The Khyber Gulmarg- If You are Looking for Luxury

By Mridula on October 20, 2014
in Food, Hotels, Jammu and Kashmir, Photography

The Khyber Gulmarg is luxury in every way. I have now stayed with them twice and I felt thoroughly pampered on both (I was invited on the trips) the occasions. I was there in March 2013 and then in September 2014. On the recent trip one member of our team remarked- this looks like a luxury resort in European Alps.

The Khyber, Gulmarg

The Khyber, Gulmarg

As I have not stayed in a luxury resort in Alps, I cannot vouch, but then you get the general idea. This was the view from the balcony of my room. In March, the entire green area was white, as it was covered in snow.

Khyber, Gulmarg

Fruits at the Breakfast Table

There are things that have not changed since March 2013, like their excellent breakfast spread. They have much more beyond the fruit bowl, I am trying to encourage you to eat healthy by posting this photo. I personally love their South Indian spread.

The Heated Swimming Pool, Khyber, Gulmarg

The Heated Swimming Pool, Khyber, Gulmarg

But if you indulged in food right from the breakfast, do work it off in the all weather heated swimming pool. I managed to take a quick dip and then indulge in the Jacuzzi. This is a new addition, the swimming pool was being constructed in 2013. Two other additions are the spa and the gym. I have tried the spa and it is amazing, I could not check out the gym though.

Kashmiri Food

Kashmiri Food

The Khyber does excellent Kashmiri food. I love their nadru (lotus stem) but I am told that I miss out on a lot of good stuff by being a vegetarian. The saag and the paneer were also excellent. So, in relation to the food, the gym and the swimming pool are excellent additions, the guests need them!

My Room at the Khyber, Gulmarg

My Room at the Khyber, Gulmarg

This was my room at the Khyber and it was lovely. The rooms are heated. My March visit was pleasant in large measures because my room was heated. Otherwise it was way too cold. So, if you are looking for luxury in Gulmarg, you know where to go.

However, in September 2014, J&K was badly flooded. Even though Gulmarg was never affected and it is now ready to receive visitors, many would cancel the bookings and it is understandable. The resort is ready to receive visitors. The connecting roads are open. As I said when I visited Uttarakhand after the floods that if you wish to make a contribution, supporting tourism is one of the ways. Give it a thought.

Sky Watch Friday- 7 Pictures from 7 Trips

By Mridula on October 17, 2014
in Photography, Sky Watch

For today’s Sky Watch Friday I decided to post seven pictures from the seven overseas trips I did this year.

Levi, Lapland 

Levi, Lapland

Snow at Levi, Lapland

This was March in Levi, so beautiful, so surreal and for me, so cold. After looking at the snow and the temperatures,I totally understand the sauna craze in Finland. You need good central heating and sauna if March looks like this!

Fihalhohi Island, Maldives

Fihalhohi Island Resort, Maldives

Fihalhohi Island, Maldives

What do I say about Maldives, I truly loved it, the blue skies, the white sands and the many shades of blue in the water. It was sheer bliss.

Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

Hand of Hercules at Amman Citadel

The giant hand in this picture is said to be a fragment of the statue of Hercules that used to stand at the citadel in Amman! Going by the size of the hand, it must have been a gigantic structure! When I visited Jordan in May, it had lovely blue skies and a mild weather!

Sala Khao Yai, Thailand

Sala Khao Yai, Thailand

Sala Khao Yai, Thailand

I have made two beautiful trips to Thailand this year, so far! This is a resort named Sala Kaho Yai in the Khao Yai region, which is 2.5 hours from Bangkok. We stopped there for lunch. To me it looked like a beautiful place for couples and honeymooners!

Halo Round the Sun, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Halo Round the Sun, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Halo Round the Sun, Grand Palace, Bangkok

I witnessed the halo round the sun at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, on my second visit this year. The more I see of Thailand, the more I like it.

Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

Tiger's Nest, Bhutan

Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

Then I visited Bhutan and in this picture you see the amazing Tiger’s Nest perched impossibly on a cliff’s edge in Paro. The hike to the monastery was also quite memorable. The clouds you see, actually poured on us for a while!

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong was the cutest trip of this year as I took my niece and my daughter on their first trip abroad! Photography mainly took a back seat but there were rare opportunities like this to get a few pictures as well.

