Melissa Collison


India Inspires

We left off last week with Italy and before we land back to reality, it would be my pleasure to take you on my magic carpet through India this week.  As an interior designer and one that is captivated by colour and textures and shapes, India Inspires....(just writing this now fills me of pangs of desire to jump on a plane and go back right now...back to work..concentrate Melissa)

If you've been to India you probably either loved it or hated it.  It's one of those places that generally inspires either feeling.  I love it.

Note:  I couldn't believe my fortune of seeing these men, who were working on the Taj Mahal when I was there. It was incredibly hot and they were resting on the white marble and completely dressed in white cloth with their bitter chocolate skin stunningly juxtaposed.  I hope my camera captured the beauty of the moment.

I love India for being full of colour, surprise and juxtaposition; it's so full of extremes.  Imagine driving for hours through the dry desert of Rajasthan in 45 degree heat.  Not sandy desert, but barren lands with just the occasional tree popping up here and there.  Far off in the distance you see farming women walking together in saris of brilliant neon pink, green and yellow.  The colours are so vibrant they almost pop out of the distance like an Andy Warhol artwork.

The cities are so crazy and full of life. Hustling street vendors almost chase you down the street as you weave your way though bicycles, motor-cycles and tuk-tuks.  Makeshift markets display baskets of fruit and spices and herbs. It's joyous madness.  But then there are faces that have stained my memory.  Faces of children begging, crushing their latte faces with almond eyes, surrounded in thick kohl and hair woven on their heads like a mass of sticky toffee, against the window of your car.  But there is also much inspiration to be found.  

Mirrored walled buildings, fantastically coloured tiles, bone inlays, and Islamic inspired scrolls and curves to the architecture. Umbers, brilliant blue, electric green, rouge pink and deep red.  Gold, yellow, silver...  Wedding processions are like a sweeping mass of colour.  Every colour in every shade imaginable wrap up the women in bright femininity.

...right down to the southern tip, Kerala and the backwaters, where the ocean colours lick the edges of the lush green foliage.  Bring on the monsoon. Rain so deep and refreshing that all can begin again.  India, with your palaces, your brightly painted and finely decorated trucks, your strong aromas that scent us, your smiling faces and the warmth of your hennaed hands that hold ours. You are as electrically bright as your peacock - and just as proud. I hope you continue to guard your home as fiercely as Ganesh.  I cannot wait until we meet again.