April 25, 2013
So, I have now been in Guwahati almost a month and a half, minus a week back in Delhi end-March, and also
minus a few days spent unavoidably up in gorgeous Shillong, on two separate occasions. Counted together with
a slight slow-down on my own part along the way, on account of the poor broken bones of a crash on my ride
in from Sattal, actual work and progress on RIA #002 cannot be said to have been entirely 'optimal' thus far.
In fact, I have also wilfully been pushing back work upon the main bamboo structure, just a tad, on
account of the fact that we were eventually unable to get properly seasoned bamboo,.. which means
we're trying to sort of let the stock we've bought season to some minimum degree before we begin, by letting
some precious time slip by.
Nonetheless, as can be seen from the annotated image above, there has been some reasonably good progress altogether.
The ring-well was the first order of business, which came down to essentially just one incredible young
fellow digging the whole way down to 30 feet underground, with four guys backing him up top. That's the point at which
wall collapses and water-incursion became too much to handle any further. There is, of course, a lot of iron in
the water, as for many miles in every direction, but, we'll be putting in an Aeration + Filtration system
to handle that.
Shouldn't forget to mention here that 2 snakelike fish (known as 'Koosiya Maas'
locally) gave away their underground hidey-holes by peeping out into the well-dig about 10 feet down,
resulting in one of them being caught, and cooked up for a hearty snack, by the well-diggers.
The rcc footers for the main bamboo structure are now well set. The floor of the open kitchen has been cobbled very
nicely, with large stones, as has been the personal-parking bay. The walk-in public entranceway, alongside the
kitchen, is periodically addressed, whenever we have time between other works; such as, when the rcc water-tower
increments are setting.
The pond is just a tiny little fellow, actually begun against a slight shortfall of earth we ran into, in
raising ground level for the main structure.
A nice little space has emerged for the 'cafe',.. although the one and only branch of the big tree there that
might have provided some welcome shade to the space in summer, was accidentally rammed and broken off by a
dumper-truck during the landfill. Speaking of foliage though: We've been putting in bamboo hedges, a few
decoratives, some farm-seed, and so on.
Meanwhile, we managed to connect with a young local architect, Nankul Nanda Malsom, -- who's been making a name for
himself with bamboo works,-- for some useful advisory on the goodwill account, which led up to a very nice ride
out of town for me the next day, to check out something he's been doing recently, for some sort of
Also caught up with another interesting young architect, Kankana Dev, who's more recently out of college, but,
perhaps equally focused upon bamboo. And, she just might actually work with us a bit as we go along on the
On the side, all on my ownsome, I've chickened out of going with the originally intended length of 25 ft.
for the main vertical members of the bamboo structure, and have decided to instead cut them at about 21-22 ft.
That's mainly about the final height at which we'll have to do the primary top-joints, whilst balanced upon
a free-standing temporary bamboo scaffolding.
Also on the side, we are slowly and surely making some excellent local connections, and, generally seem to
have variously won some local goodwill to the cause.
And so; so far so good.
April 26, 2013
@ RIA #002