Today in New Delhi, India
Apr 23, 2019-Tuesday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Creativity knows no bounds

Neeta and Wing Commander Narinder Taprial?s home exemplifies how creativity can be best put to use.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2004 15:25 IST
Varun Soni
Varun Soni

Do aesthetic interiors necessarily mean high-end, celebrity homes with spacious living spaces, designer furniture and chic décor items? Can’t a well-kept and efficiently decorated home sans the expensive paraphernalia be termed ‘beautiful’ — especially when the whole ‘décor’ has to move lock, stock and barrel after every two to three years to a new residence? These are the questions that Neeta Taprial, wife of Wing Commander Narinder Taprial, posed in her fax, asking us to take a look at the “homogenous mix of art and culture of the various regions of the country” that adorn her Subroto Park home.

Her confidence, we thought, must be backed by a distinct element of creativity. And not without reason! As you turn into the driveway, the first thing that strikes the eye is the array of pots, urlis and garden lights that line it as well as the peripheries of the green stretch.

But, they all cater to Taprial’s motto — “of putting inexpensive items to better use.” The garden lights basically comprise a wooden log with tokris (and in a few cases, the kadai when the stock of the former finished) serving as shades. A scarecrow in red and blue, fabricated by Taprial herself, adds a dash of colour to the garden. However, the most interesting aspect to the front garden is a small mud hut, which houses an array of puppets. While a small stone path leads to the hut, miniature moodas, earthen pots and a well placed nearby give it a village look. A small rockery, a sundial on a tree and a small pool (that was earlier used to store manure) further complete the picture.

But, this is just a small chapter in the story of Taprial’s creativity. Usually a not-much-cared-for area, the verandah has been converted into an ethnic seating space — reminiscent of the Taprial’s various postings to Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. While a pillar sports a mud facade embedded with mirrors, a wall has sketches of figures in white painted on a red background. Blue cushions placed atop packing boxes (hidden from view by a blue drape) make way for seating. A small floor seating in magenta, a painting in sawdust, a matka as a centre table, pots and lamps complete the picture. The most eye-catching feature, however, is a kachi ghodi from Rajasthan with a scarecrow astride it. The scarecrow has been fashioned out of a matka (that serves as the face) and sehra and pagdi, worn by Taprial’s nephew on his marriage.

Painted in colourful patterns against a black background, the front door leads into a corridor that has a table with a dholak as its base. A guestroom, to the right, is a story in yellow and blue. Right from the bedspread and the curtains to even the lamps, everything has been co-ordinated in these two colours.

However, it is the living room that showcases Taprial’s creativity to the hilt. There are two main seating areas — the first comprises a two and a three-seater in a brown print and a centre table that has two tablas as its base. A yellow pankha above the entrance, a fireplace that is home to some matkas inside and a mantle showcasing artefacts collected by the Taprial’s on their various postings complete the picture.

Large cushions (with covers from Orissa) make for a low seating area that also includes a black lamp with a red shade and figures from Bastar. Directly opposite this are two chairs — in the same print as the rest of the upholstery in the room — with a table from Gujarat and a lamp made out of driftwood from Assam.

The second seating includes a three-seater flanked by uniquely shaped lamps. While one is made out of wood with sheep horn, the other is placed atop a log of wood with a base (made out of building waste material) in the shape of a face that has marbles studded into it to make way for eyes. Planters, a small brass piece from south India, a table from Gujarat and figures of musicians from Rajasthan add a touch of the ethnic to the whole area. Cross-stitch paintings by Taprial as well as framed Russian and Polish portraits cut from magazines complete the picture.

“The rooms are all basic and since it is government accommodation, we obviously cannot make any structural changes. Therefore, the most challenging part is to make the best of what one gets,” says Taprial.

Creativity at its best!

First Published: Jan 02, 2004 13:16 IST