Pepper House is a hub for arts, with posters of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 still adorning the notice boards. One side of the building faces the canals. I remember seeing the magical view of the waterfront with ships passing through, providing an ideal photo op for lover of this specific setting- maritime, colonial structures, the retro feeling and the leisurely elegance of having a coffee amidst such historical ramparts.
In the unnamed streaming rivers of Chamba
In the always satisfying, deceptively simple shopping complexes of Chandigarh
In the maddeningly addictive street food places of Delhi
While reading up on this building, which has had a storied past, I was happy to find out that the recent restoration taken up by the Rajasthan government. Much of the damage caused by the neglect and abuse it suffered due to the bus boarding activity has been addressed. The house has been restored to the glory it enjoyed as the residence of the maharajah of Bikaner. Now, a hep cultural center, its Facebook page boasts of the high-society events.
This house, named Tera Vera, was built by an Anglo-Indian, E J Vaz in the 1940s for his daughters, Vera Vaz and Dolce Vaz. E J Vaz was a high court lawer from Bombay. His daughters were spinsters. Vera and Dolce both worked as tutors, the former taught English and the latter the piano. They lived peacefully in this house most of their lives.
A group of students, mostly from Leh and Ladakh, studying at Delhi University came together to preserve the cultural heritage of Leh. Flowering Dharma, an NGO was launched in 2009, as result of their efforts.
We had many bird watching adventures with Vinod, relished many a sumptuous and healthy home cooked meals by Sini (including a squid preparation that takes almost 3-4 hours to prepare) and spent silent evenings listening to the sounds of the forest.
Once upon a time in Jaisalmer, the walls of Salam Singh’s Haveli trembled with occurrences of cruelty. Women feared event its shadow, and the curse it could bring upon them. A few miles away in the Thar Desert, Kuldhara village has similar stories of a curse, and remains an abandoned place. Legend says that it remains deserted to this day because of the misdeeds of diwan Salam Singh.
The musty smell was a constant feature. My childhood memories are attached to this smell, and then few. Like running down to buy kachoris if any guest came. Since the famous shop was so close, we followed the golden rule of “always eating fresh”.
Pink House takes me back to the memories of Himachal Pradesh where we visited in April 2017. I had always wanted to visit Dharamsala/McLeodganj. While looking up stays there, Pink House caught my attention, for its quirky wall art and cool vibe.