Whenever I move out of the house, I am always filled with a sense of dread. I wonder why I am so repulsed by the places we make for ourselves today. It has nothing to do with poverty, disease, or malnutrition. The dread is related, to the places of ordinary life, the buildings of the city - the house, the school, the landmark. If there is a professed spatial, humanist or aesthetic purpose to architecture it is difficult to experience it in reality. On paper architecture is that wonderful making of spaces, that sculptural massing brought together in light, that imaginative wondering of the creative spirit. But the buildings around, are nothing but dreary masses of broken and smudged plaster - flagging in spirit, depressing, unsightly, blemished. The shops and offices and markets are like parasitic growths, spreading along the ground, smudging the sight line, slowly sucking the life around them, turning the city into a rotting concrete carcass. And leaving you with nothing. No remembrance of landmark, no encounter with history, no cause for celebration.

When the sights and sounds of the place are overwhelmed, when the pitch reached a severity of personal affrontry, there was little to do but retreat. The city was a wasted place, and architecture was a threat palpable in physical terms. It reached out through the clutter of people and buildings and signs, and promised a daily dose of hostility, conflict and chaos. At the end of a work day, I felt I had enough. I was seething with my own reactions of hostility. It was then that I would seek the quieter comforts of the drawing board, to undo the architecture I had just seen, to remake it in drawing.

Friday Mosque of St. John the Baptist of Khajuraho
Friday Mosque of St. John the Baptist of Khajuraho © Gautam Bhatia
Headquarters of Coke
Headquarters of Coke © Gautam Bhatia
Institute of Palmistry
Institute of Palmistry © Gautam Bhatia
Excavations at Sat Isabgol, Gujarat
Excavations at Sat Isabgol, Gujaratg © Gautam Bhatia
Racquet Club!
Racquet Club! © Gautam Bhatia
Concentricity © Gautam Bhatia