It was a sultry summer afternoon, and all eyes were closed shut in the Building Construction class. Building construction, the name itself was enough to put lazy heads to sleep. It was rare to have a super enthusiastic faculty; if you got one, consider yourself lucky. The monotony of the class was broken when Mr Singh declared it to be the last class of the semester before the final Jury, filling the hot air with thrill and excitement to move on to the next level of this amazing yet exhaustive five-year course. 

Hostel Days and Building Construction

Final juries used to be amusing among Architecture girls at the hostel. Some were competitive, some scholastic, some still waiting for the final moment to arrive before they started drafting, some looking for others to finish so they could topo while others preaching that it was a wasted effort and would go off to sleep. Pulling all-nighters before the final juries was mostly the case, and it was a panicking moment if anyone was found sleeping peacefully. The giggles and laughs would echo through the long-vacant corridors reminding the last few days left before everyone retreated to their respective cities. 

The Blotted Arch - Sheet1
Bunked beds showing hotsel days_AIO photos

Building. Board. Bar.

College during summers was long and tiring, and the hot, dry winds made the days even more sullen. It was the year of hand-drafted sheets piously preserved, carefully sandwiched between butter papers, and kept taut in the big folder. Architecture, a course that dabbles in mental and physical fitness, made us carry those heavy drafting boards and portfolios to the studio just to keep them on another drafting table. Followed by another tedious process to tie the strings, set the parallel bar straight, and hand draft Building Construction sheets.

The Blotted Arch - Sheet2
Man holding boxes showcasing the heavy board and the burden architects carry_the annapolischiropractor

Days Before Doom’s Day

Hardly two days were left for the final jury. Building Construction Illustrated by Francis DK Ching was ubiquitous in all the studios, with a bowing student at every table meticulously drafting sheets throughout the day. Days crawled, and our professors were trying to keep calm but petrified, looking at our nervous faces before the jury. It was almost two in the afternoon, and everyone had gathered for lunch at the gazebo as it was an unsaid rule not to eat in the studios to ensure nobody’s sheets got destroyed.

At lunch, the division of studios and sections blurred, and people shared time with people they wanted to. It was a sacred time when architects unleashed themselves from the boundaries of architecture and mingled with different minds. Isn’t it strange that architecture creates boundaries, but architects blur them?

The Blotted Arch - Sheet3
The blurred Lines between Architecture and Architects_spa aiachicago

The Last Ritual 

Lunch stretched before everyone retraced to their respective studios. It was almost time when the speakers started busting, and everyone was engrossed in the drafting. The last semester‘s days were loaded with sleepless nights, tired limbs, and fear mixed with excitement and emotions. Studios generally remained open till late evening to continue working even after hours. A bunch of us who stayed at the hostel left early while the day boarders stayed back to extend the last ritual as long as possible. Dragging our tired, famished, and sleepy bodies back to the hostel, it felt like crashing on the dinner table after dinner. 

The Blotted Arch - Sheet4
Showing the deadly scenes of last jury_ funny funny 12

The Fizzled Night

After dinner at the hostel, everybody settled in their rooms, their drafting tables still ready to burn the midnight oil. The chaos in the corridors and the lights in the non-architecture rooms started fading. Megha and Vidya were my roommates, and it was a ritual to lock up the door and get into an anti-social mode with a soda bottle in the room to invigorate us with the caffeine if the melatonin kicked in late at night. As the night dawned upon us, the fun and laughter helped to keep each other awake. 

It was almost four in the morning, birds started chirping, the winds were blowing, and my last sheet was at the finishing line. Megha was also wrapping up while  Vidya felt she needed a caffeine sip. It was a small room with our backs facing each other while we were standing and drafting. As she closed the lid, the bottle slipped from her hand and landed on the floor with a thud. 

The blotted paper showing the fizz that it had

It was a moment of silence, and everything seemed to stop responding when the bottle started rotating and fizzling out on our sheets. Hardly three hours away from the final jury, all our sheets were damped with the carbonated drink. The moment was filled with laughter, tears of hard work, and a clueless mind. The dampness of the sheets felt like tears of pain and regret. It was almost morning, the sun was out, birds were singing, and in the cold Aravali winds, the blotted arch section on the Building construction sheet swung to dry.


A lateral thinker who seeks to unravel a different realm through her writing. Vidhi is an architect and her simplicity is reflected in her designs. Her enthusiasm for Humanitarian architecture helped her to empathize with different cultures and learn from them. She loves to sing and believes that just like music, the soul of design is to flow.