Being raised in a different country than where you currently reside means you are often prone to pangs of homesickness for the things you left behind. I grew up in the heart of India’s major cities in the 80s, then moved to England at the age of seven — and Instagram has been the cure for my nostalgia. Through the lens of creative and thoughtful designers, bloggers and illustrators, I have been able to taste my favorite meals, revisit old haunts, discover new ones and even make new friends in my home cities. Found by opening up an exotic, new window simply by using a hashtag, here are my 10 Inspiring Indian Instagram feeds. –Rohini
Above image of the charming Pali Village Cafe in Bandra from ChuzaiLiving
The design director of India Circus, one of the country’s fastest growing e-commerce housewares sites, Krsna Mehta’s feed is a blast of fantastical Indian interiors, kitsch pattern inspiration and my personal favorite reason to follow — a glimpse into glittering industry events in Mumbai.
Border and Fall
Border and Fall is an achingly chic showcase for photographers, stylists, makeup artists and designers in India. Their evocative feed always slows down my speedy scrolling with intelligently annotated inspiration of everything from nomadic aesthetics, vintage fashion imagery, modern craftwork and Indian couture with their “street style” imagery of rural fashion — regularly making my jaw drop to the floor. This image is of traditional Angrakhas (a frock-style garment) worn by camel sellers in Rajasthan — what a dashing pair!
NorblackNorWhite is the eclectic fashion label of Bombay-based, Toronto-raised duo Mriga Kapadiya and Amrit Kumar. Exposed to a mix of cultures, their aesthetic influences range from Queen Latifah to Rekha, from reggae to Asha Puthli. Their Instagram feed is just as joyful and diverse.
Pune-based architects Studio Haus pepper my feed with their discerning eye for unusual materials used in their work, and beauty found in unexpected places, like in the pattern of an old Idli steamer!
I am completely smitten with Delhi graphic designer Shweta Malhotra’s bold and minimal interpretation of the work of Indian fashion designers and fun projects inspired by the city. Spots, stripes, pom poms and confetti patterns adorn nostalgic objects and traditional silhouettes — what more could we ask for? She was also part of an amazing Kickstarter Campaign (target now met) to decorate Mumbai’s taxis with the work of emerging graphic artists.
It’s so enriching to view one of my favorite cities through the eyes of a visitor. Japanese expat blogger Kaho lives in Mumbai with her young family and shares her simple and contemporary perspective of the city and its restaurants, cafes and design haunts. I love Kaho’s eye for picking out the subtle color palettes — fresh whites, pastels and organic materials that aren’t normally associated with India.
Cutting-edge fashion concept store Bombay Electric’s stream feels like an LSD-induced trip through their stores’ ever-evolving collections. For me, it’s a great resource for discovering the most happening names in fashion, illustration and design.
Travel, design and lifestyle blogger and girl-about-town, Sheena was actually the very first person I followed from India, and her reportage style blew me away (she wrote the Design*Sponge Mumbai Guide earlier this year). Based in Pune but always off on some crazy-inspiring assignment around remote parts of India, her perspective is fresh, funny and always on the scene of any “scene” before it’s happened. Expect lots of pictures of mouthwatering local cuisine, colonial architecture, and stylish fun-times with creative pals that will make you want to be in her gang.
I’ve been reading the praises for Delhi-based lifestyle store Serendipity for years now and have yet to visit, but the brand’s beautifully styled Instagram makes me feel like an authority. Housed in a sprawling Haveli, the store spans seven rooms of sophisticated Indian furniture and accessories and also operates as a space for literary and arts events. With a tented rooftop cafe, oasis-like courtyard and plenty of poetic interior details, you’re going to want to while away the Insta air miles with this one.
Sarah and Maninder form the Delhi-based textiles duo Safomasi and brighten up my feed with their vividly illustrated collection of housewares inspired by their travels through India. I have loved following the two and seeing the results cross-cultural creativity brings (Sarah moved from London to Delhi and formed the studio with Melbourne-returned Maninder). Fun, behind-the-scenes studio happenings are coupled with captivating glimpses into the making of their color-popping, modern prints using traditional making methods.