Gait Analysis Will Help You Choose The Right Workout Shoes And Stay Safe

I was introduced to gait analysis by Dr Kannan Pugazhendi, the eminent sports medicine specialist of Chennai, and since then I have never bought workout shoes sans the gait analysis. He strongly advises on making right and sensible choices when it comes to sports and fitness gear, before we invest our several thousands on them, with special emphasis on shoes. Rightfully so, since our feet have the crucial task of bearing our body weight while we run, or sweat it out in the gym.

Very often people buy walking/running/workout shoes based on their budget. Next on priority comes the look or style of the shoe as well as the comfort. It is not enough if the shoe fits you snugly. We do not all have perfect feet, some are over pronated and some under. Each requires a shoe that can offer support to specific affected parts of the foot. This is where professional gait analysis steps in to help avoid injury and optimise performance. Wrong or ill-fitting workout shoes can be trouble-makers leading to foot, ankle and knee aches and pains, not to mention the concomitant lower back pain that follows knee pain faithfully like a bad coin ! Read here on why it is important to choose proper shoes while exercising in any form.

Years ago I used to get the foot scan done at Adidas, for that was the only option available at that time. It was pretty basic. In recent times, however Running Lab has come to Chennai and the Asics flagship stores are equipped with gait analysis system. Of the two, I prefer the Asics stores. Their staff is better trained to do the gait analysis and their system is more advanced and detailed. While the general term is gait analysis, Asics calls it the FOOT ID. I have reproduced here their official description of the process.

“ASICS FOOT ID is a destination area of the ASICS shop offering static and dynamic measurements, including foot shape analysis and gait cycle analysis. ASICS FOOT ID static measures the foot shape and ASICS FOOT ID dynamic analyzes the consumer’s gait while running”.

What Is Gait Analysis ?

Gait analysis measures the degree of pronation of the feet. When we walk or run, the outside part of the heel strikes the ground first. Simultaneously, within fractions of a second, the foot rolls inward and that is called ‘pronation’. Pronation acts like a shock absorber and optimally distributes the force and impact of the heel hitting the ground.

Over-pronation is when the feet roll inward too much.

Under-pronation (or supination) is where the feet don’t roll inward enough.

So, what gait analysis does is that it matches the client’s degree of pronation with the correct shoe type, thereby balancing over or under-pronation. That in turn helps reduce the risk of injury and improves walking/jogging/running efficiency.

Gait analysis is helpful for runners as well as those that indulge in indoor workouts. It is extremely important for people who walk/run on treadmills. Here is how the process goes.

I went through similar here at the Asics store in Express Avenue and here are the pictures.

asics gait analysis system, my thought lane

Gait Analysis treadmill and the six step guide

After I filled in my registration form, the laser sensors were pasted at specific points on my feet and the static foot analysis was conducted, one foot at a time.

static foot analysis, my thought lane

Static foot analysis

The results showed like this

WHAT IS VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS?

A pair of test shoes were then given to me and I had to walk/run on the treadmill with those on.

dynamic foot analyser video

Tester shoes and dynamic foot analyser video

It involves running for a few minutes on the treadmill, while a video recording is made of the runner’s feet. I did a brisk walk. I have a knee injury and hence didn’t opt to run. In conclusion, the static and dynamic test results were analysed digitally and here is the story it told me about my feet.

(One can then try a variety of shoes selecting cushioning, structured cushioning or maximum support options according to the results.)

gait analysis sampler, my thought lane

Gait Analysis sampler

A model of an indoor workout shoe (since I am not a runner and indoor gymming is what I do) was then suggested to me based on the results above. Syed Noor, the store manager explained to me on what my feet demanded, and why that particular model of shoe would do me good. It offered support at the arches of my feet and yes, it felt better than my previous shoes that had probably been worn out – they were a year old or a little more than that.

asics store manager showing the recommended shoe model

When the store manager suggested the recommended shoe model

How To Avail The Gait Analysis

There is a fee of INR 500 towards the gait analysis which is reimbursed when you buy a pair of shoes from the Asics store. If that does not fall under your scheme of things, you can avail the gait analysis for the fee and buy shoes of your preferred brand.

If you havent paid attention to gait analysis in all these years, it is time to do so. Our feet do not like being messed with and deserve all our attention and more to keep them supple and conditioned, strong and efficient. Choose your workout shoes right and stay safe ! Wishing Wellness !

Anti-ageing Tips : How To Slow Down Ageing

Show your skin some love

If you are 25 and even an hour older, you need to read this article and start paying attention to skin care. Ageing of the skin takes baby steps and sets in at 25. Wait……no panic yet, but most people are unaware of this skin fact. They wait till the 30s to even start noticing changes in their skin. Having established this research backed fact, I wish to suggest small ways of slowing down ageing in a series of articles on anti-ageing. Very often, we get loaded with far too much information on such topics and tend to miss out or forget some tips. Hence, I am dealing with one important anti-ageing DIY tip in each article. Anti-ageing products and procedures are galore and using them is a personal choice, but there is something in our power even when adopting them that can help make the effort worthwhile and get better results.

How To Apply Serums And Creams The Right Way

I have seen many rub their skin while applying any topical solution. ‘That is a mistake‘ we have been told repeatedly, yet we forget the words of caution – rub and scrub, especially when we are in a hurry. Time to stop doing that folks. Time to pamper your skin the right way. Time to take anti-ageing into your hands !

  • Take the required quantity of the topical application you are using in your palm, or the back of your hand, be it a cleanser, a serum, a lotion or a cream.
  • Dip your fingertips into it and dab it on the surface of your skin. With gentle, upward strokes spread it all over your face or whichever part of the body you are applying it on. Now the natural tendency of many, is to rub it in, especially when they are in a hurry. Your skin may be crying for mercy, not to pull and push so much, to be treated with a little more care. So….
  • Slow down….instead, pat the product gently and repeatedly all over your face. Cup your face with your palms and gently act like you are pushing the product into your skin, till all of it is absorbed. Did you see some happy skin there? You just did some anti-ageing act! You showed your skin some love♥.

Watch this quick video on the technique by Chennai’s leading makeup artist Akriti Sachdev of Mesmereyes Makeup, created specially for My Thought Lane

Most Important : Serum, Under Eye Cream, Moisturizer and Sunscreen in that order. Apply your first topical application quickly after you tap dry your face and while the skin is still moist. It will help seal in the moisture in the epidermis (topmost layer of skin) and lend a soft glow to your face.

