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Home > How To Lounge> Art & Culture > Lounge Loves: From Periyar Umbrella to a handy clothes dryer

Lounge Loves: From Periyar Umbrella to a handy clothes dryer

Things to watch, read, hear, do — and other curated experiences from the team

Nicobar’s Periyar Umbrella, with its beautiful charcoal canopy covered with trees, tigers and elephants, and tiny dragonflies picked out in gold.
Nicobar’s Periyar Umbrella, with its beautiful charcoal canopy covered with trees, tigers and elephants, and tiny dragonflies picked out in gold.

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Cause she sings

During the anti-government demonstrations in 2019, Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte bared her chest at the Latin Grammys to reveal the message: “In Chile they torture, rape and kill.” Her social awareness is also reflected in her music, and that’s what makes her exciting. She recently released a video, Aunque Te Mueras Por Volver (Even if you are dying to come back), a ballad about a stormy past. The song is from her 2021 album Seis, which got her a Grammy nomination for Best Regional Mexican Music Album. It melds traditional Mexican music—she lives in Mexico—with personal experiences and was inspired by the life of legendary rancheras singer Chavela Vargas. The new video, dramatic and intense, shows her in a maze, trying to break through. Her passionate singing reels you in even if you don’t understand the lyrics or the context. Mon Laferte once told The New York Times that she wants people to get goosebumps when they hear her songs. — Nipa Charagi

Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte's 2021 album Seis.
Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte's 2021 album Seis.

A monsoon beauty

For someone who hates walking in the rain (made worse by the fear of falling into an open sewer hidden by water), I love umbrellas. I buy far too many because I find their construction beautiful, though I only get the inexpensive ones wet since I leave them behind generously in cabs and restaurants. I love the care with which the Japanese have created gizmos to make it easier to carry umbrellas — from brolly lockers, complete with combination locks, to wrapping machines to encase your wet umbrella in plastic so it doesn’t drip rudely all over the floor. My latest love is Nicobar’s Periyar Umbrella, with its beautiful charcoal canopy covered with trees, tigers and elephants, and tiny dragonflies picked out in gold. The ferrule and crook handle are dark wood with stars carved into them; the canopy is wide and light, and slides shut with a smooth, satisfying click. Will I unfurl it on the streets? I will have to check the state of the manholes and water levels first. — Shalini Umachandran

The IFB TurboDry 550 takes around 75% of a full load from a 6.5kg washing machine and a 60-minute cycle is enough to get most everyday clothes ready for the cupboard.
The IFB TurboDry 550 takes around 75% of a full load from a 6.5kg washing machine and a 60-minute cycle is enough to get most everyday clothes ready for the cupboard.

The luxury of dry clothes

If you live in Bengaluru, you know the feeling of despair that creeps up this time of the year: The sun doesn’t come out for weeks, everything feels damp and musty, and clothes never seem to dry properly, no matter how diligently you put them under a ceiling fan overnight. After enduring years of still-damp clothes, I clamped down on that environment guilt and bought a clothes dryer—the IFB TurboDry 550, to be specific. It has been life-changing; I almost wept on seeing clothes come out not just dry but warm to the touch. The front-load dryer takes around 75% of a full load from a 6.5kg washing machine and a 60-minute cycle is enough to get most everyday clothes ready for the cupboard, while jeans, bedsheets and duvets take longer. The dryer can be wall-mounted, so you can utilise the space over your washing machine if it’s a front-loading one, creating a neat washer-dryer unit. At 20,990, it has been worth every penny, though I am not looking forward to next month’s electricity bill. — Shrabonti Bagchi

A product featured in the How Asian Woman (sic) Enjoy Their Happy Single Life videos.
A product featured in the How Asian Woman (sic) Enjoy Their Happy Single Life videos.

Diary of a single woman

Instagram has long known that I enjoy content related to fashion. Now, it has somehow also figured out that I am single, with a Kondo-esque personality. These days, my feed is inundated with How Asian Woman (sic) Enjoy Their Happy Single Life videos, showing women returning home from work. Once they are home, they spray sanitiser on their shoes, which are then neatly put in a shoe rack that promises to kill viruses. In the kitchen, there’s a touch-sensor hand-towel roll to use while they are employing an automatic cutter for potato chips. You can enjoy the snack while improving music skills on a foldable piano. If you are feeling bored sitting on the toilet, an automatic tissue dispenser has paper with a riddle printed on it. The videos, all made for different home décor brands, have text in Chinese. So, I don’t understand anything. Will I ever buy such products? Unlikely. I am just happy seeing other people find bliss in keeping their house spick and span. — Pooja Singh

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