Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Importance Of Color Play In The Bedroom

If home is where the heart lies, bedroom is where the soul rests…(no, not in peace, but peacefully).

My bedroom walls had the same colour as those at my parents’ place. Mellow Yellow. (Nah, the idea wasn’t lifted from the latest home-paints TV commercial; the marriage happened years back). Happy walls teamed with happy curtains.

I love bright colours and JD likes earthy hues. Our bedroom is a blend of both. So, is the fourth wall that stands apart from the other three. It is painted bright orange on two sides while the portion in between is sanded. “The caramel-coloured granules shall remind us of the sea,” he said, while choosing the wall-texture. All the furniture in our bedroom is wooden…from wall cabinets to the book ends.

In contrast to the wooden furniture, everything else is bright and colourful. This particular bedcover was a gift and is my recent favourite. The cushion covers and the bedspreads are generally (read always) vibrant and multihued. I especially love those which are handcrafted from various provinces of India, like Kantha, Batik, Kalamkari, Bagru, Ajrak or Madhubani. (I have self-painted Madhubani cushion covers as well :D ) 

Self-made reminds me of “haar din D.I.Yali”. The plant holders on my window-sill are made of disposed-of beer bottles and left-over fabrics hijacked from my tailor. The bedside lamp is a remnant of a ‘high-spirited’ evening. I have made lampshades with spare fabrics (when I got bored, I used one for a flower vase). And no, those fancy Gerberas are rare guests. On good mood days, I put vermilion-red Ixora flowers from the garden.

My dressing-table is a palette with colours thrown all over….the bangles, the beaded neckpieces, the ‘pen-pencil-kohl-brushes-jurapin’ holder (made by a friend from a disposable coffee-cup) and the Kashmiri papier mache jewelry box.

The framed pictures are monochromes to balance the overdose of colours everywhere. JD and I believe, “when we are hungry, love and cinema will keep us alive.” Hence, a collage of favourite movie stills (yes, we are weird), a collage of the room-mates and a collage that looks like his first letter and reads his name. (my favourites: J – a pelican’s wide open beak, D – my coffee-mug’s handle, P – a monkey’s coiled tail)….Haan haan, woh jahan khhatam hoten hein, hum wohi se shuru hoten hein…. :D      
(PS: The most important colour in one’s bedroom is love. The rest can be managed.)

This post is a part of the Fab Blogger contest by FabFurnish.com, India's largest online home store. Get the best deals for bedroom furniture, wall clocks and bed sheets online.   [Word limit: 400 words]

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Hoogly and the Howrah Bridge...

There are times when Baba and I go to office together.  We cross Babughat. On the left, the river flows. If Hoogly was a woman, Howrah Bridge could easily be her crown.  

One day, I was checking my phone, as our car drove past Babughat. Baba snapped at me, “Sharadin phone niye ki khutur khutur korish? Jaanla diye baire-ta dyakh na!” (What are you doing with that silly phone? Just look out of the window and see.)
It was perhaps the nth time, I was crossing Babughat. “What is there to see, Baba? I see this everyday! The same river. The same Howrah Bridge.”
“So? Just because you see it every day, does that make it any less special?”

Also, that answers a lot of other important questions of life.
A month back, I went to a salon. One of those unisex ones. The woman who was attending me smirked and remarked, “That guy there, Ma’am, is constantly staring at you.”
I turned around and saw him. *maan mein laddoo futa? Haan haan*
I feigned displeasure. “You must go and tell him that I am married and my husband is here. So he better be careful.”
The woman:  You are married!!! (She Google-searched the vermilion at the middle parting of my head and failed).
“Yes. Of course, I AM married. And, to that man who is oggling at me!” I started giggling (I‘ll tell you how. Say Farhan Akhtar asks me out. It was that giggle).

6 seconds silence and then, the woman said, “That’s your husband! You must have got recently married. Let your marriage pass a few more years, you will see how men change. They don’t stare at their wives like this.”

I did not correct her. I, in fact, did not say a word. One can’t blush and talk at the same time, no?
In all these seven years of being married and the double-of-seven years of being together, we have given each other almost every possible DIY gift that can be given to each other (Okay, leave the baby part out of the DIY list). I have run out of ideas and hence breakfast was the only thing I could come up with. Silly juvenile things. They don’t fill the stomach. They just manage to fill the heart, nevertheless.

(This also reminded me of a childhood song. Our bus-conductor kaku from the school bus used to sing this: “Dekha hein peheli baar, Saajan ki ankho mein pyar. Dim pauruti. Dim pauruti”.…the last two words in lieu of the music.)  
Anniversaries are like the last line of the “tiffin-prayer” we used to say in school before eating lunch. ‘Thank you God for everything’.  
In my case, neither is JD God, nor has he given me everything. So I may say: Thank you for being my food, clothes and shelter. (Ugh, “my food” sounds raunchy.) Therefore correction: Thank you for being home. (Now, that sounds perfect.)  : )

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Farewell

Madhumita stared at her daughter. She stared ceaselessly…like there was no tomorrow.

She saw the preparations being made. She decided to sit still and watch her little girl get ready. Strangely, even at 28, daughters are little girls for their mothers.

Madhumita’s sister draped the saree. The blood red silk with its thick golden border dazzled. (Every time Madhumita would help her daughter wear a saree, she would complain, “Ma, I am looking so fat! Look at the pleats, Ma! You don’t know anything. Mashi does it so much better”. ) This time, Madhumita obliged and let her sister do it.

