THE EYE

The metamorphosis of India was thoroughly apparent at the recently concluded India Design 2016 Fair held at NSIC, Okhla, New Delhi.

Here are some glimpses.

the india design fair
Innovative Outdoor Furniture at the Entrance

Installations in Metal caught my EYE.

The Gigantic metal Ball was probably filled with Inert Gases like Helium as it was afloat and kept chained to the Ground.Symbolic?

Metal and Glass have transformed not only architecture but interiors as well.

metallic trees and balls
Similar to the leafless tree in the background?

Ivy Concepts showcased Bling and influences of the Far East in unveiling their New Home Collections.

Indian Homes are changing Fast.

ivy cocepts
Bling enters Homes

The Traditional art of Indian embroidery “Zardozi” is  kept alive though the designs are now no longer as in the past.

The young boy is embroidering an OWL using Golden sequins as an interested passerby captures him on her Iphone.

owl in progress
A live  demonstration of embroidery skills at THE INDIA DESIGN fair  

The featured image caught my EYE as it reminded me of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Am sure die hard fans will recognize the similarity as well. Looking forward to some comments.

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ARTISTIC TUK TUKS

The  Jaipur Literature Festival ( JLF) is a wonderful combination of Art ,Culture and Literature.

Held annually in January at the historical Diggi Palace it is a fantastic meeting point of Literary minds from across the World.

Jaipur is undergoing a change and this was evident from the  Pop Art AutoRisckshaws or Tuk Tuks on display at the entrance to the JLF.

auto black and white
Black and White Alphabets

Reflecting the Fauna ,Flora and daily life of the colourful state of Rajasthan, the Autos are  shedding  their mundane Black and Yellow robes they have donned for decades.

Do notice the Policemen in their Khakhi Uniforms inside the Tuk Tuks.

auto with elephant
Colourful Elephants and Khakhi

A front view labels these “Artistic Autos” as works of CARTISTS.

For readers who cannot read the Devnagiri Script in Red on Top I translate, it reads “The Car of S.V.P.S” . SVPS is the acronym for the name of the owner or the driver.

auto and red elephants
Front View of The Elephant Auto

In most parts of India the shortened “Auto” means an AutoRickshaw or Tuk Tuk.

The phrase Tuk Tuk is not commonly used in India  to refer to the AutoRickshaws.

In evolving Jaipur ( also called Pink City), do see the background in the picture below , the walls are Pink, there is now an Online service called “JUGNU “to book these Artistic Autos. 

So next time you are in Jaipur, download the “App” and book your “Jugnu”. Jugnu incidentally is the Hindi name for a Firefly.

auto with camels and cows
Cows and Camels adorn this Tuk Tuk or AutoRickshaw

I hope you enjoyed the Artistic Tuk Tuk as much as I did in observing them across the Pink City.

 

 

SAFFRON

The explosion of Colours at Pushkar is hard to capture through the lens of a Camera held by a mere mortal.

Selecting only one  colour, Saffron,  I open a small window to the amazing and Colourful  World of Pushkar. 

( Pushkar is a tiny town in the state of Rajasthan in India)

Do observe all the pictures carefully, they speak volumes. I have intentionally held back any explanations and comments.

 

Saffron Hard Rock cafe
Saffron Marigold
saffron turbans
Saffron Turbans and more

 

Back Side
Saffron Drapes

Do share your observations and I shall reveal a tale behind each picture.

Have a blast.

 

THE DOORWAY

Dwarka ( dwar in hindi )  literally translated means the DOORWAY .

DWARKA is an ancient city steeped in mythology and is located at the western edge of India and overlooks the vast ARABIAN SEA.

It is supposed to have been built thousands of years ago and was once  a thriving port city.It was the Door to the Seas.

A lighthouse reminds us of trading ships  laden with silk and spices once docking here from faraway lands of the Pharaohs in  Egypt.

The lighthouse represents  the western edge of  INDIA.

The lighthouse
The lighthouse

Dwarka finds a unique place in Hindu scriptures. It was the magnificent and prosperous capital of Lord Krishna thousands of year go.

Going back to 2500 BC , Dwarka is repeatedly mentioned in historical references  as well as in Hindu scriptures.

