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ndia is booming. We are becoming richer, smarter, faster, bigger and better. We have a new generation of digital natives who are more discerning and more demanding. Putting it all into perspective, India’s current per capita GDP is ~USD 2000, which is one fourth of Thailand and China. This means a disproportionate amount will get spent on luxury, leisure and travel over the next 10 years. This also means there will be a larger, ever-growing pool of sophisticated individuals with discerning tastes, preferences and higher expectations. Finally, this will lead to a natural selection

where players with substandard products and services will not survive. At Isprava, we have and will always continue to focus on being far ahead of the curve. Even today, we see trends in the real estate sector with our elite guests, where timely delivery is no longer enough. Homes have to be at par or better than anywhere else in the world. We believe that our relationship with our clients involves servicing them through the course of their journey with us and beyond. Therefore besides just delivering a beautiful home, we even manage, maintain and provide post sale services and rental management to all our clients. And hence, hospitality is another key area of opportunity. Travellers now demand privacy, uniqueness, experiential and local stays over run of the mill ones, opening up whole new sectors. These exciting times inspire us to create and curate one-of-akind experiences. It drives us to push our own boundaries, adapt to new trends and create our own along the way. This second edition of the Isprava Insider is going to inspire you to travel the world. You will come across varied stories in this issue—connecting food, travel, architecture and design. And it brings together some great influencers from Ashiesh Shah on Wabi Sabi to a special article written by Mukund Rajan on sustainable living; from Pooja Dhingra’s take on the best food trips of 2019, to an illustrative story on a food trail through Japan. It even has a story on the coolest things to do during Milan Design Week straight from Isprava’s Interior Designers. This issue is fully loaded. And I am certain it will inspire. So take some time out and enjoy a little magic from each destination, home and experience, you read about.

Happy reading!

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @ISPRAVA AND INSTAGRAM @ISPRAVA OR EMAIL US AT INFO@ISPRAVA.COM

01 THE ISPRAVA INSIDER 2019 | VOLUME TWO | www.isprava.com

Nibhrant Shah

Founder and CEO of Isprava


{contributors} WHO: KAMINI GILL WHAT THEY DO: Head of Portfolio Development, Isprava NEXT HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Japan, because of the country’s culture, tradition, food and beauty, all of which are so refined, subtle and unique!

Our favourite people and the ones who helped shape this issue into a true page turner: on what’s next on their holiday hotlist...

{contents}

On Cover: Albany Cottage, Coonoor

WHO: KINJAL VORA WHAT THEY DO: Freelance Lifestyle Writer NEXT HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Being a writer makes the world my oyster. It continually inspires the holidays on my wish list. And the next one is Iceland! I love the cold weather and mountains, and Iceland just seems so exotic on glossy magazine paper or Instagram, I definitely want to experience it in real life.

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the biggest events of 2020 that will inspire you to travel everywhere!

IN FOOD + TRAVEL 66 Founder of everyone’s favourite, The Table, Gauri Devidayal on how she found her calling

1 CEO’S NOTE 2 CONTRIBUTORS

WHO: TARANA SHETH SABHARWAL WHAT THEY DO: Creative Head, Isprava NEXT HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Rovaniemi in Finland! I can lie back and watch the Northern Lights in the comfort of my glass igloo while my little daughter explores the official Santa Claus Village. Bliss! WHO: TIA PARANJAPE WHAT THEY DO: Associate Director, StyleCracker NEXT HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Apart from my day job, I love to read, write, paint and travel. And the next hotspot I have on my list is Rome, Italy! I’ve never been there, but I just know I am going to love it! I’m going there for my honeymoon, so that makes it even more exciting.

IN ENTERTAINMENT 62 How to host a luxe party and

IN FASHION + DESIGN 4 A story of the late fashion legend, Karl Lagerfeld, who also left behind an architectural legacy of his own

6 All the things to love at the world’s biggest design fair—Milan Design Week 2019—by Isprava’s interior designers 12 StyleCracker’s co-founder fills us in on the coolest trends to spruce up your interiors WHO: GIANFRANCESCO PERRONE WHAT THEY DO: General Manager, Isprava NEXT HOLIDAY DESTINATION: At Isprava, we are always on the quest of amazing travel experiences, and being from Sicily, the first place that comes to mind for a holiday hideaway is Salina. It is a beautiful island in the Aeolian archipelago that has all that you can dream of. Turquoise sea, locally produced wine called Malvasia, a dormant volcano to climb, and amazing food!

14 Catching up with Isprava’s friend, Adil Ahmad on his work and design philosophies

19 When the two worlds of jewellery and architecture collide

20 Chandigarh’s fashion designer extraordinaire decodes the art of bespoke apparel

IN THE SPOTLIGHT 22 From the most luxe yachts in

The view from Albany Cottage, Coonoor; Pg 44

the world to a new aviation start up taking off in India; From Qatar’s National Museum opening its doors to the public, to the colour of the year, find out what’s making headlines all around the world this year

IN CONVERSATION 26 Isprava’s Gleneagle Estate’s owner, authors an article on one of the biggest issues of the moment— Sustainability

32 The art of Wabi Sabi from one of the best in the industry

68 Spanish chef Natalia tempts us with local delicacies from Goa (Just one of the many reasons to go to Goa today!) 70 Dessert queen Pooja Dhingra cues us in on the best food trips to indulge in 72 Do Alibaug in style, with Isprava of course! 74 How this boutique owner ditched the city life and let all her dreams come true, in Goa 76 Japan’s culinary adventures and inimitable culture seen through the eyes and experiences of an illustrator IN COLLECTION

38 A cause from the heart with a strive to do good for one and all

80 Top 10 picks from the realms of

IN ISPRAVA’S WORLD 44 A peek inside Isprava’s

81 From the adventure they love most to the cuisine they travel for, here’s a list of favourites from our favourites

beautiful Albany Cottage, a villa that awaits your arrival!

IN TECHNOLOGY 60 Uncovering the super evolving world of technology

luxury, travel and beauty

84 The memories at an Isprava home are always timeless. Here’s what our guests have to say...

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

H IN TRIBUTE to KARL LAGERFELD

From reviving Chanel as its new creative director to weaving an architectural legacy of his own. Remembering the late fashion mogul, Karl Lagerfeld, and how he crafted his own legendary career fusing his varied interests

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e died at the age of 85. But lived a prolific life, leaving behind a legacy that’s only designed to inspire. Karl Lagerfeld was a legendary man – known for his eccentric style, his signature white hair, his eye for reinvention and myriad passions. As one of fashion’s favourite enigmas, everyone knew that his day job as a famous couturier involved doling out collection after collection for Chanel, Fendi and his own eponymous label. But what many may not have known is how he managed to concoct an entire portfolio of admired mini careers, and stretch his genius to varied avenues including interior designing. From photography to publishing, from being a stylist, illustrator, gallerist, director, curator, costume designer, an adventurous collector, thrilling decorator and even a conjurer of fine tableware and luxe furnishings—there was very little that Karl Lagerfeld couldn’t do, if at all. He was a relentless visionary, who shocked and delighted the world over the course of his long and illustrious career. And while his strides in fashion have always been well documented, and applauded, there were spurts of his magic in the realms of interiors and architecture that were equally awe-inspiring. Like how his imagination came to life when he redesigned the pool of Monaco’s Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, which featured a constellation of lights for the pool floor. Or when he was a part of the skilful ren-

ovation of one of Paris’ most prestigious palaces, Hotel de Crillon. Here he designed two breathtaking apartments, creating one of the most lavish quarters in the French capital. The bathroom featured a two-ton bathtub carved from a single block of Carrera marble, showcasing classic elegance at its best. He even designed the lobbies of The Estates at Acqualina in Miami Beach, drawing inspiration from a traditional Roman piazza. This project put his love for photography in the spotlight as well. You will notice photographs taken by Lagerfeld himself of Roman fountains and arches etched into the lobby’s large wall panels, ceiling screens and skylights. According to him the lobby spaces played a dual purpose—it is the first impression of the building and it serves as a space for socializing. Beyond hotels and spaces, Lagerfeld even designed an art collection of functional sculptures for an exhibition called Architectures, which evoked a contemporary architectural landscape with Greek origins. Available as a limited edition of eight pieces, each was carved from a carefully selected marble block—the black Nero Marquina marble, curated for its brush stroke-like milky white veins. From tables to mirrors, lamps to fountains, each piece of art embodied Lagerfeld’s timeless monochromatic style, and was precisely cut, sculpted, faceted and polished in Italy by local craftsmen. All we can say to Karl is thank you. Thank you for never forgetting to awe and inspire. Your legacy will always be remembered—as a designer, and an endless visionary.

Clockwise: Karl Lagerfeld Germany boutique; Karl on the ramp at the Paris Fashion Week; Karl playing photographer; Hotel de Crillon, Paris; a magazine feature on Karl in his younger days

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

MILAN, DESIGNED FOR you Fashion, food, fairs... Milan never ceases to fascinate. Here’s everything you need to know on what to do, see, love and eat in Milan, during the world’s biggest design fair—Milan Design Week 2019, straight from the hearts and minds of two of Isprava’s interior designers

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ilan, Italy’s fashion, finance and design capital, much like New York or Paris has the zip, bounce and vibrancy of a great cosmopolitan city. It’s a destination that knows how to do everything in style. From fashion weeks and food festivals to sophisticated storefronts that line Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga. There are designer hotels like the Bulgari and Armani and many cultural treasures too—we love the majestic Teatro alla Scala opera house, the Gothic cathedral and of course, Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century masterpiece, “The Last Supper”. It’s also got an exploding restaurant scene complete with many old favourites and fresh new surprises. But the one relentless magnet that pulls Isprava to Milan every year is the buzzy annual Milan Design Week and its international furniture fair. It’s much more than an ordinary industry convention. Think of it as the Paris Fashion Week of the design world. And expect a huge, glamour-filled week with interesting things to do and beautiful things to fall in love with—like 3D constructed lamps, modernist couches, sleek kitchen ware, new technologies, home automation and so much more. The magnitude: more than 1300 vendors and 150,000 square feet of exhibition space, not including all the other fairs and venues it encompasses. We give you an insider’s peek on what our resident interior designers saw, loved and did during this year’s Milan Design Week. It’s time to get inspired!!

