It is very difficult, almost impossible for Shirish Beri to separate and isolate anything that he does in life (especially architecture) from the comprehensive totality of life. For him, the essence is the way we understand and live ‘life’.
That is why, he wanted to take a break after third year of his architectural studies at CEPT, Ahmedabad - to explore, introspect and find out more about 'life' and its relation to architecture as well his other pursuits in life. This desire initiated his solitary travels every year for six to eight weeks during the vacation financed by his earnings at his father's office. There was so much learning during this period - sleeping on the rocks, beaches, park, benches, in temples etc. Observing, meditating, reading, writing, sketching, re-examining, reassessing himself, his journey in life and so on.
Even after graduating with good grades in 1974, he wanted to experiment more by working at Auroville, and later on a potato farm and a bakery. This very attitude saw him refuse his father's offer to go and do his M.Arch at Harvard or M.I.T. in the U.S.A.
Complete Article and Images are available in Building Giants Aug-Oct 2012 Issue