So, these are my 7 pictures from the 7 overseas trips in 2014 for today’s Sky Watch. Hope you enjoyed watching them!

Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

By Mridula on October 15, 2014
in Bhutan, Hotels, Photography

I have stayed at many beautiful hotels this year and I have hardly written about any of them! It is time to set it right and I start with the beautiful Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu. What blew me completely away was its location! It is right next to the Thimphu River.

View from the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

View from the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

The small concrete path that you see in this picture is part of the Terma Linca Resort. It is this close to Thimphu River. I managed to walk twice along this path and enjoy the serene atmosphere by the river.

The Room at the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

The Room at the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

I had this huge room to myself. From the window I could see tall sunflowers and the Thimphu River. It was a comfortable room, with  good supply of tea and coffee. The bathroom had a bath tub as well. By my standards this was surely a five star property but the actual rating is four star as it does not have a swimming pool. But then in Bhutan the weather is not too conducive to having a swimming pool.

Beautiful Spaces, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

Beautiful Spaces, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

My walks took me to the edge of the resort and I found this beautiful nook which was running amok with yellow wild flowers. How I wanted to have a meal on these benches but I never found time!

A Table in the Weeping Willow, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

A Table in the Weeping Willow, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

There was a huge weeping willow tree in the premises and they set  cozy table in the hollow of it. This was my absolute favorite corner in the entire hotel. How I wish I at least managed a cup of coffee along with a book here. I did sit down quietly on one of the chairs for a few minutes before I was required elsewhere!

Sunflowers at Terma Linca, Thimphu, Bhutan

Sunflowers at Terma Linca, Thimphu, Bhutan

This is the close up of the view from my room and it was absolutely gorgeous! There was a bench in front of this spot too. I did manage to sit here for a while and just listen to the river flowing by. Terma Linca is a gorgeous property and if you are looking for a hotel away from the city, look no further!

Terma Linca Resort is part of the Makemytrip’s Premium Bhutan Package. I was invited by Makemytrip to Bhutan.

 

Grand Palace Bangkok

By Mridula on October 14, 2014
in Photography, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok is a prime tourist attraction. The palace was built in about 1782. However the current king does not reside here, but the palace is used for royal functions.

However, in this post I am going to give you the true insight into how I approach history and monuments! If I research the web, I can give you an educated account. But this piece is a good example of how I really write about history. Be warned!

10. Apsaras on the Ground

Grand Palace

An Apsara on the Grounds

Our guide Joe was pointing out the similarities between Hindu mythology and the figures depicted in the Grand Palace Complex. So, this was an Apsara and we who are familiar with Hindu mythology know what it means!

09. Nagas

Nagas at the Grand Palace, Bamgkok

Nagas at the Grand Palace, Bamgkok

I can’t exactly remember what convoluted explain was given to me about the nagas. I was told they were like dragon only they could not fly or something like that. I remarked that they look like snakes! And then my guide pointed out that they call them nagas too! of course we understand nagas but he pointed out rightly that the rest of the world didn’t!

08. Giant Yakshas

The Giant Yaksha

The Giant Yaksha

If you would ask me, the Yakshas are my favorite figures among all that I see in a Thai temples and palaces. They are the protectors of the place, standing tall right at the gates. And even though they look fierce they never really look scary, at least not to me!

07. Murals on the Walls

Murals on the Wall, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Murals on the Wall, Grand Palace, Bangkok

The walls of the Grand Palace depict grand murals both from Buddhism and Hinduism. If I remember correctly the Hindu murals are related to the Ramayana. Now I wonder why my mind develops a dense fog around historical details!

06. Golden Guards on the Walls of the Emerald Buddha

Golden Guards of the Emerald Buddha

Golden Guards of the Emerald Buddha

I know there has to be a mythical story behind these guards. But guess what I liked them for? They make for an excellent spot for photography, whether you want to get clicked or simply click the scene.

05. The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Emerald Buddha is a magnificent site. You can not do photography in the main pavilion. So I took out my zoom and clicked this picture from a distance. The Buddha is wearing his autumn attire in this picture. The clothes are changed according to the season in a royal ceremony.