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The best installations this year: Terrazzo—but this year it arrived with a twist. Note Design Studio teamed up with French manufacturer Tarkett on an installation of geometric totem poles that look like terrazzo sculptures, but are really a new materiWHAT: al called iQ Surface. MILAN DESIGN WEEK This amazing, duWHEN: rable product can APRIL, 2019 cover any manner of curves and angles, WHO: and it can be conSARAH SHAM AND SHONALI MAHAJAN tinuously recycled. It promises function, form and expression of colour. The objects that On left side: Euroluce lighting installation were showcased came in a chic, moody colour Below: Tarkett Note palette of rust, grey, cream and navy. Perfect → Design Studio Magis formations

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

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Above: Tarkett Note Design Studio

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style allows you to create a wall of light that fits your space. It is a great illumination alternative to ordinary ceiling spot lights that most spaces use today. Flexform launched a new furniture line that had a focus on the use of different materials. While Fantoni had a fantastic range of office furniture that redefined the entire way you perceive furniture at the workplace. And Flos had a stunning grid-like structure of lights that was true to its brand ideology of clean and simple, but supremely effective. All three of these installations were impressive in their own unique way. The next crowd puller was Tom Dixon’s restaurant—The Manzoni—where everything was for sale. This display brought elements of food and design together, and it was a great cultural activity as well as a hobby for many. The concept was: try before you buy, where you can experience the products within the context of hospitality and then buy whatever you enjoyed the most! Suffice to say, Isprava enjoyed a lot! A great collaboration to witness was Giorgetti with designers Ludovica and Roberto →

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for a new generation of design application on multiple surfaces like walls, furniture as well as floors, place it in a designer’s hands, and magic will happen—a release of unlimited creative potential. iQ was definitely a stand-out, and it even inspired Isprava to learn more about the product and find ways to incorporate the iQ Surface for its own spaces. Minotti, a larger-than-life installation that was really incredible. We witnessed some of the most beautiful furniture all housed in a massive glass structure. The sofas and chair lounges from Japanese studio, Nendo were the highlight! Another great one was India-based Scarlet Splendour who had a fantastic stall in which they collaborated with Matteo Cibic on a new range of furniture that was extremely whimsical and very interesting. VVV by Vandont for DCW Editions was another stunner. We loved the curtain light installation by Design Academy Eindhoven graduates—Esther Jongsma and Sam van Gurp. Their design was first presented in 2017, and now two years later, French brand DCW Editions has put it into production. The design celebrates traditional mechanics. Its modular

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Clockwise from top left: Bodies in Motion at Humanscale; The Swarovski exhibit at Euroluce; An installation at the Duomo made by Gaetano Pesce; The Manzoni

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS mation, you will understand that this is a human arm moving. Or with 15 points, you will decipher that it is a human figure walking. So fascinating! Some of our favourite brand displays from this year were COS, Versace, Gucci, BDDW, Kvadrat and Louis Vuitton! Swarovski in Euroluce—the light fair— was simply fantastic. It featured lights that were all cast in crystal and had haptic touch sensor on top of them, which responded to the lightest touch and went dimmer or brighter basis how hard you pressed the crystals. They also had an interactive installation of a massive chandelier that had a variety of bulbs that could be pulled up or down, depending on how you wanted the chandelier to look. Outside Rho Fiera, there were some incredible installations worth the while as well. One of our favourites was at Fondazione Prada—a massive gold leafed building which houses some of the most unique art. The highlight here was the sensory deprivation chamber which was so black that one could not see their hand in front of them as they walked through it. It was

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Palomba, who together launched the Loop Armchair. It is a small outdoor armchair that is born from the intersection of pure geometric shapes, refined by soft elements. The surfaces play on materials like the technological EVA—a waterproof polymer, creating very unexpected tactile sensations. It is also composed of ash wood and aluminium, and available in two heights. The Bodies in Motion party co-hosted by Dezeen and Humanscale, an office furniture brand, was an event organised to celebrate this installation. It is a moving sculpture made from 15 beams of light that respond to and mimic the viewers movements. This interactive light sculpture designed by New York-based Todd Bracher aimed to capture the feeling of human movement in its most essential and natural form. The installation was influenced by the research of Swedish scientist Gunnar Johansson, who investigated motion perception in the 1970s. He explored the idea that our brain is hard-wired to recognise the human figure with even the slightest bit of information. So even with just three points moving to a certain for-

a long, black passage that went on for about a hundred meters, and felt extremely disorienting. At the end of the long tunnel was an installation of upside down rotating mushrooms in psychedelic colours, sending your senses for a complete spin. Finally, don’t miss the installations in Fuorisalone and Salone Satellite—this is where true innovation and design ideas are explored. This is where the limits are pushed and boundaries between the various schools of design are brought together intended to blow your mind, and make you stop and think.

Panacotta and Gianduja gelato from Cioccolati Italiani. But for the best gelato ever, there is a hole in the wall place called Gelateria Musica on Via Pestalozzi.

Below: Parco Sempione

Just some of the other things to do in Milan:

Below: The Manzoni

This list can be endless. But whatever little time you get before, in between or after the fairs and exhibitions, you must use to experience the many other hidden gems of the city. As a former resident of Milan, one thing Shonali loves about the place are the parks. For instance, you can easily spend hours at Parco Sempione without even realising the time flying by. For some more exposure on design, visit the Triennale Design Museum—brimming with endless installations from brilliant minds all over the world, as well as a magnificent media library on design, art and architecture. The Milano fashion tour is another must-do, which will take you inside the hidden ateliers and showrooms of Milan. Take a picture at the beautiful 18th century Palazzo Morando, before indulging in one of the best shopping experiences in the world, at Antonia.

Design centric restaurants and bars to visit: Bar Luce at Fondazione Prada, Hotel Straf, Cafe Cafezal, Carlo e Camilla, Paper Moon for really amazing Italian food, Cafe Corso Como 12, Eataly, Spazio Rossana Orlandi. Never miss a good Negroni—Bar Basso—the birthplace of the Negroni is a must go. Go to Obica Mozzarella Bar, an Italian restaurant and pizzeria at the Food Hall 7th floor of Rinascente to witness a beautiful sunset over delicious cheesy things. At night, after you’re done attending all the brand parties from the fair, flock to Terrazza Duomo 21—a terrace bar with a view of the Duomo cathedral to enjoy Milan from the top. On your last day, have aperitivo on the Navigli.

The desserts to die for: Have everything sweet. Profiteroles, Tiramisu,

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IN{fashion+design}

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KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

hen it comes to style, it’s no secret that Archana Walavalkar is a skip ahead of the rest. This former Vogue Fashion Editor went from being a celebrity style expert to the stylist to every Indian. Her fashion and tech venture, StyleCracker has transformed the way people not only dress on a daily basis, but the way they perceive fashion. From its AI-based solutions to personalised StyleCracker boxes, from a fully loaded blog to night markets and bazaars known to attract tens of thousands of shoppers—Walavalkar has managed to provide access to new looks, quality clothes and relevant fashion intel for everyone from the seasoned style maven to the uninitiated. She, in more ways than one, is a game changer in the world of style, and usually has the last word on the best new trends. So who better than to ask Archana herself on what’s new, cool and interesting in the world of home decor and interior designing. Here we go...

Home decor trends Archana swears by....

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StyleCracker’s Archana Walavalkar gives Isprava a low down on all things stylish, trending and smart in the world of interior design and home decor for the season

es are all the rage, and an Isprava favourite! 10. Acrylic furniture: It goes with any kind of decor or colour scheme, and adds a playful yet chic touch to any space, without any visual clutter The living ro om in Archa 11. Bold and black na’s home in Mumbai bathrooms: It is sultry, dramatic and modern in equal proportions TAKE A CUE! 12. Wallpapers and painted bold walls: Especially wild florals!

Archana’s favourite space and its frills... “My living room. It’s a shared space where my husband and I lounge, live, create and entertain. It is minimal, comfortable and has a strong sense of nostalgia for me. It is an open space with tons of natural light and airy ventilation and is filled with many accents collected from various parts of our country and the world. The space exudes a tranquil, bright and warm vibe, the perfect antidote at the end of a long day.”

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ARCHANA’S FAVOURITE HOME DESIGN/DECOR JAUNTS IN MUMBAI!

1. A sustainable approach: AlArchana’s last word in ways ask the three questions: decor... Who are you purchasing from? Functional decor! “For me, two What values do they stand for? qualities are important when it What materials are being used? comes to decor. First: sophis1. GOOD EARTH 2. Soft geometry in furniture: ticated solutions that marry 2. NICOBAR Try moving away from straight, functionality and comfort. And rigid furniture lines second: a visually soothing aes3. CLOVE 3. A highlight piece: Pick one thetic. Functional pieces of fur4. TAHERALLYS with a gravity defying shape! niture that are not only 5. MAHENDRA 4. Natural organic materials: art in themselves, but DOSHI Think locally sourced prodalso usable are key. For ucts, customised for you and handcrafted to example: collapsable walls that transperfection form a place freely at any given time. 5. All about the planters: Shop them in all sizes Or doors with secret storage that add a to add a wave of freshness to your interiors little mystery and more importantly keep 6. Maximalist art: Go for lots of bold colours, things looking neat, clean and decluttered. I patterns, textures, layers, repetition, contrasts, tend to lean towards functional decor that’s intricacies, luxe materials and ornamentation a perfect marriage between modern minimal7. Colour: Pretty tones. My top picks would be, ism and environmental conscious designs. I pale blush, dusty pinks and bronze just returned from Japan, and took a very long 8. Opt for bolder, graphic kitchens: It’s the walk through the multi-storeyed MUJI store coolest space in the home. It may inspire bold- and they do it really well! Everything er flavours! was minimal, easy to use and aestheti9. Four poster beds: These vintage masterpiec- cally perfect!”

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A white epoxy flooring with no joints A greige (a mix of grey and beige) deep-seated, all linen couch with navy edging

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An odd shaped 6 seater marble dining table Lightweight cane and teakwood chairs, customised by Kunal Merchant

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A Clayman dining lamp

Three wooden stumps, of different shape and sizes from Splendour Ceiling to floor sheers A giant Traveller’s Palm

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A comfy throw from Dar es Salaam

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

TETE A TETE with ADIL AHMAD

Known for designing spaces that resonate not with him, but with those that will occupy each space, Isprava catches up with maestro interior designer Adil Ahmad

H Sujan Raj Mahal, Jaipur

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e calls his career a journey. A journey that began thirty years ago at the ripe age of 13. At a time when neither the term or word “interior designer” really existed. In fact, he’s never thought of himself as one, not even today. Rather he believes he is someone who is intellectually evolved to do something different. And so he has, on a journey with many stops and stays along the way. One that still continues. For Adil Ahmad, there are no fullstops. “You spend a weekend, sometimes you spend a fortnight, but you have to move on a journey, you can’t stay put. And for me, it is all about the quest of continuous layering, learning and creating living spaces.” On this journey, Adil Ahmad has been a part of Good Earth wherein he transformed it from a mere souvenir shop for mugs and cushions into a renowned home collection space. He helped launch Ritu Kumar Home where he played creative director for a short while. He’s been a part of many restoration projects, most recently the restoration of a beautiful 18th century haveli in Rajasthan, crafting it into a luxurious boutique hotel. He even worked on an Isprava cottage in the hills of Kotagiri. →

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

Left: Adil Ahmad’s setup at India Design ID, New Delhi Top: Adil Ahmad

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But perhaps one of his most known works has been the restoration of the beloved Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur. Though for Adil, he doesn’t consider it his most seminal work. For him, each and every project is just as dear, it could be a 1000 sq ft project or a 100,000 sq ft project. But sometimes certain projects take on a life of their own—and Rajmahal Palace was one of them. It definitely is close to his heart because he nurtured something that has stood the test of time. But even so, he doesn’t consider it as ‘Adil Ahmad’s Rajmahal Palace’. “It’s come way before Adil Ahmad, and it is going to live on way after Adil Ahmad”, he quips. But for the rest of the country and world, it is a masterpiece that’ll stop you in your tracks. When asked about his design inspiration

behind it, he said ,“I did not want to create a pastiche. Rajmahal itself wasn’t initially made as a palace. It started off as a garden pavilion, then it became a British residency and later a country home for the royal family. Today it is the current home of the titular head of the family, a 20 year old boy. And my design inspiration was to create a young, happy home for him. Something crisp, coherent and contemporary, while still borrowing cues from the City Palace. I did not copy or create that typical painted Rajasthani palace look—because then that would have become a pastiche”. Instead he took inspiration from the old and transformed it into the new, by creating a series of wallpapers, a more contemporary intervention, uniquely inspired by the murals, paintings and spaces inside the City Palace. His inspiration was drawn from the slightest details—it could be a flower, a colour or a motif. The result was 50 different beautiful and bespoke wallpapers, each one specifically created for these spaces. “I created Rajmahal as a space for a young maharaja, a 21st century individual who has grown up with the best of the west, is well travelled, but is still rooted in his Indian sensibility, family heritage and past. If I made it into a painted little pastiche of the City Palace, he would have run away. What would he do in a boring, dead museum? But today, he tells me that I have created a space for him which is his bolt hold. And that no matter where he is in the world, he knows he has his anchor in Rajmahal. And that’s the biggest compliment for me. I describe the style of Rajmahal as contemporary colonial. And with the royal family leaving it entirely up to me, I made that the brief to myself,” explains Adil. When we ask him about how he adds luxury to his creations, he professes that he does not set out to use luxury, because for him, luxury is an essence. “Today’s connotation of luxury has a very nouveau riche material meaning to it. But for me, luxury is about sight, smell, sensibility, style, space and soul. Not about the intrinsic value or all the gold and glitter used. My idea of creating luxury is by the hush you get enveloped in the moment you enter a space. Luxury is the lilting sound of music, the trickle of water, the languid air about a place. I like to create a ‘time-stood-still’ kind of feeling. That for me is luxury. Not a Fendi sofa or a Bulgari clock on the mantle. Luxury comes from the bazaars on the street”. →

