Thursday, 28 February 2019

Haul: Tote Bag + Bookmarks and Earrings from Studio Joyeeta.

Peek a boo!
A homage to the old windows of Calcutta.
My sister is obsessed with these old timey windows and we knew we had to get this the moment we saw it!

Hello! 

My  heart just feels so heavy these last couple of days. The idea of an impending war and killings just makes me terribly anxious and sad. I can't even begin to imagine how those in the Armed forces handle these situations and thoughts, and what their families live through. 
:( 
I am trying to keep away from the News and ignore what's happening around us but it's nearly impossible. 
I can only hope and pray that we, as a nation, see good sense and make the right choice. 
I just want any more people to die. 
Naive, I know but I don't want to see any more bodies covered with the tricolour. 
It's too hard. 
:( 

But let's look at some colour and beauty and attempt to distract ourselves? 
Shall we? 

I recently got some beautiful things from  Studio Joyeeta in the mail. 
2 gorgeous hand painted bookmarks, one of them even customised! 
A pair of earrings and a Tote bag! 


Ah! Look at her! 
A woman with a book and a bird perched on her shoulder! 
I love, love, love this so much! 
I saved this to use it during my birthday reading. 



Maa Kali's feet in all of their glory. 
So precious! 
I cannot wait to wear these! 


Benuni Rani. 
A woman with an enviable braid! 
:) 
I love the colours and details on this one. 


Once again I am bowled over with everything we got from Joyeeta who is such a fantastic artist. 
You have got to check her out and treat yourself to some of her beautiful creations. 
:) 
Every time I get something from her in the mail it just makes my day. 
It's always gorgeous. 
Beautifully made.
And it seems to me like a small part of Bengal has come into my home. 
Ah! 
:) 


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Travel Diary: Ellora Caves, Aurangabad & Some Travel Tips.



Hello! 

I spent a part of my birthday exploring the caves at Ellora. 
This place had been on my travel wish list for absolute ages. 
To see these marvels of art and history up close and personal. I was especially curious to see these caves after I saw the Feluda film Kailashe Kelenkari, where Feluda, Topshe and Lalmohan Babu fight smugglers who are looting Indian artefacts. 
A fun film and a little travel diary in itself. 
:) 


We, my parents and I, spent close to an hour and a half exploring the caves and taking pictures and generally marvelling at it all. 
I just can't wrap my mind around the fact the a group of people made all of this out of nothing. Carving away and chipping away rock to make this. 










TRAVEL GUIDELINES & TRAVEL TIPS FOR ELLORA CAVES

1.  Wear comfy shoes at all cost. Lace up keds/sneakers if possible. There is a fair amount of walking involved and steep stairs and hard rock bed to walk on, trendy footwear will not cut it. Wear shoes you can slip out of, if needed, there is an active Shiva Temple and you are required to take off your footwear to enter. 


2. Carry ample amounts of water. There is no source of drinking water inside the caves (as far as I could see), so make sure you have enough water to hydrate. 

3. Go as early as you can. The sun is pretty strong and can get very warm as the day progresses. I went here in February and by noon it was quite hot. 

4. November to February is the best time to visit. Aurangabad can get very hot. 

5. There is a lot to see so I'd recommend you take a few breaks and find a shady spot to rest and get off your feet and hydrate. 

6. Wear a ton of sunscreen. Your skin will thank you later. 

7. A backpack will come in handy versus a handbag. I carried my Kanken and it was so good to have my handsfree to click pictures. Ellora is very photography friendly- to take in a regular camera costs nothing, but you need to pay some amount for a video camera. 

8. The Ellora caves are about 30 kilometres away from the city of Aurangabad and on the way there is the Daulatabad/ Devgiri Fort. So, if you want to make a day of it, you can hire a car or find a suitable tourist bus that can take you to both places. But, do bear in mind that both places involve a lot of walking and Daulatabad Fort has around 750 steps that one needs to climb to get to the fort. 

9. There is an MTDC restaurant inside the Ellora complex and you can stop there for some refreshing drinks (like we did) or even lunch (we didn't have lunch there). There is also Hotel Kailash right outside the Ellora gates and if you want to spend more than a day in the vicinity of the caves.