Once the saree was draped, one of her cousins brought a bowl of sandalwood paste. Little dots of chandan were put on the two sides of the red bindi, around the curves of the eyebrows. The sight of her daughter’s forehead transported Madhumita to days when the daughter was five or six. She would take her mother’s dupatta, drape it like a saree, make a paste with talcum powder and water and with the butt of a match stick, she would put white dots on her forehead. Decking up like a bride was her favourite game which gave way to “teacher-teacher” once she grew up a little. (Madhumita also remembered how her daughter drooled over her lipsticks. Since she was not allowed to use them, the naughty little girl would ask her mother to kiss her on the lips so that a tinge of colour could pass onto her baby lips too. She wanted to consume paan for the very same reason. Her daughter loved red lips.)

Once the chandan was done, one of the relatives got alta and started putting the red liquid on the circumference of her daughter’s feet. On normal occasions, her daughter would jump and shriek at the tickle, but today, she was a quiet, well behaved ‘lokkhi meye’.

Her daughter was all decked up and ready to leave. A big Rajanigandha garland was put around her neck, adding to the finishing touch.

Madhumita could hear someone asking, “Has everyone arrived? It’s getting late. We must start now.” Her brother pointed out that the packet of khhoi (popped rice) was missing. One of the relatives arranged for it quickly.

It was all set.

The big white vehicle was waiting outside their gate.

The daughter was escorted by flocks of relatives.

The engine ignited and the car started moving. Her daughter was finally leaving.

Madhumita stared at her daughter. She stared ceaselessly…like there was no tomorrow.

Her son-in-law pulled Madhumita close and she plunged into an unfathomable tornado of tears and tremours. Her vision blurred. All she could hear was the sound “Bolo hori hori bol” as the white vehicle carrying her daughter headed towards the crematorium.  

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Happy D.I.Yali

I have been going through a long stretch of ‘no-time-for–myself’ mode. And it just refused to stop. Like Arnab Goswami’s insightful observations, like this year’s Kolkata-monsoon. The maid made a Mr. India act for the past one month, the laptop went into coma and I had one ‘as-long-as-the-Kharagpur-Railway-Platform’ list of things that made me upset. One of them was the gold price. With the brother-in-law’s wedding round the corner, visiting the gold shop introduced me to a new reality yesterday. Each one of them lining up Gariahat Road seemed like Goddess Kali with invisible Khargas (bent sword), slashing our heads ruthlessly. The long queues infront of gold shops were like garlands of human heads hanging around her neck. : (

But then, bad moods, thankfully, are like fruit-flavoured lip glosses. I lick them off whenever I want to and they don’t get to last too long.

Every year, pre-Diwali, I make candles for home. Yesterday at 11 o’ clock at night, it dawned on me that I have made none this year. And, then, I did. (Thankfully, my crafts-drawer had chunks of paraffin wax stored in it). Impromptu ideas do not turn out to be perfect. But they give you happiness….sawwliid happiness, I tell you.

I shall share the easiest Diwali decoration ideas I have pulled off in the past 2-3 years, including this year’s add-ons. (Since I can only make only easy ones, I guess, all of them are easy).
1.      An apple a day:
The Father-in-law is a staunch believer of the above and stacks the refrigerator with the round red fruit to keep doctors away. No, there aren’t any young, handsome doctors in the locality. Yet, I keep forgetting the fruit and they turn brownish, swollen and ugly. Instead of throwing them into the trash bin and inviting ‘kaan-mawla’ from the FIL, I decided to use them as a part of the Diwali décor. (Not an original idea. A home-décor magazine lent its helping hand.) The fruit shaped candles got added….for obvious reasons.

Instruction manual: Scoop out the middle (the seed-portion) and put candles in the apple-tunnel.  : )

2.      Dim-light: All you have to do is to save the egg-shells after your omelets. The idea was to make candles in the shells itself. Somehow, I was not too confident and placed small, round candles in the oval chambers instead. 

      Try them. And team them up with your own colourful ideas or with floating birds, like I did.

3.     1-2-cha cha cha: Nothing can be easier than this. These chai-glasses are available with the roadside tea sellers. Three rupees each. Buy them, melt transparent gel wax and pour them in. Your ‘tea-lights’ are ready. 

Okay, please don’t miss the coasters. They are tea-themed too. :D

4.     Phool’s paradise: This one is a phool-on DIY thing. Let me take a deep Ramdev Baba-breath and explain it to you. My mother gifted me a set of scented candles. I kept the molds. (Yes, always always always keep the used candle-molds. They save you when you want to make candles at 1 at night. They saved me last night.)
Making these is easy. So no unsolicited gyaan. Only a few tips: Before the wax dries completely, put the dried flower and leaf on each of them. They get stuck evenly, neatly. (The dried flowers are also homemade. If you have loads of time, use fat books, if not use iron and press them).

Narcissism alert: The parents in law had their bathrooms and kitchen renovated. Pieces of broken tiles have been made into coasters. I have loads of them and don’t get surprised if some reach your place as anniversary or birthday presents. :D

5.    Soupto bashona: The soup bowl was a gift. With a spoon. (how I love these little free nothings) Yesterday, I decided to give it a “chhilo-beral-hoye-gelo-rumal” make-over. The dyes for making coloured candles could not be found. I used my Bindi-powder.   (I thanked my stars for buying a box of these! There was a time when my MIL’s Robin Blue powder adorned my forehead as blue kumkum. :P)

And, here is the soup-cup candle on my table. What also caught my attention today is that 87.5% of my tableware has been gifted by the best friend. But then, why does one keep best friends? Aren’t they meant for these?

(Since this is yesterday’s addition, I shall shamelessly put one photograph extra).

Have a great Diwali and a very happy Kali Pujo, everyone.

Poster Courtesy: My brother-in-law.