Why Pat And Not Rub :

While those in their late 20s can still take it easy, once the 30s set in skin starts losing its firmness, tone and elasticity.  Very fine lines make their appearance giving you an indication that skin is losing its toning and you better wake up to it. With natural ageing and the aggression of external factors like the sun and the weather, collagen and elastin production in the skin (the backbone of a firm skin) slows down, resulting in loss of firmness. And do not forget that gravity never fights shy of doing it s job ! Added to all of this, if you were to rub or pull your skin, you are playing host to sagging skin for sure. Think anti-ageing !

Why Pat Or Tap Cream Into The Skin:

We all of course know that ageing alters blood circulation within the body. Poor blood supply means lesser oxygen. Patting and tapping can alleviate that to some extent by increasing blood circulation to those areas, thereby lending better health to your skin.

Not fair that the first signs of ageing appear on that part of the body that we treasure most, the face. Even more unfair that the best part of our face, the eyes take the brunt of ageing first. We cannot fight nature, but we certainly can take anti-ageing into our own hands and slow it down.

Do You Believe In The Healing Power Of Your Hands ?

Adding a layer here to the benefits of patting the product into your skin : Three or four days into this practice, I realised I was feeling good and revelled in the way my skin responded to my hands, with all the patting and tapping. My skin appeared a tad plumped, probably from the pampering it received. Yes, when someone feels loved, they glow ! Go ahead, you try this out too, accept your skin and love it. I would call this anti-ageing at a higher plane.

The contour of the eye has lesser amount of collagen, elastin and lipids and ages faster than the rest of the face. The skin and muscles around the eyes are fragile, it is made so because it does the most muscular work – 10,000 blinks per day !! Had there been tougher skin and muscle, so many blinks would have been an impossibility leading to other eye related issues. If that’s how nature meant it to be, it has also taught us that there is something we can do to slow down the ageing.


Improve blood circulation like we said above.


  • Apply your serum, cream or lotion with your ring finger or the little finger and tap lightly along the eye contour.
  • Press EVER SO GENTLY till the topical application gets absorbed into the skin.
  • Continue tapping lightly on the eye-socket area, along the cheekbone and extend it to the eyebrow bone in a gentle circle.
  • Always from the outer corner of the eye to the inner.

The blood circulation tip given by Dr Vidya Ram Pradeep of Krishna’s Skin Cosmetology & Medical Centre, Chennai is something that we can all practice everyday and anytime of the day. To keep a radiant skin, not just  the under eye area but the rest of the face too.

Do not forget your neck, decolletage and palms, they show signs of ageing next only to the under eye area. Treat them to a gentle application of your serum, or cream and pat and tap like you would your face.

Apply the same technique if you are going to be pampering the rest of your body with oils, creams, or lotions.

Anti-ageing In The Shower

pat dont rub skin mantra

The skin-mantra

 

Oh yes, anti-ageing has become a part of your life now. So, while you cleanse your face with a face wash and your body with a shower gel, use circular motions for application and once you are rinsed, remember to pat yourself dry all over with a soft absorbent towel. If you are one of those that cannot do without rubbing yourself dry (it’s just a habit, you can grow out of it) or are in a rush, just remember to run your towel ever so gently in upward strokes and never down. We are not lending a hand to gravity in letting our skin sag !

Additional tip : Apply your face wash on wet skin gently and in circular motions, massage your skin (without rubbing) with the product for 10 secs or more. Give the product enough time to work on your skin and do its job. Opt for a pharmaceutical product that suits your skin, consult a dermatologist. If you are looking for a good face wash, refer to my earlier post on Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel

Video Credits : Thank you Akriti Sachdev

There is beauty in wellness and ageing gracefully with minimum damage to the skin requires an effort, the results of which will stay with you much into older years. So lets make anti-ageing and slowing it down fun. So feedback time, like it if you did and share a view or two.

Ciao till the next anti-ageing tip…….

Muscle Training Basics And Tips For Beginners

Why Muscle Training ?

Muscle training or resistance training is even more important than cardio training. We can manage to get cardiovascular workouts through several activities like walking, swimming, cycling, trekking et al. But muscle training is what is going to hold us in good stead as we progress in age. Our bones are bound by muscles and give our bodies the shape that we all dream of, that shape that we sometimes envy on others.

Image courtesy : livestrong.com

Note : The words strength training, resistance training and muscle training are used interchangeably. Resistance training increases muscle strength by making your muscles work against a weight or force. Different forms of resistance training include free weights, weight machines, resistance bands and your own body weight.

This blog post is the result of a query of a 23-year-old in the gym a few days ago. Her goal was to shed weight and slim down. My question, “how about muscle training” got her eyebrows up in wonder with a counter question, “isn’t muscle training for men only?” And then “can you help me with some basics if I have to do strength/muscle training?” I felt sad that even in these days of burgeoning fitness information on the net and social media, this young thing still remained seeped in that muscle myth. Hope this helps those like her. I have taken a lot of inputs from the American College of Sports Medicine to tabulate the following tips.

Generally healthy populations overlook the importance of resistance training, but the truth is that they need it too. For these reasons :

  • It increases the amount of muscle and elevates bone density in young adults.
  • Resistance training benefits both men and women with a sculpted and toned appearance.
  • In older adults, resistance training helps offset age related bone loss. It helps develop and maintain the strength and ability necessary to complete daily activities as well as fitness programs.
  • For all individuals, strength training allows more ease in daily activities and instills confidence and pride.
  • It enhances moods by releasing endorphin hormones.

How To Muscle Train ?

All beginners, make these your goals :

1) Learning the fundamental exercises correctly

2) Preventing injury by keeping proper form

3) Designing a program that will encourage adherence.

  • Begin with resistance training about twice or thrice a week and allow a day of rest between workout days.
  • Initial muscle soreness is inevitable for beginners..
  • Rest and recovery is crucial.
  • Proper warm-up is most essential. Five to 10 minutes of light cardiovascular exercise followed by gentle dynamic stretches.

In the beginning, any stimulation is progress.

Image courtesy : Internet

  • Do not get stressed with the amount of weight, number of repetitions, or number of sets at first. They can wait for later.
  • Focus more on learning and executing proper exercise technique.

