Effortless Style- Jubilant in Jaipur

Posted on November 28 2014

This past weekend a motley crew boarded the Shatabdi from New Delhi railway station to the magical land of Jaipur. (It is no coincidence that last week’s column was on travel and this week covers a visit to one of our favourite cities.)

Jaipur 123

We were a group of 7 - all women friends - ranging in age from 22 to 73. A student and a grandmother, a food blogger and a horse breeder, a textile designer, an interior architect and a multi talented army wife…

Not all of us knew each other – some were friends of friends – but as the journey progressed and our four day visit came to a close, we discovered what travel is all about: an opening of the heart and mind, a discovery not just of places but of people and ourselves.

Some of the group had not been to Jaipur before. For the oldest and the youngest of the party it was a time of first time exploration and discovery. For the rest of us it was a reconnect with the colourful chaos that had so enchanted us on previous visits. The equestrian among us insisted on taking us along to the 61st Cavalry Museum, a homage to the history and valour of the only horse mounted regiment of the Indian Army.

The textile enthusiast made us enter cavernous fabric warehouses, bursting with kaleidoscopic motifs in jewel tones. We swooned over block prints in Sanganer and had to tear ourselves away from tiny workshops displaying exquisite linens.

A chance find was the studio of the talented Deepa Sethi. We stumbled upon her jewellery while looking for something else and struck an immediate connect with this happy, enthusiastic designer who pays homage to Rajasthan’s traditions while rendering them in her chic and unusual style. We will definitely be seeing more of her gorgeous creations…

Our food blogger kept disappearing down little alleyways, discovering and capturing the art of the perfect ghevar while downing little earthenware glasses brimming with lassi accompanied by mirchi pakoras…. her camera capturing all the magic for her students in far away Manchester…

On our last day we found ourselves in the “mostly organic” Anokhi café, reviewing our trip and our experiences. An informal business plan inspired by a shared passion for beautiful well-made clothing, and a pooling of our myriad talents was developed over the course of a leisurely lunch. One day this little germ of an idea may well develop into something…

The young student took inspiration from the septuagenarian’s glowing skin, easy elegance and dedication to her daily yoga practice.

The colour obsessed among us made a note of the crispness of black and white in the multi-hued environment of Rajputana. I broke the monotony of my monochrome wardrobe with a pair of lime green palazzos and a box of the most beautifully bejewelled lac bangles.

“Have passport will travel” used to be my mantra for many years, but now I am discovering anew the pleasure of travel to different corners of our amazing country. We missed our train back to Delhi, and travelled picnic style instead in a nine- seater van, thereby extending the holiday feeling for a few more hours. Our return to the capital coincided with the arrival of our mild early winter. It’s delightful weather now to plan a journey. Take inspiration from Maya Angelou’s piquant observation. “Travel may not prevent bigotry”, she said, “but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”


Kavita Joshi Rai-Writer of the weekly column "Effortless Style" | Globetrotter | Style Seeker | Beauty Junkie | Favorite Quote- elegance is the only beauty that never fades | @msmstyletalk

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