I discovered Anokhi while working in Jaipur and fell in love with their textiles. Anokhi creates beautiful cotton clothes that are block-printed by master craftsmen and are perfect for the sweltering heat wave that sweeps through most of India. Anokhi is also renowned for adopting ethical trade practices and supporting the welfare of their craftsmen. Even to this day their textiles are all block-printed by hand using vegetable dyes.
Anokhi is sold only at their stores in India, You can however follow them on Facebook to see a preview of their latest collection.
Singapore is one of the cleanest, safest cities in the world and has the prettiest gardens. The people of Singapore are conscientious, helpful and always full of joy.
Places to see
Singapore Botanical Gardens – This 156 year old elegant garden is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend an entire day exploring the musical stream, the ancient trees, the prized orchids, the hidden alcoves and at last, stop by the Villa Halia for a refreshing ginger drink and a delicious lunch.
Haji Lane – Watch the street come alive at sunset with the smell of kebabs and the sound of jazz! Don’t forget to treat yourself to a refreshing massage at the Frangipani spa located at the end of the lane.
Adventure Cove, Sentosa – Swim with beautiful fishes of all colors of the rainbow at the Adventure Cove, watch the amusing manta rays and enjoy the sun while you gobble delicious gelato.
Singapore Philatelic Museum – is located in a colourful, colonial building near Clarke Quay and is a delight for stamp collectors; You can even buy stamps from other countries. I bought a treasured dinosaur stamp from Ecuador.
Jurong Bird Park – The African Waterfall Aviary is an impressive 5 acre, rainforest habitat with free-flying birds, many of whom have learned to mimic human speech!
Haiku is a beautiful form of Japanese poetry describing fleeting moments in nature. It’s structure is 17 onseparatedin lines of 5,7,5 and depicting a season. Haiku is called ‘unfinished’ poetry; The poet paints a true picture of a beautiful moment in nature and the readers are to finish the poem in their hearts.
Here are some examples of famous haiku, hope you enjoy them and someday create your own.
Winter seclusion – Listening, that evening, To the rain in the mountain.
– Kobayashi Issa
From time to time The clouds give rest To the moon-beholders.
– Matsuo Bashō
Consider me As one who loved poetry And persimmons.
Lily and Hopie Stockman have brought together centuries-old textile printing techniques and modern Californian aesthete to create Block Shop Textiles.
Here is a peek into the beautiful process –
Lily and Hopie’s designs are hand carved onto Sisam wood blocks by master carvers in Bagru. The fabric is prepared for printing by being soaked in a bath of harda, a natural mordant from the myrobalan nut, which helps the natural dyes bind to the fibers of the fabric.
A master printer dips the wooden printing block in a dye tray, then stamps the block on the fabric with a hard pound of the fist. This will be repeated from left to right, aligning the blocks perfectly by eye from years of experience.
The printed fabric fashioned into scarves or pillows are hung from roofs in the communal drying field and left to fix in the sun for up to three days. They are then boiled in a large copper pot in a bath of alum and dried flowers for softness and colorfastness.
Shop their collection of scarves and pillows here.
Goa is lush and verdant in the monsoons; It’s a wonderful time to experience the beautiful countryside, traditional Portuguese architecture and the near empty beaches.
It is also the perfect time to enjoy delicious and fiery Goan cuisine in traditional Goan establishments.
Places to Eat
Ritz Classic, Panaji
The lunch thali here is not to be missed. The servings of fried fish, mussels, prawn and fish curry are fresh and delicious.
Cafe Venite, Panaji
This eatery has a wonderful, bohemian vibe, great music and flavoursome Goan seafood platters.
Cafe Baba au Rhum, Anjuna
‘Baba au Rhum’ is a quiet cafe run by a frenchman, Leo Michaud and his wife, Dayini Michaud. They make delectable chocolate croissants (pain du chocolat).
‘Curlies’ has a beautiful view and is a great place to unwind over a refreshing ‘Virgin Mary’.
The Best Beaches
This easily-accessible, white-sand beach is clean and free of litter.
The cove at the end of the beach is safe for swimming and always manned by lifeguards.
The beach for spectacular sunsets and long walks.
Two Forts and a Church
Immaculate Conception Church, Panaji
The striking church is a rite of passage for all Goan tourists and is always crowded. The best way to enjoy the lively promenade is to set oneself up on a bench facing the church and talk to old Goans about times gone past.
Fort Aguada and Fort Chapora
The scenic route flanked by luxuriant paddy fields and breathtaking views at the top of the forts make it a worthy addition to any travel itinerary.
Places to Shop
Wendell Rodricks, Campal
The flagship store in Campal stocks a great selection of linen prêt wear; Perfect for the Goan weather. They also have minimalistic yet elegant evening wear, the likes of which only Wendell Rodricks can create.
Look carefully and you will find wonderfully designed wrapping paper.
I visited the Jurong Bird Park and found it deserted, except for the beautiful birds and their caretakers. Enjoying the surprising calm and wary of the setting sun, I hurried along to take in as much as I could in the pouring rain.
Trudging along the rainforest, close to the spectacular 100-ft Jurong waterfall, I heard a voice saying ‘Hello’. I turned around and there was no one; I moved along even faster!
Then I noticed a beautiful black bird following my path; He would swoop ahead of me and I would hear a ‘Hello’.
I skeptically greeted him back and there it was again, a ‘Hello’ from the bird himself. Having made my acquaintance, he accompanied me around – hovering to match my pace, allowed me to feed him a papaya and even take his pictures while he peered curiously at me.
It was a magical afternoon and one I won’t forget too soon.