Friday, September 25, 2009

On A Festive Break!

Today I participated in Durga Puja festivities in my new locality albeit with some old friends. I will be away from blogging for the next few days as I'm going to be busy with the festive season.

Here's wishing all my readers a happy Durga Puja and Dusshera. May the goddess shower health, happiness and harmony for all.... Leaving you all with this image of the goddess in our new home.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bamboo Boat Finally Afloat

Well, that title is not to be taken too literally! :) For my bamboo boat is a smart new garden container. I had purchased this funky creation from a fair last winter and finally got to plant some greens in it.

The bamboo boat is basically a long, hollow piece of bamboo artfully closed from the two sides so you can use it as a planter. It even has a hole at the bottom for drainage, and comes with a string to hang. But for now I prefer keeping it on the ledge next to my iron trellis.

With the last leg of rainfall happening about ten days back, the humidity levels have increased and new plants are taking root easily. So the bamboo boat got a mix of spider plant, yellow day lily and jade.

Here's hoping by spring these would look bigger and better, turning the boat into a green haven!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Furniture Fracas

When we decided to move into the new house, we realized we were woefully short on furniture. We had sold off an old bed and centre table, and now required new pieces for both the living room and the kids’ bedroom. So off we went, hunting around furniture shops.

My husband was keen to buy branded designer furniture, and after much deliberation we settled for Usha Lexus. For one it was a tried and tested brand. My husband had used their furniture at my in-laws’ place for many years without any complaints. And secondly, their designs - with its clean, uncluttered lines - caught our fancy. So we zeroed in on our requirements:
  • For the kids’ bedroom I was very clear that I wanted to use two single beds that could be joined together to form a double bed. To achieve this it was important that the headboard design be such that it looked complete both as a single piece and as a joined double bed. We threw in a bedside table with drawers as well.

  • Our main drawing room wall needed a visual break to separate out the living and dining areas. We decided to do that through a display cabinet - something that would fit in with both spaces, and yet provide the required demarcation between the two.

  • Finally, we chose a new sofa set sans the mandatory centre table for the living room.
And thus began our misery. Usha Lexus promised to deliver the order in a month’s time. Not only did they slip on that, the first batch of delivered furniture took us by total shock.

The headboards of the beds were of differing heights, and did not match.

Horror of horrors - the cabinet they delivered was not even made of wood! They just stuck together some ply pieces and tried to pass it off as designer furniture.

With the stamps of the ply board clearly showing! Can you imagine this from a company of the stature of Usha Lexus??

This was shocking, and I began a tirade against them. Innumerable calls to the salesperson and the quality manager followed. My husband sent a bunch of complaint mails. Defective pieces kept going back and forth for two months.

After much stress and heartburn, finally they got us some decent pieces. But even those are not half as lasting as the polish on them has begun to crack already.

Moral of the story: Just because it is a brand doesn’t mean it has to be good. Sometimes they turn out to be worse than the local furniture makers! You can hope to have good pieces from them only if you can fight tooth and nail over an extended period, like we did.

The only saving grace: They are fairly good at customized orders, so you can get exactly what you want, as per your specific need.

Of course, I must mention here that the sales person was so relieved to get us off his back that he sent along a complimentary centre table to match the new sofa set. :) Not that I needed it (we already had a lovely coffee table from Fab India by then). But I am now using that extra centre table as a curio display. More on that in a future post…

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Miracle Of Life

What kind of gardener are you?

I have a neighbour who gets home full-grown potted plants from the neighbourhood nursery, replants them into fancy containers, and then claims to have "grown" the plants herself! Considering that 90% of her garden consists of varieties of coleus (easy to grow, require maintenance only in extreme temperatures), I don't get too impressed by her kind of gardening.

If you belong to her type, this post is really not for you.

But if you are my type - yes, one of those who go out to check on each new leaf in the garden every morning, who care for a plant right from sowing the seeds and tending the saplings up to when they are healthy young greens - then you'll know the joy that such a sight brings....

I planted two seeds a few days back, and then one sprouted. I thought, 'If it pulls through, I can hope to have more creepers crawling up my balcony walls.'

Then the soil moved a little, and the next morning I saw another one rearing its little head, confidently pushing through the earth.

Now they are both growing rapidly, and seems like my plans for more creepers may just work out with their timely contribution!

Isn't it such a blessing to be able to enjoy these small miracles in our everday life! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our Special Neighbours - III : Doggy Four Shoes

Never seen a canine friend in shoes? Well, we have one such specimen in the neighbourhood! A Labrador Retriever who passes by everyday.
Don't believe me? Just check out his pictures...

Well, I confess I'm not too sure if they are shoes or socks or stockings or what.... But we called him 'Doggy Four Shoes' from the beginning and the name stuck!

Mind you, he is a stylish fellow - changes his footwear every single day. No repeats for this guy!

Okay, there is an exception.... On rainy days he appears sans his trademark socks. But trades them for snazzy rain-gear. So you see, the style quotient remains wayyyyy up there!! :)

Hope you enjoyed meeting our stylish neighbour just as much as we love seeing him everyday. Especially the kids - they call out to him, or my hubby whistles softly, and he stops in his tracks and looks up! Some friendships just can't be defined.... :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Busy Season Starts

I know I have been away from this blog for a while. I was kept busy with:

Spending a day with, and entertaining some dear friends
Hoping our kids get to forge bonds of friendship in the process

Recovering from another bad bout of flu
Thanking my stars it wasn't the swine variety

Celebrating my darling daughter's fourth birthday
Sharing her excitement through her special day

Shopping like crazy for the kids and the home in anticipation of the festival season
Planning how to celebrate the bunch of upcoming festivals

Here is a collage of pictures depicting the above (the good bits, of course).

I can foresee that this month and the next my blog posts are likely to be few and far between, but I'll try my best to keep up the pace.

In the meanwhile, hope you all enjoy the festive season! :)

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