Thursday, July 29, 2010

Exercise can be fun. No, really.

Exercise is possibly the most refreshingly tiring thing in the whole world. Yes, I know. The paradox isn’t lost on me. It seems impossible, doesn’t it? But after much deliberation, this is the conclusion most people have come up with. Exercise makes you aware of muscles you didn’t even know existed, which while being painful makes you a whole new person. Exercise, after the first few agony filled days, makes you energetic and active, so as to directly affect your productivity. Yes, healthy too. But too much has been said about the health aspect of exercise. The unfortunate part is, that most people shudder at the thought of exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or drab, and it doesn’t have to equal the word “gymming”. Considering the various options coming up today, there is no dearth of fitness options for the people who like trying things out of the ordinary. There’s zumba (a dance fitness program) and aerobics, there’s dance and power yoga classes. There’s pilates and kickboxing, there’s cycling in the outdoors and trekking on the mountains. There’s a little something for everyone, we just need to find something that suits our tastes and likings.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Unwinding the day, in another sense of the term.

When the time comes to unwind, different people do it differently. For some people, unwinding involves getting into their pajamas and spending time in bed with a good book or some soothing music. For some, it involves “suiting up” and going out to dance their time away. For some, like me, catching up on movies that might have been missed with the busy schedule is the perfect way to unwind. Unwinding varies, but the point of it is simple and universal. It is the time that you spend relaxing your self and your mind. The time that you spend unloading the burdens that you have, so that when you go forward the next day, you don’t go crazy in this already crazy world.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cause you had a bad day

Imagine one of “those days” in your life. The days when everything that you plan goes haywire, and everything that you dread will happen, happens. Gah. Not so pleasant even thinking about it, is it? But then, think about all the good things that happen to you those days. I know, it just doesn’t seem possible that something good even happens. But it does, I’m sure of it. The bad just always seems to overshadow the good. It could be anything, and it varies with person to person. It doesn’t even have to be something specific, it could be something general. It could be you and your roommate sitting in comfortable silence at the end of the day and sipping on tea. It could be your mother cooking you your favourite meal, knowing only as mothers do, that you’re having a bad day. It could be seeing a bunch of kids in the car ahead of you, waving at vehicles and you waving back. It could be you walking into an empty house, to wonderful silence and spending much needed time with yourself, doing something you love. As much as it seems like it, EVERY thing doesn’t go wrong, even on our worst days. There’s always at least ONE thing that makes those days worthwhile. We just need to look beyond the bad and make sure we’re aware of the things that make them worthwhile.

"Bringing in the new Pune" by Christopher Charles Benninger, Architect

Pune Mirror. Sunday, 30th May 2010

"Pune: City of my dreams" by Christopher Charles Benninger, Architect.

Pune Mirror. Sunday, 16th May 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kitchen Tales

According to the dictionary, a kitchen is “a room or part of a room that is used for cooking and food preparation”. That is fundamentally true, I guess. But what’s the fun in having just a basic styled design, with just the bare necessities? Kitchens come in many styles, and choosing the one that suits you best requires serious thought. To begin with, it is important to know what kind of style you’re looking for. Deciding this, will help you start to narrow down choices related to wall colour and cabinet doors. But before the styles can be decided, the basic layout of the kitchen must be considered. This helps in easy functioning, the way you want, since the kitchen is the most active work areas of home.
Common kitchen floor plans include the one wall kitchen, the corridor or galley kitchen, the L or double L kitchen, the island, the U shaped kitchen and the G shaped kitchen.

• The one wall kitchen:
This is the most basic kitchen design and perfect for long and narrow kitchens. It is simple and fairly inexpensive, and its linear design allows for unimpeded traffic flow.

• The corridor or galley kitchen:
With counters on both sides, the corridor style kitchen is highly functional. It gives more space for counters and cabinets and is a highly affordable plan.

• The L shaped kitchen:
This is a very popular plan and it follows as much, if not more, counter and cabinet space than the corridor kitchen.

• The double L kitchen:
A highly evolved kitchen design layout, the double L allows for two workstations. The smaller L has a cooktop and a second sink, leaving tons of open space on the larger L.

• The U shaped kitchen:
This can be thought of as a corridor shape plan but with a closed end. The closed end gives extra room for a range or sink.

