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25.10.2017

The biggest draw (and cleverest marketing trick) at Kulture Shop’s new Kala Ghoda outpost might be resident fur-ball Sumo – the friendly little Shih Tzu offers you a warm welcome in return for a belly rub, and is cute enough to warm your heart; and loosen your purse strings.

The store marks a new innings for founders Jas and Arjun Charanjiva and Kunal Anand, who set up their Bandra hub in 2013 with the objective of making art more accessible. They’ve certainly achieved their objective now – while the suburban studio was hidden away, the new digs are splashy and right in the centre of the city’s art district.

Like tabs on a website, the neatly labelled sections make this 700 square feet store easy to navigate. We stroll through on a sunny afternoon to find new tote bags and pouches, as well as an arrangement of palm-sized notebooks that looks like a pack of Skittles burst open – stationery nerds will approve the explosion of colour, and possibly long for more options in size. 

The island table, with its neatly arranged holographic print badges from design studio Loco Popo and concrete tetra-pods (and earrings!) from Material Immaterial, offers pocket-friendly gift options. Under Home, you’ll see a litany coffee mugs, coasters and cushion covers – the covers, we’re told, have received an upgrade and are now made with poly-cotton blends as opposed to synthetic fabric.

Oh, and don’t forget to look up. The walls are dotted with artworks, best seen from the mezzanine floor, where you’ll find a collection of t-shirts, books and art zines. It’s a cosy little corner worth spending hours in; thumb through new and year-old copies of Art Illustrated; select tomes from Taschen on heavyweights like Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Jean Michel-Basquiat; or Roli Books’ everything-you-need-to-know guides on Bombay Art Deco and contemporary Indian design. 

The walls are dotted with artworks, best seen from the mezzanine floor, where you’ll find a collection of t-shirts, books and art zines.

To save you from being overwhelmed, the founders’ spotlight new names under Curated Picks and old hands under Bestsellers. We make a mental note to dig deeper into the dreamy collages of Delhi-based Shagun Puri and Bangalore-based Madhav Nair, a student who goes by the name Deadtheduck and sketches ghostly figures.

If you stick around until the shutters close, like this writer did, you’ll notice that Charanjiva & Co. has turned these too into a large-scale canvas. Artist Mira Malhotra’s syrupy orange hue dominates a work that reads “Think Local” in bold Devnagri script, and is filled with curlicues and paisleys we’ve come to associate with Indian design. 
It’s boisterous enough to make us smile, but for a truer picture of what makes contemporary Indian designers tick, step inside.

Getting there: 9 Examiner Press, 115 Nagindas Master Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, call 0222267 7006, Rs 700 for Mira Malhotra’s mini A5 poster.

This story was contributed by Sonam Savlani a fashion and culture writer who has written for ELLE, Vogue and Grazia. 

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