10. Ellora is fairly differently-abled friendly (given it is a historical site and the sculptures sit inside a centuries old cave) and there are even wheelchairs for hire and ramps leading up to several caves. However, the rates are not consistent and you need to haggle a bit to get a fair price. 

Hope this was helpful. Ellora is truly a magnificent part of our history and if you find yourself in Aurangabad, do spend some time marvelling at these stories set in stone. 

Friday, 22 February 2019

Whimsy Wear: What I Wore on my Birthday in 2019.

Hello! 

Long time no blog. 
Life has been a little busy, in the best way possible, and blogging has taken on a back seat. 
I turned a year older last week and I got to my favourite thing- travel. A little road trip to Aurangabad. A city I had never been too before. It took us 8 hours in a car to get there. The drive was quite lovely. The roads good and there was music playing and my family around me and it was wonderful. 
I love spending my birthday in a new place. Earlier, I have celebrated my birthdays in Ooty, Pondicherry, Goa and last year I went to Jaipur. I am always happy to celebrate my birthday exploring a new place. 
Aurangabad has so much history and culture and going to the Ellora Caves had been on my travel wishlist for a while now. I am so glad I got to go there finally and see the beauty first hand. My sister was there on work and me and my family went along to keep her company and celebrate my birthday. 
:) 

I took a ton of pictures and will be sharing them soon. 

For today I want to share what I wore on my birthday.
My Birthday Dress if you will :) 


I dressed in shades of pink and purple for my birthday, which is pretty much my favourite colour combination in the whole wide world. 
I wasn't initially meant to wear this on my birthday, my sister who was in Lucknow recently, got me two gorgeous Chikan kurtas- one in yellow and the other in beige- but given that my day would consist of walking around and exploring caves and tombs and what not, it didn't make sense to wear something as light and dreamy as a chikankari kurta. Also, I had to wear keds and the mere idea of wearing keds with a chikan kurta made me sad.
This outfit sorta worked with keds. 
So I went with this. 


I added tons of quirky elements via my jewellery choices. A much needed addition of colour and quirk is always a good thing be! 
:) 

I recently got these gorgeous earrings from Vastriyan a while back and I saved them to wear on my birthday! And it went so perfectly with the outfit I put together. 

WHAT I WORE/// 

Kurta and Pants--- Farida Gupta 
Earrings--- Vastriyan 
Bangles and Pendant--- Krafted by Happiness 
Shoes--- H&M
Backpack---  Fjallraven Kanken (a kind birthday gift from a cousin) 
Phone Case--- Ali Express 





Pink and Happy! 
:) 

I loved how this outfit turned out and how utterly comfortable it was! 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Travel Diaries: Lucknow

Lucknow is a city that is very close to our hearts because we have lived there for a period of five years at some point in the 90s.

Lucknow is known for its tehzeeb and you have to visit there just to see how lovely and polite the locals are!

My sister was back in Lucknow after almost 17 years this past week and so, I am going to hand it over to her to share some snippets of her travel to the city she loves!











I stayed at Lebua Lucknow, a heritage hotel in the heart of the city in Mall Avenue. Lebua is housed in a heritage haveli built in 1936 by an officer of the British Indian Army. The house is sprawling and built in the style of old Indian homes with an angan in the middle of the property. It is a beautiful hotel and the staff is really helpful and nice. Highly recommend Lebua Lucknow if you are looking for a good hotel to stay in the city.

Now, I didn't have a whole lot of time on my hands to do everything that I wanted to do, but I had a few things on my Lucknow checklist:

  1. Buy some chikan goodies (chikankari is a type of intricate embroidery that Lucknow is famous for) 
  2. Get sweets from Ram Asrey 
  3. Go see my old school 
  4. Visit Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara and click many pictures to make up for the ones we lost in the move 

So, like I said, I could not do everything on the list, but I did manage to go buy some beautiful chikan kurtas and materials from Ada Chikan (highly recommend their store on Hazratganj)! I also went and bought sweets from Ram Asrey and, then, I headed to Bara Imambara. 

The Bara Imambara complex houses the imambara, the Asfi mosque, the very famous Bhoolbhoolaiya (a labyrinthine maze built inside the walls of the imambara) and a step-well. I didn't have enough time to get into the bhoolbhoolaiya this time, but I've been in and out of it myself multiples times earlier, without ever getting lost or confused.



