A walk into the most elegant and stylish address in New Delhi, Vayu in Bikaner house enchants the mind
Vayu, inside Bikaner House, is the place to be for lovers of fine art, intricate craftsmanship and holistic touches-a place that surely enchants the soul and bewilders the mind. Vayu was established by Vivek Sahni and Dave Chang as an interpretation of what contemporary living can mean, where past and present can be combined harmoniously with elegance and wit. They partnered with artisanal communities, designers, artists and the occasional maverick to showcase things that they love, both contemporary and antique. It is a bricolage aesthetic, a celebration of the complexity of India with an emphasis on Rajasthan. It takes you into an era unknown and allows you to get lost in the soiree of regal lifestyles and luxe personalities.
A breath of fresh air | As the name suggests, the word ‘Vayu’ means ‘wind’. The name Vayu was actually inspired by Badal Mahal in Junagarh Fort in Bikaner. Housed where the royals once lived, the Bikaner House Bungalow, it is a pleasing aberration amidst the mall culture of new-age India. Vayu is a lifestyle store with an edgy personality and a beautiful collection ranging from stationery to furniture; apparel to paintings and collectibles.
Royal grandeur at its best | Just because we say ‘royal’ we don’t mean the clichéd nomenclature of the tag being bestowed on the personality of Vayu, Bikaner House. The shop is quite bohemian and believes in being a little edgier than the rest. It seemed obvious to connect the three beautifully proportioned rooms of Bikaner House back to the original rooms of Badal Mahal in Bikaner. It’s a far cry from its surroundings where hotels and tourist places go over the top to attract visitors.
The offerings at Vayu | As a lifestyle haunt, Vayu has a well-edited collection housed in its domains. Lacquer Embassy for example with their wide collection of men’s shirts seems to be a hit, and you would also find ethnic Indian designers showcasing their prowess here with ikat printed bags, haute couture, and prêt-a-porter. Sarees in chiffon, rich colorful shawls and a collection of shirts for men called the White Champa are also available. There are some percussion instruments on sale as well. The furniture on display is an eclectic mix of colonial, mid-century and contemporary Indian design.
The Japanese cloud den | A walk inside Vayu leads to the Japan-inspired ‘cloud’- screen printed paperwork that doubles up as racks. Painted anew in silver inks and bouncing away as would the disco balls at a nightclub somewhere, it lends an ethereal feeling to the place.
The second wing | If you love ethnic and handmade saris with zari borders, Vayu is the store to check out. Along with saris, its second wing also stocks a range of the famed KAMA soaps and plenty of travel books. Placed neatly in tiny, tin boxes that are wrapped in vintage film posters catches one’s fancy.
From jeweled coffee tables to antique instruments, Vayu, Bikaner House keeps alive memories of the glory days gone by. With handcrafted and indigenous items, Vayu showcases the power of the ‘Made in India’ tag.
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