I have often wondered about the legacy of Indian
design traditions that we have inherited –
design that touches our lives intrinsically
– whether those of the traditional master craftsmen or
contemporary interpretations by the newer generations
of artists, designers and architects. That was my
inspiration behind the making of The India Story which
is going to be a uniquely curated showcase bringing together
the very best of what contemporary Indian design
and arts retail has to offer.
Madhu Neotia is a well-known patron of contemporary art practices in India and has personally nurtured several initiatives led by some of the leading art & design practitioners of the country. She is currebtly Chairperson of Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur, an institution of craft based design education in South East Asia. The sheer range of design talent and sensibilities that India has to offer is one of the main inspirations of The India Story behind which she has been the prime moving force. Kolkata, where Madhu lives mostly, becomes the natural choice for her as a site for this showcasing, as a city that is comfortable both with its past and the present that then becomes a living site of memory and history.
The India Story for me is like a coming together of five senses,
the layering of touch and taste,sight,
sound and smell-almost like reviving lost
recipes of some cultures of the world- an
exploration of the diversity of dimensions that make
up contemporary India.
Her initiation into the world of gourmet food has been as a keeper of secrets of traditional Indian cuisine inherited from her mother. Her travels around the world deepened this engagement with the world of culinary affairs, both as a personal passion and a career, a luxury afforded by few and as she puts it, ‘Only as luck would have it.’ Her forays into gastronomy allowed Abhilasha to look at the palliative side of food, having co-authored a book titled 'Healthy Cooking for Patients with Kidney Ailments'. She is constantly looking for inspiration to channel her creative energies and possesses an equal zeal to share her experience as a global gourmet entrepreneur for her loved city. As part of that love affair with Kolkata she has recently brought the Smoke House Deli brand to the food connoisseurs of this city. Abhilasha is also the President of Ladies Study Group, Kolkata.