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Valentine’s Day is around the corner and in search for some magical words, I sent a personal selection of 4 most romantic love letters written by famous artists & authors to an effervescent champion of Urdu literature – Dr. Saif Mahmood – for some playful and love filled Jugalbandi.
‘Jugalbandi’ as you may know, is a duet performance when two soloists of different traditions engage in a playful competition and respond to each other on equal footing.
In this case, Saif chose sentimental verses of Faiz, Jaun Elia, Amjad Islam & Parveen Shakir (accompanied with translation) in response to letters written by Cash, Hemingway, Lafayette and Beethoven.
The magic which follows will make even the most hardened cynics give love another chance. For the rest of us – a throbbing heart is all that we’ll be left with at the end of these words.
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.
I decided to move back to India (from London) on this day, six years ago. At the time I’d been living abroad for little over nine years. It was 2011 and even though there were many a reason to stay back in London, I wanted to return.
Ask anyone who’s traveled enough and they will tell you that exceptional & memorable travel stories begin exactly where popular lists stop. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that a trip to Westminster Castle, Louvre Museum or Statue of Liberty are not important. They are, but let’s face it – when was the last time you were left awe-struck because a friend posted a selfie against a backdrop of hoards of people and a distant Mona Lisa? Silly picture, don’t you think. Well, you’re right and in that lies the trick – seasoned travelers don’t just see things, they define how they see them.
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 …
“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..
In a quest to find stores which do justice to Jaipur’s legendary love affair with Design and authentic luxe, I recently decided to spend an extended weekend exploring Jaipur’s shopping scene : from hip boutiques to heaving bazaars to zen-like designer ateliers. The constraint I put on self was to handpick stores which create or stock exquisite objects that transcend borders and have a deep understanding of their craft enabling them to add fresh perspective to ancient traditions.
Apart from my own research I had the privilege of insider lists from my friends – Priya Kapoor and Malvika Singh in particular – who are both champions of authentic ‘cool’ and visit Jaipur regularly, making my pre-visit shopping list for Jaipur as expansive and discerning as possible.
After visiting many (many!) shops which resulted in a rather long list, it took some time to distill the list to 30 shops each of which promise modern design sensibilities and exquisite craftsmanship. Since I visited Jaipur only a couple of weeks ago, this may be the most updated list of best of Jaipur shopping in January of 2017.
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.