As the rain gods incessantly irrigate the earth, I watch the beauty of nature unravel itself as I make my journey towards Bangalore.
I am on my way to meet Sreeti Mondol, the chief designer and proprietor of Memories of a Butterfly (MOAB), a design house which specializes in customized bead curtains, screens and installations.
After getting down at Majestic, my next stop is a hockey stadium in Langford Town, the closest landmark to the beaded haven. A young rickshawala is kind enough to lead me to the spot which turns out to be a 15 minute ride; after which I decode the precise route further on the basis of the instructions sent to me previously by Sreeti. In less than 2 minutes I am at the design studio and I would like to add that admission here is strictly by prior appointment only.
Initiating a conversation is a lot easier since Sreeti and I have interacted earlier on email and on the phone – after the usual hi’s and hellos we are in interview mode. “The beaded curtains and screen can be customised according to selected preferences,” says Sreeti turning the pages of her product brochure, “the curtains can be triangular, slanting, they can have an uneven base, and likewise they can be short, long etc. Secondly the curtain can be dense or sparse so it can serve the purpose of blocking off visibility and creating privacy. The beads can be used in combination, small large, opaque transparent, mixed material beads, to create a medley of eclectic design.”
Although the rainy season is perfect weather to find fruits like cherry, litchi, plum and dates our conversation in the beaded heaven is over a plate of strawberries topped with vanilla. “Honestly the inspiration behind our designs is the people we have worked with. The beads and bead combinations we use are inspired not only by the architecture of the space but also by the tastes of our client, the look and feel and subtitles they have decided to go with in their area.”
Homeowners, hoteliers, restaurateurs, interior designers and architects; Memories of a Butterfly has a long list of distinctive clients. Their products have adorned a number of global spots like the Grand Cayman Island Car Museum champagne room, World Cuisine Network in Bangalore, the Cilantro fine dining restaurant in Bahrain, BluPetal Hotel in Bangalore and all the chains of Aloft Hotels India.
When the product you create requires such intricate detailing and customisation, meeting deadlines can supposedly be quite strenuous; but contrarily MOAB seamlessly operates in such moments focusing on just 10-15 orders a month. When the client places an order, he is made well aware of the timeline required to deliver the end product since quality outweighs quantity.
To design such intricate beauties one has to be very particular about the material used, Sreeti nods in agreement “Most of my regular material is glass beads, as India is proud of its glass work and I am more than happy and inspired to use the beautiful glass beads that are individually handmade. However, I also source from abroad and use a variety of other bead materials including shell, acrylic and glass crystal, bone, wood, textured PVC and stone.”
Sreeti is personally involved in the making of each piece in conjunction with the karigars who have worked with her for many years. The workplace is dynamic and is spread between the studio and workshop and even their homes.
As I lift the final strawberry loaded with dollops of vanilla my focus shifts on the 5 female karigars busy constructing another veil of coloured anecdotes. “The girls I work with have learned with me and I have learned from them. We have grown together and trained each other. Some basics I acquired (actually figured out) quite early on when I started making bead curtains and beyond that it has been exploration. There were no rules apart from the fact that the curtains should be aesthetic, joyful and have a functional role as a partition,” says Sreeti.
As a designer every creation is close to Sreeti’s heart however after a little persuasion she confesses “There are some designs that have survived and blossomed through the test of time, the ‘Pomegranate Gold’ bead curtain that has now been replicated into ‘Champagne Gold’, ‘Purple Silver’ and many other derivatives is one such design that is special to me.”
MOAB’s products not only allow for a play with colour, light and texture, but also enable the end user to create natural connectors between spaces. They have the ability to create privacy without disconnecting an area from the rest of the space. If you happen to be looking to usher in privacy in your living space and want to make a unique lifestyle and fashion statement as well, a visit to Sreeti Mondol should definitely be on your list.
Text By Vikas Bhadra
Director & Principal Designer
Memories of a Butterfly (MOAB)
Langford Road, Bangalore
mob: +91 9845508083
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com