Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Visions and Hallucinations

In an interview in the HT on July 24 - two days before Terrible Tuesday - Charles Correa had said the following, among many other things:
There’s a big difference between having visions and having hallucinations. You don’t set out to have “visions”. What you try to do is understand the problem you are addressing as thoroughly as you can – and if you are insightful enough and inventive enough, you may come up with an idea that others call “visionary”. But you don’t get there by trying to be visionary, or by naively importing solutions from some other places. Right now here in Mumbai, almost every indicator – traffic jams, water supply, pollution, etc – shows that our problems are only getting worse. I know there’s a kind of euphoria now about Mumbai – especially among Page 3 people. Just by looking at their pictures in the newspapers every day. They feel confident that things are really improving. It’s probably one of the last stages of hallucinating. You know, if you drop a frog into hot water, it will struggle desperately to leap out. But if you place it in a saucepan of tepid water, and then gradually, very gradually, turn up the heat, the frog swims around quite happily, adjusting to an environment that is growing more and more dangerous. In fact, just before the end – just before the water gets really hot, and it cooks to death – the poor frog relaxes…and a state of euphoria sets in. Maybe that’s what’s happening to Mumbai...
I've been looking for the link ever since I posted this extract on my blog but haven't been able to find it. Meanwhile, I thought the image of that poor frog relaxing in hot water seemed really appropriate for what has been happening in our city.