Anupama writes a letter to her 18-year old daughter. Read what she has to say.
While travelling or living overseas, women often carry a bit of home with them in the form of Indian home decor items to make a home anywhere else.
Life till now has been a continuous motion, from one place to another, in different countries, states and cities. I know I am not alone in this. Indian women today are living very mobile lives, traditionally as a partner to a spouse who changes countries for better job opportunities or more recently as an independent women who takes a leap to a new land for new opportunity.
An Indian woman grows up observing different rituals, seasons and traditions around her. This makes her look for these in the places she travels to, and wherever she goes she carries some of these elements with her and create a new home for her again again.
From one festive occasion to another, home is what we flaunt during this time. We decorate and spruce up our otherwise uniformly arranged apartment. Here are few elements and ideas that makes a place – her home for an Indian woman. What do you say?
An Indian woman carries colours of her land with pride. Brick red, red, terracota, chrome yellow, rusty orange, indigo blue and royal blue, fuschia, olive green, peacock green, beige and white, black and grey, brown in mahogany and teak wood shades are few colours that an Indian woman sees around her when she grows up. She loves these warm colours as she belongs to a sunlit warm land. She also loves the coldness of colours which reminds her of the sea that her country is surrounded with.
This home tour blog shows the choices of colours that the owner made in her home. An Indian woman grown up seeing mild lights of the diya loves to curate tea light stand or diyas in all forms. She also likes the lamp shades with Indian motifs and warm colours to bring a feeling of her home.
India boasts of its earthen elements. Cooking was/is often done in earthen pots in rural India. They are also used for storing drinking water. Blue pottery wares were used for storing pickles and other stuff in the absence of plastics. Terracota pots, urli, dolls, ceramic vases and blue pottery cups are few decor items that we buy or curate and pour our heart out while decorating them. We use them for flowers, tea candles, stationery, and so many other things.
Here are some ideas on using terracota, blue pottery, ceramic cook ware or even ceramic tiles.
Brass, Kansa (bell metal), steel, silver, and of course gold are a few metals or metal alloys we grew up with. We saw our mothers or grand mothers using these metals for their day to day activities, for their rituals, and we also saw their affinity for anything metal. As little girls somewhere this love made space in our minds too.
An Indian woman often carries some figurines, or a metal masala box (spice box) with her when she leaves home as a tool to help her.
She also carries some tiffin boxes and metal pots. Sometimes she uses them for their obvious purpose, but sometimes she use them for decorating the corners of her house. Some brands are observing closely the change in usage of these metals and are coming up with metalware with contemporary usage. Specially during festive seasons when an Indian woman misses her home and family terribly she brings out her metal bling to give her the warmth of the home faraway.
Stone carved elephants, bull, peacocks (marble with meenakari work), turtles, owls remind us of the shelves our parents used to fill with curios collected from different seasonal fairs or flea markets. We buy them often from airports in an emotionally charged moment just before parting from the land and then these becomes part of the decor above the fire place or book racks. Sometimes we also carry elephant headed Ganesha or Buddha carved from stone.
Sometimes when we travel to northern India – specially places like Rajasthan we see many varieties of hand crafted wooden blocks, sold in antique shops. We pick them up for their patterns and warmth. Often while having dinner parties with our friends from different countries these sculptures and symbols become our topic of conversations.
Every Indian woman comes with a heritage of weaves and embroideries from the part of India she belongs to. Handlooms and handicrafts are an intrinsic part of being Indian. Thanks to a movement like Dastkar we are reviving our inherent fabrics and patterns in more contemporary format.
Our country boasts of diverse weaves both in silk and cotton, like Ikkat in various forms and designs (Pochampally from east and Patola from west of India), Taant, Jamdani, Kanchivaram. Then there are different forms of embroideries like Phulkari from Punjab, Kantha work from West bengal, Kashidakari and Jamawar from Jammu and Kashmir, Chikan from Lucknow, and Kilim. Then there are patterns like paisley, and prints like block prints, batiks, to name some.
We carry our fabrics and patterns in our heart and we display these in our home decor too as cushion covers, curtains, rugs, table runners etc.
While growing up calendars with colourful prints of Raja Ravi Varma, Rabindranath Tagore or several others were a part of our home walls. We carry calendars on our phones today but we still like to decorate our walls with pictures or picture prints! Books in our regional languages also provides an aesthetic angle to our home decor.
So what do you keep in your homes to remind you of home?
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