Archive for Ravi

Ravi Shankar’s impressions… a sketch.

Few years ago my first trip outside India, I arrived at the Frankfurt airport from Bangalore, stood still for a few minutes watching, in anxiety and Wow! My heart racing to adust to the high heeled pace and efficient setting. It was like a foreign film I thought and then felt ok about it, having seen many of them since a kid. A world very different from where I come, I say that that even while we all are in the 21 century! I came back with the memory of walking in and out the virtual screen and I visited Berlin again after 2 years.Ravi Shankar in Hamburg

I stayed at Prof. Birgit Weller’s home this visit for a couple of days. She is a very warm, affectionate and straightforward person, full of optimistic enthusiasm, love for life Birgit is. It was wonderful working with her on the proposed joint Universal design curriculum, FHH – HTW and National Institute of Design where I teach.

I visited HTW design faculty and Prof. Katrin Hinz took me around the facilities of prototying workshops, animation & photography labs, and the highlight was the Game design faculty who are doing amazing things with new technology aids. Prof. Katrin made possible to arrange for a meeting with Dr with whom we shared the proposal of the joint Universal Design curriculum for his views and support to take further. He was extremely positive and enthusiastic about the collaboration. I made a short presentation to the communication design students on UD & India, a glimpse! and also sat through their work on packaging, where I found similarities in approach to ideation with NID.Ravi Shankar, Katrin Hinz, Neda Rajabi, Birgit Weller

This second visit was not like walking out of a movie set, I actually lived the experience, felt the depth of emotions, values, joys of being, in talking, conversing with Katrin, Birgit, and friends. I made a short trip to Hamburg, a lovely city, slower pace than Berlin I felt, rich city I was told before the wall, I found maybe it was a little like Bangalore I knew 20 years ago!!

Tim Oelker, a designer who has a fine office in the most desirable place in the world took me around a boat trip explaining the traverses of Hamburg along the water channel. We visited Stilwork, a collective of contemporary design stores. It was a coffee table book experience, live and physically I am there! The best part is Tim made it look so daily life.

While on the ferry we talked about each others’ professional design practice experiences and they were similar in terms of the clients mindset, etc! Tim’s colleague asked me how I felt about my first trip to Germany, I said like walking into a movie set, she looked disturbed, didn’t seem to accept it, then I explained to her that it was only a feeing of mine considering the place I come from which is in state of chaos in comparison. Incidentally she had not heard of Bangalore!! This set me thinking. My young cousin of her age in Machilipatnam, south eastern coastal town in India wouldn’t have heard of say… Stuttgart or!!

I don’t hear music or any of the kind of sounds in routine day/night activity in Germany, I mean while one takes a walk along the streets, even in the evenings. Not talking about weekends, guess lot happens, sound and merry!!

When I a mean day to day to work , I think you should play music in the trams and trains of Germany. This will relax the atmosphere for all, more for the visiting people from other countries. Maybe even a TV, this will make people converse, even on silly topics outside of their homes with others. Which all people do across cultures, etc. Which is good and sustainable way I think and are glimpses of existentialist societies actually. I am doing my job, you are doing yours, the TV episode is the snack and life is the daily meal to chew and ruminate. This continuance and acceptance of life comes without stress, comes when the older lady in the tram chats up with you when you have one year old in the arms or pram and have stepped into the tram. It also happens when I ‘am able to or allowed to’ affectionately and naturally smile or make comic faces at the little one which we usually do in India.

You have worked very hard to be where you are, highly respected and adored for your caliber, dedication to work, resilience and proficiency world over. You are extremely warm at heart people, very friendly and helpful when you get talking.

So let’s begin with music and some noise around,… its okay! Am sure you are ok too but neither of you all want to take the lead doing it. You maybe feel it is the Govt’s job or the Bahn’s job. No , it can happen through a private enterprise or the tram driver’s love for radio and he likes to play it loud. Maybe the Tram driver is the guy. In India we have Rajni Kant who had a humble and mundane beginning as a public service employee is today a super star in the movies, fills millions of hearts with his dramatic presence on screen and music.