Vayu

 

 

A few days back, an over-estimation of my driving time for a meeting and the resultant spare time at hand, bestowed upon me a princely 30 minutes of bliss amidst a beautiful space called VAYU, albeit, housed within another exalted one: Bikaner House.

Post India’s independence and the subsequent disposal of the Indian royal era, Bikaner House lost its noble residents and instead was bequeathed with government offices and alas, even a bus depot. It suffered its unfortunate fate until Vasundhara Raje, the artistically inclined first woman chief minister of Rajasthan petitioned the courts to move such agencies elsewhere. Furthermore, my dear friend, Malvika ‘Mala’ Singh (publisher of the legendary Seminar magazine), decided to get involved in putting together the ‘ new’ Bikaner House, now considered Delhi’s ‘it’ place for interesting experiences… be it Art, Fashion, Cuisine or just about any discipline which exudes a degree of pedigree. Priya Pall, who is the curatorial Director there ensures that quality is maintained over quantity and I am confident that this incredible bunch of women will continue to positively redefine Delhi’s style quotient to its maximum.

Coming back to VAYU… there’s a fair amount of reading that you can do on it because its had its paeans sung quite impressively across print and pixels…. the coveted New York Times & edgy blogs such as the Brown paper Bag will tell you all and more, so what can I add to a space which has already been accepted and appreciated?

To me, what matters most is the energy of a space… and the love and detail that has been put in to ensure that the energy never stagnates. Between owners Vivek Sahni and Dave Chang, an inherent sense of style and evolved aesthetics is almost a given, yet what this quaint shop has working in its favour (besides the environs) is the fact that its not quite a shop at all. Instead, its a leisurely set of rooms, with a warm and chic ‘air’ about it (wish they’d popped in a cafe though; what I’d give for that perfect cup of latte!) where one can amble, relax, take in a beautifully curated India and never want to leave. You’ll rarely be jostling for space, or feeling cramped (the high ceilings…sigh…) because VAYU simply seems to understand the joy of experiential shopping. The attention to detail is admirable as is the team; the manager Jimmy Golmei is a sartorial delight and VAYU amicably, and sophisticatedly, drives home the point that for any space to be special, all things (animate and inanimate) need to come together holistically to define its ethos.

But then again, don’t take my word for it… As always, I’ll let the images speak and as always, I’ll insist that you visit it yourself for self interpretation and perhaps, for that overwhelming sense of gratitude that one often feels when surrounded by good taste.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

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Colour in Monochrome

 

Finally returned to Delhi, post a 3 hour flight and a 3 kilometre walk!! (1.5 kilometres each in Dubai & Delhi Airports…why??). Anyways, the day trip done and what was my key take away from this trip? Discovering a brilliant new development called City Walk right in the heart of Dubai! I simply could not stop making images, which, for me is a benchmark of the degree of interest something or someone has generated in me! A clever mix of luxury high street and an enclosed mall environment, City Walk is undoubtedly one of the finest I’ve seen in a long time. Its new (well..its Dubai after all!) so a significant part still remains to be inhabited yet, I have to admit, from a design perspective, this visit is not one you will forget in a hurry and in fact, i can assure you that you will keep going back for more.

What’s wonderful is the refined use of a controlled, almost monochromatic palette which essentially revolves around shades of Grey and Ivory with accents of burnished rust and ochre… the beauty of architectural details and the stunning surprises that every turn presents ensure that you experience all, from a LA style Rodeo Drive boulevard to the welcoming cocoon of an intimate yet posh mall. Nature then does the rest by bringing in the magnanimity of the sky (and of course, i am sure, other elements such as rain and heat as well on other days). But on this one particular day, it was almost as if ‘the’ perfect weather had been created specially for me to be able to discover this new gem.

For now, I guess I’ll leave it to the images to explain to you what I really mean… Shopping and Eating in Dubai has a new address, and this one is the one you’ll probably never want to forget!

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

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