 This is the view of the outside from the first gate to the Imambara complex. The fish motif is very often used all over this complex and can be seen in almost all of the gates leading in and out of it. 


Here is the view of the main Imambara structure. It houses the tomb of the Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, who commissioned the building of this structure. This structure is famous for whispering walls- where something whispered in one corner of the hall can be heard all the way across. As the Hindi saying goes, "Deewaron ke bhi kaan hotey hain" (translates to- the walls have ears) :) 



Here is a closer shot of the Imambara. 


 Beautiful details of the gates leading into the Imambara compound. The Mughal architectural style can be seen in the arched windows and multiple jharonkhas. 



Here's the full view of the front gate from the inside and the large entrance lawns to the complex. The lawns were in full bloom and looked beautiful! 



Here's another close-up of the gate. 




This is the Asafi mosque. It is being restored right now, so is closed to visitors. 

Hope you enjoyed this quick tour of Bara Imambara, Lucknow! 

If it is not on your travel list, you must add Lucknow to it! It has a lot to offer- history, great food, lovely chikankari and more! 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Book Haul/// Books of January 2019.

Hello! 

And here we are with my first batch of books hauled in 2019. 
January feels like it was so long away...funny how time works. 
I got all of these books in the second week of January and these were a great way to kickstart my New Year in terms of what I added to my bookshelves. 
I have already read 3 of these books and the rest I am sure to delve into soon. 

Let's see what I added to my shelves in January. 


First up, the book I wanted the minute I saw it! 
Perfection!! 
This book is seriously gorgeous. 
Inside and out. 
Read. 
Loved.
Reviewed. 






A thriller. 
I recently read something else by the same author and wanted to read more from her. 
My sister may read this one before I do. 



This book- We That Are Young- had been on my radar for most of 2018. 
I have heard only good things and so  after spending months on my Wishlist, I decided to start my year right and get it. 
It's a modern day retelling of King Lear and I can't wait to read it soon. Possibly in March. 


I have never read a Perumal Murugan book that I didn't like. And I am sure this one is bound to be no different. 


Now for two Children's Books that I read in January itself. 
I love reading simple, kid lit sometimes. It's a great way step into a world far uncomplicated than the one we inhabit. 
I enjoyed both of these books and am so glad I picked them up. 



BOOKS BOUGHT/// 

We That Are Young by Preeti Taneja 
The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan 
The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 
Ahimsa by Surpiya Kelkar 
Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin 
Ten Heads for Tanuj by Priya Narayanan 

3/6 read and the rest will probably get read in the first half of 2019. 
One my book buying goals for 2019 is to buy books that I cannot wait to read. So far, I think,  I've done quite well on goal. 
It's the 13th of February and so far I haven't bought a single book in February :O 
What is life?! 
But I do have some books sitting on my Amazon Wishlist waiting to come home! 
:) 


Saturday, 9 February 2019

Haul/// Home Decor Haul--- Cushion Covers from Aham Bhumika.



Hello! 

Hope your Saturday is going super well. 
Mine has included reading a thriller- The Promise by Teresa Driscoll. I loved it. Review coming soon. 
:)

Today I want to share a home decor haul. 
I am mad about having cushions all over my space. The brighter the better. They are such a great way to add colour to your space. Over the years I have collected a bunch of gorgeous and unique cushion covers. 

When I saw these cushion covers on Aham Bhumika I knew they would look gorgeous in my home and I when I saw the stunning embroidery in person I was so happy I had decided to get these. Especially the Jamini Roy ones. 
These are truly works of art. 
So pretty! 


I love this one so much. 
The alta coloured feet are so gorgeous. 
:) 
They also do a tote bag with this embroidery and I really want to get it as well. 
:) 




Birds! 
So cute! 


Flowers and pom-poms. 
The colours just pop on this one. 




Another Jamini Roy inspired piece. So beautiful and the work is impeccable. 


I am so in love with all of these cushion covers. 
So pretty and well-made and made by rural artisans. 
Everything good! 

You can find these online at Aham Bhumika
Or go stalk their IG page.