Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kashmir in pictures (& in my prayers)

This post was long due.
I had'nt put up much pictures or mentioned about the place, here on the blog, after our holiday in Kashmir.
I kept thinking what could be said or written about a place, steeped in history & beauty, that wasn't said before!!??!!
Nothing sounded befitting!
But now when the flood situation in the state is really looking grim, I think I owe this one.


Mughal gardens on a crisp, sunny day...


Locals selling their fare...

A day in their lives..
Arches & entryways
Intricate woodwork, ornate chandeliers...
The picture perfect vistas...










Of faith ...
and hope..
The enormous Dal lake..
dotted with  house boats...
Women maneuvering their way through the lake

Calm, idyllic...


a street in Srinagar
With its share of turmoil over the years, the last thing the state should have suffered was nature's fury!!
Hoping & praying with all my heart that normalcy returns to the valley soon.
Amen.



warm wishes,
AFHS.

Images: Personal.











Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To Amma, with love....

For somebody who has been born and brought up in a tam-bram family, the practice of adorning the threshold and entrance of the home with beautiful kolams (rangolis or patterns drawn using rice powder in South India) is a daily ritual.
Sights like these where women decorate the pathway of a home/temple with intricate patterns is pretty common in South India.
1.

And like many women in most south indian households, my mother too would wake up early and go about doing her daily routine.
One..She would make a fresh batch of coffee decoction in the quintessential coffee filter...  
& Two..She would sweep and mop the tiny 2/2 feet space in front of our flat in suburban Mumbai to make small, beautiful kolams out of rice powder.
Each morning a new design, a new pattern.
Floral, geometric, free hand...nothing planned or thought out before.
Just spontaneous and  free flowing.
2.
On festivals like Pongal, the tamil new year, etc., kolams used to be done using wet rice paste with just the right consistency...neither too thick nor too watery.
She used to dip a small piece of  muslin cloth and soak it in this paste and hold it between her palm and two fingers(the ring and the little finger).
This soaked piece of muslin would give her a continuous supply of the paste for  huge, elaborate patterns.  
As a kid, I used to be amazed, how, on Krishna Jayanti she used to dip her closed fists downways into the mix and make small feet patterns, adding little toes, from the doorstep right till the puja place.
Much long lasting than the loose rice powder.
3.
Although beautiful in their own right, my liking is biased towards the kolam versus the colourful rangolis done in the north of India.
I find them humble, unpretentious.
4.
The stark white against the grey
5.
 I have so many vivid memories of her... preoccupied, bending over an elaborate design ...always enthusiastic.... be it a cousin's valaikappu- seemantham (ceremony held for a pregnant woman to bless her and her yet to be born child) or at a relative's engagement ceremony or even our building's annual puja.
6.
 When I chanced upon these images on the Internet the other day, it brought back a world of memories of my mother.
Its a skill I am yet to master...
Some day I will, maybe!!??!!



warm wishes,
AFHS.



Images 1. here & here
2. personal (my mother's work of art)
3,4,5 & 6. Pinterest.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Abode Bombay

 It was almost like love at first sight.
No.1 The name of this hotel.
I mean at the risk of sounding politically incorrect I strongly feel that the name 'Bombay' had has a certain romance to it!
No.2  the classic colonial charm with a perfect blend of Indian vintage decor.
And No.3 the location- the hotel has the city as its soul concept... so what better place than the heart of the city itself!!
It had to be love ;-)

Abode Bombay is a boutique hotel located in the happening touristy district of Colaba, Mumbai.
The property on which it proudly stands is a 100 year old heritage building, one of the many that dot this part of the city, carefully and tastefully restored.
Right from the flooring to the furniture, from the soft furnishings to the decor accents, everything is locally sourced, custom made, re-purposed/refurbished.
What more??..Well  not only do they believe in doing their bit for the planet but also empower the underprivileged women.
Psst Psst** They apparently have a taxi service to ferry hotel guests to and fro, which is run by women drivers only!!
How cool is that!!!

 I can go on and on...but i would rather stop and let the pictures do the talking!
 Tiled flooring & wooden stairway add on to the old Bombay feel!

 Vintage tin keepsake boxes with Indian prints, brass tiffin carriers/dabbas, old books ....!
This is just a glimpse...


..... for more hop onto their fb page here 
or
 check their cool website here .


Images : Abode Bombay.

warm wishes,
AFHS.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hello there,
There are some days when everything looks upbeat, positive and easy.
And then there are others, when I'm wading through the mundane stuff week after week and the weekend still seems like a distant dream!
On days like these I try and find inspiration from little things around me.

Posting a few random clicks that, generally, make me happy!
Nothing cheers me like real flowers do..


 I am just amazed how the dappled sunlight makes even ordinary things look so interesting...
The promise of a new beginning.

Where do you draw your inspiration from??
Tell me.


Images : personal



warm wishes,
AFHS.





Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Birthday dear Blog

AFHS is 2 years old today!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to stop by!


image: personal.

warm wishes,
AFHS.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

sharing some prettiness..

Hello people, 
I have been toying with the idea of changing my sofa upholstery.
So, what's the big deal about that??.. you may ask!!
Well, ours is home to two(very active/spirited) boys, who practically use the sofa for everything- from colouring, to playing with their toys, from using it like a trampoline, eating spilling food on it, to practising gymnastics,etc., etc. 
I have gone back and forth on this one many times but haven't been able to make up my mind!
So,while i'm still at it, I thought of getting some inspiration and sharing some pretty spaces with you all!
Here's a small compilation of rooms with sofas as the main accent.

An earthy shade sofa with a lot of assorted cushions in all shapes and sizes
 and
 a classic leather sofa with greek-key printed cushion. 

A nice, neutral palette used for the sofas here really make the place look very elegant & understated.

And here a simple brown sofa with a contrast red coloured throw
or
this absolutely stunning blue coloured sofa with some ethnic printed cushions.

Which is your favourite??
I'll keep you posted on the progress I make but do not forget to share in your thoughts.

Images from here & my personal collection.

warm wishes,
AFHS.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

weekend inspiration

A picture is worth a thousand words!!
Indeed.
These beautiful images describe my weekend mood just so!!



Have a wonderful weekend!!

images from here & here.


warm wishes,
AFHS