Mast Kalandar

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Tue, 01 Nov 2005

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Suggestion for gift to IIT/K from our batch


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I am here on IIT Kanpur Campus for a week's visit and have been walking around a really well maintained and growing campus. Unfortunately, it's growing too fast! With each batch coming along and donating a building the place may soon become a concrete jungle and the usual environmental types are protesting quite a bit. While the proposal I'm about to make may not please the environmentalists, I hope it will be a step in a different direction from foundation stone laying that's been going on. Here is what I think should be funded/donated by our batch.

You know you (and your ill-begotten offspring) have been reading too much Harry Potter when ...

What I propose is to create a forest/wood in IIT/Kanpur.

Concept

It should be a enchanting, romantic, scary place.

Inside, one shouldn't be able to see the sky except in small patches --- this is not a garden we are talking about. Perhaps, there could be a clearing somewhere off-centre where there would be small wooden hut and a pond large enough to host some migratory birds. The forest would be caged by some high hedges---embedding with enough (but not too much) wire-netting to create a Faraday cage---you should know that you can't ring for help; perhaps the clearing around the hut would be wi-fi enabled! The paths could be dust paths or brick paths---no asphalt or concrete please---but would be wide enough for cross-country runs to pass through. The place should be ideal for scare-dares (Oh! And did I mention the banyan tree---with snakes?! That'll take a few hundred years to grow...), quiet (romantic?!) walks, trumpet/nadaswaram/vocal music practice, acoustic-only concerts (in the hut) and of course treasure hunts. One assumes that there would be enough types of trees to enthuse the newly formed Bio-Sciences types or the Environmental Enggrs. (OK! I know that's not going to happen!)

Implementation

The forest would naturally not be natural but evidently man-made---perhaps three-four hundred trees. We need a real forest planner and some gardeners to maintain the forest until the trees are large enough to fend for themselves. Eventually there would need to be some sort of forest guards to prevent people from bringing in plastics or axes.

The amount of space required is a bit of an issue but there is some open space opposite the Health Centre that is so close to the outside wall of the Institute that it is unlikely that anyone would want to live/work there. (A lot of buildings have come up just outside the institute walls). This area also continues across to the area opposite the swimming pool. I know this is the aspect that will take some amount of work in order to convince the authorities that be.

Justification

All work and no play ...


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