• The island:
These are most often seen in L shaped kitchens. Islands not only keep work areas traffic free but also provide create an extra counter and storage space.

• The G shaped kitchen:
Built very much like the U shaped kitchen, with an additional elongated partial wall, the G shaped kitchen offers a great deal of space.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Books need to be kept somewhere.

Books have always been an integral part of my life, and I’ve always owned too many of them. If there is such a thing as owning too many books, that is. One can never have enough of those, and problems arise when space becomes a scarcity. Bookshelves are the solution, no doubt. But what happens when the bookshelves themselves occupy too much space? You get hold of compact, smart, sleek bookshelves. That fit within the corner pockets of rooms, and still hold all the wonderful books that you can’t even think of throwing out, even though you sometimes have to in order to create space.

The Equation bookshelf, designed by Marcos Breder, is a simple idea to divide things in priority order.

The Folding bookshelves are innovative and practical.

Designer Da-Eun Song designed the shelf that spells shelf. It doesn’t hold those many things, but it’s a great way to decorate a wall.

Designed by Doris Kisskalt, the Flexitube is mobile and fixes into any corner and changes into the sculpture of a shelf.

The Magnetique shelf, designed by Nils Holger Moormann, consists of a steel sheet that can be mounted onto a wall horizontally or vertically.

The Ceiling bookshelf, follows the concept that a place 99.9% of people don’t use can be used in a practical way to store books.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TAIN Square

A free and gentle flower, growing wild.

Flowers can make anyone’s day, regardless of their age, sex, social status, etc. And flowers can work wonders when used to accessorize a room. But has anyone ever wondered what the significance of different flowers is? Everyone knows what a red rose stands for, but what about the others? Yes, drawing a blank here, aren’t we? Well, that’s alright. Today, we’re here to tell you all about how giving and receiving flowers can be meaningful. It is also helpful to know this floral dictionary in order to avoid misunderstandings. Since it is not possible to cover all species of flowers, we’ve only listed a few popular ones.

• Baby’s breath – a delicate touch of everlasting love
• Buttercup – cheerfulness
• Bluebell – humility
• Carnation – red carnations signify admirations, white ones stand for good luck, the yellows and striped stand for rejection and the pinks equal mother’s love.
• Daisy – innocence, purity of thought
• Daffodil – daffodils convey respect and joy
• Jasmine – Amiability and good grace
• Lily – return of happiness
• Marigold – comfort as well as grief. Probably why it’s used in Indian funerals.
• Orchid – orchids convey to the receiver that “I think you’re very beautiful”
• Petunia – resentment, probably why it was the name of Harry Potter’s resentful aunt in the famous series.
• Poppy – the poppy flowers are used to remember fallen soldiers of war, only in Great Britain, while in the rest of the world they mean hopeless love.
• Sunflower – loyalty
• Tulip – the yellows are hopeless love, the reds a declaration of love and the tulips generally mean fame.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

All I want is a room somewhere

I grew up in a room that was always a grownup’s room. It had nothing that really showed that a kid of no more than her teenage years lived there. And everyday I longed to be able to do it up the way I wanted to. My ideas used to change every couple of years. There was a time I wanted purple walls, and posters of the Backstreet Boys. A time came when I wanted all my walls white, except one which would be shocking red. And I begged my parents to please let me have it the way I wanted. But at that time, my room also functioned as a guest room, so my parents used to tell me that the guests wouldn’t necessary adapt to my tastes very well. Which while being true, was extremely saddening. But now, with most houses having separate guest rooms, decorating kids’ rooms has become much more doable than it was at that time. Kids today have many more wants and ideas than children in the past did, and more and more parents are coming forward to make sure their children have rooms that they can call their own space. Themed bedrooms are making a huge headway now, with themes ranging from Barbie to Dr. Seuss. From G.I.Joe to Hannah Montana. Winnie the Pooh to Sponge Bob Square Pants. Kids want it all, and the interior decorating industry is making it all available.

