The Allure of Indian Ethnic Wear

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Indian ethnic apparels possess a charm of a different sort. If you’re one who thinks there’s no comfort like a pair of jeans, you’ve clearly never paired a salwaar or a patiala with a well-fitted kurta. Besides feeling heavenly, they look gorgeous – much unlike basic, boring denims.

I belong to a business family, who’s dealt in ladies’ ethnic garments for decades. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to traditional wear but there’s no denying the truth in the fact that ethnic wear highlights an Indian woman’s beauty!

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No one looks as exquisite as a bride on her wedding day, because of the glow on her face and tint on her cheeks, accentuated by the six yards of absolute elegance that she dons. A Bengali woman draped in a crisp white saree with a red border is Grace personified and a simple Punjabi girl wearing a Patiala suit, with pretty bangles tinkling on her wrists is sheer loveliness.

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Indian garments will always hold a special place in a woman’s heart: Whether she’s a little girl sashaying in her mother’s apparel, a woman of 50 looking for the perfect kurti, or a woman of 25 trying on dresses for her brother’s wedding and a pile of lehenga-cholis for her BFF’s Sangeet ceremony.

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Let’s not forget to speak about their versatility! An unassuming suit may come in any number of styles – An Anarkali if you’re craving a regal look or a simple straight cut salwar suit. While, the humble saree may be draped in numerous fashions: the Gujarati, Marathi, butterfly, mermaid style and so many more! There’s really no end to the possibilities!

Speaking of ethnic wear, I’ve been doing my fair share of research before I buy an outfit for my best friend’s wedding. So, during one of my many sessions on Google, I chanced upon an online store that currently stocks a wide (and the best) collection of Indian bridal wear and other traditional attire! I’m seriously contemplating giving it a go and would love some suggestions from you! You can check out the store right here.  I’ll be waiting to hear from you!

 

(This blog post is part of a campaign at Blogmint.)

There’s No Denying It: Jewelry is a Woman’s Best Friend!

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There’s no denying the fact that jewelry is a woman’s best friend. It has been around since time immemorial and shall remain forever. There’s something about an Indian woman sporting an ethnic outfit with statement jewellery. The charm is indescribable. Add to it a dash of lipstick, a hint of kajal and you’re good to go!

From parties to weddings and festivals to even the smallest occasion, us women need but the slightest reason to don our saree with chandbalis or jhumkas, a necklace and bangles of course!

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Women these days don’t shy away from wearing traditional jewelry designs. It, on the contrary is a rage, especially with the younger generation. Donning an ethnic necklace set with fusion garments to college events or proudly wearing her mangalsutra with a pair of jeans and a plain tee to work: today’s Indian woman is on a trend-setting spree!

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Diamonds are our best friends – whether in the form of a solitaire or an uncut diamond (polki) that forms the focal point of heirloom jewellery. Kundan and polki jadau embellished gold, gives off the most regal aura. Jadau work has been in practice since the Mughal era and is typical to the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Even today, it’s a preferred form of jewellery in weddings.

CV-MGUTA81463320880--GutarGoo-Craftsvilla_1Another striking trend prevalent these days is that of oxidized metals. Definitely one of my favourite types of jewelry I can vouch for when it comes to versatility. They look absolutely stunning when teamed with a saree, salwar suit or even a kurti!

Young women have taken to traditional jewelry like kamar-bandhs, nose-pins, anklets and maang tikkas with a vengeance and love flaunting them at weddings and pujas! Oh and rings! How can you forget rings! The quirkier the design, the better!

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Speaking of weddings and pujas, one can’t help but crave going for some jewellery shopping! Oh, but wait! Wouldn’t you rather sit home and click at few buttons on your keyboard to get the most sophisticated jewelry for your loved ones, instead of having to go all the way to the store? Yes? Then look no further than Craftsvilla! The collection is fabulous and spells classy with a capital ‘C’!

(This blog post is part of a campaign at Blogmint.)

Closure

Door locked

(Source)

I don’t believe this happened,
Can’t accept it’s over,
There’s a lot I’ve left to do,
Still haven’t got closure.

Countless doors to shut,
I’ve people yet to meet;
Untold places I must visit,
Many fond memories to greet.