04. The Shoe of the Giant Yaksha

The Shoe of the Giant Yaksha

The Shoe of the Giant Yaksha

I said before that I do not found the yakshas scary and I found there shoes positively cute. The color combination of green, blue and yellow looks so beautiful as well.

03. The Grand Structures

Grand Palace, Bangkok

Majestic Structures at the Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace is a collection of beautiful structures. It was quite difficult to get the scale in a single frame even after using a wide angle lens.

02. A Golden Pagoda

A Golden Pagoda, Grand Palace, Bangkok

A Golden Pagoda, Grand Palace, Bangkok

There are many golden pagodas within the complex. one of them is particularly huge. The smaller ones are said to contain the ashes of the royal ancestors.

01. The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

This is a partial view of the Grand Palace. I think the best view of the whole building is from the Chao Phraya river as it gives a bird eye view of the entire majestic structure.

Now that you have slogged through the post, you can see why I do not readily write about monuments. I somehow gloss over all the details and remember only a small bit of everything I saw. Now give me a trek and I would remember everything! But even through my muddle account, you will have agree that it is a beautiful place!

 

 

 

 

Sony Xperia Z3- First Impressions

By Mridula on October 13, 2014
in Cell phone photography, Photography, Sony Xperia Z3

My new phone is a Sony Xperia Z3. It took me a while to start using it as it would take a nano sim whereas I had a micro sim. But that is sorted now through the collective wisdom of my friends on Facebook. So here is what I have to say about the phone.

Sony Xperia Z3

Mom Look I can Multitask too!

Look and Feel: Sony Xperia Z3 is the biggest phone in size that I have used till date. And yet it is comfortable to hold. The surfaces are smooth and yet I never got a feeling that it would slip out of my hands. I have the white color phone and it looks elegant.

Camera: I don’t know when it happened but gradually for me the most important feature of a cell phone became its camera! There was a time when I used to carry a point and shoot for taking quick pictures but I now do it with my phone. Xperia Z3 has a 20.7 megapixel camera which in my opinion is quite adequate, after all I do not blow up my pictures in large sizes, say for a hoarding.

As of now I have not used it as much as I would like but I have noticed a nice thing about it. I usually click pictures of my daughter who doesn’t like to stand still for a single second! The camera somehow manages to freeze Chhavi in motion and that in my opinion is quite an incredible task! The phone has inbuilt camera apps like panorama, including yourself in a shot called ‘Face In’ etc but I have to try it out. The colors come out quite well and I can bump up the ISO up to 12800! Now that sounds quite incredible. I have yet to make a video with the phone but I will upload one soon.

Water Proof: All my life I thought cell phones and cameras do not mix well with water! But then I got to read this on the company website-

With the waterproof Xperia Z3, you can take pictures with the best smartphone camera while swimming in fresh water for up to 30 minutes. You can even dive down to 1.5 metres with it. Just remember that all the covers for the micro USB port, the micro SIM slot and the memory card slot must be firmly closed.”

Notice the word fresh water. In spite of having the phone in my hand I have been unwilling to try this feature! After all who takes their incredibly slim looking phones into water? Not me, at least not till now.  Maybe I should give it to Chhavi (after making sure all the ports are closed) she will dunk it in water without any qualms! I am still gathering courage to take it to water.

Sony Xperia Z3

Now I Never Thought I could Chuck a Phone Underwater!

OK in the end I did put it in water! That hunk with me is my younger nephew who gave me the playstation gyan.

Xperia Z3

Clicked with my Xperia Z3

And here is a green apple that I clicked with it after taking it out from the water! Well, well I need to get used to this fact that my phone does not fear water. I need to remember the 30 minutes limit though.

Sync with Your Play Station: Mobile phones are a communal affair in my home. While my nephew was playing with it, he excitedly told me he could use his play station with it. I would never figure it out on my own.

Apps: As it is an android phone, the choice of apps is huge and the interfaces quite nice.

Battery Life: For the few days that I have used it battery life seems quite good to me. But I will update on this after I take it out on a trip!

This is how my first impression of the Sony XperiaZ3 stands. I will update you guys say after a month of use and see what further I have to say.

