The Colourful House – By the daughter of the colour blind father

I like how furniture can set the tone of the home. I love the way you can transform a dull home to a vibrant place with the right colors and the right furniture. Furniture complements a house. Everytime I walk into Ikea, the interior designer in me springs to life, and my mind buzzes with possibilities.

Here is my pet peeve – the interior of my parents beautiful home never looks good in my eyes because of the ghastly furniture. Bookshelves littering the house, each one a different colour, dimension and size! Unnecessary tables, that once served their purpose.
I sound harsh, you may think, but what house boasts of a green dining table, with a pink stool near a maroon fridge? Which house boasts of 3 sky blue almirahs, sharing the wall with a yellow shelf (70 by 30) and a parrot green shelf (65 by 40)? Oh, and I did forget to mention the bright blue tiny almirah with a white archaic typewriter on it!
The furniture was not always like this – our house did have stately furniture at one time. The furniture grew old, as it is expected to after 30 years. The sheen was gone. One day my father called in a handyman and handed him our dining table, and asked him to relaminate it. “What colour sir?” asked the man innocently, and my father assured him that he left it to his fine
judgement, and any colour was okay with him. The handyman left with a sense of satisfaction – he liked green, but none of his customers seemed to have an eye for green table-tops. Secondly, the table wasn’t going to live in HIS house – and that my friends is the story behind the green table-top!

One would think that this bad experience would have shaken his trust in humanity, and subsequent furniture transactions would be handled with more care. This is where you under-estimate my father. He may be a whiz-kid with stocks, never once making the same
error in reading the balance sheet, but when it comes to furniture, “Egregious” is the word I would choose.

He had our house painted, and while at it had another idea – why not paint the pale shelves? He asked the painter about the colours he had remaining. “From the painting of this house sir?”, he asked, his face dripping with innocence. My father was taken in by this simple soul who was willing to give away paint that he had remaining from other jobs. He flushed, and told him to use any paint he may have remaining.

The painter and the aforesaid handy-man were thick pals no doubt, and the handy-man had probably thrown a drink on the house at the local pub that he had gotten rid of his green laminate. The painter not to be out-done used his bright pink paint on the stool, parrot green on one shelf, bright yellow on the other shelf, bright blue on the small almirah. Word is that the local drunkards had a party unheard of in the parallels of Uppilipalayam town Panchayat – it was all on the house, paid for by the painter.

This is how the house looked after the dining table and paint jobs:

The sky-blue colour cupboards have another story. Appalled at the uncanny choice of colours by the benign painter, my father decided to normalize the equations by painting the remaining almirahs the same colour (his favourite colour: sky blue)
So, that’s how our house looks now.


Now, please tell me your impressions of this house’s furniture, and join me in my appeal to have the book shelves replaced with woodwork for Phase 1.
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The Colourful House – By the daughter of the colour blind father

I like how furniture can set the tone of the home. I love the way you can transform a dull home to a vibrant place with the right colors and the right furniture. Furniture complements a house. Everytime I walk into Ikea, the interior designer in me springs to life, and my mind buzzes with possibilities.

Here is my pet peeve – the interior of my parents beautiful home never looks good in my eyes because of the ghastly furniture. Bookshelves littering the house, each one a different colour, dimension and size! Unnecessary tables, that once served their purpose.
I sound harsh, you may think, but what house boasts of a green dining table, with a pink stool near a maroon fridge? Which house boasts of 3 sky blue almirahs, sharing the wall with a yellow shelf (70 by 30) and a parrot green shelf (65 by 40)? Oh, and I did forget to mention the bright blue tiny almirah with a white archaic typewriter on it!
The furniture was not always like this – our house did have stately furniture at one time. The furniture grew old, as it is expected to after 30 years. The sheen was gone. One day my father called in a handyman and handed him our dining table, and asked him to relaminate it. “What colour sir?” asked the man innocently, and my father assured him that he left it to his fine
judgement, and any colour was okay with him. The handyman left with a sense of satisfaction – he liked green, but none of his customers seemed to have an eye for green table-tops. Secondly, the table wasn’t going to live in HIS house – and that my friends is the story behind the green table-top!

One would think that this bad experience would have shaken his trust in humanity, and subsequent furniture transactions would be handled with more care. This is where you under-estimate my father. He may be a whiz-kid with stocks, never once making the same
error in reading the balance sheet, but when it comes to furniture, “Egregious” is the word I would choose.

He had our house painted, and while at it had another idea – why not paint the pale shelves? He asked the painter about the colours he had remaining. “From the painting of this house sir?”, he asked, his face dripping with innocence. My father was taken in by this simple soul who was willing to give away paint that he had remaining from other jobs. He flushed, and told him to use any paint he may have remaining.

The painter and the aforesaid handy-man were thick pals no doubt, and the handy-man had probably thrown a drink on the house at the local pub that he had gotten rid of his green laminate. The painter not to be out-done used his bright pink paint on the stool, parrot green on one shelf, bright yellow on the other shelf, bright blue on the small almirah. Word is that the local drunkards had a party unheard of in the parallels of Uppilipalayam town Panchayat – it was all on the house, paid for by the painter.

