Undoubtedly attributable to my inherent impatience with most things in life, I have an itch to swap out décor and re-do rooms every time I finally finish setting them up. And India, is like dry fuel wood for that fire. The riot of colors, patterns and textures make sure my fingers start twitching from the moment I land at the Delhi International airport. I start feeling a bit dizzy, and an unmistakable arrogance in the design sensibilities of my motherland starts filling up my chest.
The New Delhi airport itself, has been done fabulously to reflect the colors and traditions of the country. It has been 3 years now since I first saw the fabulous immigration section, but am yet to be sated. While everyone else scrambles to fill the forms, I stare up in awe – gawking stupendously at the Mudras.
From Delhi, we travel to Kolkata. And that too just in time for the Puja – rightly described often as the biggest air and craft exhibition of the world. Below are some images of ever improving and inimitable Pandal decors from this year’s finalists.
From bee-hives to be bottles, from literal to abstract – nothing remains unexplored. And the craftsmanship – comes second only to the craziness witnessed on the streets as zealous ‘pandal hoppers’ disregard the time of the day for when to hit the streets.
And the palates off-course, keep up.
We spent Diwali in Chandigarh and the days right before in Delhi - and it is well known how India adorns herself for the festival of light.
One very important thing to remember though is that the inspirational potential of India is not limited to her festivals. They sure add the cherry on the top, but even commonplace sights of the nation, which are so often cliché’ d with images of her unsightly shortcomings (read sights of poverty and un-cleanliness) instead can be breathtaking. Not that lack of cleanliness or rather good civic habits of not littering and keeping the streets clean is not anymore a problem-With every visit, I think to myself, as I am sure almost everyone does, ‘only if'. Only if the garbage bins would be used. Only if he/she wouldn't do that. Only if.. But her beauty, though encumbered, is not overshadowed by her failings.
From street vendors to home mealspreads - India offers shots that each speak a thoudand words - with the imperfections, the glitches, the omissions, the 'could do betters' being the things that make for the unadulterated perfection.
So as our 7 weeks trip came towards its end - the loot I had acquired inspired by all India had had to offer had grown to a pretty substantial amount (like it had happened in every trip back). It is impossible to do so - but I want to bring as much of the color, the sights, the patterns and even the dust back with me as I can. And my poor house, has to feel the brunt.
The fabrics got converted to photoframes, and the cushion covers were easy changes. Accesories got put in their places. And in new places. And the back to the old places.
And now after all the work - I do feel satisfied (for now) - that I have succeeded in bringing back a part of my country - both the sauve and the rustic that she has to offer. I smile as I walk from room to room on a lazy day - remebering the times spent and planning the next trip.