It’s always a challenge to decorate a home; while few of us aspire to have our living rooms featured in magazines, it can be tough to get that balance right between elegance and comfort. Walls, curtains, furniture, picture frames—there’s so much colour (or its lack) to juggle and make sure it all comes together in a way that’s both soothing and stimulating. Many of us still work in hybrid mode, making it all the more important to have living spaces that accommodate different needs. Arts manager Manju Sara Rajan begins a column for Lounge this week that’s part practical guide, part introspection to help you understand the different aspects of design to create a home that truly reflects the way you want to live.
This theme of choosing one’s own way no matter the circumstances comes through in quite a few stories in this issue. We have a review of Gallery Threshold’s exhibition of artists’ self-portraits, which aren’t an exercise in self-aggrandisement or hubris but really reflect the way artists perceive and understand themselves in relation to the world around them. The self-portraits, unlike selfies, aren’t an indulgence but a contemplation of the way they live and the influences on their work.
On a similar note, our profile of stand-up comic and actor Vir Das, who begins a 33-country tour in September, is a story of an individual setting out to find their voice and create a space in a field that didn’t really exist as a career about 20 years ago. In the last decade, stand-up comedy has evolved as a professional activity, with comics performing to global audiences, tackling caste, gender and other issues.
Das, like all satirists, enjoys the adulation his wit brings but also draws vicious hate when his observations hit too close to home. He tells Lounge how he has learnt to live with it all, his dislike of safety nets, how he has always felt like an outsider, and his belief that it’s stand-up that makes him truly feel alive.
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