Please let me go back
Just one last time,
I’ve unfinished work to do,
Lose ends left to tie.

There wasn’t an opportunity,
It happened too fast;
I’m here in the future now
But not done with my past.

The present won’t make sense –
Not until I return;
I miss where I come from,
I’m waiting for my turn.

This place is beautiful,
The people nice and sweet
But my restless heart dedicates
To home, its every beat.

Take me back to my city,
The city of love and joy!
So I can see it one last time,
So I can say good bye.

Mamma Mia!

I return home from college at 7 o’clock every evening, throw my bag on the sofa and run to the kitchen to claim my right on some delectable mom-made snacks, followed by dinner that’s fit for a King. I’ve never really wondered how she juggles work in the office and at home. May be because she’s never let it seem like a humongous task, which I’m certain it is. Sometimes I feel I should help around in the kitchen but I can barely shuttle between college and tuition without getting drained. I salute all mothers; honestly, I can’t even imagine myself doing this much and surviving to tell the tale. *feels inadequate* *cringes* That’s where McCain comes into my life like an answer to my prayers.

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It takes around 3 minutes to cook which means one is only THREE minutes away from heavenly goodness. It’s so easy to make, either deep fry or bake and you’re all done. No hard work involved, yet the outcome is delish!

During one of my feeling-useless moments, an idea struck me. I totally intend to execute it this weekend when my young shoulders aren’t cumbered with a load of studies. *phew*

Here’s the plan (shhh, don’t tell anybody) –

  1. Come Saturday, I get my stock of McCain Smiles and sneak it into the freezer… Also, (at least) one of every other kind, some of which are – McCain French Fries, McCain Super Wedges, McCain Aloo Tikki, McCain Potato Cheese Shotz, McCain Cheese & Jalapeno Nuggets (Oh.my.God Cheese *nomnomnom*)
  2. Wait for mom to move out for her weekend-evening walk
  3. Whip up a batch of these angelic looking Smiles
  4. Wait for mom to return and surprise her with a plate-full of McCain Smiles!
  5. Click a pic of her happy-smiling face!

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Ta-da! There you have it! My master plan of bringing a smile on my mother’s face in the best way possible *lifts collar and feels proud* I bet you won’t find anything as cute and smile-able as McCain Smiles!

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Okay! Quick question! Hurry up and solve this riddle : What’s crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and delicious all over?

Think, think!

McCain, of course!

No, you’re not getting any prizes for guessing the obvious! Just come on over to share some McCain Chilli Garlic Potato Bites (yummm!) and a cuppa chai! A tasty treat is better than any gift after all, no?!

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Double the smiles all around with McCain! –> http://www.mccainindia.com

It’s Too Late

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It–It can’t be… But it is! I can see myself! I’m 5 years old. Dad’s performing the Diwali puja rituals. An innocent smile spreads across my baby-face as I hear fire crackers burst outside. Phantom-like, I observe my (once) happy family and a tear rolls down.

A momentary flash of white light and there I am again; only this time, 16 years old, receiving my ‘Prefect’ badge in school. I watch my proud, confident self read out a note of thanks.

*Flash* Scene 3 – Me, from around a year back, sitting on a rock facing the sea and laughing, carefree. Through this strange, hollow darkness, I observe my younger self, wishing I could reverse time.

Yet another flash. But I can’t see myself anymore. I can’t see anything, actually. A thick black pall engulfs me. I can’t move either but I hear voices. It’s all coming back to me. I realise what’s happening but it’s too late.

‘Whatever you do, don’t drink and drive beta,’ – mum’s voice. ‘Ek aur shot pee le kuch nahi hoga,’ – Karan’s voice. ‘At least I’m more sober than all you drunkards put together. I’ll drive,’ – my voice. I can’t breathe properly but sounds I hear; wheels screeching, friends screaming, a cyclist whimpering, a windshield smashing to smithereens and a horn that won’t stop.

Strangely the excruciating pain is now easing out. I can feel my wounded body slump and my spirit rise to look at my lifeless form. My head rests on the steering wheel. That’s why the horn won’t stop. Noooo! I don’t want to go. I want to live, please.

