Designer Homes

>> Ever since denizens from Delhi and Mumbai began settling in Goa, there has been a surfeit of goods and services that grew around this impetus.

From retail to restaurants to indoor catering to makers of boats, pastries and lounge wear, there’s a provider for every need. As our friend author Siddharth Dhanwant Shanghvi says, “Goa offers a standard of living that is hard to match any where in the world.”

Siddharth Dhanwant Shanghvi
Siddharth Dhanwant Shanghvi

And perhaps the most enterprising of all the Goan services to coalesce around the influx of settlers is that of the designer homemaker: men and women known for their aesthetic creed who deliver the ultimate Goa home to those with little time, less patience and a respectable amount of disposable income at their command.

And leading the pack is none other than Tarun Tahiliani (TT to friends), who has perfected the art of delivering breathtaking homes to the fortunate few.

A TT home comes with a guarantee of ergonomic and aesthetic values — along with lots of water bodies and a Baliesque influence.

Tarun Tahliani
Tarun Tahliani

Tahiliani, who is currently developing a property in Moira, down the road from where Shanghvi resides, was in Goa this week to oversee his latest venture. Word has it that it’s a striking location overlooking a vista and within spitting distance from life’s essentials: a dentist, a well-stocked supermarket, a French baker and an Italian café.

“Call TT and tell him you’re interested in buying a tiny cottage on the plot,” said a friend. “The other residents will only visit during the holidays and you’ll have the run of the grounds and all the amenities of a gated community all year round and all to yourself. And then, you can finally retire and write the books you want to,” We were told.

Hmmm. That’s a thought, a pipe dream but a delightful one. Where’s TT’s number?

Another designer, another branch
>> Meanwhile, another Delhi-based fashion designer is also branching out in new directions in Goa. Malini Ramani conducted one of the more popular Life Spirit sessions at Zambhala, the yoga and wellness festival last week in Goa.

Rohit Bal
Rohit Bal

Held under the aegis of ‘The Red Tent’, a global movement to bring women together so that they can share their stories in a space of nurturing and privacy, Ramani spent an afternoon empowering women.

And whereas we could not attend her session, from all accounts it struck a chord amongst all who participated. “Will you be repeating your session,” we asked the attractive designer when we met her that evening. “Are you kidding?” she responded. “One is enough. It’s very draining.”

Malini Ramani
Malini Ramani

Meanwhile, a third Delhi designer, Rohit Bal, we learn, is also in Goa staying at a friend’s. And what will Goa inspire him to branch out into, besides fashion, restaurants and wedding planning, we wonder?

The Shelf Life of Toy Boys
>> ‘Tis the season of the toy boy. This SoBo-based Bollywood star, whose career has seen a boost recently after a considerable struggle, might just be considering moving on from his other occupation, now that his multi-starrer was a box office success.

After all, the shelf life as a toy boy for a rich Arab sheikh comes with an expiry date. And if you don’t believe that, then try and recall the name of the hunk who won an international male pageant more than a decade ago, and subsequently became the consort of a top-notch industrialist.

Where is he, now that another of his ilk has usurped his position?

See what we mean? Boys grow up and toys get traded in for newer ones, over time.

Home truths
Over the last two days, I have had the singular pleasure of being invited as a guest to two Goan homes.

What has made the experience all so special is that in both, I was the only guest, aside from the host, and was afforded a guided tour of their private spaces.

Both homes were introduced to me with love, a delicious feeling of sharing and a childlike pride, as if they were living personalities.

The way a special wall curved so that the rays of the sun bounced off it at a particular moment of the afternoon; a view of an open field from a window that never failed to inspire, even the voices of the neighbour’s children that wafted from across the gate, all of it shared like a secret jewel.

And walking through these homes, I felt so privileged to be afforded this private viewing, almost like I was at a museum of living history.

Homes are such individual expressions of who we are or want to become. The homes I visited belonged to individuals who lived alone and so, each chair, each painting, each drape had been curated with thought and care.

But, even other homes that have grown organically and haphazardly around families tell vivid stories of their occupants.

Returning this afternoon from the second of my visits since yesterday, my respect for where and how we live has undergone a deeper understanding.

Like the rings around the bark of a tree, the whorls of our fingerprint, the swirls in our signature, our home speaks of who we are.

And miles away from my own home, I remember it with a pang, love and longing. However humble, it is the foundation of my existence.

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