Cultivating harmony in heart(h) and home.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
While I can’t say that I’ve given much thought to how the design of my rooms can affect my good fortune, even I must admit that certain layouts can improve the energy of a space, my mood, and therefore my mindset. With the pandemic highlighting the need for interiors that can promote inspiration, rest, and even healing, I was curious to learn more, so I reached out to India-based Vaastu and Feng Shui consultant Kanika Parakh for her expert take on the subject. “These sciences are tremendously powerful in changing people’s lives,” she tells me. Having grown up with her father Dr. Nitin Parakh, who is considered one of India’s foremost Vaastu and Feng Shui experts, Kanika waxes eloquent about how she’s seen the power of proper design and placement transform the lives of ordinary people and celebrities alike.
“There was a young couple who came to my father with their three-year-old daughter, pleading with him to save their little girl,” she recalls. “She was suffering from late-stage bone marrow cancer, and was given only six months to live. After consulting with my father and following his advice, she was completely cured! Her parents couldn’t stop thanking and blessing Dad. That’s when I realised that it’s one thing to be able to make money, but it’s a whole different thing to be able to earn people’s blessings.”
Well-educated and eloquent, with a wide breadth of knowledge that she’s put to good use in her business, Kanika graduated with a Bachelor’s in Commerce while simultaneously pursuing her interior design certification, and an MBA in Marketing. She’s also a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner from Raymond Lo’s School of Feng Shui and Destiny, Hong Kong (Singapore Modules), and been educated in Feng Shui from the Feng Shui Institute International (FSII) and the UK-based Centre of Excellence.
On top of this, she’s also a certified Geo Professional and Gemstone Scanning Expert, and has a significant social media following on Instagram, where she gives interior design advice.
“It’s been eight years since I took up this profession alongside my father, and I felt the need to increase awareness of these sciences,” she explains. “A year ago, I finally decided to launch my Instagram page to create content that informs as well as benefits people, by giving out easy, useful tips that could help them improve and harmonise the space that they are living in.”
She further explains to Masala the benefits that Feng Shui and Vaastu can bring to people’s lives, as well as give advice that people can follow when designing their own space.
Which school of Feng Shui do you follow, and can you walk us through its principles?
In layman’s terms, Feng Shui is a science which is used to understand how a property affects your luck. I then use this knowledge to enhance the health, wealth and harmony of the inhabitants of the property. There are many different schools or levels of Feng Shui. The lowest and most basic level pertains to the use of symbolic objects like the Laughing Buddha or a wind chime, etc. Then there is an intermediate level as well.
However, professionally, I use the highest level of Feng Shui, which is the Flying Star Feng Shui, wherein we make a horoscope of the place, called a Flying Star Feng Shui chart. It’s based on the year of completion/first occupancy of the property, and the direction it’s facing, which is generally the direction that the main door faces.
After a detailed interpretation of the individualised Flying Star chart of a property, we understand the overall luck potential of the place for wealth, health and harmony, as well as the lucky and unlucky locations inside the property.
Vaastu is from ancient Indian texts on architecture, but some of us don’t know much more than that. Can you explain what it is, and how it integrates with Feng Shui?
Vaastu and Feng Shui are two different sciences. They are like homeopathy and allopathy; different, yet with the same goal, which is to heal the disease. Similarly, Vaastu and Feng Shui both enhance the luck of those who live within a property.
To further the comparison, homeopathy is great in treating chronic ailments like asthma, migraines, and skin diseases, but if there is an acute disease like the plague, then one has to take recourse in allopathy, as only that will save the life of the patient. In the same manner, Vaastu and Feng Shui have their individual area of effectiveness. In my opinion, Vaastu is useful in some types of places, and in others, Flying Star Feng Shui is recommended.
Why is it so important to follow the principles of Feng Shui in one’s home (and other spaces), and what benefits can it bring?
The science of Feng Shui holds tremendous power to attract prosperity and wealth, resulting in stronger financial security. Also, no matter whether your health is slightly out of balance or you have been going through health complications for a while now, Feng Shui can help increase your energy levels and stay healthy. It gives people a fighting chance, even against incurable diseases. Furthermore, any and all types of relationships can significantly improve by way of Flying Star Feng Shui.
Before renovating or rearranging a space, what should someone consider first?
It’s always best to consult an expert before beginning any kind of renovations. I analyse the Feng Shui of the property and accordingly advise changes that the inhabitants of the property can implement.
Just as there are good and bad locations in the property depending on the direction it faces, similarly there are some specific locations that should not be disturbed by renovation or structural breaking. If you ever plan to renovate your property, you should strictly observe certain restrictions regarding the time and location of the repairs and renovations. These restrictions do not apply to full scale renovations of a property before moving in, but apply to partial renovations of a property where people are already staying.
There are certain low-risk periods which are different for every property, within which it is advised to complete all your renovation work. These dates are provided by a Feng Shui consultant during the detailed consultation of a property.
Based on your expertise, what specific dos and don’ts would you advise for the following spaces:
Feng Shui emphasises cleanliness and decluttering to keep good energy flowing in the kitchen.
A messy kitchen creates negative energy in your space, so periodically unclog the burners and keep them clean since they tend to get clogged with oil and grime. Make sure nothing is broken in the kitchen. Replace any items that are chipped or not functional so the space is always clean and tidy.
THE LIVING ROOM
One of the best and easiest methods of creating a sense of family togetherness is to hang a large family photo in the South-West corner of the living room. Every member of the family should be included in the picture, and to symbolise happiness, everyone in the photograph should have a smiling countenance.
THE DINING ROOM
The placement of large mirrors or wall mirrors have proven to be an excellent source of energy, especially in the dining room. A mirror reflecting the dining table creates an impression of doubling the food on the table. This kind of set up may not enhance your wealth directly but it will ensure that the family will never lack food.
You can also hang a picture of delicious food in the dining room, or place a bowl with fresh fruits on the table. Your refrigerator should be well stocked at all times. All this will symbolise the ready availability of food in the house.
Avoid sleeping in front of the bedroom door, as this is considered a harmful position. When you are sleeping in this position, the qi (life force energy) enters through the door and hits you directly. This is also called the ‘yin’ position and can have extremely bad effects on a person.
Your head or feet should not be directly in line with the door, and so it is best to place the bed either to the right or left of the door.