My soul weeps terribly but it’s just too late. Words reverberate, shattering the deathly silence – Whatever you do beta, don’t drink and drive.

Maa Aschen! Kolkata Gears Up For Durga Puja, 2015

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With Mahalaya (Mahalaya Amavasya) marking the end of the Pitru Paksha yesterday, 12th October, 2015 and the beginning of Devi Paksha from today, I could not have found a more auspicious day to post this. The Pitru Paksha (Pitri Paksha), as we know is a period when Hindus observe Shraadh/Tarpan (paying homage by making offerings of food) for the souls of their departed ancestors.

The beginning of Devi Paksha (Debi Pokho) marks the decent of Goddess Durga; when she embarks on her journey to earth. Well, Maa Aschen (Mother, Maa Durga is on her way). Here are a few pictures to support both the statement and the heady rush of excitement the words evoke. The City of Joy is abuzz. No Pujo like Durga Pujo and no better place to experience it that in Kolkata.

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“I can’t keep calm because I’m a Bengali and Puja is coming,” they say. I beg to differ. You needn’t be Bengali for Durga Puja to be your most favourite festival in the whole wide world. You simply need to belong or have belonged to Bengal. On that note, I’m a true-blue Calcuttan, part-Bengali at heart and no one I say no one, can ever take that away from me. You can take me out of Kolkata but never take Kolkata out of my heart *goosebumps*

Enough of me, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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This idol in the making, I found about a week back in Garcha Lane.
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The College Square Puja pandal as viewed from the terrace of the University of Calcutta.

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Don’t miss the two men atop this Hazra Road pandal. It’s the hard work and sincerity of such people that take shape as these marvelous structures.

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Singhi Park. The sheer number of people that visit are enough to explain its popularity.

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The framework laid and ready

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The one at Golfgreen Park. Just where you see the Taxi taking a turn, is a lane that had more bamboo work done. Probably a set up for the lights.

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The one at Mullick Bazar, weeks back. Probably my first pandal-click this year.

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Blue lights flank the Gariahat Flyover. Prettying up!

I cannot wait to see these (and more) Puja Pandals when the idols have been placed and Maa’s radiant face beams back at us; our Mother in absolute splendour.

মা আসছেন| Bolo Durga Maa Ki Jai!

He Walks Beside You

“तेरे साथी मेरे कदमों के हैं निशाँ

तू ना जाने आस पास है ख़ुदा |”

“My footsteps are your companion,
You don’t know (realise) God is beside you.”

This quote is from a song that never fails to give me goose bumps. Aas Paas Khuda from Anjaana Anjaani, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.

I’m a theist through and through. I don’t doubt the existence of God, the one supreme force the Universe reveres. An absolute believer and fervently spiritual (not necessarily, religious), the instant I read this week’s IndiSpire topic, several quotes in praise of God flitted in and out of my mind. From mellifluous Bhajans to Holy words from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji; from profound Sufi songs to the heart-warming Hymns we sang in school. Finally, my mind rested on this one.

Life is made up of crests and troughs. This phrase acts as a guiding force when I feel down. It speaks of what He wants us to believe. There’s nothing God can’t fix. Know that He’s always by our side; invisible but never indifferent. He’s our permanent go-to person; a parent, a teacher, a best friend. When you feel overwhelmed, you know who to turn to. He’s always watching out for you. Mightier than all your problems put together, He’s the Almighty. Trust, that He’s been, is and will always be with you.

This post is written for IndiSpire, Edition #83

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The Man Bun

One insomniac night this week, lying in bed and going through my Instagram feed, I came across a picture of our very own gabru Punjabi munda, Karan Kundra in this surprising new avatar. I let-slip my phone which landed smack on my face *ouch* Hey, don’t you laugh! You would’ve done the same, it is that beautiful. Look!

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His Instagram has had regular updates in the past week with pictures of him flaunting this stunning top knot. He’s currently in Hong Kong shooting with Sana Saeed, for an all new season of Life Mein Ek Baar, on Fox Life India. So does that mean we get to see him look amazing like this on the show? Woohoo!