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

WHEN JEWELLERY meets ARCHITECTURE Architecture and jewellery may seem like they have nothing in common. Jewellery extraordinaire Binoy Shah tells us otherwise

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So what is Adil Ahmad’s signature style? He is a method to everything—a method to the claims he doesn’t have one single one. Who is madness. It is all perfectly symmetrical, and he his mentor? Again, he claims there’s more than believes that a person who really mastered this one. But if he had to choose, a designer whose kind of style was Alberto Pinto. Additionally, he doesn’t follow trends. “Folstyle he does not ape but admire—he admits it would be Alberto Pinto. He loves his maxi- lowing trends is what travesty is all about”. He malist style and the fact that he is into layering, does admit that he is relatively Rubenesque, but you would never catch just like him. He goes on to ex“MY STYLE IS NOT him flaunting a designer trend, plain, “My style is not subtle. I SUBTLE. I FEEL instead only in a cotton kurta feel subtlety is the lack of style. and pajama—a style he finds I am very much into layering: SUBTLETY IS THE artistic, eclectic and most imyou will see a patterned wallLACK OF STYLE...“ portantly comfortable. Another paper, Central Asian textiles on the cushions, there will be a Persian carpet, “no” on his list is about seeking perfection. He on that carpet there will be a silver table. On does not. Because he knows he can never find that table you will notice a protrusion of objets it. “Perfection is ultimately only a mirage. And d’art, and on top of that there will be a protru- so, in my journey I have no final destination, sion of flowers. It’s all there to form a sensory and continue to move forward, living, learning explosion.” Having said that, he believes there and loving things as they are meant to be.”

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Top: Adil Ahmad’s setup at Luxury Lifestyle Weekend, Mumbai

ou would be surprised at how head-turning architecture has formed the foundation of some of the most stunning jewellery collections in the world. It is a huge trend in the industry where sleek geometry and edgy wearable art have been seen and continue to be noticed all over the biggest runways. Binoy Shah of BNM Jewellers, a self-confessed architect by passion, couldn’t agree more. He believes that every piece of jewellery always has a story behind it. An inspiration that brings it to life and gives it true meaning. And that could be a famous building, a motif or even an architectural style—both old or new. For his own jewellery, he derives inspiration from the abstract art and architecture that he stumbles across when he travels. In fact unique architecture from around the globe is a recurrent theme in his jewellery collections.“I keep a diary to recall my adventures and experiences, and I keep observing various idiosyncratic elements in the architecture around me. I return home and try to turn them into beautifully crafted masterpieces that will make every wearer feel special and one of a kind”, quips Binoy. As architecture takes many forms in different cultures and contexts, each piece of Binoy’s jewellery is unique and serves as a real reminder of the destinations he has travelled. Some of the

Diamond necklace

architecture-influenced pieces that Binoy’s collections boast of include art-deco-esque pieces for its sheer sense of style and grandeur, while others take inspiration from oriental patterns for its vast, complex and diverse range of elements. Using a large variety of precious stones, titanium metals, mother of pearls and more, Binoy and his team recreate structural marvels in the form of never-seen-before jewellery. However, it is not always the case that a jeweller references only ancient classical shapes and art deco motifs. Today there are enough jewellers and architects using modern structures as the basis of inspiration and creation. Architect Zaha Hadid is one such example. She first collaborated with Swarovski way back in 2008 and then with Geneva-based Caspita to produce a series of rings that are evocative of her curving, cellular-like buildings. Hadid later even curated a special series entitled the ‘Zaha Hadid Selects’ comprising 20 handpicked pieces at the Goldsmiths’ Fair in London which included a stunning ring by Jennifer Saker, resonating complex and highly engineered bridges and famous stadiums. Taipei-based 22 Design Studio created rings and earrings using concrete and steel directly lifted from its home city’s skyline. As for some more familiar names: Tiffany & Co took tion from the world of architecinspirature by collaborating with Frank Gehpolished concrete collection. ry for his Bulgari beautifully highlighted the Takhti cut—a soft, curved rectangle—which imitates the shape of roof tiles in Rajasthan palaces, in one of its prized collections. And Chanel produced a glittering one-off diamond cuff based on the mesmerising Manhattan streetscape. Talk about two worlds merging!

Above: Gold plated cuff with diamonds Below: Binoy and Malav along with their father Mr. Rajen Shah

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IN{fashion+design} KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS

BESPOKE MUSINGS

Bespoke has been given a new meaning by Chandigarh’s most favourite fashion designer, Roopa Lamba. She brings us in on the her bespoke little secrets...

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Clockwise: One of Roopa Lamba’s creations; Roopa Lamba herself

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aking something oneof-a-kind is how you can transform something from being ordinary to extraordinary. Whether it is a monogrammed handbag, a made to measure shirt, a wedding invite, a piece of decor, an entire home or a beautifully customised outfit—it is the ultimate luxury. Roopa Lamba, Chandigarh’s leading fashion designer brings to focus the beauty of bespoke in the realm of fashion, and life. For Roopa, it is a matter of pride that she has her own platform to craft unique design, express imagination and bring to life timeless works of art. She believes that the custom tailoring of anything reflects the individual in question—their style sensibilities, what they want to do, where they want to go, how they want to live, how they want to travel, how they want to be perceived. The process is the best part. The alignment of mind, body and style— that is a kind of experience that stays with you. So by studying her clients and asking them all the right questions, Roopa creates a montage in her mind of what her creation is going to be. Everything from the silk lining to the thread, every detail should have a purpose and some significance. “You need to connect with the

client, create something specifically for that individual—something they are going to enjoy and most importantly, be comfortable in. Basically, craft an ‘object of desire’, but one that celebrates them. This is the essential formula to master the art. But the key thing to remember about going custom: whether you are dressing up to go out, or you are sprucing up a cosy corner of your home—being at ease within your space is paramount”, quips Roopa. And so comfort is the cornerstone of her bespoke creations. Inspiration is another key element to creating something never-seen-before. When Roopa looks at her garments, many images emerge. The wood board of a chandelier could be used as a lehenga kalli. A painted ceiling or a fresco could come to life in a printed pattern. Jewelled colours from stained glass, mosaic tiles, colours of the Goan sunset—all could form the basis of a beautiful ensemble. In fact, she even drew inspiration from Chinese tiles that she spotted at a Hong Kong bar for a special Chinese embroidery collection. In her words, “Fashion does not limit, it creates, it fuses, it juxtaposes.” Roopa’s own style sensibilities exude a blend of the traditional with the modern. Her work includes fusing current silhouettes with classic elements to create the distinctive. She believes in the “buy now, but treasure forever” philosophy, much like Isprava does. And she likes using natural fabrics like silks, chiffons, and taking something from the past and making it new and appealing. Her clients have come to her with items from their age-old trousseaus and have had her transform it into beautiful ensembles for their children’s weddings. She says, “I believe that’s how my work stands out in the sea of Indian wedding wear. And this is what I love about Isprava as well. They too believe in unearthing individual handcrafted pieces for their homes. From my own Isprava home in Goa, my favourites are the antique cupboard in my room and the stunning painstakingly sourced dining table”. Finally, it’s that special touch of luxury that brings a bespoke creation all together. But for Roopa, the definition of luxury is different. For her luxury is experiential. “A sip of great coffee, a relaxing massage, luxury is a home in Goa more comfortable than my own, where I enjoy quality time with my kids and grandkids”. We couldn’t agree more!

Top: Intricate embroidery work in progress Grid on the left: Some of Roopa’s inspirations

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IN{the spotlight}

THE POWER OF PURPLE

THE NEWS AND THE NOTEWORTHY THAT’S MAKING ALL THE BUZZ

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF QATAR OPENS ITS DOORS TO THE WORLD

Asian Paints’ colour of the year 2019 “Awakening” is meant to evoke creativity at its finest with striking shades of plum

Inspired by the shape of the mineral desert rose—a flower-like crystal formation found in the Gulf region, the 430,000 square feet structure promises an immersive journey into the history of the nation

BLADE TAKES OFF IN INDIA Initial routes will connect two of the most congested cities in the world, replacing 4-8 hour drives with a 35 minute helicopter ride

Defying the conventions of a traditional art museum, the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) is a cultural treasure. Located across from the Corniche waterfront in Doha, situated in front of a manmade lagoon with 114 fountains, it is one of the first notable structures you will see as you leave the Doha international airport. It took French Pritzker prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel (who also designed Abu Dhabi’s Louvre), ten years to carefully conceptualise and build this masterpiece before it opened its doors to the public on March 28, 2019. On first glance you will notice its stunning façade showcasing a fine balance of modern and classic, with

giant sand-coloured interlocking discs that look like supersized versions of delicate petals. Look closer and you will be astonished to know that the entire structure is made of 250,000 fibreglass structures which were artfully placed in 76,000 panels. Its centrepiece is Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani’s restored historic palace. NMoQ has 11 permanent galleries offering a 360-degree immersive experience of sight, touch, sound and aromas into the natural, anthropological and paleontological history of Qatar, dating back almost 700 million years. It culminates in present-day scenarios and progress

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of a modern Qatar under the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Along the chronological journey you take, you will come across rare objects like the $5.5 million Pearl Carpet of Baroda which was embroidered with more than a million and a half fine Gulf pearls, and heftily adorned with emeralds, diamonds and sapphires. You will also see the oldest Koran discovered back in the 1800s. It houses an auditorium, research centre, laboratories, cafes and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the bay. The mission of this museum: to provide lifelong learnings. Once you explore it, you will see how that mission has been so beautifully accomplished.

Imagine travelling from Mumbai to Pune in just 35-40 minutes. Or swapping traffic congestion for whizzing across clear blue skies aboard a copter. Sounds pretty brilliant, doesn’t it? Well it’s all soon possible with Blade India, a collaboration between USA’s Fly Blade Inc and India’s Hunch Ventures, flying in to solve your daily travel woes. The service: Blade India, an aviation start up, will offer intercity and intracity helicopter services to you and me, and will operate via an app for ease of accessibility. All you have to do is download the Blade app on your smartphone and use it to book your ride. Who knew there would be a day when booking a copter would be as easy as booking an Uber or Ola. The routes: Blade has already been operating its services in

USA, with its lounges in major cities like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida and California. In India, to begin with, Blade will offer its services connecting places like Juhu and Mahalaxmi to Pune city or Shirdi. The capacity, duration and timings: The rides will potentially seat 5-8 passengers at a time. And the company is aiming to provide rides within 20 minutes from the time you arrive at the lounge. For maximum safety, it will fly only between sunrise and sunset. The pricing: In the beginning it will seem like an expensive undertaking, but then again, time is money. Over time, Blade India hopes to be able to make it more economical and reach out to the masses.