Your muscles are not the only tissues being strengthened. Connective tissues, such as tendons and ligaments also adapting to the strain of the new workout. Your muscles will be the first to feel stronger after starting a training program, but your tendons need a few weeks to adapt to the new muscle activity and strength.

  • Injury in the first weeks is very likely if your focus is on increasing the weight instead of learning correct technique.
  • Give yourself as many sets and repetitions as you need to learn technique. Ask for proper supervision.
  • Avoid getting overly fatigued, mentally or physically, in this phase.
  • You cannot attain perfection on the first day. Stop an exercise if you become frustrated.
  • Tip : In the first three weeks perform one set with weights that will allow 12-15 repetitions. In the next few weeks progress to two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
  • Not all exercises require the same number of sets in a workout.
  • Heavier weights need longer rest periods.
  • One or two minutes of rest for light weights.
  • Two or three minutes for moderate weights.
  • More than three minutes for heavier weights.
  • Look out for signs of fatigue and adjust rest period lengths.
  • If dizziness or nausea occurs, it is time to stop the workout.
  • Increase the rest period, decrease the weight or sets.
  • Fatigue within prescribed ranges is natural, pain is not.
  • Relook at your technique or consult a medical practitioner.
  • Avoid temptation to do too much too soon. It can demotivate you or injure you.

How To Choose Muscle Training Exercises

Your choice of exercise must depend on your body type and condition, previous injuries, and flexibility. Focus on exercise technique and activating specific muscle groups.

  • You could start each training day with multiple-joint leg exercises (squats or lunges). These exercises activate a better hormone response than upper-body exercises.
  • In most individuals, these movements performed correctly, are safe, can improve coordination and prevent injuries from everyday activities.
  • Next, exercises that target the chest (i.e. bench press) and shoulders (shoulder raise) can be paired with exercises that target the back (seated rows and lateral pull-downs).
  • Abdominal and lower-back exercises help build stability and support. The bridge pose (top of a push up) or the bird-dog exercise top the chart.
  • A total body exercise program could look like this :

1) Proper leg presses or squats, dead lifts or leg curls, knee extensions (for those with healthy knees).

2) Bench press, horizontal rows, crunches (for those with a healthy lower back, and always balanced with lower-back exercise).

3) Lateral pull-downs, shoulder presses, arm curls, triceps extensions, and calf raises.

  • Beginners, performing a total-body workout may not take more than 45 minutes. It depends upon the rest period length and number of sets.
  • To progress, beginners can experiment with repetition ranges and increasing weights. Your muscles need to be pushed to do better.
  • After about nine workouts or three weeks, alternate heavier weight days with lighter weight days.

1) You could do sets of 12-15 repetitions, 8-10 repetitions, 4-6 repetitions, and back to 12-15 again.

2)Days with fewer repetitions can take more weight. On a 4-6 repetition day, lift a weight that you would be unable to, more than six times (or fewer than four).

  • But remember to maintain proper technique when increasing resistance from one day to the next.
  • In the learning phase of a training program, make sure a certified personal trainer monitors you.
  • Be it weights or machines, a certified trainer can guide you and help you.
  • Many free heavy weight exercises (particularly bench press) should never be done without a spotter.

Finding an exercise program that you can consistently perform is the key to effective strength training. Resistance or strength training is guaranteed to keep you fit and physically independent for the most part. With focus and emphasis on the fundamentals and basics, it can be rejuvenating and rewarding.

Caution : Beginners, please start your muscle training under the supervision of certified trainers.

Image courtesy : Internet. Working out under the watchful eyes of trainer

Do not attempt workouts on your own with charts downloaded from the internet or follow instructions from books blindly. We are all in a rush today, want quick results and turn to Google for anything and everything. Unfortunately, there are some areas like fitness and nutrition where Google can only give us pointers. Educate yourself and then take expert or professional help.

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel With Natural Ingredients

A good face wash is the first step in good skin care – fresh, clean skin then becomes a canvas for the nourishing ritual either through face packs and moisturising, or dabbing a little colour on to beautify the face. But every time we splash water on our faces, they veer towards dryness and to compound it, if we do not use a good face wash, the damage is double-fold.

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel is my latest trusted find in skincare. I have earlier reviewed a few face washes, AhaGlow, Tone N Glow and Lanopearl but have now moved over to Glogeous, which is an advanced version of AhaGlow.

glogeous advanced face wash gel packaging and dispenser, my thought lane

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel packaging and dispenser

I am a stickler for pharmaceutical products when it comes to skin care and Glogeous was prescribed by my dermatologist. I absolutely love it and the reasons being

  • It has lightened my pigmentation
  • Reduced fine lines on my face
  • Brightened my complexion
  • Improved the skin texture.
  • My son’s acne prone skin has cleared considerably.

Natural Ingredients

‘Made from natural ingredients’ tagline on the packaging drew my attention first. Aren’t we all leaning towards most things natural or organic? So, whats so good about Glogeous ? One, it’s a face wash and it does a jolly good job of it.

Two, does it dry the skin as most regular face washes are wont to? No, it doesn’t. Skin feels fresh and smooth and here are the ingredients that ensure it does.

natural ingredients list of glogeous advanced face wash gel, my thought lane

Ingredients of Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel

Aloe Vera is the proverbial manna from heaven for the homo-sapiens and is most often used in drugs and cosmetics. With an abundance of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, aloe vera has that magical healing, hydrating and soothing properties.

Fresh Cells (Pumpkin) Pumpkin will no longer be viewed as just a vegetable after you read this. It’s certainly not the new kid on the block of beauty and wellness ; the benefits of eating pumpkin have been documented in Ayurveda. Just that we havent seen that ingredient enough in skin care products. Glogeous contains Fresh Cells (Pumpkin). Pumpkin is rich in important essential vitamins and nutrients that nourish the skin and make it radiant. Shahnaz Husain and many other beauty experts recommend pumpkin packs, peels and moisturizers for glowing skin since the vegetable is enriched with vitamins A and C. Pumpkin seeds are on the top of nutritionists’ charts as they are a major source of anti-oxidants. It is one of the vegetables containing the highest anti-oxidising carotene content which gives it its unique orange colour and more specifically the beta-carotene.

Glycolic acid, a naturally occurring acid is a major anti-ageing aid. It reacts with the upper layer of the epidermis and sloughs off dead skin (exfoliation) and exposes live skin cells, thereby lending a fresh healthy glow to the skin. This is where it helps in healing acne scars. Many users and dermatologists have reported a considerable reduction in acne issues.