Honestly, I’ve disliked the long-locks look on men, I’m all for short hair. Even John Abraham’s flowing tresses at one point, couldn’t impress me. (My opinion, though you probably don’t care.) I’ve had a recent change of mind, though. There’s no denying that the few men who can actually pull it off are jaw-dropping, head turners.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

Earlier this year, Shahid Kapoor was seen rocking the top-knot in Dubai. After the buzz cut in Haider, his lustrous mane’s all grown out and ready for Udta Punjab. (The upcoming film also stars Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh – who makes his Bollywood debut) Grow on, Shahid! No complaints hair… Err… here!

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In this exclusive photo shoot with MW (Man’s World) Magazine for their April edition, Shahid looks incredible. *phew* Is the AC in here even working?!

Is it hot, or is it hot?

Is this hot, or is this hot?

Just FYI, there’s a difference between a man bun and a top knot. The former is, simply, long hair tied back in a bun. The top knot is a combination of a man bun and an undercut where the sides are shot and the hair in the middle is long enough to tie up. They clearly aren’t meant for everyone so steer clear, unless you have the flair, flamboyance and looks to carry it off.

Speaking of panache, here you go – Hrithik Roshan wearing the man bun. What can this guy NOT do, Greek God of Bollywood that he is!

Such beauty! *cries*

Such beauty! *cries*

The word ‘God’ reminds me – Bollywood’s demigod Shahrukh Khan sported the man bun in Don. Many did not quite approve of it. Neither did I. (Just saying.) You’ve got to admit though, that SRK knows how to rock everything that’s thrown his way! There’s a reason he’s the ‘Betaj Badshah’. The King Khan. Whatever Shahrukh Khan does is cool. Just because.

Shush, no one questions the King

Shush, no one questions the King

All this drooling, umm, Googling – who said drooling? Me? Nah! – takes me back to a tiny incident that occured recently. So, there I was waiting at the bus stop, staring into space and minding my own business, when I saw two impeccably dressed men. One of them sported a beard and a super neat top bun. I can’t recollect how many buses I missed or who walked past me or where I was or even who I was, until they were out of sight. It’s crazy I know but that’s an extremely rare sight in my city.

We need more Bollywood hunks picking up this trend and NOW! I believe Ranveer Singh, with his adorable eccentricity, will carry it off with aplomb! The Pogonophile in me also believes we need a word for ‘an admirer of man buns’.

Let me know what you think about the man bun & topknot. Yay or nay? Which Indian celebrity would you love to see sporting such a hairstyle?

Till then let’s hair – hear – it for these handsome celebrities! Round of applause toh Bun-ta hai na, boss!

Bradley (Brad) Cooper

Bradley (Brad) Cooper

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf

Jared Leto

Jared Leto

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

David Beckham

David Beckham

Aaaanddd…

Zayn Malik - Who would believe the lad is only 22 years old?

Zayn Malik – Who would believe the lad is only 22 years old?

Berger Express Painting IndiBlogger Meet – Kolkata

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I love stalking… err… following, IndiBlogger; right from the posts on their website, to Facebook, Twitter and the likes. Basically, on every possible social platform. Wait, that counts as stalking. Oh, never mind! So, when I was snooping on them – uhh, scrolling down the web page, NOT snooping – I chanced upon a post about an upcoming Berger Express – IndiBlogger meet, in KOLKATA. My first reaction was, ‘Whoa! What? Kolkata?! Yay!’ My mind was buzzing with excitement and so loud, that for a minute I was worried my co-passenger might hear me! I managed to get home though the heady rush had me feeling trippy.
I signed up – but of course – and started badgering my blogger-friend, Arnaba (friend first, blogger later) to register too. The event was this Saturday and ever since, the hugely popular Indeep Bakshi song has taken on a new meaning in my life. *Kudi Saturday Saturday kardi rehndi ae*. Ahem! So, the truly grand evening was organised in the ornate conference hall of The Oberoi Grand Hotel.

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It’s been exactly a year to my first post (talk about co-incidences). The initial jitters of being a relative newbie in the blogger world vanished when we were greeted by amiable veteran bloggers. Kudos to the ever-smiling, Smart-Alec(y), super amazing IndiBlogger team for the warmth they showered throughout the evening. You guys are brilliant!
The tone of the evening was set by the anchor – whose subtle sarcasm and witty remarks deserve special mention – who made us ‘sing’ to Ich Will by Rammstein.