This is how the house looked after the dining table and paint jobs:

The sky-blue colour cupboards have another story. Appalled at the uncanny choice of colours by the benign painter, my father decided to normalize the equations by painting the remaining almirahs the same colour (his favourite colour: sky blue)
So, that’s how our house looks now.


Now, please tell me your impressions of this house’s furniture, and join me in my appeal to have the book shelves replaced with woodwork for Phase 1.

India Trip: Food

I know why Indians are a religious lot. I know why we pride ourselves on being a secular nation. We love food. We have many festivals, all of them involving a special culinary adventure. I have heard various statements relating to food in my life, and some award winning statements bring a smile to my face everytime without fail.
1) Oriyas eat a lot of sweets, but nobody gets Diabetes.
2) Parattas without ghee is like a king without a crown.
3) Any food made as an offering to God, if consumed does not result in weight gain.

The third statement explains why we first offer everything to God, and then eat. Any undesirable effect the food may possess is negated when it is taken with God’s blessings. I have an aunt (bless her), who came to stay with us for a while. This was the period when my mother was posted in a different place, and having this Aunt around was helpful in many ways. When she left for her hometown, we waved her good-bye wearing pants two sizes larger, and had gone in for a sturdier vehicle to support our weight. We attributed the new vehicle to a better financial position, and did not try to tick off God by saying the extra weight from his offerings caused the previous vehicle to break down under the strain of the extra fat!

Back to my India trip: We dedicated one evening to the delights of Delhi – we crammed in Moomos (steamed vegetable rice cake – nope not vegetable idli, this one had spring vegetables stuffed in maida flour. I shall try making this one, and post the recipe soon), and Pani Puri followed by a round of parattas fit for a crown wearing king. We then crammed ourselves into the car with a driver who was slightly intoxicated with the food, and drove home using the safety rules outlined in the previous post.

By the end of the trip, my tongue was begging for respite. I love the flavours of good food, and had many a good meal at the hands of friends and relatives – Thank you all, now will you please help me stand up?

Traffic (absolutely) Rules in Delhi!

We had been to India for a glorious vacation. This time we travelled a bitĀ apart from the customary visits to relatives, and making polite noises over coffee. We had been to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur in the first week. During my stay in Delhi, we travelled a lot by car, and it gave me a chance to observe the traffic.
Here are some traffic rules you might find useful in Delhi.

1) When you have trouble deciding whether you want to turn right or left, switch on the emergency blinker. This will warn other vehicles on the road, that you may turn right or left, and the onus to keep safe shifts to the other vehicles on the road. I find this most helpful, since both sides blink when the emergency blinker is on.

2) Stopping at red lights is considered belittling, and your driving capabilities are scoffed at by other drivers. While driving through red lights, it is prudent to sound your horn.

3) There are atmost three signals in a radius of 25 km where you really need to stop at red lights, and any localite could enlighten you about which ones to stop at for a red light. At such signals, please do not make yourself an object of ridicule by stopping before the line. When you do stop, you need to stop almost midway through the signal – that alone gives you the power to surge ahead before the light turns green.

4) Parking is a right – you may park alongside the curb (not cool!), or in the middle of the road, sideways perferably hindering other traffic. It does not matter as long it is not a very busy road. If it is a very busy road, the only risk you run is getting shouted at more vehemently. There was a time when I found a camel drawn carriage parked sideways on the National Highway. Many times, I found lorries parked diagonally across the road, since that was the most convenient method to unload the goods at the back. Traffic found a way of needling along despite this.

5) While it is useful for the car driver to have a clear view of the road, it is more useful for the vehicle to transport as many people as possible from point A to B. I saw various instances where there were 5 adults sitting in the front seat of a car. Unfortunately, I did not have time to count the number of children. I am assuming the gear change is achieved using a complex rhythm that involves nudging the correct individuals for gear shift. Push Bunty for gear 3, pull Bablee for reverse gear etc.

6) Roads are built for the convenience of the users. Rules are an unnecessary hinderance. For example, if there is a divider on the road built with the intention of having the left side for traffic flowing east, and the other side for west flowing traffic, it does not mean that east flowing traffic has to use the left half and the west flowing traffic has to use the right half. Since the right half is more appealing, all traffic can use the right half, leaving the left half free for parking vegetable vendor carts, and chaat carts.

7) Animals on the roads are not restricted to dogs, buffaloes and cows. Camels and elephants are a common enough sight. So much so that my daughter started asking to see tigers on the road! I couldn’t help laughing at her question when we showed her the Delhi zoo as we passed it. Her mind buzzed for a fraction of a second and quipped “Why?”

8) Rear view mirrors are meant to be folded in, lest they get damaged by other vehicles on the road. You can use other mechanisms such as asking folks in your car to look out, or simply turn your head in all directions everytime you want to make a turn.

A pat on the back to my brother and brother-in-law who drove us all around safely in Delhi. It is far more difficult than we imagine!