So much democracy, and so few Howard Roarks?

The real beauty of our cities—and the ethereal beauty of their brains—is to be seen from above, and at night.

In cities like New York, the view can be had for a few dollars from some sky-kissing tower in Manhattan. In cities like Mysore, the view can be had for free from the eternal, expansive Chamundi Hills.

As the key milestones of the kingdom come aglow every Dasara to the oohs and aahs of tourists, you have to wonder, though: why have our modern maharajas, diwans and Rasputins—the politicians, the bureaucrats, the town planners, the builders, the developers, the real-estate brokers—failed to come up with a single structure that could stand the test of time?

Why, in other words, is their/our urban vision constricted to “mini”-Vidhana Soudhas, “hi-tech” bus shelters, and obnoxious welcome arches?

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Biggest, largest, highest, mostest. Anywhere

View an amazing portfolio here: London at night