36 Days Of Type & A Beautiful Journey Through Indian Crafts With Hiral Patel

36 Days of Type

Typo geeks and craft nerds, have you seen anything more beautiful than these alphabets?

This has legit been my most favourite thing on Instagram this whole year! I remember thinking how sad I’d be when we got to Z and wished for the sake of this project that there were a gazillion letters in the alphabet. I wonder if the brain and insanely talented designer behind this 36 Days of Type project Hiral Patel thought so too.

Before we find out, let me quickly fill you in on the project itself. 36 Days of Type is an open project to designers and illustrators to express themselves or their view through 26 letters followed by the numbers 0-9 making it 36 days of typo heaven!  I was following the hashtag #36DaysOfType on Instagram and it was Hiral’s passion and truly unique representation that really spelt out W-O-W for me.

If you haven’t already guessed yet, her letters represent different crafts of India; from A for Ajrakh to Z for Zardozi (common, repeat after me!). Personally, it was a beautiful recap of what we learnt in our “appreciation of indian textiles” class and also, I got educated on a handful of new crafts like Q for Quitabat (did you know?). From the letters to the impeccable styling to the write-ups on each post, it’s clear that Hiral put in a whole lot of time and effort into this project, which I truly truly admire. Kasam se.

When someone truly inspires me, I can’t help but reach out to them. So over a few quick messages on Instagram, Hiral so sweetly answered my questions (like a true pro). Here goes…

Designer, artist or both?
I feel every designer is an artist and has his/her own unique style and way of thinking. One cannot be a successful designer if one is not an artist at heart.

I’m passionate about… Painting. Food. Sleeping. (lol)

36 Days of Type taught me to have faith in an idea and execute it. As most of the times I would chuck an idea due to fear of being unable to execute it.

I’m obsessive about folk art & crafts of the world. There is so much that history can teach us that we can never learn otherwise.

My favourite letter from 36 Days of Type is D for Daboo

Also, she said coming to the end of the project was bittersweet (read: same feels). If you want to admire more of her work or share a virtual hug with her, you can follow her on Instagram or checkout her portfolio here. I highly recommend both.

And in her own words, she shares a little something about herself.

“Hi my name is Hiral. I’m a Mumbai based freelance graphic designer (formerly working at Good Earth India). I believe that crafting your heart out makes room for your soul; and that creativity is contagious- one must pass it on. I love to paint pretty things and fallen flowers. What can I say Arts and Crafts keeps me sane!”

 

Psst…Don’t you just love her?

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Grab A Tasty Bite At These Top 10 Restaurants In Mombasa

cafe mocha mombasa

My trip home is almost coming to an end and I have just a few more days of truly being able to just “relax & chill”. Also, my hogathon comes to an end *sniff*. I spent one whole month training my mind and gut to devour every bite with no guilt, only because I knew that this wouldn’t last forever and I should just enjoy it before I go back to eating clean. But before I leave home, I’m going to take your through a mini gastronomical journey of what I ate in Mombasa. For all home cooked meals head to Mayuri’s Jikoni (she spoils me silly) and for the rest, follow along.

Sham E Bahar
Located in Kizingo, this restaurant is our go-to takeaway place. With quick service and some of the most delicious rolls in town, this restaurant is perfect for anyone who likes their barbecue and grill. We generally order paneer tikkas, egg chapatis and chicken kabab rolls which come with three different sauces that are seriously yum. I’m so glad it’s close to home.

Mnkafe
Right next to Sham E Bahar, you’ll find this quaint little cafe that serves up some delicious waffles with some very exotic twists. On this trip, I’ve gone to the cafe twice with mum, and both times we had coffee and waffles. Even the cupcakes look really divine. My favourite waffle so far is the Arabian one which comes with nuts, dates, whipped cream and ice cream (guilty pleasures). So naughty but sooo yummy. Also, try the ginger coffee and saffron tea.

Find them here.

The Moorings
We’ve been going here since we were kids and each time I go, I still find myself oohing at the beautiful location. The Moorings is a floating restaurant nestled in the Mtwapa Creek that comes with the most spectacular view and a fairly relaxed vibe. Generally the pizzas and seafood dishes are to die for here, but last time we had an ok-ok experience which I shared here. However, because it’s an old favourite of the fam, I’m still going to make a visit on my next trip home. The view is worth it all.

