Thursday, November 6, 2014

There is no place like home!

Have you been feeling like you need some downtime? I know I have! The frenzied pace of events of the past few months is finally catching up or so it seems. Festivities, changing seasons, social engagements, work, home and family priorities have all snowballed into a giant circle and I am constantly on the move! I know Supriya is swamped too and I offered to write all the posts for Aalayam this month. But for the past couple of days I have struggled to bring myself to work on a post and today I read this article in the WSJ blog titledFive Ways to Take Control of Our Runaway Lives” where the author was making a case for breaking away from the frenzied pace of life.  

One of the tips offered in the article was to do nothing and reflect and it got me thinking.  How often do we schedule a “do-nothing time” in our daily/weekly or monthly calendars?  Do we ever make time to “escape “ and I don’t mean a getaway or a vacation (believe me going on a vacation can be a lot of work too!). I mean escape  as in do nothing, look within, reflect, sleep–in, enjoy a long drive or  savor a steamy cup of chai. Simple things that let you take control and refocus..  

The year is coming to an end rather quickly and I know many of us start making plans  to nurture ourselves with healthy new year resolutions. Why not start early this year?  It is o.k to hit the pause button when you really feel the pace heating up. A little down-time can go a long way in recharging our batteries and helping us to become more productive in the next leg . And yet, I need to constantly remind myself that it is o.k to slow down . I guess, we all put self-preservation on the back burner. We get caught up in trying to keep everything at home and at work running smoothly. Supriya will be talking about work-life balance in a later post and therefore I will defer the discussion on “balance” to her. 

Here at Aalayam, we strive to bring you beautiful inspirations to lead a wholesome life and in line with that thought, I bring you images of Home (or I should say our former home) as a reminder that we all need to unwind and relax and make time to nurture ourselves.  And what better place to start than home? Cherish time with your loved ones,  sit by the window and pay attention to the pitter-patter of the falling rain drops, enjoy a good book by the fire  - things that will  rejuvenate you and help you move forward . The holidays will be busy for all of us too and that is when we will inadvertently be overextending ourselves and it may be well worth it to focus a little on ourselves.

I am sharing some images of our former home. It was our first home and  a rather modest home. But it was still a place where we cherished time with each other as a family, dreamt happy dreams and created warm memories.  Of course, I was not writing for Aalayam back then and  therefore I do not have a lot of pictures. But  this home was featured on Priya’s blog and this is what I had written about our home then-

“Home and entertaining are central to our existence and after a hard day’s work or at the end of a busy work week, we love coming to a home where we can relax and unwind. My husband and I have always taken pride in our home. Overall, our home is a reflection of our ethnic roots.  From art work in the Warli and Tanjore style to the foot stool in the Rajasthani patch work style, our home is filled with treasures that speak to our Indian origin. Even our choice of furniture was largely guided by our Indian aesthetic sensibilities. We reached for pieces with a lot of sculpting in it – columns and arches. We went for darker tones and solid wood but the challenge was to balance style and function. Also, you will see a lot of black pieces in our home and that was our way of adding a modern twist to the antique styling”

If you are a regular Aalayam eader, you probably realize I have carried forward the same accents, furniture and design sensibilities into my current home but the big difference is color. Yes, we did a dramatic 360 with color in our current home (intentionally)!

Home means different things to different people. To me- it means an oasis! A place where I can enjoy the simple pleasures of life like the warmth of a fire on a crisp autumn evening or a quiet conversation or soulful music with my family.

I hope as the year end approaches you all  will make the time to embrace what is important to you and find a happy middle ground as you strive to balance the various demands of every day life.

Pardon me as I turn down the frequency of our posts a little bit temporarily but  please note that we are working on some exciting posts for the holiday season!
I will also announce the winner of our TJ MAXX home goods gift card give away winner in my next post. Keep commenting, we are adding a surprise twist to the giveaway!


P.S: All images in this post are from my former home and taken by my husband. Please do not use without permission.



  1. Hi Deepa,

    In today's world taking time off to do nothing is almost impossible I guess. But I try to make it a conscious decision to do just that, during weekends. Right from the time, my kids were small, I avoided all the weekend classes. We try to finish off everything during the week, so we get 2 days off to ourselves. As the kids get older, it gets difficult to avoid weekend activities, but it is not too much as off now.
    I feel that all of us feel rejuvenated to tackle the week ahead, when our weekends are kept simple and stress free. We play board games, read, go for walks. I must say, there are a lot of moans and groans (by my kids), that go along with these activities, but I see that after a few minutes, they begin to enjoy it :).

  2. Thanks for engaging in this conversation Radhika. I was waiting to hear the readers' thoughts on slowing down and switching off. Kudos to you for sticking to your guns. But tell me how do you bhandle social engagements. Dont you get overwhelmed sometimes. You run into a spate of parties/invitations this time of the year and before you know it you are up to your eyeballs. And then there's all the seasonal rituals - diwali, dusshera, christmas , thanksgiving - all fun but exhausting! what is your mantra?

    and what would you like to see next on Aalayam dear radhika?


    1. Sorry Deepa, I didn't see this until today. About your question - Yes it does get too much to handle at times. But as I said before, since we keep our weekends fairly free, its not too bad. When i feel it becoming too much, I either cut on the time spent at each events, or humbly decline a few invites. People seem to understand. As far as parties, rituals etc at our house, I make sure, everyone in the house helps. That way, any one person is not bogged down by the whole scenario. I have no mantra as such, I take things as it comes - some years are easier to handle than others :)

  3. Hi Deepa, I can't agree more to your title. There sure is no place like home. Loved to reading your blog. Do drop by on my blog for a visit. You have a beautiful home. Pinkz :)

    1. Hi pinkz passion! Yup - sometimes all u need is to stretch in front of a warm fire and laze around in your pj's all day long and there is no place like home period! Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment.
      This is actually my previous home in a different state but hey still a place that I hold dear to my heart!
      Will check out your blog!


  4. Such lovely lovely images of your home.. Totally loved it.. Indeed.. there is no place like home.