A curated life: In conversation with Tehzeeb Ahmed

In conversation with Tehzeeb Ahmed on curating unique retail experiences which go beyond the normal scope of pop-up shows to ‘destination retail’ experiences where shopping comes with large scoops of fun.

In 30 seconds….

Passionate about curating memorable experiences, Dubai-based curator Tehzeeb Ahmed thinks of her pop-up shops as a grown-up version of children’s day-out. Created around strong themes which combine food, fashion and indulgent pampering her shows are as much about shopping as they are about having fun.

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A curated life : In conversation with tastemakers and curators of cool

Starting with this post, I bring you a series of conversations with curators who have a strong entrepreneurial streak. These taste-makers curate the newest, most unique experiences across various disciplines of art, design and all things fabulous.

First in the series is a conversation with Aarti Patkar, curator of The Vintage Garden on timeless design & alternative retail

In 30 seconds …

Curator Aarti Patkar in conversation about what makes pop-up shops at The Vintage Garden unique, fabulous and most importantly relevant to both buyers and designers who come to it’s monthly shows held at a beautiful colonial-style bungalow in the heart of Mumbai 

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

Curated strictly for cool-hunters, these six unusual experiences are in equal parts fabulous as they are charming. Welcome to extraordinary Goa.

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.

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

Goa’s greatest draw for tourists, both foreigner’s & Indians, is the experience of slow-paced India and its authentic cool vibe. Here is an insider’s guide to spaces and experiences which are world-class, unparalleled and far (far) away from the tourists or the ordinary. Welcome to exceptional 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.

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

Away from the tourists and beyond its coastline lies Goa’s most alluring and visually striking gems. Here’s an insider guide to the state I now call home. Welcome to real 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

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

As far as interiors inspiration goes, there is no better place to look than in the imagination of dream-spinners and image makers. Great production designers spend enormous time researching the past or exploring a fictional future to create authentic backdrop for their stories . Here is my edit of the best on-screen rooms across Hollywood, Bollywood, Television and (some) World Cinema.

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 …

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#BeBoldToChange – In conversation with 13 fabulous women

Where a society fails to protect, provide equal opportunity or pay due respect to women, these 13 women are forging their own path and creating a legacy despite all odds. A blogpost which reminds us what it is to dream big, be a complete woman and live spectacularly : on International Women’s Day and beyond.

Casting Pearls (of Wisdom) before Thine

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 for International Women’s Day (IWD); towards 13 fabulous women who actually know something about navigating the complex journey called Life, to get a fix on what womanhood and IWD 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. Sometimes, just sometimes, wisdom beats the rule about coming only ‘when there is little use for it’. 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’.

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21 shades of women – a collection of Instagram portraits and Quotes by famous authors 

Women are built for greater sensitivity. Where men see blue, we see majorelle. Our DNA is better equipped to handle ever-changing, ever-evolving scenarios. We are quicker to adapt, better at managing chaos, and making the best of every situation. We are a bit like water – sometimes a mountain stream which charters it’s own course, other times comfortably taking the form of the vessel it resides within. Though it’s best (and recommended) not to confuse this flexibility with weakness.

It may make us complex but never boring. I salute every woman and her every shade – we are awesome and quite frankly L’oreal shouldn’t have to remind us that! This post is enough …

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10 quotes about celebrating Woman and 2017’s theme for International Women’s Day : #BeBoldForChange

On IWD, women across the world come together to force the world to recognize gender inequalities as well as to celebrate the achievements of women who have overcome these barriers.

The law in India doesn’t discriminate against women. It supports and protects us. But how many of us can put our hand on our heart and say that our society is gender-balanced? Isn’t it absolutely shocking that even in 2017, we the women of this country, live with a constant fear for the well-being of our body, pride and self-esteem?

People in India’s northern-belt (to which I belong) observe Navaratri – one week of strict abstinence, twice a year – a grand religious affair to offer prayers and sacrifices to the feminine essence of God – Shakti. Wonderful ideology one would say, except this region is also home to highest number of crimes against women.
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The world’s 15 oldest tea rooms: which one’s your cup of tea?

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. It is the only drink commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. And yet the tea-ceremony in Japan could not be further from Mumbai’s cutting chai. A tour of these 15 oldest tearooms in the world is a fascinating view of tea’s journey across time & borders.

 

“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.

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