An epic journey

When the laughing Buddha,with five children became an inseparable part of the Indian living room,the Far East crossed the threshold of a million Indian homes.

Written by Shashi Priya | Published: March 14, 2009 3:50 am

Oriental decor goes beyond the laughing Buddha as a gamut of mythological figures from the Far East storm city stores

When the laughing Buddha,with five children became an inseparable part of the Indian living room,the Far East crossed the threshold of a million Indian homes. But the entry wasn’t restricted to just the outer circumference. Now they can be found everywhere. Though not as popular as its chubby counterpart,they are nevertheless storming Indian homes with their antique charm. And as Buddha with five children becomes passé,the ancient guards of temples take over. Yes,the guards of ancient temples now guard the beauty of many homes. The city too witnesses the upsurge of the past. Flooded with demands of Foo Dogs,Thai lions,dragons and many other are the home décor shops. Infused not only with artwork but also meaning these creatures add another dimension to your homes. As the home décor shops display an array of forms of these ancient guards from Far East they smoothly glide their way to become an indispensable part of home décor in Indian homes.

Momentous magic
The mythological figures get a perfect 10 for adding meaning to home décor. Onjali Mirchandani,interior designer and director of home décor shop,Bougainvillea puts it as the culture effect. “We have been brought up like this. In fact our appetite for creativity has been fed by mythology. So subconsciously we are inclined towards them.” According to Mirchandani Foo Dogs are a symbol of energy and value and Indians connect to them because of the auspicious and inauspicious part that instantly comes into play. The dogs have a very mischievous and threatening. In fact they are scary also at times but what adds to whole package is the meaning factor.

The Foo Dogs faces that have almost a devilish look about them are often displayed in a male/female pair. The creature is usually presented holding a spear in its paw. This was the representation of the peace and serenity the animal would maintain for the sanctuary it was guarding.

Culture connection
Other guards of the temple that are becoming a popular feature in home décor are the Thai lions and from our very own country the mythological bird Garud. “It’s true that the characters from Far East have flooded Indian homes these days as people are going in for them but some of our own mythological creatures too are popular. The east has a glorious history and a rich cultural heritage that is why these creatures are becoming even more popular,” says Aarti Israni,interior designer. Eclectic and expressive,the Thai lions are the ones placed as guardians outside of temple gates standing as a protection against evil and negative energy.

From the Far East
When your own gods and goddesses look different they catch attention. So is the case with mythological figures from Indonesia and Thailand. The Hinduism practiced their gives a shape to the characters from Indian mythology in a different way. Shailaija Arun a homemaker who got a pair of Ram and Seeta from the Far East says that mythological creatures make her feel at home. “There is a limit to which you can be European. At the end of the day you are what you have been brought up as. I chose to go for these figures of Ram and Seeta because I wanted to give a different rather oriental touch to my home décor,” says she.

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