Propanediol (and) Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, got from the Wu-Zhu-Yu fruit is an active ingredient that targets and boosts the microcirculation process, which in turn lends luminosity to the skin and helps even out complexion.

Vitamin E acetate in the Glogeous face wash plays a protective role along with possessing anti-inflammatory properties.. It prevents damage done to the skin by free radicals and UV rays from the sun. Topical application of Vitamin E is essential as certain specific Vitamin E forms may not be derived from our diets.

Three , Glogeous face wash is pH friendly.

Image courtesy : Healthy Skin Solutions

How important is this ? Very. The ability of our skin to fight infection and environmental stresses is derived from our skin’s pH level. A thin layer, called the acid mantle protects the surface of our skin. It is made of sebum, produced by the sebaceous glands of our skin. The sebum mixes with lactic acid and amino acids from our sweat and creates a skin pH level that ideally should be 5.5. Now this crucial pH level can get disturbed due to internal (health) and external (environmental) factors. Glogeous face wash helps in maintaining and restoring the skin’s pH level.

Benefits of using Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel

  • Deep cleansing along with nourishing the skin
  • Natural ingredients leave the skin fresh and radiant
  • Does not cause dryness after the wash
  • Maintains skin’s pH level

Directions for use

Price : Is it value for money ?

A 100 g (net weight) bottle costs INR 749. I would say yes, it is value for money. For one, it lasts for months. Two, it cleanses without drying the skin. Three, it works well for all skin types. It helps exfoliate , unblock pores, lighten certain pigmentations, reduce fine wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.

Points to remember :

  • Glogeous does not cause extra dryness, but sensible skin care will always demand moisturising and sun protection. While plain water can rob your skin of its natural oils, a formulated cleanser is certainly likely to do more. Do consult your dermatologist before using any skin care product, that’s my mantra. Investing in a trusted and good dermatologist will save you struggling with skin issues now or later in life.
  • Glycolic acid is an exfoliator, a sugarcane derivative. To know more read here. You could begin with using Glogeous once a day ; once your skin gets accustomed to glycolic acid, you can use it twice a day. If there is a small amount of tingling due to glycolic acid, just soothe it with a moisturizer after the wash.

Availability :

Glogeous is a pharmaceutical product of Torrent Pharmaceuticals, a trusted pharma name and is available at most medical stores, online and at dermatologists’ clinics.

This blog is informative in nature and by no means diagnostic or prescriptive.

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash has rarely affected anyone adversely, however it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist before using any skin or hair care product.

Romancing The Rainbow Moment

 Poetry, an effervescent wave, like a burst of rain on a sunny day.

No clash of clouds, no claps of thunder, no play of the blinding pink streaks of light. Yet manifesting a marvellous, bewitching rainbow.

Breezing in like a stranger, unheralded

Dissipating in equal haste

Gone before you catch a (handful) mindful.

Million raindrops flow not to etch streams,

But soak up mother earth, they do.

Spraying forth whiffs of that earthy fragrance of the Terra. (The poet’s mind enriched and ecstatic)

Dripping wet, barks of trees and their leaves

Glistening and swaying shorn of dust and debris;

Flapping wings, shaking rain-drops off their plumes, the birds

Basking in the liquid sunshine from heaven, the animals;

Young and old splashing around………

Sublime poetry is all this, to a poet’s mind. To the rest, well……it is just Rain !

An attempt at transcreating another of my father, N H Katgeri‘s poems from his collection ‘Pratijnegalu‘. From Kannada to English.

kannada book of poems pratijnegalu n h katgeri, my thought lane

Pratijnegalu, the book of poems by N H Katgeri in Kannada

Kannada is a regional language of South India, from the beautiful state of Karnataka. The poet hails from Dharwad, a city of seven hills in the state. The pen is a social activist’s strongest tool alright, but only a few have used poetry to sow the seeds of change in the readers’ minds. This one above is one of his lighter poems though, penned probably in an evening of reminiscences.

The Poet Muses About The Rainbow Moment

The poet here likens those moments when inspiration imbues his mind, to sudden intense rain on a sunny day, painting a magical rainbow. Words and thoughts take flight on a journey of imagination, with no preparation and no cue of whats to come. The mind just travels. And if poets are to be quoted, the inspiration is not their guest too long.

Just like the unexpected short burst of rain makes no big puddles, but soaks up the earth leaving behind the earthy fragrance that we all savour, the hundreds of thoughts, words and visuals that cross the poet’s mind and eye, leave behind the joy of having created a work of art, like the rainbow.

The philosophical take of the poet is that while every experience is most often physical to the common man, to the poet it transcends into metaphysics and aesthetics.

My dear fellow bloggers, I would love to hear from you all, your thoughts on my transcreated work. Have written a blog post in the Contemplations category after ages; most have been on products and fitness. I am hoping I will do more in this area more often.

Hand-carved Vintage Door, Indian Teak – Make Your Home Special With It

Doors and doorways have fascinated most of us at one time or the other – either for the sheer beauty of the door, or the interest to know what lies behind such a work of art. If the door is carved and splendid, the world beyond and within must be magical too! There goes the child in all of us, seeking a peek at the unknown!

Yes, doors have an aesthetic role in creating an impression of what lies beyond.

This happens to me when I travel and sit by the window of a car or a coach. As houses whip by, there are always a few that catch your attention with their magnificent entrance doors, and my imagination soars. There is immediately an attempt to visualise beautifully decorated, warm cozy living spaces within the house. Term it a pass time travel activity if you will, but it’s certainly conditioned by some visits to some pretty interiors within artistic doors.

The Sandalwood Room has one such antique, carved doorway that will lend beauty and grace to your home. An intricately carved frame and two alluring shutters.