10 Images from Thimphu, Bhutan

By Mridula on October 12, 2014
in Bhutan, Canon D550, Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020, Photography

Thimphu is the biggest town in Bhutan. It seems to be in a hurry to become a city but like all the places in Bhutan that I visited it is so beautiful and charming. It didn’t feel like a big city at all.

10. Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan

Takin

Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan #lumia1020

Takins are weird to look at. It feels like they have a small cow’s body and a goat’s head. It is a goat antelope, whatever that may mean! The legend of Takin goes back to the divine madman of Bhutan Drukpa Kunley. It is said that he was fed a whole cow and a whole goat for lunch. When the bones were left he put the goat’s head on the cow’s body and the Takin was born! There is Motithang Takin Reserve in Thimphu where you can see the national animal with relative ease.

09. The Local Vegetable Market

Vegetable Market Thimpu

The Local Vegetable Market, Thimphu #canon550D

As we were passing by the local vegetable market in Thimphu, we went and took a stroll. I was amazed as to how clean it was. In fact whatever I saw in Bhutan, it was absolutely clean!

08. Crafts Market, Thimphu

The Crafts Market, Thimpu

The Crafts Market, Thimphu #canon550D

The crafts market at Thimphu is expensive to shop at. People accept Indian rupees everywhere and the Nu exchanges on par with the rupee. Shopkeepers don’t really bargain. An average tourist coming to Bhutan has to spend 250 USD per person per night and I guess that explains the prices and the lack of bargaining. The crafts market is next to the Taj Tashi hotel.

07. The National Memorial Chorten

The National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan

The National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan #canon550D

The National Memorial Chorten is dedicated to the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and to the world peace. It is close to the city center. It is a small monument where you can see a lot of people doing their Buddhist rituals.

06. A Far Away View of Tashichho Dzong

Tashichho Dzong

Tashichho Dzong- A far Away View #canon550D

We didn’t had time to go to the Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu. So I had to be satisfied with a far away view. If you peer hard you can see it close to the mountains.

05. Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu

The Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu

The Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu #canon550D

Simtokha is said to have been built in 1629. We did a quick tour of the dzong and it was impressive. The main prayer halls of all the dzongs I visited were no photography zones. The main prayer hall of Simtokha was huge and exuded peace from every corner.

04. The National Library, Thimpu

The National Library, Thimphu

The National Library, Thimphu #canon550D

The National Library at Thimpu is an impressive building.  It has a lot books, mostly religious, after all it is the national library. But it has a massive display of pictures on the walls as well. The pictures are of the kings and the dzongs. It was quite an impressive collection. I bought a book from the library called The Dragon Finds its Voice by Bunty Avieson. It was a very good decision to buy the book as it gives a good insight of life at Bhutan.

03. A View of Thimphu City from Buddha Point

 

Thimphu, Bhutan

Thimphu the Capital of Bhutan

Buddha Point gives a beautiful view of the Thimphu City in almost all the directions. When I was there construction was going on at the site.

02. Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass #canon550D

Dochula Pass is on the way to Phunakha. It is just outside the Thimphu City. You can visit it as a destination in itself. There is a restaurant at the pass. On a clear day I am told that you can see high mountains. But you know my tale since 2013, all I saw was the clouds!

01. The Buddha at the Buddha Point

The Buddha at the Buddha Point, Thimphu

The Buddha at the Buddha Point, Thimphu #canon550D

And this is the giant Buddha at the Buddha Point. It is an amazing site. I loved it for the atmosphere and the beautiful view of the city it provided.

As you can see from the post, there is a lot to do in Thimphu and I am sure I have just scratched the surface as of now!

PS. I was invited by Makenytrip to Bhutan. And they have got me hooked to the country! While writing this post I must have thought at least a 100 times that I have to go back. Let us see when.

Luxurious Pleasure in Amazing Thailand

By Mridula on October 11, 2014
in Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020, Thailand

No, I am not back to Thailand. But I attended the ‘Luxurious Pleasure in Amazing Thailand’ event held in New Delhi. The venue was the ever beautiful Dusit Deverana.

The Lobby, Dusit Devarana, New Delhi

The Lobby, Dusit Devarana, New Delhi

This was my third visit to the hotel and it still remains as charming for me. The event was held in the ball room. So, I walked through all the beautiful water bodies again to reach there.