Hell Yeah!

Hell Yeah!

We started off with an introduction round. It was an enlightening session where I got to learn about people of varying ages and thought-processes. I honestly surprised myself as I volunteered to introduce my blog. I’ve not really been a mic person. I blog about everything under the sun, that catches my attention. I genuinely believe it’s better to be a Jack of all trades than a master of one (or two), which is plain boring. I mean, the first thing you do when you don’t know why you’re ill, is you visit a General Physician, right? There you go! Your go-to person is always a Jack, trust me!

IndiCapture. Thank you for my favourite pic, Team!

IndiCapture. Thank you for my favourite pic, Team!

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The star of the evening was Berger of course! The brand is synonymous with paint! Think painting, think Berger. We were shown an AV, a presentation and demonstrations of their new Express range. This trusted brand has brought in a product line that simply makes the process faster, cleaner and better.

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They have some powerful machines like the Hand Held Sander, Long Handle Sander, Multi-purpose Mixer, Auto Roller and Jet Washer. Berger brings out the colour in life. This Diwali, you know where you’re headed! Go ahead and let them paint your imagination!

Painting woes, now no more. Berger Express to the rescue!

Painting woes, now no more. Berger Express to the rescue!


Our first activity was the Sandpaper task, where, in groups of about 6, we had to smooth out a rough plank using sandpaper. Berger and IndiBlogger weren’t going to let us just sit around. Clearly, they wanted us to rough it out… I mean… smooth-it-out. (Such clever, much wow.) Our team, Bloggeratti, was ‘done and dusted’ (so much pun) in 34 seconds flat!

This picture is doctored! Nah, j/k, I just said that for pun's sake. Geddit, geddit?

This picture is doctored! Nah, j/k, I just said that for pun’s sake. Geddit, geddit?

The second task took the Berger tagline ‘paint your imagination’ to another level. The teams painted a social cause close to their hearts, on a canvas, with Berger paint! Well, not showing off really, we placed 2nd. Woohoo! We received a Microsoft Portable Dual Charger, each!

The Bloggeratti

The Bloggeratti

Speaking of winning, I won a JBL Portable Speaker for my #BergerXp tweet. (Still not showing off. Really.) Thank you guys for the gadgets and the sense of accomplishment that comes with the win.

I’m so glad Team Bloggeratti selected me to describe our painting to the judges. Impromptu speech that it was. Also, thank you for taking my interview on the Express range, Team Berger! I never thought I’d even be able to stutter, let alone speak, looking straight into the camera. But I did. Whoa! *shudders* I guess I am a mic person after all!

Swag level : Microsoft & JBL

Swag level : Microsoft & JBL

We wrapped it all up with a delicious plate-full of food and dessert, collected our Berger goodie bags and said our final good-byes.

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I only eat salad. No kidding.

The good stuff!

The good stuff!

An experience to cherish for a lifetime, I’m glad I met some wonderful fellow-bloggers. Thank you Berger, and IndiBlogger.

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The Good People

And hey! Team IndiBlogger, hope to see you here again, real soon!

As you say, IndiBlogger. As you say.

As you say, IndiBlogger. As you say.

(A few images have been taken from the IndiBlogger Facebook page)

Moody Poetess

‘Write a 2-minute poem,’ they said,
I yawned, as I rolled out of bed,
Stretching, tripping, scratching my head,
‘My two minute poem.’ Yep! That’s what I read.

I’m a moody poetess,
Rarely sorted, mostly a mess,
“What shall I write? Umm,”
I say to myself;
Well, that’s anybody’s guess!

Sleepy as I am, I sit & jot
Every stray idea, plot, thought,
Can’t let this brain rust and rot,
Bless this poem, oh dear God!

So, as yarn is spun from thread,
I conjure this off the top of my head,
My body is tired, eyes feel like lead;
Now that I’ve done what they said,
It’s time I get back to bed;
‘My 2-minute poem,’
Yes, that’s what I read.

This Poem is written for IndiSpire, Edition #81

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