patience at that time that it’s always a push to get in, blocking people inside from coming out. For the sake of the haphazard billions, wouldn’t two doors, one for entry and the other for exit, solve the problem? New airports have no space problem, but 5 years down the line they can become obsolete or congested if future space planning has not been done.

In today’s sophisticated housing layouts, children are growing up in a protected, Swiss atmosphere that defies relevance to reality that’s visible just 100 meters outside this cocoon. This closed environment may be good for expatriates to keep their families from intermingling with the unknown, but how will these Indian children adjust in later life? While making such layouts private, is it not possible to induce some real Indian cultural elements, like hygienic versions of Chowpatty, Daryaganj, Chikpet or Gariahat-like open environments inside to change its clinical ambience?

In aspirational areas our thinking process is overly influenced by the culture of the Western millions. We proudly showcase Indianness with tri-colour on the face in cricket matches, but neglect to build on the charm of being a haphazard billion people country. Innovative designs that respect this culture can create a benchmark for the world.

While being in the system of a billion people with diverse culture, religion, language and habits, it may be difficult to transform or modernize every public area with sophisticated hygiene. In all our designs we need to inject lots of functional usage advantages that emphasize the requirements of a billion people. That way we get an aspirational global look, yet become radically different from the million mindset frame.

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