Find them here.

Aquadrom Yul’s
If pizza is what you seek, you’d most likely be directed to Yul’s.  This beach-front restaurant has been around since we were kids and it’s still one of the most popular joints in town. It has the beach, water sports and some really tummy-and-heart-filling firewood pizzas that make the perfect setting for beach-goers. They serve up a huge menu filled with seafood, steaks, gelatos, pizzas and pastas. However, in all these years, I’ve only ever ordered pizza cause I love ’em. The greedy monster in me awakens here.

Bollywood Bites
When you want some masala in your life then you head to Bollywood Bites. From chaat to dosas to maru na bhajia, this place is your quick fix solution when you miss all the yummy food of India. Also, they do a fab job with the meals and twice a week they have offers on their dosa- buy one get one free. For a perfect weekend, I would say, go fill your tummies here and then go watch a Bollywood movie at Nyali Cinemax.

Find them here.

Cafe Mocha
After the movie, if you need to discuss how completely stupid the story was but you still loved it, then head to Cafe Mocha which is also in Nyali Cinemax. Here you can sit and enjoy some coffee and also hookah- if that’s your thing. I went here yesterday on a lunch date with mum and Daxa aunty, and we ordered a bean salad, paneer tikka and veggie lasagne. It was all yum. We also sneaked in a chocolate tart. Oh! And I highly recommend their passion fruit and tree tomato juice (read: tropical at its best).

Find them here.

Caffesserie
If cafes are your scene, this place is a must visit. From coffees to salads to pizzas to desserts, it pretty much has it all. I love the general vibe of this place and the food is really good. I haven’t been here too often, but next time I’m going to try really hard to not order a pizza and instead call for the salmon steak that looked so damn good (spotted on the next table). They also have some divine-looking gelato, which we skipped because we’d already stuffed our faces. I heart the creme brûlée is also yum.

Find them here.

Regal Corner
For me no trip home is complete without having some Mombasa mix and a handful of samosas with some mabuyu or passion fruit juice. This is one combination that I know I wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world and it counts as a milestone of my trips home. Dad takes us to Regal Corner which is in Aga Khan. We generally order exactly this with a side of kebabs. Quick story- when I was a youngling, every Friday I used to go for ballet classes (I know, I know) to the Little Theatre Club here in Mombasa. It was dad’s parental duty to pick me up after class and he’d always always come with a bag of samosas which we would sit and eat in the car. It was our little secret- a pact between our guts and soul.

Forodhani
We went here for mum’s birthday and then again when the big bro was in town. I quite liked the food here and the view is just spectacular- it looks out at the sea. The restaurant offers swahili cuisine, seafood, kebabs and more hunger-inducing dishes. We ordered fish tikkas, egg chapati and peri peri chips which left our tummies happy and full. Next time, I’d like to go for lunch and maybe order the fresh catch of the day with local flavourings, cause I hear it’s pretty good.

Galaxy Chinese Restaurant

For my entire life I have always compared any Chinese grub to the dishes I’ve had at Galaxy. Again, this is an old favourite of the family. We’ve had so many family dinners, parties and get togethers here whilst we were growing up. Two things I highly recommend- the spring rolls and the pepper fish which I love with a side of noodles. In recent years, they moved and nabbed the best spot in Lighthouse, where you can sit and watch ships go buy while you eat. Nice, eh?

Phew! So here are my top ten Mombasa restaurants that serve up some pretty awesome dishes. I know I’ve missed out on a few, but there’s only so much my tummy can handle. Saving the leftovers for my next trip home.

Until next time.

P.S. I live for pizzas.

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Weekly Finds

What’s my favourite all-time pastime? Finding stuff (duh!). Sometimes I believe that I really should have considered a job in crime scene investigation or opened up a detective agency of my own. Who knows, maybe someday I will and you’ll hire me. Till then Google is my bestest friend who tells me mostly everything I need to know and more. Even how to become a detective *wink*.