Humble yet strong, pretty yet powerful—the colour of the year unveiled by Asian Paints at India Design ID is a beautiful mix of brown and purple. Touted as the most decisive voice on colour in the country, this year Asian Paints introduces a colour that is symbolic of strong resolve, noble intentions, confidence and dynamism of being woke. While the purple hue brings in a sense of authority, the brown tone in it makes it down-to-earth and approachable. And staying true to its name, it is a colour that intends to give everyone an ‘Awakening’, in one way or the other. We love it for its warm, pulsating with life and active demeanour and at the same time it is interesting how the colour makes one reminiscent of the erstwhile kings’ and queens’ elegant and elaborate attires. Now it’s time to become a merlot aficionado, and take this colour places with your interiors: Texture is everything: This year it’s all about less is more. Avoid the clutter of loud prints and big patterns. Instead add depth and dimension with weighted and sheer fabrics, a variety of weaves and textured elements, putting into focus the luxury of this new plum shade. A play of papers: Give your walls an undeniably modern yet classic vibe by incorporating the colour to your space in the form of quality wallpapers. A single purple wall will arrest the attention of anyone who walks through the door. Accents of Awakening: For those who prefer a more minimalist approach, update your space with one or two accents that provide a striking contrast. Make purple the protagonist through soft furnishing, like a chair cover, a bed headboard, or a rug that exudes a sense of royalty.

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IN{the spotlight} THE NEWS AND THE NOTEWORTHY

YACHTS OF ENVY These are the yachts making BIG waves The dream: to ride the waves and float around the world in extravagance, aboard one of these drool-worthy beauties. Hey, dreams can come true.

A WINNER IN THE WATER

She won the World Superyacht Award 2018, and she was a worthy winner indeed. Ribelle, SUPERPOWER OF THE Vitters custom sailing yacht is a true maritime marvel, and yet OCEAN is designed to make you feel like you’re right at home. Credit One glance at the Aeroboat S6 for the modern and slick naval and you will fall in love. With architecture and exterior design a Rolls Royce engine promising goes to Malcolm McKeon Yacht top speeds of 48 knots, you can Design while Rémi Tessier was expect an extraordinary and responsible for the bright and uncompromising experience out modern interior décor. This 32.64 in the open waters. Designed by metre superstructure is made of British-based Claydon Reeves design studio and BMT Nigel Gee, carbon fibre and titanium—a feat the 65 feet carbon and aluminium that required immense design thinking. Reaching speeds of cruiser promises generosity of more than 20 knots in moderate space, both above and below the conditions, she also has a super deck. On the upper deck you will sleek anchor arm, making her a notice an elegant al fresco dining lightweight wonder. But it’s the with adjustable seating, a perfect futuristic glass canopy beautifully spot to indulge in lavish spreads curved and finished with high-gloss whilst enjoying endless ocean framing filling the yacht with light, views. Its expansive windows that tips the scales. Inside, you will all around endow you with no notice a combination of bleached less, while the wooden flooring teak, white leather and high-gloss perfectly complements its metallic exterior. The interior cabins feature copper accents, exuding a fine an equipped kitchen, shower area, balance between vintage style and contemporary luxury. The lower entertainment unit, a garage that deck houses three cabins, big can hold up to two jet skis, and enough for up to six guests to stay, a recluse away from the rest, but and there are additional quarters not from the majestic views. The yacht unfurls with many more cool for a crew of five. The master suite has a walkaround bed and features: it’s got transformable there’s also a kitchen fully amped stairways, pop-up railings, with three ovens, a large induction movable decks, hidden television cooktop, a chiller and a two-metre screens which stow away when working island. Intended for highnot in use and so much more, performance racing as much as allowing you to comfortably and relaxed cruising, Ribelle is indeed luxuriously spend hours or even a true winner. days at sea.

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

THE AGENDA ON SUSTAINABILITY

An in-depth, comprehensive report on sustainable living, responsibility and development written by Mukund Rajan, homeowner of Isprava’s Gleneagle Estate

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am the proud owner of Gleneagle Estate, a lovely property built for my wife and me by Isprava in the Nilgiri Hills. Our property is nestled amidst hills, forests and tea plantations in an environment that is still quite unspoilt. The air you breathe is possibly the cleanest and most invigorating you could hope for anywhere in India, and daytime temperatures throughout the year typically stay within a high of the mid-twenty degrees centigrade. At a time when India has the dubious record of hosting ten of the twenty most polluted cities in the world, having the option of getting away from the pollution and the summer heat to the idyllic surroundings of Gleneagle Estate is truly a blessing. And as the serving Chairman of the Environment Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), I count my blessings every day when I see the sad situation that many parts of our country face to achieve sustainable development. For several decades after India gained independence from the British colonial rule, the developmental agenda took precedence, natural for an extremely poor country. At the 1972 Stockholm United Nations Conference on Human Environment, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called this out in a famous speech where she said “poverty is the greatest polluter”. While this period saw some significant conservation initiatives such as Project Tiger, to restore the population of tigers in India by addressing human-animal conflict in tiger habitats across India, the focus was nevertheless clearly on developmental priorities. In more recent times, though, with growing awareness of water and air pollution, and the impetus provided by tragedies like the Bhopal gas leak in 1984, a number of actions have been undertaken including the enactment of legislations like the Air and Water Acts and the Environment Protection Act, and the creation of the Ministry of Environment and Forests at the centre in Delhi to give better definition

to the country’s approach to sustainable development. The number of laws and rules and regulations in place at both the centre and the states in India is, however, no guarantee for protection of the environment, as we see creeping crises emerge in a range of areas, from water stress in rural areas and even major cities like Chennai, to air pollution in the national capital. A key requirement is more effective monitoring and policing of environmental compliance, where stakeholders from the media and the non-profit sector have an important role to play in assisting the government. Aggravating the situation is the emergence of global environmental issues which present unique challenges. These issues, like global warming, ozone depletion and the loss of biodiversity, call for international cooperation; no one nation can solve these problems on its own, and the collaboration of all countries is required for their resolution. On an issue like global warming, for example, it is of little use if the major economies of the developed world, the United States and the European Union, implement significant actions to curb their greenhouse gas emissions, unless two of the top three greenhouse gas emitters in the world, namely China and India, also join hands to reduce their emissions. A consensus is required between all countries, to ensure the available global carbon budget is distributed rationally. We are beginning to experience the extremely grave threats posed by global environmental issues like global warming. The increased frequency of natural calamities like the Uttarakhand floods of 2013 which killed many thousands, or the unprecedented floods that struck Chennai in 2015 or Kerala last year, are a harbinger of things to come. As the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, India will need to play a big role in resolving the issue of climate change, and this will require the collaboration of the government with all stakeholders to develop a national strategy to combat climate change. Already, under the framework of the Paris Climate Pact, the Indian government has under- →

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View from Gleneagle Estate

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

The vertical garden at Gleneagle Estate

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taken to reduce the carbon intensity of its GDP by 33-35% over 2005 levels by 2030, and to produce 40% of its energy through renewables by 2030. More will progressively need to be done, as the world and India race to deal with the forecast of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change late last year that global warming is happening now at a much faster pace than was projected earlier. At a critical time like this, when there are high mutual interdependencies between the major economies of the world, the role of the United Nations also becomes very important. In 2015, its work led to the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. The UN SDGs today offer the most comprehensive framework for the pursuit of sustainability, with 17 SDGs traversing issues ranging from poverty alleviation to enhancing gender equality, in turn translating into 169 targets the international community would like to see achieved by 2030. The biggest motivation for the adoption of the UN SDGs is the growing confidence that greater awareness and advances in science and technology now offer the ability to find solutions for all the SDG challenges. The combination of domestic laws and rules and regulations, and international frameworks and treaties, place many responsibilities on the shoulders of the largest contributors to the sustainability challenges we face, namely the corporate sector. Indian corporates are being tasked to report and make better disclosures on sustainability. A number of Indian companies already use the Global Reporting Initiative framework. The market regulator SEBI has recently encouraged the adoption of Integrated Reporting by India’s largest listed companies. The government has also recently issued new National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct, and these are expected to feed into the Business Responsibility Reports that the top 500 listed companies in India are required to file (likely to soon be extended to the top 1000 companies). Indian corporates are also beginning to embrace the concept of the “circular economy”, one where resources are circulated within the system releasing minimal waste into the biosphere. A number of new enterprises are being created to retrieve what would earlier be considered “waste” and convert both wet and dry waste into usable products. New business models are springing up, in areas like the sharing economy (think Uber or Ola) or productivity enhancement (as offered by Philips when it prices luminosity as a service rather than as a set of light bulb products). Large companies, including some auto makers, are making big investments in design thinking, after undertaking full life-cycle assessments of their products. They are also beginning to value and report on the various forms of capital they manage, including natural capital and social capital, factoring in the whole life-cycle value of the costs and risks embedded in the products and services they produce. The new challenges of sustainability are spurring →

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” ESG is now the fastest growing investment approach globally, with over $70 Trillion of assets under management committed to the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI). This number will increase as new regulations emerge in markets like the European Union, where it will soon become a requirement for all asset managers to disclose the ESG performance of their investment portfolios. Studies show a correlation between material ESG actions and firm outcomes, and these outcomes in terms of better performance and reduced risk improve when there is active engagement. That is precisely the thesis that underlies the ESG Fund I have launched recently. We intend to incentivise Indian companies that are already on or prepared to get onto the ESG performance improvement journey, and will demonstrate through our investee companies that a focus on ESG can yield lower cost of operations, risk reduction, lower cost of borrowing, and greater prospects for valuation rerating. So, as members of key stakeholder groups that can impact the sustainability agenda—be it as part of the government, or in the corporate sector, or in the non-profit sector, or as an investor or lender—we each have a responsibility to fulfil. But equally, let us not forget that each of us can also individually exercise judgment and support what is right, whether it is in the selections we make as a customer, or as a volunteer willing to dedicate time and skills for improving the focus on sustainability. Ask yourself whether you are doing the best you can to reduce your climate footprint. Do you reduce your individual carbon footprint by limiting your consumption of petrol, and do you use mass mobility solutions when available? Do you minimize your use of power, and use air-conditioning moderately? Do you limit your water usage, and have you implemented solutions like rain-water harvesting in your home? Do you reduce plastic usage, and are you trying to eliminate the use of single-use plastic products wherever possible such as plastic straws, stirrers and cups? Do you segregate garbage, and re-use and repair items instead of discarding them? In conclusion, let us remember the prophetic words of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi—the world has enough for every person’s need, but not for every person’s greed!

“THE ENTIRE SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA IS NOW BECOMING A PART OF MAINSTREAM CORPORATE STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CEO, WITH BOARD OVERSIGHT.”

corporate innovation and the quest for new business opportunities. Corporates see that by responding to the sustainability trends with agility—they can not only remain competitive, mitigate risks, and future proof their businesses, but also be well positioned to seize the business opportunities that get unlocked as a result. Significant market opportunities are being created in India in sectors ranging from solar power equipment to drip irrigation modules to electric vehicles, all a result of the new focus on sustainability. Corporates are also being responsive to the increase in the number of consumers, especially millennials, who are becoming more inclined to buy products or services that align with their own lifestyles and value systems. For such consumers, it is no longer about what you buy, but what you buy into. If businesses are willing to clarify the higher purpose they serve, customers are also willing to reward them with both mind-share and share of wallet. Corporates that offer purpose-driven brands, like “Tata”, whose Mission is to ‘Improve the Quality of Life of the Communities We Serve”, or “The Body Shop”, which commits to ‘Enrich, not Exploit’, consequently tend to get good traction in the market. As with corporations elsewhere, Indian corporates are also facing scrutiny on the sustainability actions of their supply chain participants. Today, for instance, if an Indian tea company, say Tata Global Beverages, wishes to sell tea in markets across the world, it has to be very concerned about the treatment of labour and the sustainability practices followed in plantations across India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and various other parts of the world from where it sources the tea it sells. The net impact of all of these trends—the quest for a circular economy, new protocols to value social and natural and other forms of capital, the thrust on innovation, and the growing consumer affinity for purpose-driven brands —is

that in India, the most forward-looking corporates are beginning to place sustainability at the heart of their business strategies, as Unilever, a global role model has done with its Sustainable Living Plan. Indeed, the entire sustainability agenda is now becoming a part of mainstream corporate strategy development and the responsibility of the CEO, with Board oversight. It is also noteworthy that India has gone one step further than most other countries in outlining the responsibilities of the corporate sector. It has taken the lead in legislating expectations from corporates in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. In a first-of-its kind legislation anywhere in the world in 2013, corporates in India that meet a size and scale test are required to spend 2% of their net profits on CSR. This spending is required to be monitored by a committee of the Board of Directors, which includes an Independent Director. This scrutiny is elevating the discourse on CSR at the level of the Board—where earlier CSR spending by Indian companies used to be something undertaken “beyond business”, if and when a corporate had the money and inclination, it is now a firm mandate, and a matter of considerable debate and discussion amongst Board Directors, with a focus on the efficiency of spending and the outcomes delivered. In addition, in the more forward-looking corporates, we are seeing the mandate of such Board committees expand, to include the larger subject of sustainability. Corporate engagement with the sustainability agenda is now the subject of great interest for investors around the world. This is the reason that an increasing number of investors are focussed on the Environment, Social and Governance, or ESG, performance of their portfolio companies. This is the reason that Larry Fink, the head of one of the world’s largest institutional investors, BlackRock, advises CEOs in his annual letter that “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but

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Mukund Rajan, Chairman of ECube Investment Advisors, an ESG focused platform, was earlier Chief Ethics Officer of the Tata Group and Chairman of the Tata Global Sustainability Council. A published author, this IIT Delhi and Oxford alumnus has a fresh new focus on all things to do with environmental sustainability.

