In Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the central character hurries to Tiffany’s each time she suffers a case of the ‘mean reds’. Whale Song could easily be that space for artists, hippies, activists, and writers in Goa — a place so lovely, it immunises against the cold, crippling anxieties of the world! Text by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi; Photographs by Rushika Tyabji
Set in an old Goan villa in the village of Parra, Whale Song is a sublime new design destination that is many things: an artist’s atelier, a studio for ideas and conversation, and a cottage where startlingly lovely and original objects jostle in whimsical, bloody-minded arrangements.
Where Art Comes Alive
Walking through the metal panelled glass doors, you don’t anticipate to be so deeply moved by objects here—a tablecloth painted in tough black strokes that pay homage to Dutch-American artist Willem de Kooning; a collection of gorgeous shirts that you’d wear for someone you were courting on the down low; tall champagne flutes, wave-ridged on the inside, that make a case for day drinking. Limited edition works of artists like Goa-based Sheena Sippy or Mumbai-based Shahid Dattawala animate the walls of this special space, helping lift energies in a heady rush.
Co-founded by Shikha Bagaria and Sonal Chowdhary, Whale Song has an aesthetic forebear: Sangolda. At the now shuttered space, owned by Hari Ajwani and Claudia Derain, appetiser plates from Michael Aram sit in sync with desks rescued from Chor Bazaar. Whale Song also collaborates with local curators and artists like Munir Kabani, power couple Nikhil Chopra and Madhavi Gore. The only other place with a win on this vibe check is the hugely recommended Ranji Goa in the top tier village of Moira, where designer Ranji Kelekar’s enchanted bungalow hosts vases, tea pots, candle snuffers, slavers and art deco beds.
Whale Song’s Secret
The secret to Whale Song’s electric good taste? The founder Sonal Chowdhury. Her genius is an ability to group objects like they had just met and fallen in love. She is an intuitionist; an eagle who draws on the energies of the objects and then honours the transmission of beauty as an act of nobility.
Related: TL Finds: MansionHaus — A Historic Mansion & Members Club In The Beating Heart Of Goa