baaya-design-header

The hanging retort shaped nests of the Ploceus philippinus hanging on the branches of the large thorny tree in our courtyard used to fascinate me as a child. I used to keep staring at these nests from my bedroom window and wonder how the baaya weaver birds would weave these wonderful creations from leaves.

The design of these nests intrigues me still and I am marvelled by the thoughts of how traditionally over the centuries, the baaya has been able to secure the intricate design of their homes that they build.

 Exactly the way I am mesmerised whenever I see this weaver bird nest, every visit to the Palladium or to the St. Regis Hotel at Lower Parel leaves me fascinated at the sight of a shop nestled in the ground floor of the building just adjacent to the towering St. Regis gate. The name always attracted my attention, which says, Baaya – where design meets tradition.

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When I was growing up as a child into adolescence and later adulthood in the 70s and the 80s there was this concept of a family selecting the same clothing for the entire members to stitch their clothes. Sounds funny right! But that’s true and many of my age who had grown up in the same era would agree to me. The Father and the Sons would invariably be wearing the same designed shirts and pants and sometimes even the skirts and dresses stitched for the daughters would also be of the same cloth and to stretch it further, the mother’s blouse too. And when such families walked out of their house, they used to look like a herd of animals of the same breed. This surely had an advantage too though, let me be candid to admit, and that is that they would never get lost in a crowd.

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