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Kiara Krawl

The whole crew at the start of the evening

The whole crew at the start of the evening

A tradition that we were introduced to last year is the opening of all returning teachers’ homes in our apartment building. Everyone puts little snacks and drinks out, and all the residents move from home to home as the evening progresses.

More than a social event, however, it gives those who are new to Mumbai (and us ‘old hands’ as well) a chance to check out the different decorating styles and room arrangements. The floorplans are all very similar (3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, open living/dining room, kitchen) with the very same square footage, but slight differences in the placement of one decorative wall and the kitchen door give each home a slightly unique signature.

It is fascinating to see how different families have addressed decorating and laying out their spaces. There are places that are jam-packed with exotic furniture, pottery, carpets, and statuary collected from all over India (and the rest of the world). Others set up in a sleek “New York” look with chic, modern furniture and artwork. Many homes have young kids, so some living rooms reflect the Romper Room school of interior design – plastic toys and tables compete with the adult sitting spaces.

And then there is our home, which was the starting point of the night. We have the Jedi training center in our living room: a wide open area where those honing their Force skills can safely have lightsaber duels!

In any case, it is a terrifically fun evening, with people poking into all the rooms, looking at design details, asking about where stuff was purchased, and even taking pictures. Of course, things gradually devolve as the group makes it through the 5th or 6th house, partaking of the ‘beverages’ supplied at each stop! We actually ended things with a hookah on the rooftop, introducing our new neighbors to that aspect of life at Kiara. All in all, a very pleasant time to enjoy each others’ company and catch our breath after the first full week of school.

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