India rediscovering her grass of origin

 photo courtesy

Konkan railway has started to plant vetiver grass along its laterite slope to stop landsliding. Roots of vetiver grass grow at least 3 metres inside the soil and its fibrous nature bind and hold soil tightly. The roots have strength of 1/6 of mild steel (eco steel!).

 courtesy samhollenshead.comcourtesy

courtesy P Haridas( Bharathiar University, Coimbatore,India

The konkan railway region is one of the most scenically green belt in India. Konkan railway has been called a tech marvel for its difficult terrain, tunnels and sky bus project. It has added one more green feather to its cap. Vetiver grass is not only a green solution but it’s primary centre of origin is India.

It was long long ago when I was in school, I had seen ‘ khus ki tatti’ (vetiver roots screen) at my maternal uncle’s place. The screen was used for cooling (eco-manufacturers listening?) and it gave mild earthy aroma. I do not see vetiver roots screen anywhere now.

Among many uses vetiver grass is used for soil and water conservation. Vetiver grass is called ‘khas’ in Hindi and is used  now mainly by itra (scent) manufacturers.

I have also rediscovered this-people’s-grass. Beautiful handicraft’s were used to be made from vetiver. These days I see cane and coir handicrafts  but unfortunately not a vetiver grass handicraft.

courtesy chaipat.or.thphoto courtesy www.chaipat.or.thcourtesy

I wish to revive vetiver grass craftmanship. Any artisan listening?

simplicity rocks


This Ryan Frank design could not have been more simple,  more down to earth, more recyclable, more beautiful and more eco.

When I saw this  brick and cork box called Harrison’s Rock first on BOUF, I started dreaming of so many dmps ( do myself projects) that I knew it is going to be my evergreen favourite.


I always wanted to do something with brick and glass.  I still have drawings of a shelf made of these two materials which I wanted to make 3 years ago. Ryan Frank’s free-range furniture designs have inspired me to bring out my dowdy furniture drawings and make them see light of the day.

Rain, rain go away!


I couldn’t write on saturday because of scary situation rains had posed which had Mumbai under floods. My daughters were held up for hours in school. No buses or local trains were running to their school’s suburb. Finally we could fetch them with the help of a taxiwallah who at every flooded point threatened us to leave us there only.


In our previous flat my husband had installed balcony window glass all coloured. That was his favourite nook for he enjoyed drizzle of rains with a book in hand.  Now I wonder in Mumbai how many people are not able to enjoy   rains and instead get scared.


First it was mangroves and wetlands which were reclaimed by builders and city planners ignoring the ecology. Now it is the turn of salt-pans area of Mumbai. The builders and city planners are running to grab and develope this area.


With hundreds of active citizens I am also scared to think how Mumbai would choke in coming years. 

And how it changes interiors of  low lying or ground floor homes. People this year have switched from wood to stone. They even have got marble beds made. A few have their rooms elevated by 1 to 2 feet. Traders have got 3 to 4 feet high wooden planks installed at the entrance of their shops as their check-dams.

And Mumbai fire brigade has acquired latest gadgets like these rocket launchers:


Which when fired give an inflated tube to target area to save people caught in floods.


Only if we stop tempering with ecology so much!

no trojan horse


My evergreen fascination for horses brings me to these discoveries.


This is a bedroom by Barbara Hawthorn. The fairytale stuff, my growing girls want-want.


The modern bedroom which I crave for.


Unter dem roten Pferd is a room in Berlin’s Arte Luise Kunsthotel. They have all rooms designed by different artists. This one is designed by Roman Schmelter.

Anybody wants this onix horse from Indonesia or the above painted wood rajasthani horse from India.


May all in this world get their prince charming. Amen!

celebrating restoration

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Just 7 days ago my university, University of Mumbai completed celebrating 150th year. To me it was not commerce or science learning there, it was and is getting lost in grand architecture, beautiful archways and mesmerising stained glass work. The pristine glory was falling apart but 150th year forced authorities to sit up and do the restoration work.

The 132 year old Convocation Hall was restored last year and Rajabai Tower which houses University library was restored a few years ago.

Yes I am celebrating restoration work!