When a store devoted to selling kitschy knick-knacks bears the name Roti Kapda Makaan (read: the bare essentials), it’s hard not to applaud the irony, which as we found out is entirely unintended. Nonetheless, tongue-in-cheek humour abounds in this space owned by Sneha Raisoni and her business partner, Henal Mehta, with products like paired cushion covers which read Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right (R1,550) as well as “What Would Rajnikant Do?” key chains (R175).
If you’re looking for a quirky and non-committal gift for that friend who has everything, this is the mothership. Here’s a glimpse into some of its most characteristic finds: Sudoku toilet paper (R299), moustachioed food picks (hipsters rejoice! R860), crab-themed boxers (seemingly an open invitation to countless STD jokes; R500) and ice trays shaped like the screaming head from the iconic Edvard Munch painting (R799). We loved the Batman and Spiderman USBs (R950 each), the 35mm waterproof camera (R1,400) and the clutch bags designed with magazine covers (R1,800). While you might be understandably sceptical about spending R500 on plastic cocktail stirrers made to resemble branches, don’t underestimate the persuasive powers of this sundrenched room.
What was once a small photographer’s studio has been innovatively redesigned to make use of every inch of its 550 sq feet. Forget about staid shelves, this store’s canary-yellow walls are mounted with old furniture – chairs, bar cabinets, window frames, chests and luggage – to display its colourful goods, lending it a fantastical appearance oddly reminiscent of the seminal Beatles’ animated film, Yellow Submarine. There’s even a clothes line behind the cash counter where their graphic boxers, pyjamas and vests are hung up. That’s the magic of this place, things pop out at you from unexpected nooks and dominate your attention (it works – we spotted a prismatic vest that we just had to have).
This shop is an extension of Tappu Ki Dukaan, Raisoni’s threeyear- old store in Fort, offering many similar whimsical wares with the added emphasis on furniture. “Lower Parel has a lot of furniture shops but everything is pricey and appeals mainly to moms and dads. We wanted to add furniture with a younger feel that’s also affordable, which is very hard to find,” said Mehta.
All the furniture showcased here is a conversation starter, including bike handle lamp (literally the front section of an Enfield bike with a larger headlight; R10,500), the beautifully crafted sheesham chair that transforms into a step ladder (R5,500), a dice sofa set that separates to reveal a hidden table (R17,000), and multicoloured, handmade tables, seats and laptop trays, woven using leftover fabric from the cloth mills (known as katran; R8,200 onwards) from Delhibased designers Sahil & Sarthak.
Feel free to get comfortable on these pieces, which also function as the only seating on which to enjoy a cuppa joe or a croissant from the tiny cafe they’ve managed to cram into this space. “We figured if we were displaying furniture, we might as well have a coffee shop to go along with it,” added Mehta. The menu has bite-sized goodies like bagels, breadsticks, tarts, and mini-cookies. With the option to lounge and munch while taking in a large assortment of colourful odds and ends, this store is poised to become everyone’s happy place.
Call +91 22 2496 5527 for further details. Prices start at R25.
By Ayesha Venkataraman on March 14 2013