Ball Room Dusit Devarana

The Venue was all Abuzz!

The idea was quite simple, there were about 15 luxury brands under one roof and you could talk to all of them at one place. Anantara, Sofitel, Dusit Thai (where I have stayed in Bangkok) Amari (where I have stayed in Hua Hin), Sheraton, Soneva all were there and this is a partial list. Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways were also present. It was fun looking at the pictures of the various properties. The Sofitel at Krabi has an amazing looking pool and Soneva is on a resort island where it is the only hotel. As I have stayed with Dusit Thani and Amari Hua Hin I had fun talking to them about the hotels!

TAT New Delhi Director Runjuan Tongrut

TAT New Delhi Director Runjuan Tongrut

It was also a lot of fun to meet the TAT New Delhi team again. I was happy clicking the director Runjuan Tongrut. Whenever I have met her, she is brimming with energy. It was also fun to meet Aso who has been an amazing host for two of my recent Thailand trips. And when I say amazing, I mean simply amazing.

Beautiful Mugs to Carry Home

Beautiful Mugs to Carry Home

I got some beautiful mugs to carry home. The condition was that I need to talk to everyone in the hall. Since I had stayed with some of the hotels, they were easier to chat to. Then I got in conversation with a manager who said he was working in Thailand for the last 12 years! I asked him, “You are not from Thailand so how come you stayed so long?” I added that I hope he didn’t find my question rude. He said it was not rude at all. He was Finnish-Swiss and living in Thailand for 12 years! He said it all just happened and it was not by great design. But he found Thailand a great place to live in, the people were nice, the standard of living was good and he liked it there!

The Water Bodies at Dusit Devarana

The Water Bodies at Dusit Devarana

If you are looking for luxury holidays in Thailand check out some of the resorts I mentioned. For me, it was a wonderful afternoon of Thai hospitality again at Dusit Devarana!

The Khyber Spa by L’occitane

By Mridula on October 8, 2014
in Cell phone photography, Jammu and Kashmir, Lumia 1020

Last month (was it really just last month!) I revisited The Khyber in Gulmarg. The agenda of this trip was getting pampered at The Kyber Spa by L’occitane. I was mailed the spa menu beforehand and I picked up Angelica as the facial and Revitalizing Aromachologie Massage. My facial was scheduled on day 1 and the massage on day 2. I was invited for this trip.

The Khyber Spa by L'occitane

The Khyber Spa by L’occitane

To be honest I have had facials only twice in my life, once in Levi, Finland and then at The Khyber about which I am writing! So when the young lady attending to my facial told me that I had some dark circles under my eyes and my skin was slightly dehydrated, I didn’t know what to make out of it. In the next moment she added- other than that you have a good skin!

I had picked up Angelica as my facial originally, but I was suggested to go for Immortelle instead, as it better suited my needs. The facial was an intense affair of 75 minutes. The process used 9 different ingredients from eye balm, toner, cream mask and many more. No wonder I came out glowing from the room. The cost of this treatment is Rs 4000 plus taxes.

Waiting Area at the Khybe Spa L'occitane

Waiting Area at the Khyber Spa L’occitane

The next day I was sitting in the waiting area before the massage session. The heated swimming pool is right next to the spa. I managed to get a quick swim before coming for the Revitalizing Aromachologie Massage. I was asked to fill a few details about myself on day 1 itself, so they didn’t ask for it again. After the session they take your feedback on a tab!

The Treatment Rooms at The Khyber Spa

The Treatment Rooms at The Khyber Spa

I will let you into a secret. I pick up the massages which sound the most fragrant. I picked up Revitalizing Aromachologie Massage for the same reason. They use mint, pine and rosemary essential oils and I was so happy with my choice. They work on the left side of the body in this massage and then attend to the corresponding right side. The lady attending to me would ask me at frequent intervals about my comfort. I had a blissful one hour where the various aches and pains became a thing of the past! Overall, I got an excellent dose of pampering at The Khyber Spa by L’occitane.

 

 

Chhavi and I at Jungle Jamboree

By Mridula on October 6, 2014
in Canon D550, Cell phone photography, Food, Lumia 1020, Photography

A few days back Chhavi and I went for dinner to Jungle Jamboree for dinner (on invitation). It is always good to go out with the kids. As the restaurant is in Gurgaon I managed to go on a week day itself.

