Introduction to the book and the author | Shirish Beri
Who are we? A combination of our life experiences or are we the places we visit, people we meet, and experiences we have along this journey called life. We are so busy making sense of the external world we tend to forget the journey within ourselves. As we progress in time, we evolve socially and personally as well. Through his book Wanderings and Ponderings – Ar. Shirish Beri shares his expressions of the places he has visited over time. Through poems, sketches, and a handful of essays, this book offers an interesting perspective on human feelings and observations that we take for granted. In his book, he describes the architecture he has visited and experienced in a way that creates curiosity for the readers. Reading his experiences through beautiful poems gives us a glimpse of the greater spatial experience.
Shirish Beri graduated from the School of Architecture (CEPT) in 1974 and chose to stay and work with nature rather than pursue further education abroad. His deep love and understanding of nature are seen in his work and design philosophy. His work is often guided by the site context and socio-cultural aspect of the project; while also contributing to society. He is an ardent artist with a vast collection of poems, sketches, essays, and photos. Naturally, his work reflects his ideologies and understanding of various aspects of nature.
Inside the book | Shirish Beri
This book is a beautiful collection of 200 sketches, 119 poems, and 5 essays which gives its readers a fresh perspective of how we perceive the simple things and experiences of our lives. He describes the places he has visited in simple yet meaningful words. When one reads his book, it takes them on a journey of understanding the emotions of the place. He explains in detail the simplest things that might go unnoticed by the common man. As the title suggests, this book is about his outer ‘wanderings’ that led to his inner ‘ponderings’. Each pondering is presented as a short poem along with minimal line sketches that create the entire scenario for the reader. Every time you read a poem, you unfold another layer of understanding of what Ar. Beri so beautifully presents. Each poem is written in not many words but surely many emotions.
The unique thing about this book is that one does not need to be an architect or an allied professional to understand this unique representation of architecture. Anyone who picks up this book will certainly find what they are looking for. May it be the deep yet sometimes humorous poems or the precise and detailed sketches- every page in the book is a treat to any avid reader and artist. It is interesting to understand architecture in a unique way from an architect whose work reflects these very ponderings. Shirish Beri is known for his works like the Drug De-addiction Centre at Pune, Sanjeevan School at Panchgani, and Laboratory for Endangered Species in Hyderabad. All of his projects are sensitively designed with the cognizance of the site features while also blending in with nature and its elements. Since studying at CEPT, he has loved travelling and the experiences and learnings that come with it. He used to do extra work to earn money as a student and then go to a new, unexplored place where he knew no one. According to him, these trips allowed him to understand himself better. These wanderings were recorded in this book which presents places he has travelled, with a side of illustrative sketches.
You can read a poem and have multiple takeaways from what is presented. These poems include architectural details, wisdom, art, and creativity. Anyone who reads this book discovers a new world of experiences and wisdom penned down by one of the renowned architects. In this book, we can find how small things and experiences are deeply understood and presented by someone. We might overlook these moments of our life, but reading his poems makes us aware of how meaningful every part of our life is. In one of his poems called ‘No Shirish left’ he says:
A wandering cloud wanders in the blue sky,
plays with the wind and sky,
becomes the wind and sky,
no cloud left.
The water over the stove boils,
plays with the heat and air,
becomes the heat and air,
no water left.
I become the cloud
I become the water
No Shirish left.
This is just one of the segments where a general day-to-day observation is penned down in a wise yet creative way allowing the reader to have an insight into the deep meaning of our experiences. In the book, every page will certainly make you think and ponder. It is a must read but more importantly, it is a book to revisit and understand the content all over again. A child can flip through the sketches, an architect could gain a fresh perspective, and any passionate reader could witness a fine collection of words and thoughts in this book. Every individual can interpret this book according to their interest, age, profession, and understanding. And that is the beauty of this book – A book with endless possibilities!
- Book- Beri, S. (2021). Wanderings and ponderings. Shirish Beri.
- (2021). book. shirish beri. https://shirishberi.com/book/index.php
- (2021). Sense n Sensibility. acedge. (2021). book. shirish beri. https://shirishberi.com/book/index.php