Connections ~ Modigliani Chughtai and Zehra

One-off and unique, hand-painted and hand-crafted silk dresses for women, like no other. And with a mission! Created by my fine artist friend from Pakistan, Zehra Hasnain, who graduated from NCA the year I joined back then in 1980. It was she who gave my parents the much-needed nudge to agree that arts was the right career choice for me. Little was she to know, art is my way of life!

She was always an urban chic, though having gotten married and in raising her fabulous four sons, her passion for painting took a back seat. Nevertheless she created a home that can only be described as magical. From the sculpted fountains, to the clothes and interior designs, all have her creative signature. I met her recently after a gap of thirty odd years. Her aesthetics continue to transform the world around her. And she has shared her blessings all along with those less fortunate than her. She is now following her heart in a radical way. Continue reading Connections ~ Modigliani Chughtai and Zehra

Casa Ali >> Happy birthday India Pakistan!

Coming up… August. Two of my homes, India Pakistan celebrate their 66th birthday. My recipes for the month can not help reference some of the food that I grew up with. And its Eid as well! What’s nearly gone is…

… July and what a packed month it has been. Four Casa Ali gatherings, created and handed over content for food4thought, some of my harvest has begun, couch surfer guests from Turkey and Australia and a new kid added to the line of royals in a summer which has been the hottest in many years (wonder how it would impact on the future of united kingdom). Continue reading Casa Ali >> Happy birthday India Pakistan!

Connections – Nila Madhab Panda

With a three tier name Nila Madhab Panda, Madhab is one of the most unassuming film directors I know.

Back in 2007, whilst researching for an Indian creative associate for my project 60×60 Secs, his name was mentioned several times by different people. 60×60 Secs; one-minute film commissions from Britain India Pakistan to reflect on migration, displacement and cultural identity in the 21st century. Having met several artists in Bombay and Delhi, finding none to be suitable for the project, I met Madhab at Cafe Coffee Day a day before my return. Continue reading Connections – Nila Madhab Panda

Mementoes of my memory tree

May your life always be filled with beautiful, exotic, deep, enriching, blossoming and blissful scents… and may you always know your own and wear it with pride. Gérard

This hand written note on the inside leaf of Patrick Süskind‘s Perfume is a memento which replays the time I had a fling with a young man, a sensitive soul, while I was in my long-term relationship. Whenever the page presents itself, the distant past flashes back. Not that I am a nostalgic by any means… I love memories. Am not attached to them yet they bring a serene joy in my life. Strange though it may sound, in the spring clean, year after year, my stash of troubled moments have been recycled into enchantment. Continue reading Mementoes of my memory tree