The Aquarium at the Jungle Jamboree

The Aquarium at the Jungle Jamboree

As the name suggests the restaurant has a jungle theme. They have a huge aquarium in the restaurant and it was a prime attraction for Chhavi. She has grown up a lot since I last took her out! She didn’t threaten to break any glassware this time! It was also a lot of fun to meet Pratap, who before this was just a voice on the phone.

The food concept is unique. It is a 7 course buffet which is served on the table. You have a choice of veg and non veg. The most expensive 7 course meal is 799 rupees. Looking at the prices when I end up eating out, I thought Jungle Jamboree was reasonably priced.

Finger Licking Food!

Finger Licking Food!

We had the veg 7 course dinner and we came nowhere near finishing it. The first course has a selection of welcome dishes of which the Pita Bread with the Tzatziki (a dip) was my favorite. It was served with Aam Panna. Every course comes with a separate drink as well.

Good Food at Jungle Jamboree

Good Food at Jungle Jamboree

Next was Veg Manchow Soup which even Chhavi finished till the last drop. This one came with the lemon iced tea.

Next were the Global and Indian starters. These were the the third and the fourth courses and by now I was begging them to serve me less food. I knew by the third course that I could not eat much more. In these rounds my favorites were Falafel Roll and Dahi Kebab.

The Ambiance, Jungle Jamboree

The Ambiance, Jungle Jamboree

I could do not justice to the global mains but I did eat the pizza slice. By the time of the Indian mains I was trying to taste everything like chatni! Chhavi had given up right after soup. I ended the day with the Apple Pie. Some boys may be able to finish the 7 course meal of the Jungle Jamboree but I doubt any girl would!

Mr. Magician

Chhavi with Mr. Magician

The icing on the cake was the magician who showed us some magic tricks. I can’t remembered when I laughed so hard. Chhavi was absolutely delighted that the magician plucked out a flower from my ear! It was a fun evening for me and Chhavi at the Jungle Jamboree at Gold Souk, Gurgaon.

Ikea the Book- Designers, Products and Other Stuff

By Mridula on October 4, 2014
in Books, Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020

Before talking about Ikea the Book, let me give you an idea about where I am coming from. Last month a prominent Indian apparel firm wanted to feature me on one of their social media channels. They wanted a full length picture of mine in a style that was me. I told them I would give it a pass because I have no style and it would be very difficult to find a full length picture of mine!

I guess my deep aversion to design has something to with the prices they come at. What is designer, would usually cost my half year’s salary. And with that kind of money I could actually travel to Antarctica, you get the drift, that is where I come from.

Ikea the Book

Ikea the Book, Grape Fruit and the Rug Mine!

Well, Ikea the Book changed that perception. I wonder why I didn’t think of style or design in terms of functional and reasonably priced! I have now finished reading the book which has about 384 pages. But it is still a fast read. A lot of pages showcase the designs of Ikea through the ages. Maybe that is why it is a fast read. It has many pages that are ‘look’ rather than ‘read’ pages.

The author, Staffan Bengtsson interviews many Ikea designers like Noboru Nakamura, Maria Vinka and Lennart Ekmark among others. There is an interview with founder Ingvar Kamprad as well. The passion of Ikea for accessible design or what they call ‘better everyday life for many’ shines through.

As Ikea do not have any stores in India yet, I am not really familiar with their products other than two that they gave to me. One is the Stolle Dala Horse and other the Lykta table lamp which is made in India. My daughter plays with the horse and my brother-in-law Amrit is using the lamp. I can’t say much about Chhavi as she is more interested in dropping the horse and scratching it to see if it can withstand all that, my brother-in-law is surely enjoying the lamp.

I actually would have not written about the products if I did not read the book. I would credit Ikea the Book for igniting an initial spark for affordable design in me.

With Ikea India Head Juvencio Maeztu

A Selfie With Ikea India Head Juvencio Maeztu

PS. I was invited as an academic by Ikea India to attend Ikea + India 2025, an event held at 4 Points by Sheraton. The book, table lamp and the horse were Ikea’s way of saying thank you for my time. I told them that if they ever needed people to gate crash I would make time.