The magic happened from the moment Dui’s feet touched the ground in India for the first time, over 25 years ago…
“My soul sparkled and my heart seriously went BOOM!,” says Dui. “I had an immediate sense of connection – and was blown away by fabulous buzz in the streets, the incredible diversity and bursts of colour in every direction. The beautiful sari wrapped women in vibrant silks, the men wearing bright coloured turbans, the street vendors with delicious local treats to savour, and the fields of marigolds bursting with sunshine”.
Some 15 years ago, Dui took the plunge and bought an old farm in the town of Pushkar, in Rajasthan, to build her own little sanctuary.
“It’s taken pretty much 15 years to complete,” she says “I wasn’t in a crazy hurry, and just lived in each little space as it slowly came to life”.
And it’s been worth the wait. Local tradesmen and artisans (many of whom are her friends) have created a beautiful, open-style, three-level sanctuary that embraces the architectural traditions of the region. The tropical garden is a lush oasis for the many adopted animals of Dui’s Indian home – including Daisy the dog, cows, 8 desert tortoises and the semi-welcome Pushkar monkeys that let themselves in. When back in Australia, her ’home away from home’ and the animals are lovingly cared for by Dui’s Indian brother and his family.
“It has been a dream come true to create a space to return to as well as a place to reciprocate the warmth and hospitality I’ve so often experienced in India,” Dui says.
From watching the stars from her open-air rooftop with the kids, to sharing tears of emotional joy at Indian family weddings, the incredible memories shared in Pushkar have been the creative sparks for what Boom Shankar is most loved for... Dui-designed, stunning block-print fabrics, all playful and handcrafted.
Pushkar is a beautiful Rajasthani town bordering on the Thar Desert, with the magical Pushkar Lake in the centre, which is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples, and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.
According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.