Recent Explorations and surveys of the sea bed near modern Dwarka  have revealed the existence of a  city (much like Atlantis) retaken by the sea.

The temple at Dwarka is an important site of pilgrimage for Hindus and is one the four CHARDHAMS , each located at the four corners  of the county.

the sadhu
the sadhu at sea

This temple is called Samudra Mandir or the THE SEA TEMPLE.

Gazing out towards the endless waters of the ARABIAN SEA is a unique and  humbling experience.

samudra temple
Samudra temple at Dwarka

I peered through a small window inside the temple and watched the waters swirl and  crash against the rocks below as the River Gomti submerges itself into the Sea.

This temple is located at the confluence of the River Gomti and the Arabian Sea in Dwarka.

through the window
The Arabian sea glimpsed  through a peephole in the temple

I sign off with this heavenly view.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE DIVINE

Jagdish Temple is the EPICENTRE  of  historical Udaipur.

All the bye lanes, including the way to the Bada Pol ( gate) entrance  of the City palace  radiate from here. Even the lanes leading to the lake and the ghats originate from the Jagdish Temple Chowk ( crossing)

You can be witness to  the life of the common citizen of Udaipur from here.

For the Royal experience you need to walk for 2 minutes from the temple to the CITY PALACE. The walk is lined with shops , some of which house vast, I repeat vast and gorgeous treasures of ART.

The pictures that follow are a peep into the activity of  commoners.

Take time to ponder over this photograph. There is some activity in every corner of this picture.

Jagdish Chowk
The Epicentre:Jagdish Chowk

At the level of the street or the  footsteps of the stairs leading to the temple is this elderly lady sewing a garland of flowers.

Do notice the metallic Lota ( an ancient  Indian vessel used for storing water) placed  on the right of the basket.Have written on the LOTA , please check it out, very intriguing.

Saying it with flowers
Lost in her world of floral garlands

Colourful painted guards, peacock feathers  and Mobile phones form the second level up the flight of stairs.

The usually white  marble steps are coloured pink due to  the festival of Holi being played here this morning.

Watch out for the feast for the eyes, THE ROYAL HOLI in the blogs to follow.

multi tasking
Multi tasking

The mother and daughter duo soak in the sun after being drenched in the waters of HOLI.

The second level
Women on Top

The spire of the 450 year old  Jagdish Temple rises over the sanctum sanctorum.

If you are fortunate you could  hear Rustic Folk music as villagers sing and dance spontaneously in front of the main deity.

Jagdish is one of several names for LORD VISHNU.

There are many historical incidents, myths and fables about this temple.Stories of politics and intrigue are whispered in hushed tones.

The Spire of the Jagdish Temple
The Spire of the Jagdish Temple

The view of the epicenter, THE JAGDISH TEMPLE and the Havelis ( now lovely  hotels) of Udaipur viewed from the lake.

Personally have  experienced many emotional moments  in the temple.

temple from the lake
Temple viewed from the lake

As you walk around the lanes you may lose your bearings.

The Spire  of the temple, which is visible from every direction , will restore your sense of direction. ( there is an intentional philosophical punch in the sentence)

ONCE UPON A TIME IN UDAIPUR

In Udaipur be ready to be transported back in time.

It really  is a town out of a fairy tale.

With fabulous Palaces and temples  in the midst of a lake  , forts and Maharajas it has it all.

If you really wish to soak in the local flavours, stroll along the ghats of the lakes and  the bye lanes  around  Jagdish Mandir.

Have a Masal chai in a Glass ( not a mug or tea-cup) , sit at a local cafe and watch the world go by.

Patience is the key, drown yourself in happiness and do not rush through time.

Go with the leisurely Flow of Life in charming Udaipur.

The dog ( only rear visible) is fast asleep on this old bench made of stone.

Watching the world go by
                                                                                   Happiness in  Watching 

This elderly gentleman in white had made himself comfortable on the roadside benches  as well.

An eldery man

Totally White

This beautiful doe eyed lady sits cross legged, enjoys her Masala Chai and acknowledges the photographer with a Queen like wave of her hand.