The Carved Doorway

80 year old antique hand carved door ensemble in indian teak, the sandalwood room

A majestic hand-carved front door ensemble in Indian teak, probably 80 years old

A classic Indian vintage carved doorway in Indian teak wood, with two galloping horse busts, fixed on the top at either sides, giving it a regal touch. Through all cultures across the world, horses symbolise the epic power of mind, body and spirit to rise above the ordinary as also trusting relationships. Apt, isn’t it for the doorway then?

horse bust of galloping horse supporting carved header of carved doorway

Galloping horse bust holding up the hand carved header of the carved doorway

Exquisite carving on the door header that adds a beautiful ethnic dimension to the vintage doorway, and tells the story of expert craftsmen, who must have chipped and chiselled away to produce this intricate work of art. This beautifully carved door with its frame, shutters and other embellishments is probably 75-80 years old, and Andhra Pradesh a southern state of India could be its provenance.

intricately carved header of an 80 year old vintage doorway, the sandalwood room

Intricately carved header of the 80 year old carved doorway

Doorway: W 36″ H 72″ Outer frame: W 52″ H 98″

Double shutters in Indian teak, studded with brass knobs are a part of the vintage carved doorway. They can be fixed with the sturdy iron hinges provided at either sides. Wood scores the  most in terms of visual appeal as the surface material, and it adds an organic warmth. World’s best doors are made in wood I would think.

handcrafted indian teak shutters with brass knobs, shooter bolt and handle, the sandalwood room

Handcrafted Indian teak wood shutters with brass knobs and shooter bolt and handle

Details of the brass knobs, the brass shooter bolt and handle  are in the image below. Brass has been the preferred metal in decor for centuries, and continues to hold sway even today, due to its staying power. All it needs is a wipe of polish now and then and its ready to shine and glow. Most would be unaware that the beautiful brass signifies natural good in the world of metals. So yes, reason enough to be used in places of worship, again across most cultures of the world.

indian teak wood shutters with brass knobs, brass shooter bolt and handle

Brass knobs, brass shooter bolt and handle on Indian teak wood shutters

The following images contain the specs and the prices.

tsr-carved-door-with-specs

tsr-door-shutters

Doors as Entrances

Doors are most often symbolically linked with ritual purposes. Haven’t we all felt solemn receiving the keys to a new home or work place, as we step in with new energy and hope? A door is first and foremost an entrance on a literal level, leading us from there to the insides that either are our places of rest or work. Either way, a doorway has some kind of energy. Doors are also closely related to gates and thresholds. The three together create a welcoming portal and a passage, for they   share similar, symbolic features.

Doors make a statement.

Your front door is an introduction of sorts. Of your style and sensibilities. Of your warmth and energy. That is why, most people invest time and money on making a good front door and that done, a natural progression would be to make pleasing and cozy interiors. So, a good door is encouragement to making a pretty home within.

Mix-n-Match Tips

Just like in my earlier posts on home decor accessories the predominant theme has been mix-n-match, so does the vintage carved doorway with its components lend beautifully to the theme.

The gorgeous carved frame could be attached to a wall akin to a showpiece. Within it could be placed on the wall, several small to medium-sized wooden or metal handicrafts, like a collage. Or a statue of your choice giving it a stately look.

The two shutters could also be a showpiece on your wall, just fix them up with screws to give the appearance of a door leading to an inside. Let in a little wonderment!

The carved door is ready for pick up at The Sandalwood Room, Singapore. Contact Anjana@thesandalwoodroom.com or call them at 9786 5896.

The Sandalwood Room at Singapore has more on offer till the 10th Of February, as part of their exclusive home decor accessories sale.

  • Please drop in between 11 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday
  • 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists.For those with a penchant for contemporary arts and traditional crafts…this is the place to be!

  • If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more.
  • Payments can be made through PayPal, bank transfers and cheques (delivery subject to realisation)
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website: http://www.thesandalwoodroom.com

Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room

Rugs : Add Layers Of New Looks To Your Rooms As Often As You Please

The Rug : A Versatile Home Decor Accessory

The right rug is a home décor accessory like no other. It can make a room look cozy and intimate or give it a dramatic lift. Expecting guests; rushed for time, but you are rearing to give your living room a different look ?  Just throw a floor rug in the entertaining space and you are done. Now go, shower, dress up and you are ready to show off your pretty den.

The art is in choosing the right rug though. The Sandalwood Room has some very pretty and irresistible rugs on sale. Handmade, like everything else in the boutique-store. These rugs are incredibly durable and easy-care ones and are hand knotted, making them that much more exclusive and exotic. It takes several days for a weaver to complete one small rug – truly only a passionate weaver can bring out this work of art. I was amazed to read the details that go into producing hand-knotted rugs , you will value the rugs too, even higher after you read the story of the labour behind it. Click on the link provided above, you will find care instructions too.

The Classic Look

Can you resist this bright and beautiful one? Just right if your interiors and furnishings are in pastels – this rug with tribal patterns hand-woven will brighten up your room instantly.

tsr-hand knotted-rug-rose_fotor, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted rug with a classical touch

Size : 5 X 3 (ft) ; Price : 70 SGD

tsr-rug-rolled_fotor, the sandalwood room, hand knotted

Hand knotted rug, rolled up

You could probably mix and match the home decor accessories below on a fine teak wood side table to give your room a colour-coordinated look.

Rugs or dhurries as they are also called are an essential layer of home decor accessories. Carpeting is boring, rugs are exciting, for they are versatile. It’s like you wave a magic wand and your room gets a new look. Move rugs from one room to the other and keep redesigning your spaces with as little as few square feet!

The Subtle Look

Now for a neutral base. When you have a colourful space, this rug is sure to bring in a subtlety and style with its run of traditional motifs on a light toned base colour.

tsr-rug-beige-and-grey_fotor, the sandalwood room, hand knotted

Hand knotted rug in a neutral tone

Size : 6 x 4 (ft) ; Price : 80 SGD

tsr-rug-beige-grey-rolled_fotor, handknotted, the sandalwood room

Beautiful hand knotted rug in a neutral base , rolled up

A few suggestions from the wide range of table napkins at The Sandalwood Room to go with the neutral tone.

The Traditional Look

Traditional motifs like Ikat seem to be a big hit with rugs, so are geometric patterns. Modern interior designing is so much about fusion. Contemporary colour palettes have made it easier to mix and match, be it personal attire or home designs. With colours of spring, this rug is a cheer-me-up kind. If you have a sitting arrangement in your patio, spread this sprightly rug out for a closer to nature feel.

Hand knotted rug in colours of spring,the sandalwood room

Hand knotted rug in colours of spring

Size : 4 x 3 (ft) ; Price : 60 SGD

Hand knotted rug in colours of spring rolled up, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted rug in colours of spring, rolled up

Tea-cups and saucers to suit the outdoor, garden mood.

