POEM: Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh

Assembly Building, Chandigarh; Source: Duncid (via Wikipedia)

 

The best “futuristic” can aspire to is to become retro-chic —
like the ship sets from the 60’s Star Trek.

Yet, we can’t help but try to capture tomorrow, today —
only to create today’s vision of tomorrow’s dystopia.

If Asimov wrote about a man who finished his work at a typewriter
only to catch a trans-galactic shuttle —
what hope could Le Corbusier have of finding the future?

Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh features elegant, broad boulevards —
running straight, intersected only by other broad boulevards.

Perhaps, the future has arrived:
Where else in urban India can one drive a mile
without rounding a corner to stop for livestock, playing children, or a parked truck.
One can cross Chandigarh in twelve minutes flat.
Crossing Bengaluru requires four hours,
non-inclusive of stops for gas and a hardy biryani.

But that massive tic-tac-toe grid is built
of neighborhoods constrained inside block walls.
As one speeds through town, with nary a car in sight, one wonders
where is the life?
is this still India?
have I slipped through a trans-galactic teleportation portal?

Perhaps, the future has arrived:
Where else in urban India can one see:
battleship gray unadorned by marigolds or ochre
and wonder where the windows of the future went
and whether people of the future
ever idly peer off out toward the horizon?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.