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 …
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!
As Indians, we already have access to ancient wisdom & a brilliant architectural system of our own. Why then should we look towards a Chinese practice or even consider Feng-Shui? Here’s my own personal experience of how Feng Shui transformed my life. As well as top tips by globally renowned master practitioner Sherry Merchant for greater health, wealth & love in your home. Sit back & enjoy….
I love luxury. Sadly, it’s easily misunderstood. More often than not, luxury is associated with flaunting wealth, sometimes anti-socialist sentiments, and other times – to my complete despair – an exaggerated and tacky display of money (think : gold commodes).
“Ode to the Chamber …linger here amidst the chamber in which we embrace our love talk to me of sonnets and call me turtledove…” ― Muse, Enigmatic Evolution
Sanctuary. Cozy. Comfortable. Curated. These are my top (and only) words for a romantic bedroom. Four pillars of a love-temple, so to speak.
A master bedroom should inspire love and dreams — for our self and those we invite into it. Yet more often than not, in our rushed & busy lives our bedrooms end up becoming a crash-pad instead of a love-nest. Big mistake!
So, while resolutions are still the flavour of the month and Valentines Day is around the corner, use some (or many) of these ideas to spruce up the bedroom and give loorve a chance.
Raj Mahal Palace in Jaipur is fascinating. During its 290 years of existence it’s faded in and out of glory on several occasions and yet, each time bounced back with greater magnificence than ever before. In its most recent avatar it was renovated from a listless hotel to a 14-room ultra luxury boutique property which is fantastical both in terms of its design sensibilities as well as its luxe-value.
The impact of this recent change can only be understood through a comparison with the past. Personally for me, the journey of a designer’s grand vision backed by a hotelier’s impeccable service-standard to bring back the splendour of the by-gone Raj era is just as compelling as its current wow-factor. I who purely by accident have ended by standing witness to this transformation, cannot help but remember the first time I visited Raj Mahal..
This Eyes on Luxe list is perhaps the most recent compilation of world’s most expensive tea-ware. With a collective value of over 10 million dollars, many of these teapots are some of the most desirable & collectible design-ware in the world.
15. Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver tea and Coffee Service — 〈 $ 22,800 〉
This six-piece sterling silver tea and coffee service made by TIffany & Co in New York in 1873-85 was sold at more than four times the original estimate by Skinner Auction House in Boston in January 2014.
This evening, just as I was drinking my tea, I read about the most valuable tea pot in the world which according to Guinness Book of World Records is valued at an astounding three million dollars.
I looked at the teapot in a tray in front of me – a lovely specimen of blue and white delft pottery which I recently bought at an artisan shop in Amsterdam – hugely unlike the teapot on my screen which is made wholly of diamonds and rubies and is called “The Egoist” ! Indian-origin British billionaire Mr Nirmal Sethia designed & created this teapot in the loving memory of his late wife. After the initial oohs and aahs, I couldn’t help but wonder why would he call something he made for love an Egoist? Unless he is egoist about the love he had for her … hmmm, that’s very odd indeed. And why is it that Indian men – starting with Emperor Shahjahan – undertake these extraordinary projects after their wives are dead and gone? Why not now, my dear men, whilst we are still living .. so at least we too can enjoy these wonderful tokens of your love?
Baths have an evocative sound to them. Perhaps because from time immemorial, baths have been a lot more than a hygienic activity. Ancient Egyptians bathed twice a day as a religious ritual to honour Isis. Romans used their public baths as social hubs and spent several hours in them with wine, women and friends. Cleopatra is said to have done her best thinking whilst soaking in her honey and milk bath whilst Agatha Christie constructed her plots eating apples in a large Victorian tub.
No wonder Sylvia Plath said “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them”.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this obsessive need to use my living space as a canvas – a physical expression of how I feel within.
I remember driving my parents nuts because I wanted a round-shaped bed (inspired by a Bollywood sequence where the heroine reclines in her round, luscious bed and sings a beautiful melody for her love, something I very much wanted to do for my first crush). Or, adding fairy lights to soften the crevices of peeling paint in a humble room I’d rented when I started working in Mumbai. I was determined to find beauty in every struggle and I did.