The idea of “Indriyaabhaya” is conceptualized by none other than Satish Menon. The main objective behind it is to make all the art forms accessible to the general public. The concept provides an alternate leisure option to the Kochites, comprising of Ledhi Café (a Restaurant), The White Walls (an Art Gallery), Studio S (an Art Workshop) and Cube (a Boutique). In essence, the company introduces the unique concept of “Indriyaabhaya” – Art and senses – a space where all the five senses of human beings are enticed.
In short, the vision is to make ‘Art and Creativity’ more accessible and a way of life for all the human beings. Indriyaabhaya, in fact is a concept that entices all the humane senses. The conceptualiser of this project, Satish Menon, has a multi-faceted personality with an expertise in Management and Artistic talent. He is the person who has founded the company in association with Aswin Nandakumar, a colleague of his own.
He is a management expert with adequate managerial experience at top branded companies like Tata Press, Thomas Cook and Unilever. He is also one of the founder members of the Management Consulting organization ‘Bramma Learning Solutions’. Satish Menon is an avid art lover and has participated in several group exhibitions.
In Sanskrit, the word ‘Café Ledhi’ meant ‘Taste’. At Ledhi your taste and smell are enticed with delicious and aromatic dishes. Ledhi served the best vegetarian cuisine on to your table. Ledhi serves pure vegetarian food of five cuisines—Chinese, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Continental. There are five choices in soups, salads, starters,main course and desserts as well. The menu is wholesome, the chef willing, and the hospitality staff warm. The décor in yellow, black and dark brown, in straight, clean lines is non fussy and elegant.
What stands out is the aesthetics and one senses that the space is not just about the restaurant or the food, but part of a bigger concept—an art space. The walls of the café have works of some artists and are open to works by guests as well, says Satish. It represents the labour of his love along with partner Aswin Nandkumar’s. That’s what Ledhi (café), White Walls (art gallery), Studio S (art workshop) and the Cube (shop) combine in Indriyaabhaya on South Janatha Road, Palarivattam.
It is his labour of love along with partner Aswin Nandkumar’s. A terrace café with cool, casual, kitsch, recycled furniture spells artistic attitude and is inspirational. Aswin Nandakumar is a Postgraduate in Journalism and a young passionate lifeskills coach, communication expert and meditation trainer with the Art of Living. Aswin has worked in liason with Various UN agencies like UNICEF, UNFPA , UNMC, UNEP and UNAIDS for their projects in India.
The White Walls or the art gallery displays curated shows of some of the most brilliant art works by master crafts men from across the world. It is intended to entice one’s sight. The colourful Canvases make the walls literally WHITE! ‘Art for all’ is their motto. White Walls, the first floor gallery, is a small space with suitable lighting and climate controlled interiors. It has held its inaugural show and the next lineup is in the offing.
Adjacent to the gallery is Studio S, which Satish Menon has envisaged as a space for artists and creative minds to meet and experience the five senses. Here the alphabet ‘S’, stands for senses. He plans book readings, artist workshops, musical soirees, and mehfils. “It’s proving to be a great hangout,” he says. A book club is on the cards.
The ‘Studio S’ or the big Art workplace, hold workshops, art camps, talk shows and seminars. It is a creative hub to entice one’s sense of hearing and touch. In essence, the studio features, art workshops, book reading sessions, creative writing, music and other creative genres. The Studio, also holds sessions by personalities from the world of ‘Art and Culture’.
The ‘Cube’ or the Art workplace, is intended to assist, trade and provide consultation to both art enthusiasts and help first time buyers to buy genuine art works that have both aesthetic and investment value. It is a commercial hub where buyers andsellers can transact! All your senses get invoked when you shop here. The Cube is a trading hub for artists, buyers and sellers, the ultimate aim being introducing diners and guests to good art and to the market.
“We need to give artists a proper platform to display their work and for transaction; art is not elitist and it can be economical,” says Satish Menon. He shies away from being called an artist. However, some of his works are kept on display at the restaurant. Indriyaabhaya, the newly-opened space for art at Palarivattam, is an art gallery, a studio, a shop and restaurant all rolled into one. When Satish Menon decided to move to Kochi quitting his exciting life of a Mumbaikar, many people were left doubtful because, he was born and brought up there. And now, even after seven years of leaving Mumbai, he does not have any regret.
All these years he was working as a business consultant, with his vast experience of working in Corporates in Africa and Mumbai. He also carried forward his passion for painting. He shared studio space with his artist friend T.R. Suresh in Panampilly Nagar, painting and observing the unfolding art scene. But here he missed the depth, charm and beauty of Mumbai’s Jehangir Art Gallery. This led him to the idea of creaing a similar space in the city. That’s how his new ventures, Ledhi the (café), White Walls (art gallery), Studio S (art workshop) and the Cube (shop) which combined together in Indriyaabhaya came into being.
The photographer’s wall is an area carved out for any photographer to put up his works, currently showcasing works of Vikas Kannur. City-based artist Radha Gomathi is curating the upcoming show, Lines Never Lie. Transforming a modern house into an artistic space with an eatery was a challenge Satish faced. With the help of a resourceful architect, Murali M. Menon, and his partner they kept to the basic structure of the house–rooms, passages, balconies intact—only making interesting deviations. Small rooms morph into dining areas for private dos and such. An eye-catching Buddha in black stone set against yellow walls is an artist statement, just as the cerulean blue walls in the stairway.
It is art that is at the heart of the venture and what better bait than good food, asks Satish. Observing Kochiities, Satish realised that they have palatial houses and money power, but no original art on their walls. “It is because such facilities are few in the city. Fort Kochi has a number of art galleries but mainly foreigners throng there. With this we want to provide exposure to art here and now in the city. And we want to do so by enticing all your five senses”, says Satish Menon.