Masala Tea
                                                                                           Masala Tea

Watch and observe every detail as you stroll along , it is a city with a tremendous character.

Simply do as the Cow does, wait  patiently for the highly recommended shop to roll up the shutters.

THE GOBLET THAT CURED

An awful cold never comes alone, it travels with many companions such as headaches and  mild fever to name a few.

The common cold can cast its Spell of Doom at anytime. However it is ably assisted during the monsoons by high levels of humidity.

A cold and a cough can ruin your  travel experience.It is best to dismiss it forthwith.I share with you a Wizard’s  brew  you could prepare yourself as well,  which does exactly that.

I reveal  the secret of an ENCHANTING GOBLET and a miraculous and curative drink.

It was specially concocted and served  in a restaurant  called Latest Recipe ( Le Meridien Spa & Resort, Mahabaleshwar) .

Latest Recipe
A  modest board at the entrance

The staff probably heard me coughing and caught me sniffling whilst dabbing my handkerchief  to the ends of my sore nose.

Miraculously  a very large Goblet with wisps of smoke emanating from a light yellow brew was placed in front of me. It was called THE TODDY DRINK by the wizard Abhishek.

I gleefully peered into the magical goblet ,  breathing in the aromatic steam and saw the most amazing combination of spices floating at the top.

The cocktail worked wonders and revealed  the medicinal qualities of these ancient spices ( angels for me)  used in AYURVEDA. I am giving the Sanskrit names to reveal the importance these spices had even 2500 years ago.

The first angel is the clove and  can be seen clearly  in the picture below.

Launga ( Hindi)  , Clove ( English) , Syzygium Aromaticum, (Scientific), Devkusum ( Sanskrit)

Dev Kusum literally translated means Flower of the  Gods.

How appropriate as it is considered the Champion of antioxidants.

Having  anti microbial, anti fungal, anti viral properties it is an excellent antidote to a common cold.

In China and Iran ( ancient Persia) it is considered an aphrodisiac. The Toddy cocktail was however  served in India and am sure the caring staff at the Le Meridian was unaware of  any such  mythical  properties.( those reading could improvise if they so wish) .

First look at Toddy
First look at the Toddy

The delicious warm brew has lemon  and ginger juice which forms a formidable weapon against the common cold.

The second spice which came to my rescue were the little green pods you can spot in the centre of the goblet.

Elaichi ( Hindi) ,Cardamom ( English) . Zingiberaceae    elettaria ( Scientific) ,

Ela ( Sanskrit)

Ayurveda’s most powerful mucus destroyer.It sure stopped my leaking tap.

Cardamom  helps in cleansing the body as it has detoxifying properties. It improves blood circulation to the lungs . Hence, Cardamom  is beneficial for those suffering from  respiratory allergies

cure for a cold
Cure for a cold

Properties ( Gunn) : taste ( raas) : Potency (virya)

The third angel was what led to the discovery of the Americas and was once labelled as BLACK GOLD.

 Kali mirch( Hindi), Black Pepper ( English) , Piper nigrum ( Scientific) , Marich ( Sanskrit).

The black pepper is very rich in the vitamins B-complex.It helps in opening all obstructions in the channels of the body.

The little black dots floating are Black Pepper.

The curative spices
The curative spices

The Le Meridien Spa & Resort at Mahabaleshwar is a treasure trove for nature lovers and is I believe a mine for medicinal plants and herbs.

The fourth angel is the bark of a tree and is easily distinguishable from the green cardamom and the black pepper dots in the picture above.

Dalchini ( Hindi)  ,Cinnamon( English) ,Cinnamomum Zylenicum ( Scientific) Twak ( Sanskrit).

Ayurveda classifies all medicinal plants under three broad and interesting heads:

Qualities ( Gunn) : Taste ( raas) : Potency (virya).

Check out the  link for more at:  http://www.ayushveda.com

This dealt the final blow to the common cold as the bark of the Cinnamon has many Gunns (qualities)  as a Powerful Germicide, Insecticide and Fungicide, all rolled into one.

Le Meridien
The entrance to Le Meridien

Thank you Abhishek , you were the wizard who vanquished the spoiler ;the common cold .

What a heady brew.