Monday, January 30, 2017

The Retreat,Bhimtal


The Kumaon hills winds and winds till the   Bhimtal lake and we see it shine in its emerald greens.A winding road to the side of the Bhimtal lake takes you upto the Retreat. Its all part of the Jones Estate.Retreat owned by the Smetaceks family. As you climb up the steep mossy green steps,the green tin sheeted roofs could be seen from far. I fell in love at the first  glance of the long verandah and the sundappled corners of the home.

It has a lovely old world charm to it..To see it is to believe it.

The Retreat,in Bhimtal is a lovely colonial,19th century built, old-world oozing beautiful cottage.The mud-and-stone walls,glass panes in the doors,wood and tin roof, antique furniture and ancient knick-knacks lend beauty inside. The forests and wilderness around are kept protected.The pines and conifers which lend the spaces an effect of a deep forest.The rustic lime-washed mud-plastered walls and wooden ceilings keep the rooms warm even in winter.

The windows of the rooms overlook the wilderness that surrounds the home and you could wake  up to the sweet chirping of birds.

The common lounge area of the house features a sitting area around an old fireplace, complete with books and antique d├ęcor that has been in the family for generations. The outdoor sit-outs are great for relaxing in the sounds of nature.

The place is run lovingly by Padmini (Paddy), her sons and daughters.

One of the blessed spaces to be in monsoons,I always thought i could weave stories and my frames could bring magic to the place.I am yet to see Bhimtal in Monsoons and i think this monsoons  i could be there..When your minds seeks loneliness and inner peace,I always thought this is the right place to be :)-

































Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Maranat Mana:)- Splendour and Simplcity!



Each trip to the native land ,encompasses us in warm splendour. Each visit intrigues us to know better of the place we were born. We are also letting that to be an eyeopener to our children to make them rich with life's experiences which will take them along way. Only when we move away from our native land do we realize the value of the  experience down south we have,we had and what not,living close to the parents too!

We are always  undecided upto the last moment,this was one of a kind of its trip to the Northern most part of Kerala,,the Malapurram district.

A travel in to the heart of the Malabar region, the famous  Maranat Mana,a 170 year old house managed and maintaned by a family of brothers for generations.

We were just in awe as the car went past their wide compound road.Totally excited on seeing the rich red loamy soil,red hand cut bricks on the boundary walls,lush green colocasias,trailing lush green violet flowered creepers on the walls,the huge old house emerged as if it was from an old vintage era,Mangalore tiled roofs,the inhouse ganesha temple,pretty corridors,the huge granary,the wooden steps,the huge mango tree the nagalingam tree and lush green yellow flowering hibiscus shrubs all over,green moss wherever you could see,..and lots more!

This home is a "pathiraukettu" which meant it had 4 courtyards,and so can we imagine the boisterity of the house,we had a glimpse of their house which even had the nagar kavu(snake temples) in one of their courtyards.I hear this house and surroundings had been in many a regional movies shot in the yesteryears.

It was a  feel,which we could never get elsewhere,living in their century old home, to see them hold strong their  part of the traditions. It was always wonderful to see a family strongly believing what the ancestors believed at a  time, still living and practicing it to the chore.When we struggle to make our children understand the values of our culture and traditions,the Mana stands as a testimonial to the past.This isn't a story of the past,but this is the  present .This visit and stay made for a lovely lesson in why traditions begun in the first place – possibly just to bring people together. Praveen and Vidya were the hosts,as the  stay were arranged by them above the granary which is theirs.


It was an absolute wonderful  experience, of yesterday intertwined with today, of splendour encased in simplicity. It was a lesson in warmth and togetherness in this increasingly isolated world. It was simply beautiful.




a lesson in simplicity









as it rained


a walk in the rains











crowded colocasias

thinking about the simplicties of life






as she sat like a painting

as he cycled 


.
All images courtesy:Lakshmi Arvind

Friday, October 21, 2016

Usher in the festivties ,EkDori !!


It's Diwali season, the festival of lights .. It's just a count down  of some more days to Diwali. The festive season is all about colours and rituals and traditions.

This festive season the blog posts speaks all about Women Power. Simple and very straight forward, loving women whom i have come across as virtual friends and who have turned out to be the best among all. The posts are all about a series of Women who strive very hard to bring in beauty to our spaces,our mind,body and soul.

Ek Dori is a brand that is Indian in its soul and its core. It is the dori that ties our passions, dreams, heritage, history and culture together says Abhilasha, the owner of Ek Dori.

