Gulzar, A Beachside Homestay in Kashid.Sunday, June 12, 2016
The pictures we saw of the Gulzar Homestay is what drew us to the place and gorgeous though the pictures were on the homestay's website, it nowhere prepared us for the real thing. Because how does anybody capture a lifetime of love and care and art that has been poured into this home which was a weekend getaway for the Sikander family? From the verdant settings to the open veranda's with its comfortable wooden benches that invite endless lounging, to the huge living room filled with antique furniture, book shelves spilling with various genres of writing, a lovely window alcove, which you just don't want to move from, the lush greenery surrounding the home, high wooden beamed ceilings, gorgeous woodwork, spacious bedrooms with wide swathes of light coming in through windows designed to bring in maximum light and greenery from the out, in, this place gives you a feeling of living in a space built to be a very special home. Weathered and well lived in, the details that make a house a home abound, in every facet and corner. For instance, because the Sikanders love studio pottery, outside the veranda is a kiln and the kitchen is full of uniquely hand made studio pottery. One of the kitchen walls displays the family's eclectic collection of handpainted and handmade ceramic plates. One of the unique offerings of the place is the Ceramic Worshops and Residencies that happen from time to time at the Gulzar Homestay.
The property straddles an almost private beach which is bereft of other visitors as it is not visible from the road.
The high ceilinged bedrooms with their gorgeous geometric woodwork gives the place its tropical feel and ensures ventilation in all seasons.
The home is full of small and large treasures, lovingly collected by the owners, that dot and enrich the space with little stories of their own.
The Gorgeous Outsides
The property is a 20 acre farm filled with over 100s of mango trees, 250 coconut trees, it also grows Supari, cashew, lime, tamarind and a host of other trees along with at least 100 different varieties of jungle trees judiciously planted to lend an ambiance of a jungle frequented by a variety of natural life mainly birds. One can spot Hornbills, Eagles, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Bulbuls from the house itself.
Not only does the property straddle an almost private beach which is bereft of other visitors as it is not visible from the road, there is a little river that runs right through the property that joins the sea.
There is no television in any of the rooms nor is there any internet connection, you go here when you want to truly switch off, the smell of the old books in the cupboards are sure to make readers nostalic, Gulzar is about a world which is unhurried, when the day begins with a walk on the beach and dip in the waves, of cut fruit eaten leisurely with feet propped up and conversation and company of special people.
Nothing puts it better than this frame that hangs in the kitchen cum dining area, gifted by a poet who stayed for a while at Gulzar:
"For letting little frogs hop onto your porch,
For letting a hundred shades of green run amok on your land,
For letting a sliver of stream run its destiny unhindered,
For being one around who a grateful Nature wraps itself,
For letting us into your chalet of a million treasures
Thank you so much"