A quote by John Russel “Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting” pretty much describes my friend’s amazing property, outside Jaipur. When she invited me for an event and stay at her farm, I actually wasn’t aware of this paradise she lived in. Its only after the entire experience did I realize the worth of my impromptu holiday.
Dealing with the vicissitudes of life – pristine greenery and quietude, was a welcome change. Ritu, Surya and their 9yr. old son – Vihaan, were like an extended family. Along with hospitality, their ingenuity in designing spaces could not have gone unnoticed by me. The creatively inclined Rajput couple had skillfully put to use whatever they could salvage from their palace; since the government was building a dam which would eventually submerge it in water.
Entering late night, I breathed in the quaint aesthetics – old wooden railing under the bright blue iron grills of the verandah, outside my room. Next morning we ate breakfast in an enclosed outdoor living area and kitchen, on the other side of the pool. There too, the old wooden windows with coloured glass panes and small potted plants hung in their arches stole the show. In the kitchen were amusing steel graters and kitchen strainer lampshades and spoon, fork and knife in exaggerated sizes is picture perfect for a great design escape. Inquisitive to take a peek into their creative minds, I requested Ritu to further show me around her landscaped estate.
During the guided tour of this sustainable 7 room boutique hotel, 25kms away from Jaipur, I learnt more about upcycling and repurposing of archaic objects. And noticed, how like cogs of a machine, 10 years of togetherness (literally living with each other 24×7) had the couple speak more or less the same language.
Well described as a Garden of Eden in scrap in her own words, the lawns had trees sculpted out of metal scarp. Infact the project had been a turning point in their lives – honing bohemian sensibilities. Being patrons of art, Ritu and Surya both collect antique artefacts and contemporary artworks from off-beat locales and upcoming artists. And so, their home keeps evolving with time.
Playing the perfect hosts, both husband and wife also encourage the guests to share their secret recipes, cook for everyone and enjoy slow living. But the icing on the cake was an adorable old soul in a young body (Vihaan-their son), who took full responsibility of entertaining me with his stories and poems, board games and all time favourite – lego toys.
Written about, by most reputed travel magazines world over, it probably might still be a fairly new find for Indians, themselves. But comes highly recommended, if letting go or unwinding is a difficult state to achieve; since the world is quiet here!!!