Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meeting Archana Srinivas of Rang-decor

The 1st time I heard of Archana Srinivas was when I saw Rang-decor featured in Holly Becker's Decor8 blog. I was going through my obsessive 'discovered decor blogging stage', and had just decided I will start a design blog since I didn't know any Indian decor bloggers. So I excitedly and effusively commented on Archana's blog about how excited I was that I had seen her. An Indian design blog! From there I discovered her flickr stream & man! Seeing her pictures opened up a whole new way of seeing things for me. I think I can safely say that Archana has inspired and taught a whole generation of Indian amateur photographer's to create and see beauty in their own homes. In a few weeks time I started this blog artnlight. This was in August 2007, four and a half years back, and ever since we have each been diligently and eagerly following the others blogs. I don't think I have missed a single of Archana's posts. Through the years, we became quasi friends, consulting with each other whenever we felt the other could help. When I 1st designed something on this blog, Archana was the one 1st one to appreciate it & my 1st design prints sit framed in her home. Much before I even thought of doing aything with my designing.
So you can imaging the anticipation & excitement with which we finally met last week when I was in Bangalore.
And it truly felt like meeting an old friend. I think one of the most endearing and memorable things that Archana said to me as soon as she saw me was "Let me look at you properly :)" Over Italian lunch we spoke of blogging, our journeys, strange unique 'behind the scenes' experiences which only a fellow blogger will understand. Like it was too funny when Archana told me about how her family makes a big show of asking her "Can we eat it now?" once she cooks something amazing. I think all of India collectively drools over her amazing food photography. We laughed about how our families tease us and indulge us in our strange passion for photography and blogging.
For those who don't know that's Archana Srinivas on the left & I am on the right :)

So this is the person and the camera behind all those beautiful pictures.

After lunch we moved to this coffeeshop where Archana had her favoured brew 'Chai' (read her chai chronicles here) and I had coffee. And much shooting ensued, the table was strewn with the many beautiful gifts that she had collected and gifted me. She also bought the a copy of the 'Desire to Inspire' book that I had brought for her.


I realised we spoke so much more personally than we ever would have on mail or on phone before meeting. For both of us blogging has been a journey of trust as much as it has been about documenting the beauty we see around us. How much more real is a connection when we take the time out to really meet face to face. While it is so much easier to connect to people through facebook and phone, and while it is impossible to really 'meet' many friends in person given that there are only 24 hrs in a day etc, I am finally beginning to understand that what can happen when people choose to leave the comfort zones of their computer screens and make the effort to really connect, the connection is really then a lot more deeper and substantial. This is of course stating the obvious.
I say this because all of a sudden I seem to be meeting so many people whom I only knew online. I recently met Megha Punater of Arth and Nitya, and last week in Bangalore I met both Priya Sebastian(whom I met once before) and Aarohi Singh, all of whom I only knew online. I cannot begin to tell you how much these meetings have meant to me, but I will try in the following posts, so stay tuned :)

12 comments:

anrosh said...

you are right when u say that archana was the earliest of indian bloggers and i would comment on her blog as anonymous because i did not have a blog ..this was 2006..i discovered her when i googled color, india - i showed her blog to many non-indian friends if they wanted to see mundane things of everyday life styled ! i still remember she had photographed plastic milk bags, the kitchen sink, the cutting board and vegetables, bangalore markets

pRiyA said...

:-) Stunning pictures. I remember you told me that you both had a wonderful meeting to remember. Looks like it too.

Shalini said...

Beautiful post and very personal... Thank you for introducing me to Archna and her blog :-)

Ambika said...

Two decor blogging biggies :) What a delight to read both your posts on this meeting, and the warm photographs!

bhumika said...

I'm sure it must have been a very enriching meet. The pics say it all :)

ritika mittal said...

Beautiful post. I was all goosebumpy n teary eyed at d same time imagining 2 such beautiful souls sititng together and laughing together... The eyes n smiles wud hv done so much talking. I hv met both of u saperately n I can say its so easy n beautiful to imagine u both in d same frame! You both are peace to my creative soul!love to both of you! So much love...

GB said...

Oh those smiles say it all. What a lovely moment captured by the lens.

:)

Shanthi said...

That was a lovely meet and OMG - look at all those wonderful moments.

Sudha said...

lovely post V...u are def right when u say Arch has pioneered and inspired a whole generation of desi design bloggers...and incidentally her home feature on decor8 was what got me to follow her too :)

i love her spirit and her honesty in seeing beauty in simplest of things...it needs a lot of inherent talent and creativity to be her :).

Vidhya Subramanian said...

I was also excited to find Archana's blog that many years back when I was eagerly looking for Indian decor ideas and Indian decor blogs...she is probably the first Indian decor blogger..after that so many have followed and you can see how they are invariably influenced and inspired by her distinct style! :)

I have the same blouse that Arch is wearing...from Fabindia! :)

Arch at Rang said...

Thank you everyone:-)

Anrosh~ You sure remember the 'milk packet shots':-)

priya~ We should catch up soon:-)

Vidhya Subramanian~ Thank you:-) I am a big Fabindia fan, but the downside is I invariable bump into people wearing the same print as myself but as a skirt, as a blouse or walk into house with the same CURTAIN! Ouch ;-)

dipikasingh said...

I have been reading both your blogs for the longest and loved both posts on your meeting :)