Soumya and Mukund Rajan

By Mukund Govind Rajan (mrajan@ecubeindia.in)

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

THE WAY OF WABI SABI It isn’t picture perfect, and that’s the point. Architect and Interior Designer extraordinaire Ashiesh Shah lets us in to the world of Wabi-Sabi as he forays into product design. He explains its unique application with his recent collaborations and describes the beauty of this art form in his own special way

A

s with everything that stems from forging an identity of your own, to making your work stand out and leaving an impact, it initially took me some time to find my personal visual language. Finding inspiration from art, architecture and the likes is quintessential. What you imbibe from it is primary and where you draw the line holds utmost importance. Geometry, right from the start, has always been an important element in my practice, and is often the point of departure for all of my designs. For the past several years, I have been exploring the concept of Wabi-Sabi—an ancient Japanese philosophy of balancing elements that has been a strong part of all my projects and now a primary focus of my very own, Atelier Ashiesh Shah. My atelier is my space of contentment. On some level, I always knew I wanted to foray into product design—I was just waiting for the right platform and my collaboration with Urban Ladder was the perfect opportunity to venture into this space. Exquisitely Asian, the Wabi Sabi collection of the very successful Urban Ladder X Ashiesh Shah collaboration represents the best of eastern design. The colour palette is earthy, neutral, and soothing. These pieces represent the industrial, as exemplified by the precise finishes—and the traditional, shown to advantage in the cane weaving and the leatherette detailing. These pieces were designed to be part art, part craft and part material. Inspired from the Japanese philosophy, the Wabi Sabi collection aims at reviving traditional Indian crafts and combining them with a modern

sensibility. The pieces of furniture are characterised by a subtle vocabulary of minimal lines, blending local materials like teak and cane with brass and faux leather details. Making the jump from interiors to product design was a natural progression. Custom designing products, be it furniture, lighting or bath ware for my projects is something I’ve been doing right from the beginning of my practice as an interior architect. It accentuates bringing within the space a personality that resonates best with the space designed, a personality with an underlying aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi, a personality that is more of me. Atelier, a pivot, facilitating the protraction of my design studio is a limitless assemblage of design and design thinkers. An extension to my design practice, Atelier integrates experimentation, craftsmanship and technique into a creative ecosystem for collaboration and development. Gravitating towards geometry, materiality and my simple Wabi-Sabi aesthetic, Atelier is a process-driven think-tank, a composition of inventiveness, tapped by artists, coming together to narrate tales of evolving aesthetics, stories of my personal visual language, developed over the years. Besides bringing the aesthetics through everyday objects, interior spaces that I have designed like Raw Mango and Masque stand true to the very same philosophy. Raw Mango is a very unique brand in that it’s trying to find its own essence through minimalism and what Indian minimalism really means. This idea was very much the point of departure for me while designing the space. Sanjay, founder of Raw Mango, had a very clear vision about his brand. So when Raw Mango approached me, it was very much about marrying our aesthetics. They wanted me to help create →

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“The Moonshadow”, placed in pairs, textured with hand-moulded clay and blackened with chirona leaves

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

“Many Moon”, grey grained white marble assembled as a minimal sphere is sliced into six trays, two bowls and a platter

Raw Mango, Mumbai

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

Ashiesh Shah, has graduated from Parsons School of Design, and spearheads his own design firm today. With a digital following of over 60k, he has been voted amongst the top 50 influencers in the architecture and design space for 5 years running. Ashiesh is a visual thinker and his portfolio includes everything from celebrity homes to concept homes, design exhibitions and TV shows.

Ashiesh Shah

Masque, Mumbai

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something structured yet effortless, which immediately directed me to a Wabi-Sabi-inspired palette. Masque, is yet another restaurant that radiated this philosophy. Occupying an old warehouse in Mumbai’s once buzzing cotton district, Masque is a play of materials and form. Tapping into the natural architecture of the space itself, forms appear and disappear. The natural light floods in from the skylight above and illuminates the restaurant floor, part white polished marble, part textured slate. Many elements that might be considered ‘de rigueur’ in most luxury restaurants are ditched in favour of bare natural materials. The use of hard wood tables, brass structures, stone clad walls and floors, mirror the chef’s approach to the naturally sourced and foraged. The Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi was central in the design process. Characterized by an aesthetic of beauty that incorporates natural objects and processes, it is stripped down and subtle. The restaurant decor is also fairly minimal and whatever objects are on display have been carefully procured and help create a balance of materials, textures and colours. The architecture of the space, the amalgamation of materials and soft light create a cocoon within which one can no longer keep track of time, and get transported away from the bustle of the city. Wabi-Sabi, is a philosophy of life, and once you accept it, everything trickles down to it. I don’t make a special effort to bring it to my practice, but if you look at my spaces, you see that element of finished and unfinished. It is a tightrope you are walking, but you have to maintain that. Thus, asymmetry and asperity play a major role in my practice. I appreciate spaces that incorporate natural objects and processes and I try to maintain this principle in my own practice. Nothing is permanent, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

A SHINING BEACON OF HOPE

Kindness. Unwavering support. And a positive spirit. KARO, a public charitable trust, embodies all of that and more, in its constant efforts to make a difference

W

hen it comes to healthcare, it’s disquieting to know that something so basic is not every person’s privilege. Quality healthcare is a growing concern today. It’s nearly impossible for poverty-stricken families to tackle grave illnesses. But, amidst it all, KARO shines strong, sparkling with hope. Established in 2014, this public charitable trust provides holistic healthcare to lesser privileged patients from low income groups. And it doesn’t stop there. KARO also lends itself to preventive healthcare, rehabilitation and mental health support. Be it a 2-year old child who found support and solace in this trust or a 28-year-old woman who remains grateful to KARO for helping her through her most harrowing times, KARO is replete with stories of love. →

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR

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IN{conversation} THE ONES ON THE ISPRAVA RADAR Karo, a public charitable trust founded in 2014 that has a “do-it-now” attitude with everything they do: providing holistic healthcare to low-income communities along with financial aid, preventive healthcare, rehab and even mental health support.

It all began when young Karan Malhotra was undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of cancer—Ewing’s sarcoma. During this time, Karan became particularly sensitised to the realities of this disease. He wondered how those with low incomes churned out sufficient resources for such treatments. It forged in him a desire to provide quality and holistic healthcare to the less fortunate. Quick to realise the shortcomings in cancer care in India, Karan set up a structure that the underprivileged could turn to in troubled times. While Karan passed on in 2014, his vision and beliefs continue to live on through KARO. For them, every life matters and no cause is too small. In keeping with the same, they recently launched KARO Home in Mumbai, a unique accommodation project for Teenage and Young Adult (TYAs) cancer patients. Its aim? To provide a hygienic and relaxed environment for patients from different parts of the country to complete their treatment. This 11 bed facility offers toiletries, food, bedding and kitchen ware. How do they make this magic happen? Well, KARO is wholly funded through its donor partners. Primarily, they provide financial and emotional support to those suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases. From supporting treatments of over 1600 patients to working with hospitals to subsidise treatment costs for the poor, KARO continues to spread love and most importantly, hope. Isprava stands very close to this cause and we hope you will too! For more information or to donate to this worthy cause, visit www.karo.org.in. Do it now!

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

A QUICK GLIMPSE OF ISPRAVA’S ALBANY COTTAGE

Prepare for lush green trees, beautiful tea plantations and majestic peaks to serenade you on your stay Sweeping views of the Nilgiris. Easy access to the sprawling Wellington Golf Course, Coonoor. Oodles of colonial charm. Albany Cottage promises it all. Tucked away in the tea-garden town of Wellington, Coonoor, this iconic property comes with four bedrooms, an independent water source and an enchanting garden. Better still, the Wellington Golf Course is five minutes away by road, with the city of Coimbatore being 90 minutes away, leaving you with plenty of options to go out and explore. The rolling tea plantations and the quiet peaks that surround the property blend privacy with exclusivity, making for an unforgettable experience. →

Details, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

Living room, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

Gazebo, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

Verandah, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

Bathroom, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

Even as you arrive, you will notice that the architecture of Albany Cottage dips and curves with the layers of its surrounding landscape. This is a conscious effort on the part of the architects—an effort to let their design flow seamlessly with the area it is built in the midst of. Slick, plastered walls are juxtaposed with exposed stone, all set against manicured lawns, perfectly reflecting undertones of English design. Plenty of spaces in the house open out onto stunning vistas of the unending hills. Sit-outs are generously peppered around, just so that you can revel in the spectacular views. And all of this was achieved without disturbing the natural lay of the land.→

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Guest bedroom, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

The Gazebo, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

Terrace, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

Dining area, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

Master bedroom, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

A cosy niché in the guest bedroom, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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IN{our world} NEW HOME ON THE BLOCK

Albany Cottage is predominantly a colonial-style home. Everywhere you look, you will find your eyes settling on comforting shades of beige, green and white. Its four bedrooms are also wonderfully furnished and equipped to cater to your every need. Think double mercerized sheets and satin pillow covers with a 300-thread count. French style furniture is dotted around the house, upholstered in exquisite silk or soft cotton. Several antique furniture pieces as well as the aged teak wood doors and windows here have been sourced from palaces and mansions across India and Europe. Reindeer sculptures and carved art pieces imbue the space with an affable charm, while the crockery in the dining room comprises of the finest bone china. Albany Cottage is all about the details. Even the floor tiles here are distinctive, with different tiles in nearly every room. The landings are kitted out with smart wooden floors and wooden stairs, while the living room is laid out with stone look tiles boasting elegant gold stripes. The library on the other hand, is done up with KP tiles in washes of gentle beige, green and white, inviting you to sit down and simply lose yourself between the pages of a book. The bedrooms here are an interesting mix of KP tiles and wooden floors, with one of them being beautifully laid out in tiles that reflect a Herringbone wood design in hues of grey. Suffice to say that this stellar property is a luxurious slice of paradise. Its quintessentially English charm is laced with an infectious Goan air that plays off beautifully across the space. Elements of the outdoors can jump out and surprise you, right from one of the bedrooms’ green wallpaper with wooden wainscoting to tubs of plants boasting fresh yellow blooms. It’s almost as though the beauty of the great outdoors has all but spilled over into this gorgeous home. Come see it to believe it. Seating in the master bedroom, Albany Cottage, Coonoor

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Book your next getaway at Albany Cottage! Reach out to us on +91-8080808797 or rent@isprava.com

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IN{technology} UP TO SPEED WITH THE LATEST IN TECH

to be renovating your home or converting an old bedroom into something new, consider a home theatre space. Here are 3 key tips from Isprava to help you out.

