The peace and calm of the Ashram was wonderful for a week, but it is now time to work, so yesterday morning I left the Ashram, heading toward Keralawhere I will meet my partner, Mathew, and work on our "ayurvedic" collection. En route to Kerala, I stopped in the city of Chennai to change planes.
I deliberately chose a flight connection that would give me the longest time possible in Chennai so that I would have time to go into town from the airport. There is a shop in Chennai called "Amethyst", which I love! I went there a few years ago and was curious to see it in its new incarnation; they moved and expanded recently.
Amethyst is a "concept store"--it has a variety of well chosen "lifestyle" products from all over India, many of them handmade...everything ranging from clothing and accessories to home furnishings. Amethyst also has a cafe on a veranda overlooking a lovely garden with lotus ponds. It is very evocative of life in the former Chennai, when it was known as "Madras" during the heyday of the English East India company.
I have noticed that in some of the new and most stylish "concept" shops that are opening in India, there is often a "flower shop" section.
When I first came to India 3 years ago, I don't remember ever seeing a "flower shop" at all--only a few people selling flowers on the side of the road every great once in a while.
It makes me realize how the whole concept of a flower shop is such a luxury in general-- i.e., a shop where you can go and purchase something as
un-necessary as fabulous flowers. Also, I realize that having a flower shop is probably a status symbol to the Indians-- it demonstrates that are now part of the monied world where there enough people able to enjoy such luxuries, and who can patronize such a shop.
At Amethyst, there is a very prominent sign on the veranda proudly pointing you in the way of their new flower shop section. I was curious and decided to check it out. Not surprisingly, the style and ingenuity I found could only be in India.
|the veranda at Amethyst|
|the flower shop at Amethyst|
|inside the flower shop|