Its her passion that helped her create a very intimate space of her own. Each Ek Dori product is curated or created by hand and holds some significance. The Ek Dori team is an all women's team and to become a source of income, joy and happiness for these women is the fuel that drives Ek Dori. I wish you all love and luck.








Contact: https://www.instagram.com/ekdori/

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kitchen as a dream come true!


To choose a cooking space that suits one’s lifestyle, the new emerging trend seems to be modular kitchens that take care of functionality and aesthetics alike. With the heart of the home turning into a space to socialize in, choose ideas that suit your style. Personalized kitchens are here to stay.



Isn't it always amazing to have spaces that are compact and efficient to personalize your culinary spaces? Creating spaces with the right ingredients of vibrant shades, smart surfaces with efficient appliances and gadgets will help you create your own budget friendly kitchen.

In the search for brands delivering Modular Kitchens I came across numerous big brands and an endless number of local players, and got confused day by day when I started reading about each of them and their product offerings. Since I was not going to be doing up my kitchen space multiple times, we wanted to be sure about getting the items absolutely right.

We realized immediately that we were looking at a Herculean task to just list out all the features available with each of the vendors, put prices on them and then make a comparison. In addition, it made me think how I was going to go about it and make sure that I had got the correct mix of products.

Digging further into the net revealed a gem of a marketplace, CapriCoast. They have partnered with design firms and brands on their platform and had a host of features that really help in deciding on the right vendors. They have different vendors to provide wider choice of material and different price points to suit different budgets. Having multiple vendors onboard also helped expose customers like me to endless options like stainless steel kitchens, which were earlier unheard of.

The process of doing your new kitchen or remodeling your old one starts online so that you need not juggle your weekend at showrooms. CapriCoast also arranges for showrooming considering the high involvement and expensive nature of the product. To add to that you will have a CapriCoast consultant taking you through the entire process, be it choosing the right vendor to suit your requirements, or deciding on payment modes (they have an Emi option available, which is a blessing). What I also liked was CapriCoast’s Instant Estimator tool that is very unique in this industry, enabling easy standardised vendor comparisons.

CapriCoast  ensures that you get the best possible price by pre-negotiating with the vendors. They also act as a guarantor to assure you of the quality of the product, timely delivery and transparent pricing.

Process started by getting estimates by filling in the requirements or choosing a design, getting an estimate for that design by filling in your room size. I was very happy at choosing one that fit my budget and preference.





Images courtes: Capricoast

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Mesmerizing Varikasseri Mana!


A sense of  finding true love in unexpected places.This  post tells how simple places get attracted by mind:)-I can sit far away, miles away and picture myself in these places,where mind's eye can take you to a dream world.

I never thought one  needs to go to exotic locations,some places near the home,usher so much grandness and elegance that you feel one with them.


Any average Keralite  who has spent and lived his life in Kerala would have been enamoured by the malayalam movies and its heroes and the places where the movies have been shot.
Kerala known for its picturesque locations like paddy fields,backwaters,beaches and old traditional homes have been backdrops for movies shot here.From childhood,we have been enamoured by this home which has been backdrop for several hit movies.


Yes,i get attracted to these kind of beauties,is it the movies that has given us so much thrust to the backdrops or the backdrops that gave the story a life,i keep wondering always:)-vivid memories from the childhood is of the forest kind of landscapes,the monsoons,the old stone buildings,and lush landscapes.

This is my kind of aesthetic appeal,which gives a sense of warmth,the light that has to give a different story each time it enters and leaves the window.

This house leaves me mesmerized each time i am there:)-I always stand in absolute reverence to the beauty and grandeur and the persons who were behind this beautiful place.a terrible kind of beauty as i stand and look up!



This is an old traditional house of the Namboodiri clan. Named Varikkasseri Mana  is one of the oldest traditional aristocratic Namboothiri's Houses (illam). It is also known as Varikkumanchery Mana. 

It is located at Manissery, a village about four kilometers west from Ottapalam,  Kerala,South India.

Varikkassey Mana is situated on about four Acres.The Varikkasseri family has a history of over 1000 years. Varikkasseri  has the sovereign position among Namboothiri "Ashta griha" families. The Mana was built by Varikkassery  Ravi Namboothirippad in the early twentieth century.I do sincerely hope it remains for centuries for people to love!




























Images by Lakshmi Arvind,(Please ask permission before using the images,copyrighted)
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