View of the farms, feel of the winds and openness of the large windows inspired me to take up this project. A small splash of colour was the only thing required to make it look cosy and inviting.
The living room is large with its king size windows and a terrace which opens to a farmland so vast that it is unbelievable to conceive that it is a part of Pune. The owners had some sturdy Sagwan sofas with orange jute upholstery which became my focal point and helped me design the rest of the home. The dark brown furniture helped me to tone down the blues of the walls, orange of the sofas and the yellow of the lamps. We made the room look retro with its retro sofas and a mix and match of wall decor.
To accentuate its retro look, we designed a corner shelf and a little magazine table to balance out the spaces and to help them store things. Instead of using veneers and laminates, I decided to give it an old rugged look to match the rest of the living space.
I also wanted to use some original artwork in this area. It had to be something that nobody would have in their homes. We got some paintings done for less and from the scrap we had.
A corner of the room was also made to store CDs, music system and their TV with a little bar and glass cabinet.
A dance studio became one of the other important themes of this home. The room belongs to an upcoming dancer who according to me should wake up every morning feeling inspired. Hence the ‘dance studio room’!
I could not forget the hallway and the entrance. They had to be classy and inviting. They provided storage for shoes, helmets, tools, newspaper, and inverter.
Lastly the master bedroom, done traditional with so much sunshine and freshness and a mixture of art from various parts of India.
“The Island of Lotuses” sounds like a dreamland right? Indeed, it is one, it is the breathtaking Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is filled with lush landscapes, rising mountains, thick forests, and lakes with gushing waters. It is famously called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. We visited this lovely island a month ago and since I have been waiting to write about it. This post has all the best experiences I had while we traveled through its meandering roads passing through the most dense forests and enjoying the food all along.
Reservoirs of the Island
Moat around Sigiriya
“Let not even a drop of rain water go to the sea without benefiting man”, were the words of Parakrama Bahu the Great. It is said that the first great reservoirs ever in the world were built in Sri Lanka. This island today has around 12,000 ancient small dams & 320 ancient large dams together with thousands of man-made lakes. Hence all over the landscape one sees small water bodies with gushing waters that help rice grow abundantly.
Reservoirs of Sri Lanka
The Lotus Land
Offering of Lotuses to Lord Buddha
Since the Sri Lankans don’t waste a drop of water, they don’t waste plucking their lotuses as well. Almost all lakes and ponds on the island are full of lotuses. Bright pinks and purples, serene whites and gorgeous reds flaunt their charm in the abundant waters. I was amazed to see how easy they grew all over and how they were so beautifully offered to the Lord Buddha. According to esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus and is one of the eight auspicious signs of Buddhism.
A Pond full of Lotuses
Magic of Patangi
Patangi Wood and its Colours
Patangi wood is used since ancient time for colouring in Sri Lanka. Its the most amazing wood I have ever seen. If added to hot water it provides a red colour; adding lemon will turn the colour into yellow; adding shell lime or Calcium will provide a purple colour. It just doesn’t stop changing colours! It is used as a natural dye to colour rugs or wood carvings which Sri Lanka is most famous for.
Devour, Slurp and Enjoy…
Sri Lanka is a food lovers dream. We were very excited to try different dishes. Spice and flavors, diverse assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, and heavy usage of the coconut was what we experienced through our trip. I am gonna write about the ones I enjoyed the most…
Hoppers! I love the name and the dish even more! Hoppers or appa are a typical Sri Lankan breakfast. Thin pancakes with crispy edges made from rice flour, coconut milk and palm toddy or yeast. Wonderfully versatile they work with eggs, curries, chicken and vegetables. My favourite is an egg nestling in it.
Lamprais is an exquisite accomplishment in Sri Lanka’s diverse and fascinating cuisine. This delicacy includes a savory rice with onions and spices in butter or ghee rice and then cooked in a meat stock. Lamprais which originated during the Dutch rule consisted of lamb, beef and pork. But today most commercially made Lamprais have substituted Lamb with Chicken. And all of the above are lovingly wrapped in lightly toasted Banana leaves to make it a whole meal. Its simply delicious!
Making Kotthu – Street food of Sri Lanka
Kotthu was one of the best eats on my list. A typical street food which had flaky roti bread chopped with vegetables, meats, and/or eggs, resulting in a fried-rice-like dish. The chefs make it with a rare rhythm and performance. It’s a delightful little package.
So this was a small post on my travel through the country. All these above things fascinated me and I thought I should share it with you. Along with the rich scenic beauty, we also sailed through the ancient Sri Lankan architectural monuments of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigirya etc. It was an unimaginable experience and would love to share more on this country soon…
This sprawling metropolis with a huge cultural and architectural heritage is a melting pot of Eastern and Western history. The only city in the world which is transcontinental i.e located on two continents, Europe and Asia and has 3113 mosques! Isn’t that unbelievable? We had a a beautiful vacation in Turkey a few years back. We loved this beautiful city of Istanbul with its ample blue waters of the Bosphorus strait and the 7 hills with a mosque each.
Skyline of Istanbul
While walking through its streets, it felt so much like being in India. The blaring car horns, the shrill sound of calling prayers from the majestic mosques, its busy streets where people seem all over and beautiful colourful spice filled markets. We experienced the lovely tram ride from the Gelata bridge to the Grand Bazaar.
The Brightness and richness of the Grand Bazaar
The Beautiful Grand Bazaar
Constructed in 1461 Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is quite popular today. It has 3000 shops which store dainty Turkish artifacts in small tunnels which is a complete jumble once you enter. It was such a pleasure to see this labyrinth complex with pushy merchants and colours which your eye would never know.
The Blue Mosque
The most illustrious architecture I have ever seen till today is the Blue Mosque . The interiors are adorned with 20,000 blue tiles that fashion in fifty variations of tulip designs. It also has some extravagant resemblances of flowers, luscious fruits and perfectly grown cypresses.
While walking through the Taksim square one chilly day of our stay in October we saw a man selling steaming muscles. This friendly vendor offered one to us and promised it would taste out of the world! It is called the Midye dolma, sort of a munchy that comprises of muscles stuffed with rice. He told us to eat it with using the shell as a spoon… and indeed, it was the most flavoursome eats I ever had!
Awesome Tradition to Relax and Cleanse
The Famous Hamams
The age old and popular Turkish baths play an important role in Turkish culture. These often beautiful buildings provide a place to relax, refresh and revitalize, but they are also a place for local people to socialize. These baths have long been considered a place to purify the body and give your overall health and well being a boost. I am not a big fan of massages yet I didn’t miss a chance to walk through these Hamams and feel its luxury.
On the Traditional Steamboat through the Bosphorus
Oh what a wonder this Boshphorus is! It is a straits that connects Asia and Europe, also connects the Maramara Sea to the Black Sea. We took a lovely traditional steamboat ride to enjoy the array of colours and scented breezes, its balmy waters and admire the palaces and old mansions commonly called as ‘yalis’ that adorn the Bosphorus waters.
Sunset over Istanbul
While steering through this city…Dusk fell and the setting sun illuminated the everything, gently bathing it in shimmering golds and crimsons. Lights were switched on and the silhouettes of the mosques rose, ready to greet the moon. It was time to go back to our hotel and look forward to the next wonderful day we decided to spend in Trabzon on the Black Sea.