SWIPE RIGHT TO TURN ON THE LIGHTS

COLOUR IT RIGHT Never underestimate the power of the right colours in design. Sure, you could opt for pastel shades. But we suggest darker, earthier tones. They lend the space with an air of elegance, making it seem like you’ve swung by a movie theatre instead of being right at home! Think soft shades of oak, forest green and honey. Mounting your television on a glossy, woodpanelled wall is also a great choice.

Smart lights are the new cool way of switching things up

In the age of ‘all-things-smart’, it’s time to wake up and embrace a new reality. Imagine controlling how the lights in your home flicker on and off, dim as you please and change colours based on your mood from the comfort of an app on your phone or via your voice when paired with a smart assistant. Repeat after us… “Alexa, turn on the bedroom light” “Siri, change the light to pink” “Google, reduce the brightness of the light to 20%” And no, this won’t cost you an island—in fact smart lighting options are quite affordable. Plus, think of all the cool things you can do! You can group all the bulbs in your home together to have a single control. Furthermore, you can set up routines so that when you’re watching a movie, the main lights turn off and

everything else turns to a warmer colour. If you incorporate sensors, you can have your front door light turn on when someone approaches or have your night light gleam as you wake up in the middle of the night, saving yourself from a stumble. What’s more, even someone who is technologically challenged can jump on this bandwagon, as setting up smart lighting is simple with any smart phone or tablet. It doesn’t require any new wiring or complicated systems to work. Another bonus: it’s all LED, so very low power consumption and some may even be battery based. From desk lamps to bedside ones, ceiling lights to ambience lamps— smart lighting comes in a plethora of sizes, shapes, colours and styles from a huge variety of different brands like: Philips Hue, Xiaomi, Yeelight (one of our personal favourites), and so many more. It’s time to light up your world.

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NETFLIX NIRVANA Crafting the perfect home theatre space made easy Picture this: You sit comfortably on a plush sofa, a bowl of buttery popcorn in your hands. You watch your favourite movie or perhaps another rerun of your favourite TV show. And if you happen to get a little tired, you simply sink downwards and take a nap. That’s the magic of having a home theatre space—a Netflix nirvana zone of sorts. Soft lighting, tasteful furnishings and a large television screen— what’s not to love? A space like this becomes an instant favourite among families wanting to unwind together after a long day. So, if you happen

SEAT YOURSELF You don’t want to be shifting and sliding uncomfortably while you watch a movie. So, go for comfortable seats. Straight-backed chairs and wooden stools are a strict no-no! Opt for cozy, buttery armchairs that simply invite you to sink in. You could also use deep wing chairs and sectional sofas to stretch out on. Ottomans to rest your feet on are also a good idea.

AUDI & AI Audi showcases AI:ME concept at the Shanghai Auto Show 2019 Just like Isprava, Audi is a name that is synonymous with luxury. Each car from the brand boasts a sleek design and a flawless engine, crafted to please every automobile lover around. But it doesn’t stop there. Constant innovation is just another of the many things that Audi thrives on. Take the Shanghai Auto Show 2019 for example. The star of the evening at this event was Audi’s AI:ME concept car that perfectly showcased the ideas of the brand’s designers and developers. Think of it as a compact car, built for the future. It actually looks like a super cool and slick city hatchback. It’s even packed with plenty of interesting features— level 4 automated driving, spacious, futuristic interiors, virtual reality tech features, the works. This car has two seats in the front, but it can be configured in plenty of different ways, as per your convenience. There’s enough space for four people in the front as well as

on the rear bench, if needed. Plus, it comes with a 65 kWh battery and a 125 kW electric motor. And that’s not even the best part! The interiors are as luxurious as it gets, with everything from open-pore walnut wood to real plants and wooden struts at the roof to improve cabin circulation. The Audi AI:ME also has a stateof-the-art onboard computer that enables you to drive autonomously along breezy highways or specially designated areas in certain inner cities. There’s also a steering wheel and pedals that smoothly whiz into the dashboard when you’re driving autonomously or stuck in traffic. Fancy? We think so! While it does look a lot like the 2017 Audi Aicon, it’s actually smaller and better suited to our urban lifestyles. Audi AI:ME gives us a glimpse into the future, where driving can become once again, something to thoroughly enjoy!

LIGHT IT UP Remember, you’re trying to create an ambience here. Instead of peppering the room with lights, opt for soft lights with a tinge of yellow. Spotlights and track lights work great. You don’t want too many light fixtures and since it’s a home theatre space, you’re going to want to keep too much natural light from streaming in. Let light-blocking curtains and Venetian blinds come to the rescue!

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IN{entertainment} THE EVENTS AND THE EVENTFUL

THE ISPRAVA inspires CALENDAR

UEFA Europa League

Miami Swim Week

One of the biggest football extravaganzas, for the very first time will be held across 10 countries and cities in Europe like Rome, Amsterdam and Budapest. Finals will be in London

The best in lifestyle, resort and swimwear on the hottest runway of the world

EUROPE

MIAMI

JUL 2020

JUN-JUL 2020

Discover the must-attend luxury events and happenings around the world with our 2020 Isprava Inspires calendar

The Golden Globe Awards

New York Fashion Week

Montreal Jazz Festival

Olympic Games

Hollywood’s liveliest Sunday night of the year!

When the fashion world takes over New York

Ranked as the world’s largest jazz festival in the Guinness World Records, this 41st edition, gear yourself up for ten days and nights of music, 150 shows and thousands of elite artists

The world’s greatest sporting event is going to take place in the world’s most exciting city

LOS ANGELES

NEW YORK

MONTREAL

TOKYO

Frieze

Yokohama Triennale

Monaco Yacht Show

Features premier galleries from Asia and beyond, and provides a glimpse into the region’s diversity through historical material and cutting edge works by established and emerging artists

Discover the world’s leading contemporary and modern galleries and some great after parties

Every three years, Japan hosts one of its most important art exhibitions covering paintings, sculptures, photography and more

The world’s greatest superyacht event celebrates its 30th edition this year!

HONG KONG

NEW YORK

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN

JUL-AUG 2020

JUL 202 0

FEB 202 0

EARLY

2 0JAN 20 Art Basel

MONACO

SEPT 2 020

AUG-OCT 20 20

MAY 2 020

MAR 2 020 MoMa Party in the Garden

Serendipity Goa

Field of Lights

The museum’s annual party is quite the soiree, featuring the art world’s bigwigs

A multidisciplinary festival that brings together performative, visual and culinary practices from India and beyond, in ways like never seen before

This is a one off extraordinary installation from British artist Bruce Monro featuring 50,000 lights on short stalks conceived to represent blooming desert flowers after rain

NEW YORK

ULURU, AUSTRALIA

NOW-DEC 20 20

20DEC 20

20JUN 20

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PANAJI GOA

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IN{entertainment} THE EVENTS AND THE EVENTFUL POP THE BUBBLY Having some champagne on stand-by is never a bad idea. It lifts up the spirit of the party and weaves in a touch of added chic.

10 WAYS TO HOST A LUXE PARTY How to host the most luxurious party, from the dream themes to showcasing the finest cutlery and most delectable varieties of food and drink, Isprava decodes it in style PICK A THEME Themed parties are always fun. Pick something your guests will enjoy, like a Black & White ball or a Great Gatsby gala.

I

f you’ve been itching to play host or show off your polished hostess skills, now’s as good a time as any! Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want an excuse to pull out your finest cutlery, it’s time to throw yourself (and your guests) a party that’s doused in all things luxe. Let team Isprava show you how it’s done, in 10 simple ways.

PHOTO CREATE

OPS

-worthy an Insta to in y mplete r part Turn you a photo area co me fun ith d so affair w drop an tzy back li g a h wit props.

GOOD FOOD Serve an entrée, main and dessert for a fancy, sit-down meal that’ll blow everyone away.

CHOOSE CANDLES Candles create a lovely ambience. Choose from statement candles to scented ones for that ethereal vibe.

FLOWERS FTW (FOR THE WIN) Beautiful flowers at the centre of the table or positioned in vases around your home is an excellent idea. Go for lilies or an all-white floral bouquet with hints of green for a minimalist bash.

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MELODIOUS MUSIC Create a playlist to match the vibe of your party instead of having a DJ. It’s far more personalised.

TOKENS OF LOVE CUTLERY CHOICES Use your best china if you’re hosting a tea party. We suggest going mismatched for that easybreezy, charming vibe. For ladies’ brunch, opt for marble platters and gold-edged spoons.

It’s always sweet to let your guests leave with a little something. Arrange for tiny boxes of chocolates or macarons or a scented candle each or some of Isprava’s lovely silver tips tea to hand out to your guests as they leave.

COCKTAIL HOUR Plenty of guests means plenty of alcohol. Add cocktails to the menu, so that everyone has something quirky to choose from.

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IN{food + travel} AROUND THE WORLD, ONE BITE AT A TIME

THE TABLE of culinary dreams

She has switched careers, jumped countries and hopped on to the entrepreneurial wagon, bringing her passion for food to fruition. In conversation with Gauri Devidayal on what it takes to be your own boss, and follow your own dreams

O

n first glance she seems demure, but insightful. Look closely enough and you see a spark in her eye that ignites every passion and dream she has. From reading law at university to achieving a chartered accountancy qualification in London. From spending the next nine years as a tax consultant with reputed companies like PwC and KPMG to today being on the way to building her own delicious food empire—Gauri Devidayal is a true inspiration. For those of you who do not know her, she is Isprava’s friend, and founder of everyone’s favourite South Bombay restaurant, The Table. How did it all begin? “When I met my husband Jay, he was toying with the idea of opening a restaurant inspired by San Francisco— where he lived for 15 years. My involvement was supposed to be limited to helping him with all the legal and financial aspects. The next thing I knew, I got more and more involved in the business, and today he and I jointly run our F&B company which now includes: two restaurants, a bakery, a culinary event space, a catering business and a farm”. Talk about impressive! But what’s really inspiring is the way Gauri loves being an entrepreneur. She truly em-

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braces it, with all its positives and challenges. She quips,“The thrill of taking risks, making decisions and seeing them translate into a successful outcome is inexplicable”. Being your own boss, apart from the thrills has its benefits too: it means you can venture into endeavours outside your typical day to day work. Gauri did just that with her engaging pod cast show that she recorded last year: about the making of a restaurant. She also gets to spend quality time with her 6-year-old daughter since she can be flexible about when and where she works from. But entrepreneurship has its set of challenges too. And making a switch from the corporate, structured lifestyle can be daunting. “I think the biggest challenge about moving from being an employee to a leader is that the buck stops at you. Earlier I had a boss to fall back on. Now I am that boss. One has to continuously be energised to motivate and guide the others.” Leaders do delegate, but what Gauri quickly understood is that she needed to know everything about everything, even when she wasn’t doing everything herself. From HR to finance, accounting to operations, from business development to PR and marketing—it is a steep learning curve, even if it’s in an industry you know of or have worked in. And that definitely wasn’t the case for Gauri, who moved from the world of finance to the extremely competitive culinary space. “Although I worked long hours even in my life as a tax consultant, the long hours you work as an entrepreneur come from taking on so much more responsibility and financial risk.” Does working with your husband make it any better? “Of course it sounded like a fun idea since we were newly wed and we were happy to spend all the time in the world together. But it also meant that we never really switched off from work, and it could sometimes be a challenge to separate the personal and the professional.” But if their flagship restaurant, The Table, is anything to go by—the power culinary couple are doing wonders! And it’s not just the amazing food and service, it’s about the entire experience that is promised to you from the moment you enter its doors. The Table was inspired by the food Gauri’s husband Jay was exposed to during the 15 years he lived in San Francisco. The idea was to create a casual yet chic space that momentarily made you forget where you were, and give you flavourful, ingredient-focused comfort food. Now it’s their

Farm to Table experience, curated by Gauri

ninth year of operations, and we think it is safe to say it’s won a place in the hearts of both seasoned and newbie foodies of the city. Besides its unique food and drink offerings which have always reigned in quality, it is the sustained sense of kind-hearted and intuitive hospitality that is one of the biggest reasons for the loyalty that has been garnered over the years. When asked about travel—Isprava’s favourite topic, Gauri quickly replies, “It is one of the things Jay and I latched onto about each other immediately—our love for travel. Most of our holidays revolve around food. We’re one of those couples, who as soon as the plan is made, and possibly even before flights and hotels are booked, restaurant reservations are on in full swing. Our travels have definitely inspired what we’ve done at our establishments, whether it is the cuisine, chefs who we’ve met and invited over, or the ingredients and even the crockery shopping!” Point noted. Our next trip is surely going to revolve around food! Is yours too?

