This post is a review of my first visit to Bangalore’s “poshest mela“. While, I was completely smitten by the Soul Sante, I have tried to be absolutely fair in my review and have also included inputs given by my dear hubby – AB. This can be a very long post for some to read. So please bear with me – I have tried to include pics to keep you entertained.
from the diary of a first timer: getting there
This was my first time to a Soul Sante. We had decided to visit the place at around 6 pm – so that we could see the place in light and and dark (I had heard that stalls with lamps come to life during the evening). Unfortunately, we could only arrive at the venue when it was dark. Reason being the huge traffic in Whitefield. While that was a deal breaker for a few, it wasn’t so much for me – I was travelling in the wee- hours to one of the most celebrated event of the quarter. Traffic was an obvious hurdle. Plus – I have been through worse – I have traveled for 4 hours to get to Nariman Point from Andheri just to see the Queens necklace (Mumbai). I, somehow, know that when there is a huge traffic on the way – the destination is always AWESOME.
The parking at the mall nearby the venue (ITPL Cricket Ground) was OK. It was too much of a walk to finally head to the venue. I am only cribbing here cause I had seen these pink canopy stalls before I entered the parking area and the kid in me was jumping with excitement. And the farther I was being taken away from the stalls the sadder I was getting.
Anyways, we finally parked (ample parking space) and reached the entry. Had to stand in the queue – but not for long (about two minutes). They had 4 lanes and they were fast enough to let you in quickly. Entry charges (Rs. 99 per head). The flip side to being fast to let people in was that the organisers at the gate were a little curt. They just wanted you in asap – I am not sure if we even got Rs. 5 back (we were 5 of us and we gave Rs.500). So that was a negative for a few too (I read somewhere that a few people had arguments at the entry gate).
from the diary of a first timer: finally in
Once in, I was awestruck. Like AB says – it was a “sophisticated mela”. Lights all around – musical performance at the center stage Great stalls and a lot of people. Bangalore’s elite-st crowd had stepped out of their penthouses and had assembled at the Soul Sante. For those who have never been to a Soul Sante event – you would have thought that MG Road and UB City is where you see the chic-est crowd. You are so wrong mister (or madam) The ladies with Louis Vuitton bags and Aldo Shoes and men with Rolex’s – they were all at the Soul Sante and in plenty.
And the stalls – I do not have words to describe them. They were all so brilliant and so unique. They were all decorated in their own style – paper cups turned into chandeliers, christmas lights arranged to spell the stall’s name. I did not really do justice to all of them with my pictures – I could not even click a lot of pictures. I was so mesmerized by the experience. (I would probably have to visit it again to get the hang of this).
The first stall I saw was Cannanore: the first online shop I had ever shopped from. I felt as if I totally knew everything. And suddenly, I was taking AB around Soul Sante as if I belonged. And like a sweetheart that he is – he patiently went from stall to stall, gave his inputs on stuff I liked and wanted to buy. The lamps, mirrors, ganeshas, terracotas etc. PS: The lamps were a major attraction. And I don’t just speak for myself – I had a tough time trying to click pictures of the lamps in the stalls (they were all so crowded). I did manage to get some neat pics though.
And ofcourse my longtime obsession: Ganeshas
Some great Terracotta Work on display too (though a little expensive 😦 – Could not convince AB to shell out Rs.8000 for one of these )
For those who have the luxury of having a small garden infront of your house there were some amazing Garden Decor solutions:
from the diary of a first timer: stall-worths
Stalls with some really neat and innovative ideas were
1. OWL (Object with Light)
BTW I totally fell in love with their stall. Gorgeous & wacky. They offer lighting solutions to houses too
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ObjectsWithLight
2. The Purple Turtle:
Unique Lampshades (the Spotlight pic and the lamps in the pictures above are all from The Purple Turtle). I absolutely loved their lampshade and I would soon be off to their store to buy home-decor stuff for my house.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ThePurpleTurtles
3. Tree Craft:
Lovely bonsai trees. I am definitely buying one from here for my new house. And the best news is that AB loved it too.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/treecraftbonsai
4. Rent Your Dunia:
For all the single ladies and the single men. For everyone who rents a house but does not furniture fill it with. Even just married couples who do not want to buy their furniture asap. You can rent your house furniture starting 3999/month.
(THEY ARE NOT ONLINE ANYMORE!)
from the diary of a first timer: final verdict
I loved every part of the “sophisticated mela” – from the posh crowd to the great food to the amazing artwork on display. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance at the center stage.
Loved the little things that you can buy for yourself from here. Like these colorful tea-lights
It was all great fun. I wish that the drive to the venue wasn’t such a pain (narrow roads). Also, I wish that they had allocated a few smoking zones instead of letting people smoke anywhere in the crowd. But none of it was a real bother for me. I would love to visit the Sante again the next time. For everyone else interested in knowing when it happens and where – like their Facebook page and get all updates.
A big thank you to Moksh for introducing me to the Soul Sante. To Rahul for driving us there. But the biggest to AB – for loving me and tolerating my quirks as I took you from stall to stall – bored you to death with details. Made you get into almost every home decor stall possible and ask the price for every artifact! And you still love me!