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20 April 2008

A new office

SPRING PROVIDES the most beguiling colors and textures to my workplace. In Haifa, the Mount Carmel Terraces always transformed into floral staircases to the clear blue skies. In Mumbai, large jacaranda trees in purple majesty lined the park behind Eureka Towers. In Manila, a flame tree stood in full bloom outside the Triumph building, its scarlet blossoms matching the intensity of the red Triumph logo on the building. And now in Kolkata, the colors are so . . . black.

See, the office has moved to a heritage building just across Duncan House in the venerable but chaotic Dalhousie Square in central Kolkata. It's called Gillander House, and, like the rest of the colonial buildings in the area, it must have had the air of a prima donna during its prime. It's also possible that this is one of very few places in Dalhousie where human traffic doesn't collide with vehicular traffic.

I explained its existence to the rest of my colleagues who stayed behind in Duncan House with an e-mail on my first day in Gillander (31 March):

The building is filled with romantic character! The exteriors are beautifully dilapidating and chipping off, a lovely cobblestone pathway outside seems to have been gracefully taken off a 19th-century cemetery, and a scintillatingly curving interior staircase (dark, of course, to give it a romantic look and feel) next to a museum-relic, non-moving elevator reminds me of the charming interiors of a sophisticated movie (Alfred Hitchcock's “Vertigo”, maybe). I plan to wear Harry Potter-ish attires starting tomorrow to complete the transition.

Oh well, I might as well wear all my red, purple, and aquamarine shirts to the office. They look good against the black architectural background!


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