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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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!

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Feng Shui for happiness in the modern world

Why Feng Shui is effective for modern lifestyle and five tips by globally renowned master practitioner Sherry Merchant for finding Qi to balance, positivity & wellbeing in your living spaces.

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….
 

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#AuthenticLuxe : a New Take on Luxury and 12 Great Quotes about Luxury on Your Own Terms

To not mistake expensive for luxury, to make a knowledgeable and an individualistic choice of collecting the best in life is the new meaning of Luxury. I call it Authentic Luxe.

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).

 Actually luxury is none of the above.

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A sight to beat all Jaipur sights. Photo Tour of Chandra Mahal – King’s private residence at The City Palace

Chandra Mahal located at the South end of The City Palace is an enclosed area and the private residence of King of Jaipur. Usually visited by state guests or blue- blooded royalty, I was delighted to receive an unexpected and exclusive invitation to this haven of Indian design, craftsmanship and royal grandeur. This is how it unfolded …

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