The Cottage/Country Look

A rug for a room with cottage or country decor style. Compliment it with folk art hangings, pottery and crockery, if serving your guests hot piping coffee or tea and snacks.

Hand knotted rug for a cottage look, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted rug for a cottage look

Size : 6 x 4 ; Price : 80 SGD

tsr-grey-green-red-rolled-rug_fotor hand knotted cottage look, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted rug for a cottage look

Some accessories to go with the country or cottage look. The ceramic pottery, the box lamp with laser cut copper filigree inlay and transom like glass and Palmyra leaf basket for your fruits or other knick-knacks.

The Versatile Look

This rug maybe for your bedroom, where there is less traffic – it can add an impact. The three-tone rug makes it so simple to match your bed linen and cushions with it. Place it so that the longest side is perpendicular to the bed.

tsr-rug-blue-brown-mustard_fotor hand knotted, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted rug with tribal patterns

Size : 5 x 3 (ft) ; Price : 70 SGD

tsr-rug-rolled-2_fotor in blue, brown mustard, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted rug for a cottage look

A bedside table is an absolute essential for any bedroom. You could use the pretty ceramic round box to keep safe your little jewellery as you get ready for bed. A scented candle of course to create a soft romantic mood as you wind down for the day.

The Ethnic Look

An all out ethnic look with a combination of motifs. It’s the predominant green base that probably lends the rug its ethnic look.

tsr-rug-multicolour_fotor ethnic look hand knotted, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted multi colour rug for an ethnic look

Size : 6 x 4 (ft) ; Price : 80 SGD

tsr-rug-multicoloured-rolled_fotor ethnic look, the sandalwood room

Hand knotted multi-coloured rug for an ethnic look, rolled up

Match the ethnic look with these bright home decor accessories, a cutlery box, a tissue box and an ornate multi-purpose box.

Reed Mat

Here is another interesting accessory, not a rug, but a beautiful hand-woven reed mat. Reed mats are made of plaited reed and can be found in abundance in India and Thailand. They help keep cool and when the sun is at his hottest, people in India and Thailand use them for resting in the afternoons. Its hard work plaiting these mats and the artisans amaze you with their intricacy, so much so that they can, from a distance be mistaken for finely woven fabrics. Credit to the artisans that the reed mats last and last.

Size : 6 x 3 (ft) ; Price : 160 SGD

tsr-woven-reed-mat_fotor handwoven, the sandalwood room

Handwoven reed mat

Tips On How Best To Place Rugs :

  • Perfect placement is as important as the rug itself.
  • Measure the room’s dimensions.
  • Leave at least 18 inches of bare floor exposed on all sides of the rug for best results.
  • In smaller rooms, place it to cover just the center of the room. Accessorise it with a coffee table and seating at the perimeter of the rug.
  • In a dining room, the rug must allow at least 24 inches of clearance around the table. All four legs of all the chairs can then be securely placed on the rug, even when pulled out.
  • A round rug can still provide ample working around space for a square table provided it is large enough.
  • In a bedroom, place the rug as to extend beyond the foot of the bed and not merely outline it.
  • It is best to use rug pads wherever possible to avoid slipping and sliding and to minimise wear and tear.

The Sandalwood Room at Singapore has all these and more on offer till the 10th Of February, as part of their exclusive home decor accessories sale.

  • Please drop in between 11 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday
  • 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays (Closed for Chinese New Year on Saturday the 28th) 

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists.For those with a penchant for contemporary arts and traditional crafts…this is the place to be!

  • If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more.
  • Payments can be made through PayPal, bank transfers and cheques (delivery subject to realisation)
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website: http://www.thesandalwoodroom.com

Get Creative With These Home Decor Accessories – Mix n Match

New and different looks is the order of the day. We all (most of us!)want to stand out, make style statements and shine forth uniqueness in almost everything we do. It’s not as easy though – it asks for investments in time and money and aren’t we all rushed and pushed for the two?

Getting a new look with different styles in attire is quite superficial – that’s only a quarter of the battle won. It does not do much to the face which is what draws peoples’ attention and retains it, much after the colour and glamour of the clothes, or jewellery you wear, wears off. Hair can do that magic, for it instantly adds to the beauty of your face and so, rightly termed the ‘crowning glory’. I liken home decor accessories to hair. Just like different hair-dos fetch you different looks every time and add a certain newness to your style, so do home decor accessories. We cannot change the interiors of our homes, or the furnishings as often as we would like to, but we can certainly get creative and add accessories, to spruce up our homes in a way that even the cognoscenti would take note of.

Some creative ideas from The Sandalwood Room – small changes and additions to your walls and corner-spaces that will at once add colour and vibrancy to the spaces.

Decorative Hangings

tsr-customised-decorative-hangings_detachable accessories, the sandalwood room

Custom designed decorative hangings with detachable accessories

Whats special about these ? They can be custom designed. Each accessory, if you notice, is linked to the other by metal chains with hooks that can be attached, or detached. The pretty and colourful boxes in the decorative hangings double up as lamp shades, when used independently. Just detach them and place them on your beside table, in your study, or the living room for that warm, diffused glow. It lit up the worship area of a friend’s house ever so subtly, I had never thought of that!! So, play around with the cane and metal mesh balls, the stuffed toys or anything else you wish to add to the decorative hangings. Isn’t it a lot of fun getting creative, specially if we could mix and match? The pride we all take in such creations is priceless.

tsr-custom-designed-decorative-hangings-pink_fotor

Decorative hangings with detachable accessories

A gallery of the detachable accessories of the decorative hangings.

The hanging box lamps are pieces of art themselves – wooden frames with fabric, glass and copper inlays. The coloured glass used in some is reminiscent of the transoms and the room dividers in the pre-50 era across almost all cultures of the world. So if you are one those who love that look, these are perfect for you. The fabrics used in some others are either silk or silk-cotton, both hand-woven, lending them a rich look. The patterned sides like the one you see below, are made of laser cut copper filigree. An amalgamation of the old and new – traditional materials and craft, yet harnessing the very modern process of laser cutting.

And now for the solo lamp shade, this is how pretty it can look. Check out the second image below for descriptions and prices.

