(a poem about love from ancient India)

His form
in my eyes,
His touch
in my limbs,
His words
in my ears,
His heart
in my heart :
Now who's separated?

- Translated from 'Prakrit'  by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Indian Love Poems 

Amazing Hotels in Super Busy Cities…

In 30 seconds….

A list of nine absolutely delightful hotels across some of the busiest cities in the world. Distinct and different in every aspect imaginable, what remains common is their enviable location, a unique design language, stunning art, world-class gastronomy and an over-riding obsession for detail in common. In a world otherwise filled with chaos, these luxury hotels are an oasis of perfection – and hence urban sanctuaries.

The Imperial – New Delhi, India

The Oberoi – Mumbai, India

The Leela palace – Chennai, India

Taj Westend – Bengaluru, India

Hoshinoya – Tokyo, Japan

Rosewood – Beijing, China

Mandarin Oriental – HongKong, China

Claridge’s – London, UK

The Sherry Netherland – New York, USA

Continue reading → Amazing Hotels in Super Busy Cities…

Goa-ing Beyond, part 3 : six unusual Goa experiences

These truly unique Goa experiences were published originally in the Open Magazine issue dated 27th March. They are updated here with images, video and contact details.

Continue reading → Goa-ing Beyond, part 3 : six unusual Goa experiences

Goa-ing beyond, part 2 : A discerning traveller’s ultimate guide to contemporary Goa

This article was originally published in the Intelligent Traveler section of Open Magazine. Authored by me, it’s re-published here with additional images & coordinates as a three-part series : Historic Goa, Contemporary Goa and a list of six unusual experiences which are meant for cool hunters.

Continue reading → Goa-ing beyond, part 2 : A discerning traveller’s ultimate guide to contemporary Goa

Explore Goa's Heritage

Goa-ing beyond, Part 1: an insider’s guide to historic Goa

Another guide to Goa? Not. In the spirit of meaningful travel, let’s wander into Goa’s historic and idyllic heart to discover two distinct flavours: Heritage and Authentic Cool.

This article was originally published in the Intelligent Traveler section of Open Magazine. The article’s been updated here with additional images & coordinates as a three-part series : Historic Goa, Contemporary Goa and Cool Hunter’s list to Goa six most unusual experiences

Continue reading → Goa-ing beyond, Part 1: an insider’s guide to historic Goa

In Search of Beauty : 15 Best on-screen interiors & visually-inspiring rooms for your viewing pleasure

Normally long weekends are great news, except when it is Holi. Instead of going for long walks or enjoying al-fresco brunches one is stuck at home. Of all Indian festivals, Holi is my least favourite. Instead of dressing up, women and men wear their discardable clothes and replace fine-china, linen & pretty things with plastic stuff & throw-away decor. Aargh.

With so much ugliness outside, I’ve decided to stay-in and re-watch some of the most beautiful and visually inspiring films — so much for my sweet revenge against Bollywood’s cheap commercialisation of what was once a joyous spring festival. Ha!

My list of films, however, extend to include gems from Hollywood, World Cinema and TV shows. The nominees are …

Continue reading → In Search of Beauty : 15 Best on-screen interiors & visually-inspiring rooms for your viewing pleasure

In conversation with 13 fabulous women

They say youth is wasted on the young. I think that applies specially to women, with so many of us losing precious years in our search for strength and sensuality. Which is why, while the world rushes towards the Millennials, I decided to look in the other direction towards 13 fabulous women who actually know something about navigating the complex journey called Life, to get a fix on what womanhood and International Woman’s Day means to them.

‘When the face fits’ is an Italian way of saying ‘someone is comfortable in their skin’. I like the ‘face fits’ analogy; it has a wonderful symbolism of someone who’s found herself, let go of pretences, complexes and all that’s unnecessary. And it’s the best way to describe the achievers you’ll encounter on this page. All these women have been through their share (and then some) of highs and lows, and have emerged victorious in the most authentic version of themselves.

Pour yourself a nice cuppa (or a stiff vodka) and read what they have to say. Maybe you’ll agree with their views, and maybe you won’t. But that’s all right. As a wise man once said, ‘it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it’.

Continue reading → In conversation with 13 fabulous women

zen-packers-guide-worlds-15-oldest-tearooms

The world’s 15 oldest tea rooms: which one’s your cup of tea?

 

“Tea is just an excuse.

I am drinking this sunset, this evening

And you.”  – Sanobar Khan, A Thousand Flemingos

Make tea, not war. Monty Python’s (rumoured) words echo my feelings. And during my research on the history of teapots for my other post – the eccentric teapot – I was fascinated by how tearooms change from country to country.

Think about this for a minute, my fellow tea enthusiasts. The oh-so-proper tea with scones and clotted cream in England could not be more different from a bunch of friends lingering for hours, chatting, laughing and smoking shisha in Egypt.

Continue reading → The world’s 15 oldest tea rooms: which one’s your cup of tea?

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/sven-gahlin-collection-l15224/lot.51.html

Big Love for Small Art: An Introductory Blog post about the Enchanting World of Indian Miniature Painting

Miniature art is fascinating. It’s intimate and personal. And full of unexpected surprises. Unlike large artworks which require a viewer to step back, miniature art can only be viewed by getting closer and paying undisputed attention to its tiny, perfect details. And only after a viewer has committed herself entirely to the pleasure of a miniature artwork does it reveal it’s astonishing and unparalleled beauty – square inch by square inch.

Artists typically spend months and sometimes years to create a high-quality miniature work. They also cannot afford to make any mistakes – there is simply no space to fix or hide it.  On the other hand, viewer too has to undertake her own journey, go deeper and open her mind to a world of flowing, rhythmical lines and enjoy the sophistication of artist’s subtle details.

Welcome to the spell-binding world of Miniature Art!

Continue reading → Big Love for Small Art: An Introductory Blog post about the Enchanting World of Indian Miniature Painting

facts-about-valentines-day

21 Weird & Interesting Facts about Valentine’s Day

Romance, love, flowers and candy hearts, that’s what Valentine’s day is all about, right? Not exactly – from its bloody origins to chocolaty modern day traditions, here are 21 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Valentine’s Day. 

Continue reading → 21 Weird & Interesting Facts about Valentine’s Day