A Small House in Hot Pink

06 Aug

What I like about the above, apart from the designer’s hilariously bitchy “here, meet a real Indian” moment, is that it’s a surprisingly good take on an Indian theme. All too often (and you’ll see this in desi homes all over the world) “Indian” gets compacted into a sad Rajasthani wall hanging or two, stuck incongruously above a faux antique of the Raj kind, with maybe sari-style curtains or something.

There’s nothing wrong with those things individually, and if you can make them all work together to evoke a sense of India then good for you. But it usually just ends up looking like an afterthought, like a comforting sign to visiting relatives that you still know how to eat with your hands even if you’ve married a white person.

The room above chooses to make the statement with colors and accents instead, which is really clever. I’d never live in it because I need quieter walls if I’m to sleep at night, but it’s absolutely arresting and I’d entertain in it all the time.

Also, I suppose this is when I admit defeat and say yes, we’re a hot pink nation. With orange accents.

You know where I’d live though? In one of these teeny tiny Japanese homes. I really would.

I grew up in homes with lots of space, so when I was little, I was always trying to create little spaces in them for me to inhabit with my imaginary characters. One of my favorite hideouts was a little tent I’d make out of bedsheets, pillows and a collapsible luggage trolley out on the terrace with a bird’s eye view of the city in front of me. When the siesta was over and they came looking for me, I could simply collapse the whole thing, stow it in the corner and go down.

I have very strong ideas when it comes to space. I don’t necessarily mind smaller spaces as long as it’s well ventilated with lots of light. One of the reasons I love living in cities is because living in an apartment is a whole lot like living in my collapsible luggage tent – a smaller space all my own within a large community of people. And for reasons of laziness (nobody picks up after me anymore! Boo @ adulthood!), I’m a very neat and clutter-free person. So how much space do I need, anyway? It’s not like I have a ton of kids I want to hide from. What I need is a vista to look out upon so that I can breathe and sunlight to remind me that I’m not a vampire even though I keep bloodsucker hours.

Sigh. It’s all very A Room of One’s Own. Times may have changed but the needs remain the same, I guess.

I’ll take one micro-house in hot pink to go, please! Hold the orange, double the violet!



Posted by on August 6, 2010 in Life, Personal


Tags: , , , ,

10 responses to “A Small House in Hot Pink

  1. dipali

    August 7, 2010 at 2:09 am

    We used to make hide outs with ‘charpais’ standing on their sides and draped with bed covers. The urge to snuggle into a small space seems to be an integral part of childhood, it seems!
    The hot pink room is too womb like for me, though.
    Orange accents rock!

  2. eclat

    August 7, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I love hot pink and orange and use them a lot in my work, but when I saw this article, the first thought that came to my mind was “argh how cliched and lazy”! The whole ‘pink is the navy blue of India” thing is so blah.
    The room’s fun, but overdone- more a teen boudoir.
    If I was the singer/music guru it seems to be meant for, my alaaps would come out as screams for mercy instead.

    The Japanese homes are so beautiful and balanced in contrast!

  3. Candor Meets Khan Dour

    August 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Speaking of “hot pink” and evo’king’ a sense of India in the US, I’m instantly reminded of that walking/jogging scene in a California park, from MNIK: Kajol in black sweats with pink trim, flanked by SRK and this gal (neighbor?) in hot pink sweats! 😀

    Kajol candidly comments that pink is so her color and the conversation moves to cell phones and SRK’s expression morphs to one of morbidness. “Bees bees bees,” he goes, and Kajol quickly explains to the perplexed gal next to her that oh he’s worrying about bees potentially losing their way home distracted/diverted by cellular signals. Love that scene!!

    BTW, if you were to entertain in this room and I were invited, be preapared for me to pass out the moment I walk in. 😛 This is the very definition of sensory overload for a pastels person like me!

  4. Amrita

    August 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Dipali – “womb-like” pretty much describes your average NYC apartment, with or without hot pink paint 😀

    Eclat – I don’t know why I didn’t have your reaction because I normally would. I just found it really pretty 😀 if not exactly my thing.

    CMKD – AHAHAHA! I was just telling Beth and Greta that I couldn’t sleep in there because those walls would give me indigestion. It’s not a restful room by any means.
    And yes, I remember that scene – one of the few that worked for me although I’m afraid I rolled my eyes at the Bees thing because it’s such an old tale. Wouldn’t a savant know new things?

    • CMKD

      August 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm

      Agree that the Bees thing is old whine in a new bottle, but didn’t SRK deliver it oh-so-cutely, regardless?

      And to Sachita’s point below, I guess it’s a given that the westerner’s perception of India has always been more Rajasthani than Tiruvellikeni, no? (at least decor-wise..)

  5. sachita

    August 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    whats the relationship between painting the wall and calling it indian ? i am an indian and all but…

    i have seen ‘panjumittai'(cotton candy) color silk sarees yes, but the houses have always white/off white/cream/ light blue.

  6. bollyviewer

    August 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Hmm… even as a kid, hiding in this room would’ve given me colourful nightmares (I used to have my “tent” under the dining table)! I’d say, if you want to make a place “feel like India”, paint the walls white and light the room with tube lights so bright that the sunlight feels dim in comparison.

  7. Amrita

    August 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    CMKD / Sachita – yeah, I dont think it’s a literal “here’s what the walls look like” thing, it’s more of a “let’s use these colors to make you think you live inside a bollywood song” thing.

    BV – HAHAHHAHHAHA! So true. Find a couple of mosquitoes and moths as well as a lizard to hunt them to add atmosphere and you’re all set.

  8. sophy

    August 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    My pink house was actually a turmeric. Now I realize it is a new color for America but did the real estate agent really have to describe it as orange. It sold anyway, and really fast–orange walls and all. Yellow walls are all the rage now but then it was out there.

  9. sangs

    August 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Looks like a room from a karan johan movie. a typical indian room for me would be white-washed walls, tube light, dining table with pickle bottles, pappadam containers, manorama calendar hanging on the wall. oh wait…ive just described my granma’s house! (sob!) i miss her!

%d bloggers like this: