Written by Abhishek Bohra, Pradnya Phutane, Krish Nasta
Proceeding ninety miles into the forbidden territory, and across the mountains, you will arrive at a fortified city built by kings of the past. Originating from the river that bounds it, this extremely humid city attracts visitors from far and wide. The older part is occupied by an entity that is frequently visited by the beings that make up most of the population. The entity occupies a large complex and stays in a huge pinnacle like structure, the dark stone-cold entrances and a steep flight of steps almost welcomes the user inside the entity’s home. The deity is bathed, fed and worshipped by human visitors on a daily basis while humans occupy much smaller lands, work so that they can feed themselves and serve the deity. This idea of blind faith and worship originates from the time when a rich trader dug a mine to extract stone and build a temple for the deity, the biggest one yet made, for which he dug the deepest hole in the centre of the city. The great floods of that period ravaged the city but in return, the goddess blessed him with water which now makes up the central lake of the city and provides a daily wage for people working there.
The story of the “Maxilman Strap”, that became famous, originates from a mistake that not only gave the place its own identity but also made it a hub for global trade and commerce. It takes you back to the time when the bearded Xerxian merchants, tired from their journey at sea, arrived at the city’s great town hall, dressed up, colourful and ready to trade. The crowded area which was infused with a smell of cow dung and the sweat of millions of traders walking through the market, almost made one faint when doubled up with the scorching heat of the sun. Xerxians helped develop the city in exchange for spices and jewels, the cycle of trade continued smoothly for centuries until one day when the shipment of spices was accidentally loaded with that of handmade leather bracelets which was only realised after it reached Xerxia. Initially, this caused a riot among the merchants of that town but after the queen approved of the rich quality and exquisite style of these bands, she decided to name them,” Maxilman Strap”. On receiving the royal approval, a new spark of trade ignited the fire of the handmade industry in the city of Maxilman. This mistake of leaking the well-kept secret provided an impetuous for an industry that continues to flourish till modern-day and provides employment to millions of people. While life continues in the city of Maxilman the deity smiles from far above the cloudy skies, rewarding them with many such mistakes.
The story is an outcome of the elective ‘Abstract Design Thought: Cities’. The assignment involved abstraction of a historic city which was recently visited by the students. It was then presented in the form of a descriptive narration supported by models.
Instructors: Chaitra Sharad, Sanket Mhatre