Rain, and the things we like doing

Someone asked me recently, “What are the top four things you would do in the rain?”
I thought about it for a long while, before coming up with a reply. It’s a tough question, when you think about it. There are so many things that you think of, and short-listing them to just four becomes tough. There’s drinking chai and eating bhajiyas (an Indian delicacy, popularized as “rain food” which almost every Indian craves for at the first signs of the monsoons), there’s long drives and long walks. There’s dancing and playing in the rain, there’s reading by the window. There’s a kind of music we relate to the rains, and it must be played and listened to when it does. There are so many, that I never ended up with a final top four answer. And when we compared our choices, we realized how similar they are. But today I ask you, the readers of this post, what YOUR top four things to do in the rain are. Leave them as comments on this post, and find out how similar and varied our choices can be.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Freezing Summer

“There’s a calm surrender, to the rush of day
When the heat of a rolling wind, can be turned away”

It’s funny how there are so many different songs, about different things that can inspire blog posts about other things. Who’d have thought that a song about two childhood sweethearts, would feature on a blog like this about completely unrelated topics. But then, to be fair, who’d have thought there’d come a time when air conditioners existed in the world. It’s hard to imagine a time when the heat of the day was all there was, with no respite. I’m sure everyone will agree when I say god bless Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley for conducting the first experiment that concluded “From this experiment, one may see the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer's day” and laid the foundation for a possibility of the thing we now refer to as AC. Of course, to read about how he phrased his conclusion is a little gruesome, but still.
Life today is easy, we barely even feel the heat anymore. Everything and everywhere is more often than not air-conditioned, making the heat only a little unpleasant as compared to the potential it has to be nasty.

Bare Necessities

Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities. That’s what the cast of the Jungle Book sang. And all of us live by it, consciously and subconsciously. While looking for a house, while living life, we are always looking for the bare necessities to suffice us. We don’t look for something completely over the top. At the end of the day, we need the basic things in life first, before the other fancier things can come by. The simple things, which make life comfortable. A roof over our heads, a bed to sleep on, clothes to wear, food to eat and water to drink. What more can one really ask for? A lot, you might say. And to be honest, I might even agree. But it really is enough to just look for the bare necessities, because fringe benefits are elusive. They come around only when one is not actively seeking them.

Curtains fall

Curtains are the window to the soul, just like eyes are the window to the soul. Other than their basic function of blocking or obscuring light, curtains are useful in finding out things about a person. The kind of curtains that decorate out homes, are insight into the kind of people we are. They are also insight into the kind of lives we lead, and hope to lead. If our homes have dull dreary curtains, we are sure to feel dull and dreary ourselves. Bright colours reflect a happy state of mind, something to brighten and colour your day when you get home tired. Yellows, pinks, greens are always much more appealing than the dull browns, whites and beiges. With the burst of colour that the curtains provide, any room instantly brightens up which results in even a tiny space, looking spacious. Curtains are handy items of interior decorations, and capable of making or breaking the look behind a structure.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ah, wouldn't it be loverly?

I don’t know about other people, but I, for one, adore sitting at the window with a hot cup of chai and spend hours looking out at the view. Sadly, the view out my window is certainly not the prettiest. The roads are being dug up, there are only concrete buildings all around my house, there are stray dogs everywhere and traffic is a noisy nightmare! Again, I don’t know about other people, but I’m willing to bet it’s the same case with a lot of people out there. It’s the sad reality of life, and one must learn to deal with it. But why should we? Why shouldn’t we have a better view to look at when we want to relax and spend time looking out the window?
To all the people who, like me, enjoy spending alone time looking out the window, I say this: imagine a view with so much greenery, one can never run out of oxygen; a view that is far away from civilization, so that no traffic can taint it; a view that is not actually far away from civilization, but only seems to be in order to achieve an illusion of the aforementioned solitude. Again, I ask you – ah, wouldn’t it be loverly?

Dorothy had it right all along

“There’s no place like home” – when Dorothy, in her red shoes, clicked her heels three times and repeated these words in a bid to get home, she meant it with all her heart. And really, how many of us can even disagree with that statement? After a long day at work, regardless of an AC workplace that is no doubt comfortable, every one wants to come back to the comfort of their own home. Even students who live in rented apartments; long to go back to those apartments they call home. A place that you call your own; a place that belongs to you, even if only for the time being. Everyone longs for a place like that in their lives, so that they can decorate and design it in a way that is uniquely theirs. TAIN, with its tagline, really does explore possibilities. Possibilities of catering to people with varied tastes, and satisfying them all. At TAIN, everyone can find a home; a place that they can call their own; a place that belongs to them; a place that is uniquely theirs. Because that is what TAIN strives to do – provide a complete living environment using the best resources available.