Praise for My Books

"Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is a gifted writer of great promise. I have a gut feeling we have a new star rising in Punjab's literary horizon. She has an excellent command of English and a sly sense of humour."
- Khushwant Singh on The Long Walk Home

"An enjoyable tale of a sassy girl's headlong race up the corporate ladder."
- India Today on Earning the Laundry Stripes

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Quotable: Antoni Gaudi

God has all the time in the world... or the Spanish take on India's Ram bharose!

I have returned from vacation all charged-up and renewed. Nothing like a long break with family to rejuvenate the spirit, and when the vacation spots happen to be Paris and Barcelona, the senses are swimming too :)

Running the gamut from Gaudi to Picasso, the Louvre to Musee D'Orsay, I came across such engaging artists - their work inseparable from their lives - that I have decided to start a new category of blogposts: Quotable. The idea is to provide a sneak peek at the thinking that went behind the work, which will, in turn, prompt a greater appreciation for the masterpiece and its maestro.

Here is the first one: Antoni Gaudi, "God has all the time in the world!"

A visit to Barcelona is incomplete without visiting La Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic church that is Gaudi's work-in-progress masterpiece. It's construction began in 1882 and is ongoing since the funds for building come from the public and donations. Which means that when you buy a ticket to visit, your Euros go towards the construction and, on your next trip, you can see how well it's growing up!

La Sagrada Familia is Gaudi's vision of Gothic architecture at its best. Yet, it is imbued with his love of nature and the harmony he always sought with art and its surroundings. The soaring towers reach out to the heavens, and yet delight us with their sinuous curves. Gaudi was much inspired by 'The Great Book of Nature' written by god and he emulated it in his designs: a column is never a straight line, it grows like a plant; a spiral staircase trails like a falling leaf.

The scale of the project was so monumental that it became clear the building of the church would outlast its builder. A frustrated accomplice is said to have asked Antoni Gaudi, "But when will it be complete maestro?"

To which Gaudi replied, "Not to worry, my client is in no hurry.

"God has all the time in the world!"

This brings me to another connection between the two cultures besides Jai Ho, the Oscar-winning song from Slumdog Millionaire, the Hindi lyrics of which were interspersed with Spanish. (According to Rahman, the composer, the song was meant to be a vision of the world celebrating the slumdog's victory.)

Gaudi's reasoning recalls a familiar Indian expression: Ram bharose - leave it to the Gods. The critical difference, however, is that while in India the same attitude generates complacency, with Gaudi's masterpiece it has led to an ongoing labour of love.

One thing though cannot be discounted - it helps to have god as your patron!

Ummm... Is there a way I can leverage that when chasing publishing deadlines?

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