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IN{food + travel} AROUND THE WORLD, ONE BITE AT A TIME with a well-aged porto wine! • Fish Reacheado, a dish prepared by slicing a cross section of the fish and stuffing it with red hot tangy chilli masala called ‘reacheado’. Reacheado itself is made from red chillies, spices, ginger, garlic and ground with malt vinegar. The fish is then pan fried. Natalia got so inspired by reacheado, that she created her own version: a black ink idly with reacheado squids and a yellow bell peppers mousse. Is your mouth watering yet? • Coconut puff pastry called Nevri. These sweet dumplings are made of flour and stuffed with coconut, sugar, poppy seeds, cardamom and almonds. Natalia gives us her stamp of approval on this divine indulgence! • Bolo Sans Rival—a Goan holiday cake that has no rivals—and its name says it all! This rich and delicate layered cake features butter cream, meringue, cashew nut and coconut sandwiched together in beautiful layers. You may have to go back a few generations to get any acknowledgement when you refer to this rectangular dessert. But the search will be worth it!

Indulging indigenously in GOA Goa is a land of many secrets, including its food. Spaniard Natalia Suarez, restaurant owner of Rare Republic and a nearly decade-long resident of Goa tells us about her many revelations over the years. From the best xacuti to how reacheado inspires new recipes at her home all the time

I

f you ever meet Natalia, you’ll fall in love with her personality as fast as you will with the food she promises you at her Siolim outpost, Rare Republic. But what’s even more intriguing is her profound appreciation for the flavours, textures and old-soul kind of food found in Goa. She confesses love-at-first-taste when it comes to these lesser-known Goan delicacies. Better still, she leaves behind all the crumbs to get you tempted for your next, imminent Goan culinary adventure. Natalia first moved to Goa in 2010 and instantly got hooked to its food scene. Back then it was predominant-

ly about traditional old soul Goan feasts jam packed with masalas influenced by the spices the Portuguese brought from Africa, Brazil and Portugal. Not much has changed when it comes to the flavourful masalas. And even today old-school delicacies shine bright in the kitchen, sometimes adjusted with minor nuances. But what has changed is the beat, tempo and magnitude of things. Nine years ago there would be a seldom few hotspots to eat at. Today however, Goa is revered as a foodies destination, for both the chef and the tourist, riddled with many brilliant restaurants, bars, cafes and even local street side spots. Natalia plans to add her new food studio to that list very soon. But right now she spills the beans on all things yummy.... Natalia’s favourite local delicacies decoded • Clams Xacuti featuring masala with star anise, cumin, green chillies and fresh coconut. Xacuti is a Goan masala with a unique blend of spices. This is also Natalia’s top dish for the perfectly balanced, and combined ingredients which gives it its incredibly unique taste. • Prawns Xeque Xeque featuring masala with tomatoes, chillies and coconut. You may not be able to pronounce xeque xeque, but Natalia ensures you will surely love it. This exotic dish goes well with another Goan speciality called Sannas— white fluffy bread made of coconut, finely ground rice flour mixed with toddy, fermented and then steamed! Wash it all down

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Natalia’s favourite street eateries and the things to have • Uncle Ji Bajis for fresh, home grown produce • Baba Ji in Mapusa for the home made puff pastry • Tedja for the fish curry and delicious clams • Amanzio in Siolim fish market for the xacuti • Hotel Sagar in Vagator for home made bhaji • Just Cafe Royale Panjim for afternoon tea

Natalia Suarez

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IN{food + travel} AROUND THE WORLD, ONE BITE AT A TIME

Pastry chef, author, entrepreneur, pod caster and founder of Le15 India, Pooja Dhingra is best known for her macarons and massive digital presence. With over 3 million followers, there is nothing this Le Cordon Bleu graduate cannot do!

1

y all-time . “It is m and was .. ru e P , in Lima s menu Central I tried the chef’ urse!” . o c favourite ay with each w a blown

2

Els Brancs in Roses, Spain... “This 1 Michelin Star restaurant is a true gem. Again, go for the chef’s menu and pair it with some wine.”

The best food trips to take in 2019 The queen of sweet, Pooja Dhingra points her nose and fixates her eyes on the world’s tastiest destinations and the most burgeoning foodie scenes of 2019. Follow her footsteps to indulge like never before...

The world’s tastiest destination then, now and forever more... “Paris! I love going back each year and discovering new influences and chefs in the city.” The food festivals to look forward to in 2019... “Pizzafest in Naples in July and the White Truffle Festival in Alba this November. Yummy!”

THE WORLD D N U RO A TS N RA U A ST RE THE TOP 5 AND WHAT TO ORDER ...

The last destination you travelled to purely for food... “Tokyo, Japan is another beloved food destination for me. It is the perfect blend between the East and the West.”

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e 15’s founder, master chef and super woman, Pooja Dhingra may put Paris on the top of her list when it comes to the world’s tastiest destination. But she also has many other drool-worthy picks under her chef’s hat, that you will absolutely love. Take note and start planning your indulgences around the world!

The international foods or ingredients you bring back with you... “I always look for interesting ingredients when I travel. My suitcase comes back full of things I find in small grocery stores. I love scouring and collecting spices, teas, coffees and salts.” The foodie destination of the future is... “Asia! The trend is steadily moving from Europe to the East. Whether its Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, Seoul or even Mumbai—these cities are getting to shine in the international spotlight for their diverse range in food and flavours.”

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Nomad in New York, USA... “Order the truffle and chicken and end with the milk and honey dessert—you won’t be sorry”

Indian Accent in New Delhi, India... “I am one of Chef Manish’s biggest fans. And this is my go-to restaurant when I am in Delhi.”

Iwai Tempura in Tokyo, Japan... “This ten-seater tempura restaurant changed the way I see tempura. Don’t leave without trying the Uni tempura here—it is life-changing!”

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IN{food + travel} LUXURY, SPELLED OUT… City life can tire you out. It’s only when you’re constantly living stifled by exhaust fumes and dust that you realize, you need a break. And there’s no better escape than setting off to Alibaug. Cleaner air, quiet waters and a life that’s more sedate. We all need a bit of that at some point. And Alibaug, with its infectious charm, sprawling beaches, happier locals and cozy vibe, promises all of that, and then some. ARCHITECTURAL JEWELS… This magical coastal town is simply spilling over with hidden architectural marvels, if you know where to look! Expect everything from quaint, fairy-tale like cottages with wraparound porches and potted plants to grand structures, complete with large windows open to the stunning views, high ceilings and antique furniture.

PICNICS BY THE BEACH… There’s something truly enchanting about a picnic. Even more so when it’s done by the beach. Kihim Beach, which lies 11 kms from Alibaug, is a great choice. Its long stretch of white sand interspersed with eclectic farmhouses and lush foliage is a great spot for an intimate sit-down meal as you watch the waves roll by. Akshi beach is also an option, lined as it is with gorgeous casuarina trees. We suggest carrying fruits, dainty sandwiches, cold salads and flaky muffins for a sweet, finishing touch.

ILLUSTRATED BY MALEKA SHAH PATEL @thewanderink

AROUND THE WORLD, ONE BITE AT A TIME STAY WITH ISPRAVA… Isprava is soon bringing to Alibaug a dose of luxury living. So, until we finally do arrive on its shores, keep following us for timely updates. THE BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS AROUND… In the mood for some adventure? Explore Alibaug’s neighbouring beauties, filled with plenty to absorb. Sasawane, one of the finest addresses around, is just 10 minutes from

the jetty. While Kihim Beach promises white sands, Kashid is where some of the most lavish beachfront estates are found. So take your pick! IT REMINDS US OF… This beautiful town takes us back to the blissful environs of Goa. The vibe though, definitely reflects that of The Hamptons—just a sleepier, quainter and more rustic version of it. WHAT WE LOVE MOST ABOUT IT… How it’s like a tiny slice of home. It’s not too far away from the city either, making impromptu trips an absolute breeze. Also, it has the friendliest locals! IF YOU WANT TO INDULGE… Just as you walk away from the Mandwa Jetty, you will stumble upon Boardwalk by Flamboyante—we hear they have the most epic brunches!

WHERE THE JET-SET UNWINDS… Alibaug’s bountiful beauty draws to it the city’s most celebrated stars. It’s a peaceful town and a little haven in itself, making it the perfect place for celebrities to escape the chaos of city life. From renowned writers to the most wellloved and noteworthy actors, a visit to Alibaug might just include a quick glimpse or two of your favourite stars. UNMISSABLE STOPS… Enchanting beaches and majestic forts aside, Alibaug can often surprise you with some unique offerings. D Samson’s Soda Shop is one such place. Established way back in 1938, here’s where you can stop by to choose from their array of refreshing fizzy soda drinks. We recommend indulging in a delicious ice-cream soda. Lunch on the other hand, deserves to be a large thali filled with Konkani-style preparations from Hotel Sanman, Israil Lane.

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The LUXE life

Inspirational. Whimsical. Blissful. Alibaug is all of that and more. If an escape from dreary city living is not reason enough to visit, Isprava gives you 10 more…

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IN{food + travel} AROUND THE WORLD, ONE BITE AT A TIME

When all roads led to GOA Moving from city life to sit by the ocean days and nights, Isprava talks to Anjali Mody, owner of the boutique, AND SO, on business, life and dreams coming true in Goa

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he left the city of Mumbai for a better life. All roads led to Goa. Anjali Mody, owner of decor boutique AND SO realised a life immersed in nature was the way to live happiest. And so, she left her hectic lifestyle in the city for calmer, cooler pastures. “After a holiday to Ubud in 2017, I realised being around nature played a very big role in how I felt through the day. It soon became a craving, and while it took a year to expand my business to Goa, looking back, these last two years here have passed like the wind, and I can safely say that a simpler life is a happier life.” quips Anjali.