Till that happens, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite finds with you weekly. Be it

1/ My garden goals look something like this *dreamy eyes*. Guys, did you know that moss isn’t always green and you get it in brilliant shades of pink? Like seriously, why has no one ever told me about Hitsujiyama Park in Japan? Why, why? If you’re planning a trip to Japan then go during April-May because that’s when this beauty blooms.Hitsujiyama Park

 

2/ I love kolhapuris. Add tassels and I love them more. These cuties are from Aprajita Toor’s new collection of footwear. The collection has some brights and metallics that would look so fab with summer dresses and stuff. I’m a huge fan and have been since this post.aprajita toor

 

3/ Lisbeth Salander is back and I just want to skip to October 2018 to watch “The Girl in The Spider’s Web”. However, I’m not too happy with the no-show Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig *bummer*. Rumour has it Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson might be the new Salander. Who would you pick?

Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist

 

4/ I think I first came across these crazy-but-cool shrines on Pinterest a while back and I absolutely love them. These quirky little shrines called nichos are mostly made of mixed media and act as devotional niches for anything from religion to pop culture. I absolutely adore them. Kind of want to make one with Ganeshji- what you think?Frida Kahlo Nicho

5/ Have you ever wondered how lipsticks are made? Today, I did. Google led me this way to good ol’ Refinery29. I really want to get a customised lipstick- any leads?

 

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10 Reasons Friends Are Bae

Warning: There’s some major love in this post. It will get ovary-tly mushy.

2005 I moved to Bangalore in the name of love. During the time, my heart quite tragically got broken into a million tiny pieces (sprinkle-like) and got pieced back together by a bunch of girls and boys. Fast forward 12 years, these peeps are still my go-to-squad and one of them actually signed up to be my husband *blush*.

We all met in college. One huge crazy gang that are friends-for-life-type-thick yet delicate enough to shatter like your grandma’s china set. Good thing for us, college taught us well in the art of using Fevicol. Broken pieces can be mended.

Each one of them are so so special to me and most times when I think of them I want to give them an imaginary pappi. I love how together or individually we’ve shared a library full of moments and tonnes of secrets over phone calls and beers. In these last few years we’ll all grown up in each other’s company and witnessed heartbreaks and marriages, baby bumps and added kilos, and a truckload of rants. Fortunately some of us get to laugh together, party together and patiently wait together for the next time our squad meets up, which is exactly a month away from today for Lekha’s bachelorette *woohoo*.

I thank my stars that I live the in the same city as some of my closest & bestest friends, because I’d be a lost kitten if it weren’t for them. I also wish that I got to see the rest of the gang more often, because each time I’m around them, they fill up my heart with so much bubbling love that it makes me sad that we can’t consume each other’s live everyday single day. And if having a LDR with them isn’t enough, I have to do it with the hubby too, which sucks astronomically.The last time we all got together was in December for my wedding, which now seems like a lifetime ago.

I’m having major withdrawals from them all, so I’m going to list down 10 reasons friends are bae.

  1. Good, bad or ugly, whichever form you present yourself in, they’ll still acknowledge your presence and if you’re lucky they might show a little love and hug you too. They genuinely love you for who you are.
  2. They leave work early and skip meetings, just so that we can all talk about the same shit we spoke about in the morning over a couple of beers. They know their priorities include you. 
  3. When you need your hair pulled back when you’re puking your life out or your lehenga held up when you need to confirm all pee is out of your body, they’re the ones to help you. A friend in need is a friend indeed. 
  4. When you answer your calls at 2am because you have friends who love drunk-dialling or when you listen to her repeat the same heart break story even after 12 years. They have the patience of monk waiting for Nirvana. 
  5. Sometimes when the shit gets real bad, you share the tears and get into the mood with your bestie, even if you were Ms. Sunshine before she started crying. You share the emotions because you feel ’em too.
  6. They keep your secrets like they’re guarding top NASA secrets. Only because you’re so special. Admittedly, at some point most of us have been guilty of sharing other’s secrets, but what stays in the group, stays in the group. You’re worth keeping secrets for even though it’s killing me inside. 
  7. They finish your sentences and know exactly what you’re thinking even before you say it. That’s because we’ve tuned our minds to think differently but also acknowledge each other’s thoughts on cue. They know you so well.
  8. We can be real-ass bitches but when it comes to each other, our hearts melt like butter. Also, know that if you mess with one of us, you’re dealing with all of us. FYI some of us lift heavy weights and have medals in state level shooting. We got each other’s back.
  9. They’re really kickass people who have done some amazing things in life and each one is just so bloody talented and grounded. My everyday inspiration comes from this bunch of people. They don’t even know it. They’re genuinely amazing people who make the world a better place.
  10. When you’re miles away from family you tend to make people your own. They became just as important as family do, sometimes even more important. They adopt you. These peeps become your world.

