30 December, 2013 § Leave a comment
spent about a week wandering the streets of hanoi. never knew it was over a millennium old. coming from a place with less than 50 years of independence, it was a sobering experience to arrive in a city like this.
the scale of the city, the hanoi way, is just right. it is not a city laid out in grids; with every other turn, it draws you inwards only to guide you outwards to the other places where life happens. there is a sense of connectedness; time past, time present.
it is a city that is testament to the rich and vast culture of the vietnamese people and the sophisticated urban planning introduced by the french.
once the eye grew accustomed to the riot of colours that mark most of the buildings, the colonial villas were eye-openers.
each day, i would look forward to the surprises which the city held.
quaint cafes which present, to those who successfully navigate through the dingy alleyways that hide their secret, a breathtaking view of the city.
a taste of modern french.
and a taste of the old world at an eatery patronised by Catherine Deneuve. the local flour had a particularly coarse and dry texture. the meringue of a sticky gooey variety. still, it was nice to savour the treats in a quiet of a idle morning, with just the right amount of sunlight from the street, and in an unadorned space from a different time.
there was the hanoi of old.
the quiet spaces to escape the city.
but what i particularly enjoyed was the opportunity to make pictures of what one experiences walking through the city. i hope you’ve enjoyed them too.
here’s to more adventures in the new year.
17 February, 2013 § Leave a comment
perhaps i have found the man who will help me understand Hannah Arendt.
“[E]very great composition is in perfect harmony with all true rules, and involves thousands too delicate for ear, or eye, or thought, to trace; still it is possible to reason, with infinite pleasure and profit, about these principles, when the thing is once done; only, all our reasoning will not enable any one to do another thing like it, because all reasoning falls infinitely short of the divine instinct. Thus we may reason wisely over the way a bee builds its comb, and be profited by finding out certain things about the angles of it. But the bee knows nothing about those matters. It builds its comb in a far more inevitable way. And, from a bee to Paul Veronese, all master-workers work with this awful, this inspired unconsciousness.”
– From Modern Painters III, “Of the True Ideal: Secondly, Naturalist’ by John Ruskin