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Much like the simple lifestyle in Goa, Anjali’s boutique AND SO has a philosophy that is simple: to curate well designed, well made products under one roof that tell a strong story and are within reach. This need became clear to the entrepreneur when she was executing interior design projects in Mumbai and Delhi about 5 years ago. “I had to have my team run from one end of the city to the other, just to find a good pair of towels. That’s when I thought to myself, there just has to be a better way of doing this. I dreamed of a spot that had everything you could possibly need for a home, or a restaurant or even a hotel. A place that was one central spot for good Indian products, and that were well priced and well made. And voila, one year later that dream manifested in AND SO”, recalls Anjali. The Goa outpost is located in Porvorim, in the heart of the city. Anjali got the opportunity to open up a large space in Goa, and she couldn’t have grabbed it at a more perfect time. Goa was transforming into a trendy spot to buy a home or invest in luxury holiday homes. And at the end of the day, every home needs furniture—AND SO became and continues to be the only boutique in Goa that has everything under one roof! Her goal is to garner the interests of the emerging “woke” generation in India, who are becoming increasingly conscious of their choices. Those who are in constant search for products that speak to them, and in turn tell their story. Goa inspires the young maverick in many ways. “Goa gives me space to think. That in itself creates a stage for inspiration everyday. I am inspired by people, the way Gelato sits on a cone, the way leaves overlap a lamp post in the wee hours of the morning. It is a wide canvas that keeps changing colours”, says Anjali. She believes that putting your head down and doing the work is the true essence of dedication. And she is confident that her time in Goa will teach her the value of good friendships, clarity of thought along with an upward and unwavering trajectory. The dream? “ With the launch of my 30,000 sq ft furniture factory in Pilerne, Goa, this will mark the beginning of greater things to come for AND SO. I want AND SO to become a household name in India, and be remembered as a company that brought the life of craftsmanship back to India through Goa.” When it comes to her love for Goa, her rea-

AND SO, Goa

sons will tempt any next person, looking for an escape. She loves Goa for the fact that it allows her to control the pace at which she operates. “Unlike a city, it is as hectic as you make it. And that joy of being able to control the decisions you make on a day-today basis is liberating.” She spends Sundays on the beach with her husband, friends and two dogs—and it is this one single day, close to the ocean, soaking in the sun, and appreciating how lucky she is that really seals the deal for her each time. We know this feeling. Do you? Come on over to Goa, and experience its splendour at an Isprava villa of your choice. Just like Anjali, you may never want to go back to your city home.

Anjali’s home in Goa

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IN{food + travel} AROUND THE WORLD, ONE BITE AT A TIME

DON’T JUST SEE, LISTEN TOO

On the outskirts of Kyoto, Maleka arrived at the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The ethereal glow and seemingly endless heights of this bamboo grove extends even beyond the visual realm. In 1996, the Ministry of Environment included the sounds you hear here like wood creaking, leaves rustling as one of the top 100 soundscapes of Japan!

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INDULGE, EVEN ON A SUPERTRAIN

You can indulge in some great food in Japan, literally anywhere and everywhere! Even on a super train, with a bento box-a compartmentalised packaged food box for train passengers. With options like chicken teriyaki, wagyu, sushi and octopus, the boxes have different flavours and sides and you can choose them to your preference. These boxes are so popular that people even collect some limited edition bento boxes!

BUT BEWARE THE CRAB STICKS

JAPAN, from the sights to the sea food, through the lens of an illustrator Maleka Shah Patel, a young, self-made millennial artist who loves travel as much as she loves her food gives us a peek inside her delectable and divine Japan trip, one illustration at a time.

From living in a pod to catching-bychance a season of pretty cherry blossom petals, from delicious bento boxes on super trains to eating on the streets. From tattoos to tasty treats, Japan is a land of many things beautiful and all things delicious. Maleka and her husband traversed across the lands of Japan, indulging every step of the way. Get inspired to indulge.

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They are not simply crabs on a stick. It is in fact a pulverised white fish called Surimi on a stick. This fish is rubbery in texture, tastes gooey like a harder form of jello and is a mixture of many things, mainly squid balls. Once you dodge that “delicacy”, Maleka ensures there is plenty of sea food to devour at Nishiki market. With a menu of options like salmon, tuna, sea urchin, eel (also called unagi), baby dried fish, red snapper, bonito, fresh-shucked oysters, clams and squid, you have an ocean of opportunity.

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EAT IN JAPAN’S FOOD CAPITAL—OSAKA!

At Dotonbori Street, you’ll chow everything down like a champ. Especially if you’re a fan of octopus. Maleka had one of her most unique food experiences here when she walked into a place with a massive octopus hanging on its outside wall—symbolic of it being famous for its takoyaki. She couldn’t resist this Osaka street food speciality: octopus pan fried in wheat flour, moulded into ball-shaped bites and topped off with pickled ginger, green onions, mayonnaise, thin dried flakes of bonito (dried fish) and some takoyaki sauce.→

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IN{food + travel} AROUND THE WORLD, ONE BITE AT A TIME

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SPOT THE ELUSIVE GEISHA

The travelling duo even spotted a geisha in Kyoto. With only about 1000 original geishas left, spotting one can be a real chance encounter. Geishas are known to be shy and do not like being seen. Maleka spotted one at 5:45pm, in Gion in Kyoto, in the small window when they usually leave for their tea party.

MALEKA’S ITINERARY Maleka’s Japan itinerary in a snapshot.

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FOR YOUR INSTAGRAM, AND TASTEBUDS

Don’t leave Nishiki market without having the salmon on rice with hot green tea poured over it, a soya bean soft serve, the most addictive hot soy milk doughnuts and your fill of white strawberries. Try all things matcha: cake, cookies, chocolate, beer and some cherry blossom ice cream washed down with a sweet and flowery sakura beer—so exotic and all so instagram-worthy!

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A MUST VISIT MARKET

Nishiki market, an unforgettable food heaven in Kyoto. Without even trying, you could easily spend an entire afternoon eating your way through the 400-year-old walking-eating street, which occupies six blocks in the middle of downtown. Think limitless skewers of beef, shrimp, honey glazed octopus with quail eggs—a speciality you can’t leave without trying.

MICHELIN-GUIDE DELICACIES, YES PLEASE

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RAMEN FROM A VENDING MACHINE

Maleka’s most enjoyable ramen tryst was at the ramen vending machine restaurant called Ichiran. How it works: Insert some money > Pick a base ramen > Pick toppings like egg, green onion, garlic, sea weed, extra noodles, mushrooms, etc > Then you will be taken to a booth that sits one > You are then given a sheet to circle off your preferences of dashi flavours, spice levels, whether you want pork or not, noodle texture (medium, firm, soft, extra soft, extra firm) > You are given an egg with a shell, which you crack open, and then indulge! > Inside your booth there is a red button for more toppings and a green button to indicate you are finished. You have absolutely no interaction with the server.

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CAPTURE IF YOU’RE SO LUCKY

Another treasure to find here is at Mizuno, a Michelin star restaurant. Order the Okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake, made with noodles, sea food, chicken and some really eccentric toppings like: mayonnaise, chilli sauce, sea weed powder, egg, kimchi and more.

A RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER

The Ryokan Samurai restaurant experience is remarkable. Ryokans are traditional Japanese homes which have been converted into restaurants, yet retain the age-old traditions and culture. You are even asked to sit on the floor and eat! And there are plenty of vegetarian made to order options available here as well.

Maleka was lucky enough to catch the cherry blossom season, also known as Sakura, even though it was scheduled to arrive a little early this year. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful moment in Japan and they got to witness it from the Chureito Pagoda, a five storied pagoda part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine on the mountainside, overlooking Mt Fuji in the distance.

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HOWEVER, FOR VEGETARIANS

There is a Wendy’s at the end of the Nishiki market street, but you can also find tofu dishes, vegetable tempura and edamame almost anywhere.

For more information about Maleka and her work, visit her on Instagram @thewanderink

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IN{collection}

TOP

COLLECTING THINGS AND MEMORIES

FAVOURITES...

That statement belt, Valentino Go

Isprava asked the bi ggest lifestyle influe ncers around town who also happen to be some of Isprava’s closest fr iends, their top favo urites SUMMIYYA PATNI,

Scarf, Burberry

Stylish wallet, Prada

Elegant bracelet, Van Cleef & Arpels’ signature four leaf clover shaped charm

HOUSE OF MISU Your favourite destination: Cape Town and Paris Your favourite cuisine: Asian Your favourite adventure: An African Safari Your favourite view: Serene blue waters or snow capped mountains Your favourite fashion capital: Paris Your favourite mode of travel: By air Your favourite travel gadget: Head phones to keep me company on long flights Your favourite restaurant: La Colombo in Cape Town Your favourite Isprava home: Villa Loto Bianco, Goa

MITALI SAGAR,

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S E I R O S S E C C A Y R U X U L e v o L TO a touch of d d a t a th a bits Those extr to your life… luxe

Card holder, Mulberry logo slip cardholder

Loveable loafers, Tod’s A classic timepiece, Cartier

A dainty ring, Chanel’s Coco Crush

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HOUSE OF MISU Your favourite destination: Italy Your favourite cuisine: Chinese Your favourite adventure: Anything related to the sea: snorkelling, boat trips, diving, you name it! Your favourite view: Below the surface of the sea Your favourite fashion capital: They are all so different, but probably Florence and Paris right now Your favourite mode of travel: Teleportation, but when that doesn’t work, by air Your favourite travel gadget: My iPhone and wireless airpods Your favourite restaurant: Hard to pick! But if I had to, Zass in the Amalfi Coast Your favourite Isprava home: Villa Loto Bianco, Goa

PRIYA SHAH,

LUXURY INFLUENCER Your favourite destination: Bangkok Your favourite cuisine: Chines e Your favourite adventure: The journey of life Your favourite view: Watchi ng the sunset from my room Your favourite fashion capital : Milan Your favourite mode of trav el: By air Your favourite travel gadget : iPad Your favourite restaurant: The original China Garden and Piano Bar Lyon Your favourite Isprava hom e: Gleneagle Estate, Kotagiri

DIVIA THANI,

EDITOR, CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER Your favourite destination: South Africa and Rajasthan Your favourite cuisine: Asian Your favourite adventure: Shark cage diving in South Africa MASABA GUPTA, (at the end of which, we discovered our cage was left open!) FASHION DESIGNER But nothing is more exciting to me than safaris--In Tanzania I Your favourite destination: watched two kills simultaneously, a mere five feet from each The Caribbean other Your favourite cuisine: Mexica Your favourite view: Looking out at my private infinity pool n Your favourite adventure: Ho over a clear blue sea, nothing beats the Maldives for that! t Air Balloon ride in Masai Mara Your favourite fashion capital: Paris! Style is so innate Your favourite view: All roo there ftop bars in New York Your favourite mode of travel: Flying! I never use WiFi on Your favourite fashion capital a flight--I just take time to read, watch TV shows and sleep : London Your favourite mode of trav Your favourite travel gadget: My iPhone. a Logitech iPad el: Planes Your favourite travel gadget Mini case that doubles up as a bluetooth keyboard and : My earphones and Go Pro my Bose noise cancelling headphones Your favourite restaurant: Yau Your favourite restaurant: This is almost impossible to atcha Your favourite Isprava hom answer: but in my home town Mumbai I most often visit: e: Villa Branco, Goa The Table, Bombay Canteen and O Pedro Your favourite Isprava home: Not been yet, but can’t wait until I do experience it THE ISPRAVA INSIDER 2019 | VOLUME TWO | www.isprava.com 81


IN{collection}

Be cheeky, Benefit GOGO Tint

COLLECTING THINGS AND MEMORIES

Foundation perfect, NARS Concealer

The ultimate fanny pack, Gucci Portable speakers and headphones, Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II

For your face, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Featherweight sneaks, Adidas Yeezys

Dry shampoo, IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo

Oversized hat, Lola Hats

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Bronzer to get, Becca Bronzed Bondi

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

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S K C I P BEAUTY

For your lips, Chanel Healthy Glow

t of ith the bes w l fu ti u a e be y Be bold, b ld of vanit r o w e th the rest in

The things to make sure your travel experience is a little easier but very stylish…

To stay charged, Native Union charging cable

A pair of classic shades, Ray-Ban Wayfarers Smart packing, Louis Vuitton

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For a clean and fresh look, La Roche- Posay Clarifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes Brush brilliance, Sephora Makeup Match Full Coverage Brush Set

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IN{collection} COLLECTING THINGS AND MEMORIES

THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES ISPRAVA They came, they saw, they loved. Isprava guests and their best Isprava memories

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