Welcome to crazy busy July with bouquets & brickbats. All in all, a very happening month and nothing makes me happier than being busy. A lot has happened and the month is about to come to an end. I’m doing a quick update on the things I’ve been upto. There’s new alcohol in town! While Berentzen brands have been in India for a while, those have been with franchises etc. This is the first time the company is launching it brands independently in India. Their agency invited some people for a party at PCO Vasant Vihar and everyone had quite a blast as everyone always does at PCO.
I wore a happy summery dress from Forever21 ( you know they have an online store in India now don’t you? ) I tried Berentzen’s John Medley Whiskey and their Whipped Cream Puschkin and the latter was my favorite by far ( if you like Bailey’s – it’s something like that. )
As always, the bar was a lively place to be! I’ve been shopping. ( What’s new! ) Mango had some lovely things on their online India store and I ordered my first pair of leather trousers, one pair of shoes shown below and one shiny side-sling bag. I was pleased as punch when the order arrived and everything was in excellent condition. This time DHL asked for KYC documents online and I don’t think they will be asking me again because they have the record now! Major WIN. The shoes I’d ordered were European 39 but due to some error, they shipped a size 38 and I only found out once I’d worn them for a day – my feet were blistered even though I’d opened up the laces. ( I’m in the process of making the returns – first time – never returned anything I’d shopped online from Mango earlier. It isn’t a very steep learning curve though and if you shop for over INR 6,500 shipping and returns are free. )
I’m also doing a cool project with Cotton Council International where they profile real people who wear cotton. ( I know I know, most of us wear cotton but it’s a nice project and a great excuse for me to photograph people! ) The profiles show up on the liveincotton.tumblr.com blog and in the process I’ve also made new friends. @kumar_deep @ddey67 @kanikagahlaut
Also Kanika’s kitty!
New furniture! I’d been desperately waiting for the right time to order this sexy chest of drawers. And when I say “right time”, I mean the time when the mess my stuff was creating could no longer be contained on one room’s floor. I ordered this from Urban Ladder and they delivered it much before their “When can you expect the order date?” It’s sheesham / teak wood and weighs about 72 kilograms when empty. I’ve filled it up with my equipment and accessories as well as shoes and face-care / makeup and my leather handbags. Great purchase. The top right drawer looks very different from the rest of the drawers but apart from that superficial observation ( that I only saw one day I was sitting and admiring the piece! ) I only have nice things to say. And wood. It’s wood. I love wood. Thanks @UrbanLadder
The Monsoon rains haven’t exactly “hit” NCR – especially Noida. But there have been some showers and I’ve been grateful for the respite from the heat. Especially due to all the driving around involved for the CCI #LiveInCotton project. I got to catch a break this last week because I didn’t have my car with me and that led to wardrobe management. I spent one full day sorting, culling, cleaning and arranging my cupboard. Below left is this beautiful cotton shirt I’d purchased from Mango many years ago. It has beautiful Nacre / Mother of Pearl buttons and while the fabric of the shirt is DONE, I didn’t have the heart to throw out the buttons. Snipped them off and stored them in case I decide to do something with them. Shirt has been cut up to be used as cleaning cloth pieces. On the bottom right is a box full of sushi from Sushiya, Select City Walk, Saket. I’d never eaten there in all these years that I’ve been in NCR. Got to correct that during a busy day of client meetings. And the wasabi was fantastic. I judge sushi places by the wasabi they serve. Till it doesn’t singe my nostrils, it ain’t any good.
I love Twitter contests! Especially when the winner gets Beer! @CraftBeerHive was hosting a contest, giving away a six pack of Estrella Damm and I had never tried this beer so of course I had to participate. And I won! ( Yes, even after all these years of participating in and winning contests, winning a new one has me completely STOKED. ) Soon enough the beer was hand-delivered and of course it’s all gone now but I had to photograph the beautiful bottles.
The #LiveInCotton project has been most satisfying. I have not worked on such an assignment earlier – not because I didn’t have offers but because I wasn’t sure I was up to it. Profiling people, meeting more than a few each day, asking them interview questions etc. was not something I saw myself doing happily. I always assumed I would be miserable. And how wrong I was. I’ve been stunned by people’s generosity not only with their time for MY project for a client but also how nice they have been to me. Each person I have photographed so far has been immensely kind and I think about this on a daily basis. I still have some portraits to go and I am eagerly looking forward to wrapping this up and collecting all these beautiful experiences. Them crows below as I drove back home after photographing another person for CCI’s project.
Last – but not the least ( there is SO much more! ), you do know about the store I launched right? You can now purchase ready-to-hang Canvas prints of some of my photographs. I’m adding new prints on an almost-daily basis – there are SO many options. Screenshot of the simple store below. It stands for many years of frustration with the online e-commerce system and payment gateways that were anything but single-person-enterprise friendly. Finally someone suggested @PayUMoney and my whole world changed. I still have to pinch myself when I see the online store. The store runs on @Shopify & @PayUMoney
I will probably write more about the store and how I got it going etc. The coming months are going to be intensely crazy. Lots of events and assignments lined up and being discussed.
Thank you for reading this edition of #WhatsUpNaina
Previous editions of #WhatsUpNaina