“Dear Lucky Seven” a letter from a teacher to his students

a letter from a teacher to his students  (who had failed the academic year)
april ’12

“…Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.

But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!…”

– Rocky Balboa


Dear Lucky Seven,

first of all, my deepest condolences for your year-end results. I am sure that this will be a difficult time for your guys. All I can say is “hang in there”.

Over the last year I came across a number of people who had grave doubts about continuing with architecture. Not being interested in architecture is not necessarily a bad thing. but what really bothered me was that it seemed that the fall in interest was not due to a disinterest in design or creativity, but because of a demoralisation due to the way the college administration / and grading system seems to operate.

Without doubt, this can be a very difficult thing to cope with. And in addition to that, the loss of an entire year is even worse. If that is how you feel then please take heed of this letter.

Remember that many talented designers failed in our college at some point or the other. Remember that education is always a rocky path and the requirements of a design student are many and multi-layered.
Most importantly, remember that you are designers for life. Don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise. No failure in some silly exam, No lousy management, no bad talent, no insurmountable difficulty, no whatever, will ever stop you from being someone who ultimately loves and lives by design.

One of you asked me for advice on what he should do to improve himself during the year. Of course getting a job is most important and you all must certainly look for one so that you can pick up some of the skills of the professional world. However, the question is still very valid, because it is very sensitive to the idea of “what skills need to be learnt at this stage?”

if i were to offer you any kind of advice, i’d say you have to work towards improving yourselves in three general directions.

Firstly, You have to expand your mind, so that when the time comes you will have something significant to say about something/anything.

Secondly, Develop your communication skills; so that you will be able to communicate, the significant things, you would like to say.

And thirdly, keep your ear on the ground and find out what other people are saying and how they are saying it.

So this year try and achieve the following goals


A) expand your mind
read any four of the following books.

1. Ravan and Eddie – kiran nagarkar
2. Delhi: a novel – khushwant singh
3. Batatya chi chaal (marathi) – purshottam laxman deshpande
4. Malgudi days – RK Narayan
5. Invisible Cities : Italo Calvino
6. The Little Prince : Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
7. Yugant: the end of an epoch – irawati karwe
8. India Unbound – gurcharan das

Visit the college library. Yes, the college is still open to you. Pick any book a week, no matter how useless. Everything builds you in a good way.

Watch movies-think architecture. Remember that movies are a visual medium, just like architecture.

Watch architectural movies.


B) Communication skills: 

learn softwares: they are the digital language of the 21st century. Learn to compose sheets without wasting time on it. You must aim to produce international quality drawings by the time you reach the 4th year. This must be your number one priority.

1. Google sketch up and vray application: very easy to pick up and is an exceptionally powerful tool in space making.
2. Photoshop: very versatile and highly powerful.
3. AutoCad: a drafting software that has become a universal language of communication. It is also a good basic drawing tool.
4. Microsoft PowerPoint: equally good for presentations and sheet compositions (when push comes to shove)
5. Google documents:
6. Adobe acrobat professional / reader:

Don’t forget to look up YouTube regularly or if you are stuck at any point for directions of use. If you are still stuck call someone who knows software. If you are still stuck, email me.


Publish yourselves on a blog or a Google site. Write or put forward whatever you want to, photos, poems, drawings, sketches whatever. Self publishing is a measure of the amount you create WITHOUT BEING AFRAID OF IT. It also allows other people to learn or gain from your contributions to the world.

To my mind, the following are some good blogs out there that work as personal diaries and also as a dialogue with a world. (Yes, I have shoved in my blog there too. see?! it’s good for PR also!! something you will have to learn on your own.)

1. dagagiri: http://anujdaga.blogspot.in/
2. blessed with hindsight 2.0 http://terrainseeker.blogspot.in/
3. jun : https://arjunsharma01.wordpress.com
4. theotherveda : http://theotherveda.blogspot.in/
5. photos of hemali kapadia-samant : http://www.flickr.com/people/hemali27/


Look up the great speeches of our time. This is especially for those who have a problem with English communication. Reading aloud good and famous speeches are a good way of improving your English and it should also help you to think in English.

You should note however that this is not the only way to improve English skills. The simplest way is to read aloud from the newspaper, preferably the times of India. The most effective way to improve English is to follow cricket commentary on television.

The absolute worst way to improve English is to join a call center. In that case, don’t call me!


C) Keep your ear to the ground:

look up design sites. there are many of them, are cutting edge, and do a really good job of telling you what’s going on, and how’s it going on. Anuj has a fantastic list of design sites that you can look up. Personally I like the following

1. http://www.archdaily.com
2. http://www.contemporist.com
3. http://www.dezeen.com
4. http://drawingarchitecture.tumblr.com
5. http://designboom.com/eng/

Go for archi-conferences if any: look up pecha-kucha etc etc.

do all of these this and complete, and I think it will take you guys a long way in becoming well rounded 4th yr entry-student. if you have any doubts or queries, please feel free to contact me.

Best of luck
regards etc,