Friends *sigh*.

Note: This picture is one of my favourites from my wedding only because it reminds me of how weirdly quirky my girls are. Picture courtesy thanks to Pinku who is all kinds of fabulous and talented (college topper + state level shooter + ace mehendi designer). I last spoke about her here.

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What To Watch on Netflix India. Grab Your Popcorn.

I’m a huuuge TV show junkie and have been known to skip a Friday night out with friends, just so that I can cuddle up in bed to watch Netflix and chill. Thrillers, rom coms, law & order, documentaries- I’ve seen ’em all. I’m pretty much obsessive about some shows and I think I need to prescribe a healthy dose of episodes before I OD on Netflix. Anyhoo, because I still have to wait another four whole months before GOT Season 7 *screams*, I’m keeping myself occupied with some pretty dope shows on Netflix and more. I’m picking my top 5  TV shows (apart from Stranger Things, Narcos and How to Get Away With Murder) that I think you must watch.

Designated SurvivorDesignated Survivor Netflix India

If you’re having withdrawals from House of Cards, then Designated Survivor is pretty good to fill up your political drama slot. Filled with suspense and drama (duh!) the show is about cabinet member Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) and his succession to becoming the President of the United States of America purely based on being a “designated survivor” and not on his merits, which get questioned along his first few days in the White House. The episodes reveal a man who is unsure yet strong-willed to win the heart of his people. Season 1 was good and I did binge-watch the episodes in hope of a huge twist, but that didn’t happen. Bummer. However, this show is promising and I’m eagerly waiting for Season 2.

TrappedTrapped Netflix India

Halló! I’m not sure what exactly got me watching an Icelandic TV show, but I absolutely loved it. Filled with crime, suspense and wintry scenes this series kicks off with a Police Chief Andri Ólafsson (who is so cuddly) investigating a dismembered body. A storm, avalanche and devious captain of a cruise ship add to the drama as the story unfolds *bites nails*. I really enjoyed the first season, however because I of course don’t know Icelandic (which sounds cool), I really have to focus on the subtitles. So I watch this show when I’m in the mood for some serious-attention-required-crime-drama-story. Also, after watching this show, I’ve put Iceland of my list of places to visit.

Santa Clarita Diet

Santa Clarita Diet Netflix India

I’ve loved Drew Barrymore since like ET and couldn’t wait to get watching Santa Clarita Diet! I think I was expecting a very very different story, so you can imagine how shocked I was with all the puking and blood and puking and blood. I wasn’t quite sure if I’d make it to episode 2, however, I have a good tolerance for all things gross and dived right into the next few episodes which are fuelled by cannibalism. The show is filled with tonnes of humour and a whole new outlook to a suburban couple dealing with what would have been a mid-life crisis. Also, the show left us hanging, so season 2 will be watched. Hope you’ll find it enough to digest *snickers*.

Ok, I’m going to be a little a naughty and stray off Netflix. I just have to because I’m obsessed with these TV shows and can’t possibly not tell the universe about it.

RiverdaleRiverdale

OMG! I absolutely-freaking-love-it when they do a dark version of my/yours/ours favourite childhood stories. Doing one of Archies and his friends was a brilliant idea, especially when its a thriller! The series starts off with the tragic death of heartthrob and star quarter back Jason Blossom which leads to the slow yet captivating disclose of Archie and the gang and some very deadly twists. BTW I’m in love with Jughead’s character- it’s so full of angst and mystery. And after the last episode, I’m dying of suspense.

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies

Bros, this is seriously the best thing that happened all of 2017 on TV. This show is like the bazooka of all dramas this season. And when you have Reese Witherspoon, Shailenne Woodley and Nicole Kidman on the cast role, you’re obviously in for a good show. The drama, the mystery, the banter, the murder- its all got the making of a perfect crime drama story. I’m so so glad this wasn’t a movie and instead fed to us in doses of 60 minutes of absolute fixation.  Also, I just found out that this series is based on a book by Lian Moriarty *gasp*. Should I read or watch or both? What to do? HELP!

And, that’s my mini round-up! Do tell which shows you’re binging on. Next on my list is Greenleaf.

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