Monday, March 22, 2010


Probably nothing is as emblematic of peace and serenity as the figure of Buddha. For eternity, artisans, painters and sculptors have slaved over the right proportions that would artistically represent the beloved ascetic.

The features - eyes the shape of half open lotus buds, a keen nose and the hint of smile together convey the calm introspection that is beautiful beyond words.
Have been photographing Buddhist iconography around the region for a few years now. Sharing a few images form around the house and elsewhere.
The Buddha in emptiness. The Buddha in solitude. The Buddha in poetry.

Contemplating a now-lost statue of the Buddha in French sculptor Rodin's garden, German poet Rilke gropes his way towards and understanding of emptiness:
center of all centers, core of cores,

almond, self-enclosed, growing sweet --
all the universe, to the farthest stars
and beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit ...

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;

your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich thick nectars rise and flow.
Illuminating your infinite peace,
a billion stars go spinning through the night,
Glowing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

In unexpected corners.

In turbulence, noise, age, decay and death.

The Buddha is every where..

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Colour Stories :All things red and ravishing

Ceramic Platter from Earth Home, Hong Kong, assorted seasonal fruits in red . Silk sarong from Altfield Interiors, Hong Kong. Silver Cuff from Khan Market, New Delhi.

Holi just went by, spring is out there is in full bloom, Valentines day, Chinese new year all wonderful occasions, that bring colour to mind one way or the other. Particularly the last two stand for a very vibrant and bold hue....Yes, I am talking Red !!
Bright, bold, hot and the irrepressible red!

Lately because it has been on my mind to, I see the colour every where.. In stores, books, magazines, in nature, in my kids crayons and paint boxes, clothes, lipstick ( a la Sandra Bullock rocking the colour on Oscar night)... every where. Since a lot of what one sees comes around, let me post some pictures of all that was red the past month.

Red and orange kantha reversible sheet from Anokhi, Delhi, Kantha cushion covers in Maroon (Anokhi) Red rectangular cushion covers from Tequila Kola, Hong Kong.

Red Lacquered bamboo tray and runner from Laos, hand glazed Tea pot and cup from Lane- Crawford Hong Kong. Wooden opium grinder from Rajashtan.

Red and turquoise necklace, Lhasa. Red Dzao tribal neck piece from Vietnam

From the archives: Red and yellow Ranunculus.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Holi!!

A very very Happy Holi to all!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Three uses for a quirky object. Picked up a pair of iron stirrups from a flea market in Lhasa a few years back. Although I had no idea about how I will use them, their texture and shape caught my fancy.
After lying around unused for some time, the stirrups have been hung on a mango-wood hook by a bay window. Posting pictures of three different ways I use them.

To hold pots of miniature plants or creepers some times.

To hold flowers every now and then.

even tea lights some evenings.

Which use do you like the most? What else can one do with these?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eco Wraps

For those who love to wrap their gifts, but are wary of wasting paper, here is my year of gift wrapping in pictures.
Have avoided buying gift wrapping paper for a whole year now, using alternate materials like newspaper, used paper, magazines and recycled packaging material and fabric.
Sample these
A child's birthday gift is packed in paper made from News paper, recycled gift wrapping paper ( which was too creased to reuse as is) curling ribbon from balloon ties and paint. The paper was made by my eight year old during the course of an afternoon activity.

Tissue paper salvaged from a shopping bag was used to pack a baby shower gift. The cutesy accent on the gift in turn salvaged from the bottom of my child's toy chest.

For a fashionista buddy, an attractive center-spread from Financial Time's Weekend Supplement made the perfect wrap alternative!

There was no reason to dispose off an A4 sized paper that had served its purpose. Used it to wrap a bottle of perfume.

To wrap my Diwali gifts, we hand block printed peacock motifs on old newspaper with gold and red acrylic paints.

Apart from those that I could document in images, there were wraps fashioned out of scrap fabric, plastic and spray painted newspaper.
Have been trying to recycle every scrap of paper that we use around the house, in whatever way possible. More later.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Green blooms

Among the various new year resolutions made at the start of 2010, is one to go as green as I possibly can. The other one is to update this space more frequently. Tying both of these together so that neither gets broken , I am going to post a few initiatives around the house.

Starting with dumping my florist. Sorry Mr Lee on Lyndhurst terrace, but I am going to have to stop my regular trips to your sweet little flowery haven.
As much as one loves cut flowers, the cost of these beauties has increasingly become clear. Commercial, large scale flower farming comes with a host of problems- pesticide overuse, carbon emissions that transporting these beauties entails, human cost in the form of bad working conditions for the farm workers- pesticide exposure, water source pollution- to think of a few.

For some time now, I have been trying to sustain my love for fresh flowers in ways that are less damaging to the environment. Uploading a few pictures and ideas- most of which are pretty obvious, but I am putting them together anyway.

The first of course is to grow your own blooms, if you are lucky enough to have a garden.
I have been growing Hibiscus, Bogun Villa, Gerbera, Orchids and Anthurium on my small balcony for some time now. The plants are able to provide small single stemmed arrangements if not huge centerpieces on a daily basis.

Less is more ! A single stem is enough to give you enough flower power sometimes. It helps to work with various textures and materials in the form of pots containers and platters to complete the arrangement.

The next time you are out walking, try to notice flowers and foilage that grow in your own neighbourhood or city. A few wild flowers, originating from trees or shrub - Bauhinia, Gulmohur, Frangipani, the stunning Amaltas- very evocatively called `Sona Jhuri' in Bangla - there is a limitless bounty available with the changing seasons around. But do be kind with how much you pick..!

Last but not the the least, potted plants are a wonderful alternative to cut flowers. Combine plants with different colours shapes and textures for fun results.

Would love to hear of similar stuff you might have done at your home or are able to think of. Coming up more ideas, big and small to save, conserve, recycle and reuse.. Watch this space.


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