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Welcome to Rochelle’s Roost

Rochelle’s Roost is Holly Berry House. In the typical style of New England colonial structures, it is a two-storey home with white clapboard siding and dark window shutters that sits on a quarter acre of front lawns and back gardens. Located in the charming sailing village of Southport on the picturesque Connecticut coastline, it lies one hour from New York City on the old Post Road to Boston. Each season brings its own stunning beauty to this North Atlantic historic village.

Spring brings pink rhododendrons to the front lawn…

…while after a fresh snowfall, it lies blanketed under a crisp white sheet

Named for the twin holly berry bushes that flank our front door, Holly Berry House has been my roost for the past ten years.Ever since our daughter Chriselle  spread her wings to explore life on her own in New York City, my husband Llewellyn and I have been empty nesters.

Now that you’ve arrived on the porch of Holly Berry House, please push open the lipstick red door. You’re an honored guest and I appreciate your presence. Do pull up the coziest seat you can find, close to our roaring fireplace, sit down and make yourself comfy. My roost is cozy and warm, no matter the weather. As you leaf through these pages at leisure, I hope you will find much to spark your curiosity.

In My Life, My World, you will read about my myriad hobbies and those of my closest friends. If you enter My Library, you can join the members of my two Book Clubs–the Wine Mavens and the Southporters–as we select a title each month, then meet over fabulous food to discuss it.  In Gourmet Groupies, you will meet my foodie friends–the members of my Goumet Dinner Club who have been cooking, meeting and  entertaining each other for the past four years. Find out about our menus and take your turn at preparing some of our special tried-and-tested recipes. The Couch Potato section will provide information about favorite films and TV shows and will give viewing recommendations from my cinema-crazy colleagues who teach Film Studies at NYU.

If it is houses and gardens that grab your attention, as they do mine, you will enjoy seeing Holly Berry House and Garden during the four seasons. Linger awhile in its hydrangea-filled flower-beds. Then take a scented journey with me through some of the gardens I’ve toured, photographed and enjoyed in different parts of the world.

Discover the spectacular beauty of Southport, Connecticut, the village I feel privileged to call Home. In every season, Southport enthralls. Go on a leisurely walking tour with me through the leaf-lined, bluestone-paved pathways of this little-known gem on the North Atlantic Gold Coast and leave enchanted.

If travel is your passion, you will find much to nurture your imagination as we globe-trot together. View the world from my South Asian perspective. I have led educational tours to South Asia for New York University and have taught courses there. I would be delighted to introduce you to my own native India.  My travelogs are stacked with personal impressions gathered in the course of my varied wanderings and helpful tips for prospective travelers. Check out Bon Voyage for a plethora of options.

Be my guest, in The Art Part on two guided Highlights Tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where I have been a Docent for the past eight years. Pause with me at each breathtaking exhibit and learn a little bit about my favorite items at the Met. Then, travel with me to museums around the world to learn about the artists I admire and their most notable work.

Notes from The Professor’s Podium will tell you about the courses in South Asian Studies and Anglophone World Literature that I have taught at New York University. Receive suggestions for books to read and films to watch that deal with the complex canvas of South Asia.  Browse through my syllabi and take home ideas for more knowledge-gathering.

Sample some of my published writing  in Writer’s Block. You will find information about my scholarly books and read my essays and short fiction that have appeared in global periodicals.

Before you leave Holly Berry House, remember to leave behind a tiny souvenir of your visit. I’d love you to Sign my Guest Book and let me know your impressions of this web-zine. Feel free to share opinions of my work with me, whether academic, journalistic or creative. And if you have questions,  do what the Beatles suggested–“Send me a Letter; Drop me a Line…”. Go ahead, Pen Me.

So take your pick of my pleasures and pastimes. Browse through our family albums and feel the charm and delight that the hundreds of pictures that pepper these pages, taken by Llew my husband, and myself have given us over the years. Then, if the inclination strikes you, do let me know what makes you tick. We might just discover that we have a whole world in common.

I would like to say a special Thanks to two brilliant women who made this site possible: my friend and superb travel writer Margaret Deefholts who inspired me in the creation of this e-zine. You can accompany Margaret on her own global tour of discovery by landing at your leisure on her own website: http://www.margaretdeefholts.com

And  to Meredith Lynsey Schade, Webmaster par excellence, who so perfectly understood the spirit I was trying to convey through these pages and taught me so much about web design in the process.

Thanks for visiting Rochelle’s Roost. Do come back sometime soon…I’ll be waiting by the lipstick red door of Holly Berry House to greet you warmly.




View of Southport Harbor on a spectacular summer morning