Fifth Element: Matharoo Associates

Excerpt from the short story ‘Riding The Curve’
by Vagish Naganur, Landscape architect and ex-Matharoo Associates

Among the plethora of problems, we discovered we would never achieve all flexible shapes & slaloms that G had fantasized from his F1 addiction. Smooth riders call it ‘Riding the curve’. – Forget execution, drawing his fancy curves itself is not an easy task. After many years of frustration, he had long concluded that computers are no match for the hands-on ones inspired by feline figures. They call for too many parameters, lack tactility and intuition.

While drawing some of his sinuous designs during my days at the studio, I too had to go through this ordeal of sorts. He pulls out any thin object like a steel edge or an acrylic strip that is flexible with tension like that of a bow, puts it across 3 points and says ‘Hold it still! Don’t move’, I am as tense as the strip, he then comes charged, loosening himself, adjusting his body to the height of the drawing board & in one swift move of the pen, the curve is planted. He then stands back and celebrates how he has captured the limit of that material in tension, I would say, ‘Add my tension as well!’ Bent steel edges, broken wooden beadings and snapped acrylic strips in the studio are innocent victims of this bizarre ritual. Thankfully I was now a witness, not the culprit.