Decorative lamp with glass and laser cut copper filigree inlay, the sandalwood room

Decorative lamp with glass and laser cut copper filigree inlay

tsr-custome-designed-lamp-shades_fotor, the sandalwood room

Custom designed lamp shades in two sizes

Customising is also applying the multi-purpose benefits of an item, just like we did above. Here is another of that genre.

The Rope Trunk

Bright and beautiful rope trunk, handwoven, with storage, the sandalwood room

Bright and beautiful rope trunk, handwoven, with storage

This burst of pink and red in the rope trunk stole my heart, an instant perk-me-up accessory. Hand-woven and handcrafted home decor accessories are always a huge draw in today’s times, so just the right one for fine taste, for getting creative. The Sandalwood Room displays here, how the rope trunk could be utilised to store your cushions, quilts or just about anything, while adorning a cozy corner.

Decorative Mirrors

In keeping with the multi-purpose theme, getting creative and customisation, find below two mirrors that do precisely that. Before we go on to the pictures, a little dwelling upon on why we have all, without an exception come to love mirrors ; I cannot envisage a room without a mirror! TBT to an older post I wrote a while ago and here is the link Mirror musings , the Illusionist , the Therapist. Mirrors are space enhancers, reflect light and sound. Take away the mirror from a room to see how bare the space appears. Mirrors even heal and elevate moods – they are used in physiotherapy too. If you wish to know more, you could read about it in my post (link above).

Long wall mirror with decorative frame and hand block print blocks inlaid, the sandalwood room

Long wall mirror with decorative frame and hand block print blocks inlaid

In the meantime, check out this beautifully framed mirror, inlaid with hand-block print blocks. Hand block printing is an ancient Indian art form that uses a hand carved teak wood block, dipped in dye and stamped by hand on cotton or silk. The design for the block is typically a traditional Indian motif. The motif is traced on  a block by a master craftsman who then chips away at the block to create a stamp. But here, the inlaid blocks are used to render the frame ethnic. The beautiful mirror reflects in turn home decor accessories at the store. And here are the specs.

Long wall mirror with decorative frame and hand block print blocks inlaid, the sandalwood room

Long wall mirror with decorative frame and hand block print blocks inlaid

A peek at the hand block print blocks.

tsr-hand-block-print-blocks-embedded-in-mirror-frame_fotor, the sandalwood room

Hand block print blocks inlaid in mirror frame

Another mirror to do the magic, to your walls and to you. This is contemporary carving in wood and painted with a distress finish. So, all you distress finish enthusiasts, jot in on your list.

Wall mounted oval mirror with a distress finish

Wall mounted oval mirror with a distress finish

Decorative Wall Hanging

Intricately carved, this decorative wall hanging is purely an indoor home decor accessory. It combines the rustic with the artistic. Gift this to a dear one and you will be remembered fondly for gifting them art.

tsr-carved-wall-hanging-2_fotor, the sandalwood room

Carved wall hanging

tsr-carved-wall-hanging_fotor, the sandalwood room

Carved wall hanging

The Sandalwood Room at Singapore has all these and more on offer till the 10th Of February, as part of their exclusive home decor accessories sale.

  • Please drop in between 11 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday
  • 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays (Closed for Chinese New Year on Saturday the 28th) 

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists.For those with a penchant for contemporary arts and traditional crafts…this is the place to be!

  • If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more.
  • Payments can be made through PayPal, bank transfers and cheques (delivery subject to realisation)
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website: http://www.thesandalwoodroom.com

Singapore : Handmade Furniture Sale At The Sandalwood Room For A Unique Look

What is a new year all about without a few additions to life, a few new resolutions, learning a few new skills, stepping ahead to take on new challenges? Dress differently, eat healthy, exercise more, give ourselves and our homes a new makeover.

At The Sandalwood Room , is a selection of some very lovely furniture and home décor accessories to spruce up your homes with, in preparation for Spring.  At prices you would have never dreamt of, the handmade furniture sale at the lifestyle boutique has on offer, exclusive handmade seats and tables and lots more. We will bring you different categories like bookshelves, mirrors, cubbies, table lamps, swings and decorative hangings in the next blog post, hold on!

The Love Seat

love seat indian wood, the sandalwood room

Love seat made out of Indian wood

Love seat as it is called, a perfect buy with Valentine’s celebration round the corner. Perhaps an ideal gift for love-birds with marriage on the cards. Just so perfect to sit together sipping wine and gazing onto the ocean or overlooking the mountains from a balcony ! This lovely piece of furniture could just fit into a cozy alcove or a bay-window too.

Tempted to post a bit of trivia on love seats. A love seat is typically a sofa or couch designed for seating two persons (lovelocked maybe) is what we all understand, right? But history tells us that the first love seats, dating back to as early as the 1800s in the US and the UK were not intended to aid courtship between lovers, but more to provide a seat that would accommodate the large ladies’ dresses of that age!!

Quite understandable. But since then, love seats have had to, like everything else, adapt to contemporary needs. Gone are all those love seats weighing tons, giving way to petite, compact couches to fit any home, style and budget.

The Classic Bench

classic bench indian rosewood, the sandalwood room

Indian rosewood classic bench, preloved

Indian rosewood is widely used in furniture due to its durability and easy maintenance. Lends itself well to fine polishing.

Add that ethnic touch to your living spaces with this beautiful handmade classic bench, a furniture collector’s pride. With a straight and hard backrest, this preloved bench could turn out to be the preferred seat with your guests. A lot of people now posture conscious, are choosing appropriate seats, even in restaurants. No more slouchy-sinking-into seats!

Chairs 

indonesian wood distress finish natural finish chairs

Distress finish and natural finish chairs

Lawn and garden ambience is what comes to mind when you see these chairs. Patios and study rooms could do well with these preloved chairs too.  I must recount here, being a theatre enthusiast, the extensive use of such chairs at play readings, rehearsals and book launches. They probably give a certain air of authenticity and charm to such occasions.

Handcrafted from Indonesian teak wood, they come in natural and distress finish. Whats so welcoming about anything in teak wood is that it is resistant to all types of weather, decay and insects. And the beauty of it lies in the oil content in its heartwood that gives teak its gleam.

The Barstool

barstools distress finish indonesian teak, the sandalwood room

Distress finish barstools

Made out of Indonesian teak with a distress finish for a rustic look, these preloved bar stools make a statement. Set up a cozy little bar in a quiet private area of your house for just the two of you, or place them in the kitchen around your high coffee table, or make them a part of assorted seating at the big bar where you entertain guests. And play some country music to set the mood!

The Seat Trunk

seat trunk handmade indigo patterned

Handmade seat trunk patterned in indigo

Here now, we have seating of a different kind. A seat trunk. Trendy, grungy, contemporary, yet classic the description says. Add to that the utility of storage – your spare cushions, bed and table linen or even your clothes can be neatly tucked into inside the seat trunk or the trunk seat ! Another one for those who love the classic, vintage look.

Side Table

carved side table, thesandalwoodroom

Ethnic carved side table

This carved side table fit to be proudly displayed in any part of the house with its beautiful and intricate carving on all its four sides. Just make sure you don’t let it stain, its too pretty to be tarnished in any way. No furniture in any part of the world is complete without carving, if it has to get the ethnic look.

The Coffee Table

green marble topped coffee table, the sandalwood room

Green marble topped coffee table

Place this preloved green marble-topped coffee table in your garden, patio, balcony, living room or any space that you wish to lend an ethnic or classical touch and display your refined taste. The marble top serving its purpose well even if beverages spill over sometimes. There is something very cooling and soothing about marble even when you set eyes on it, let alone its touch and feel? Little wonder then that it has remained the favourite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects. It is loved across the globe and has become a cultural symbol of tradition, making it a preferred decorative material.

Another coffee table in wood, Indian teak with a natural teak finish. The delicately carved tabletop with its vintage touch is sure to catch the connoisseur’s eye.

wooden round coffee table. the sandalwood room

Classic look wooden round coffee table

Make it your bedside coffee table or let it stand elegantly in your study. You would think I am obsessed with study rooms, yes I am. They are perfect havens to be by yourself, with yourself – replete with books, music and your desk-top. A cup of well-brewed coffee and some cookies on the coffee table would complete the picture.

The Sandalwood Room at Singapore has all these and more on offer till the end of January, as part of their exclusive furniture sale.

  • Please drop in between 11 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday
  • 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays (Closed for Chinese New Year on Saturday the 28th) 

The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street, close to Tanjong Pagar, Singapore is an exclusive boutique with gifts and collectibles, ethnic fashion, jewelry, home decor and art, an eclectic mix of merchandise and an art gallery that hosts periodic exhibitions by international artists.For those with a penchant for contemporary arts and traditional crafts…this is the place to be!

  • If you have liked any of the above products, click here to explore more.
  • Payments can be made through PayPal, bank transfers and cheques (delivery subject to realisation)
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: thesandalwoodroom@gmail.com

Website: http://www.thesandalwoodroom.com

Bury My Ashes In Dharwad

No Farewell To Dharwad

Bound by rope to bamboo, on a pyre of wood, you will soon consign me to the flames. Charred to ashes and swept ever so gently by the wind, I will blend with the Universe.

My remains are all but a handful of bones (can I really call them mine?) I exist no more ! A pot of stubborn bones and crumbly ashes, all that is left of me, you carry in your hands reverentially.

You weep and I weep too, but its different. You will prevail, but I have to depart !!! I weep at the thought of being sundered from my dear Dharwad !

No end to desires is the decree of the sages. Yet, I do have one final longing, will you hear me out?

Skirting the city where serenity reigns over a little pond ; where lush green cover abounds ; where cows, bulls and buffaloes stride by to quench their thirst herding their bantam calves – there, the soft tinkling of the cow bells around their necks, I must hear ; lilting notes of the cowherds’ flutes must be near. The distinct clinking of glass bangles as women folk troop to the pond to wash their loads of clothes must float to my ears. Learned banter of the Wise as they stroll out for fresh air must linger in my ears. All and much that happens in my dear Dharwad must I apperceive, while the rains of Shraavana drench every inch of me.

In such a spot, bury my remains, will you ? That I may dwell eternally in the bosom of my dear Dharwad.

(PS : Shraavana is considered to be a holy month in the Hindu calendar due to the many festivals that are celebrated during this time.)

A new literary attempt in 2017.

The above ‘poetry-to-prose’ is an attempt to reproduce a poem from a regional language to English in the form of a story, a Wordsong.

My father had a dream for me. He tried his best in his lifetime to get me to write. “Just write’, he would say “and you will soon write well”. It remains a regret to this day that I denied him that pleasure. If there is a way to make up to him for that, I dedicate all my blogging to my dad.

Not a man of letters himself, I mean academically, but write, he did – my father, N H Katgeri. In simple and colloquial words, yet moved minds and hearts when he let his emotions pour forth. He wrote in Kannada, a regional language from the south of India. In his first publication ‘Pratijnegalu‘, which is a collection of short poems or should I say his random musings, he reveals his reverence to his home-town, Dharwad, which he loves to distraction.

kannada book of poems pratijnegalu n h katgeri, my thought lane

Pratijnegalu, the book of poems by N H Katgeri in Kannada

Eight years after he passed away have I taken to paying a tribute to him, in trying to reach his literary work wider and placing Dharwad, the land of many fine arts (music, literature, handicrafts and folk-art) on a bigger map.

Dharwad : Used to be a sleepy town with sylvan surroundings once upon a time, but is now a throbbing city that is caught between the old world charm and the inescapable modernity of the times. My father did and I lament too at having lost a beautiful hilly town to the ravages of a city that tries hard to keep pace with the rest of the world. But some, like this college premises, the famous Karnatak College have managed to retain their old-world charm. More on the diversities of Dharwad soon.

Karnatak college once the railways building, my thought lane

The beautiful railway building of the British era converted to an Arts & Science College, the karnatak College

Dharwad is said to be at least 900 years old and is rich with its cultural heritage. It is now the district headquarters of Dharwad district in the state of Karnataka. It was merged with Hubballi, a neighbouring city in 1961 to form the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad. Located 425 km northwest of Bengaluru on NH 48, it is lodged between Pune and Bengaluru and makes for some excellent driving trips.

Wikipedia says this about Dharwad :

The word “Dharwad” means a place of rest in a long travel or a small habitation. For centuries, Dharwad acted as a gateway between the Malenaadu (western mountains) and the Bayalu seeme (plains) and it became a resting place for travellers. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘dwarawata’, ‘dwara‘ meaning “door” and ‘wata‘ or ‘wada‘ meaning “town”.

Isnt it symbolic then that my father yearns to rest eternally in the bosom of Dharwad, the place of rest ?