Friday, October 31, 2014

Getting Political – Sari in Style

Pic credit: Debjani Basu

I’ve been raving and ranting, sharing and saying things about one of my favorite things – the sari. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’m a recovering sariholic. Well, I’m still a sari aficionado, but the reason I say I’m a ‘recovering sariholic’ is because being a sariholic can cause a serious dent in your budget and a bump, or rather a bulge in your wardrobe. So, I’m retaining my love for the garment while cutting back on over-the-top sari shopping by wearing what I have in my closet (say about a 100 saris, give or take a few) and sharing that love via my blog.

So, if you’re still with me on this sari journey, thank you. Thank you for reading these Sari In Style posts, for sharing your enthusiasm, for participating (and co-hosting) a fabulous Giveaway, for spreading the word around.

So for this Sari In Style feature, I’ve chosen to share some sari inspiration from the political scene.

I don’t much like politics, be it on the governmental level or personal. But I do like how these women wear power on their pallu (and the the clear message that you don't have to ditch the sari in favor of a sharp suit to look-feel-be powerful!). How they look graceful and elegant, smart and authoritative, all at once in their saris and with their definitive sari style (Brinda Karat in her handloom sari + big red bindi + silver bangles; Jaya Jaitley in her handwoven saris and contrasting blouses and silver jewelry; Sonia Gandhi in her crisp cotton saris with sharp pleated pallus; Priyanka Gandhi in her thick cotton saris and short cropped hair).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Devil in Us by Monica Bhide - a Book Review

I’ve known Monica Bhide, or rather about her, for years. I’ve followed her food writing, read her interviews in magazines, thought about taking up her food writing course. So, when I got a mail from her about her debut into the world of short fiction, I wanted to review her book, ‘The Devil in Us’ (Thanks Monica, for sending me a copy personally). I loved the turquoise cover with the imprint of Indian art. And I liked the name, an interesting twist on human nature and the dark side in each of us, the tweaks and turns that weave our daily life into a fascinating tapestry of stories and secrets.

The 13 stories within the pages of the e-book take you through the alleys of the mind, through the by lanes of life, through hidden pasts and better hidden memories, through shades of grey and the frayed edges of human personalities. I liked the thought Monica has put into creating each story, etching out each character. I also enjoyed how she’s brought forth each story, while making her way through the weave and weft of complicated lives.

Monday, October 27, 2014

6 Ways to Slow Down

For us, here in India, the last few days were a rush. The rush for lights and candles and sweets, the rush for cleaning up the house to a sparkle, the rush to light up, the rush to party and meet people and have a good time, the rush to take photographs so we could be up there on social media without a minute’s delay, the rush to….

With Diwali (the Indian festival of lights - just as busy as Christmas) just behind us, what else could we expect, right? While the past week stirred up my days to the speed of a merry carousal, it also made me want to slow down by the end of it. I am a bit like that. I enjoy meeting people and like dressing up, but after a while, I need to scuttle back into my shell. I need to look inside, I need to loll around with my family, I need a sip of slow.

Also, with the frenetic pace of my husband’s days (he is a fighter pilot and works endless hours) and the lack of total family time, I’ve been craving slow even more. I’m looking forward to an oasis of time when we can just hang out as a family, read, paint, watch a DVD or two, catch up over cups of coffee. Maybe, if we’re lucky, ditch the routine for a while, and pack in a short trip to the hills and visit friends in another city.

But while that happens, here are some of the ways I’m trying to slow down in the now.

Friday, October 24, 2014

My Sari Fiesta - Festival Style

With Diwali (the Indian festival of lights) just a day behind us, I thought I’d post some pictures of the sari fest that I indulged in. For three days straight, I wore hand-woven saris for the parties and the festivities. And what could be better for a girl who loves her desi style and her treasure trove of saris ;-)!

I dug out this earth-colored #sari with a mustard border in thick, hand-woven cotton for the party that we attended a couple of days prior to #Diwali, and teamed it with hand-painted papier-mâché earrings, a stack of wooden bangles and a lime green mother-of-pearl pendant.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And the Winner is...

And so, it's time to pick the winner :-)
(That's my son Neel picking out the lucky winner!)

Our winner for the Diwali GIVEAWAY is....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rescuing Ourselves With This...

With winter striding in stealth mode, towing along a bag-full of germs and viruses, it’s time to rev up our immunity and get ready to battle the cold. This past week, we’ve had someone or the other sick at home, down with a scratchy throat, a running nose, a fever or body ache (I have a scratchy throat right this moment). And even though 13+ months of breastfeeding my son did arm him with good germ-fighting abilities, the viruses swirling around in the air are beginning to take a toll on him.

The winter’s only going to get colder, more severe, more sun-less. And the air is only going to get thicker with germs and viruses. So, to prepare for the five months of long, chilly, flu-full winters, I’m dipping into my box of essential oils to prevent illnesses.

Friday, October 17, 2014

5 Ways to Pick the Right Bag(s) for your Sari(s) + A Fabulous Festival Giveaway

 If a sari is a story, how do you embellish and accessorize your ensemble to make it even more interesting? Choose a bindi with care? Add a splash with your jewelry? Wear a funky blouse? And how about, toting a fun bag? While, I’ve never been much of a bag person ( I couldn’t care less about branded totes…those hugely expensive bags that would double up as your overnighter), I do have a soft corner for jholas (handmade cloth bags) and batuas (drawstring bags) and hand painted clutches. Anything with a whiff of handmade and fabric and color and embroidery, and I’m in.

These kind of handcrafted bags not only add a new dimension of interest to your sari, but also have their own little story to tuck into. So, here are a clutch of simple tips so you can team your saris with bags that add to the entire look rather than take away from it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What I’ve been upto the past few weeks...

Hello! I’ve been away for a short while…

Days full of childcare and picture books, picnic lunches and watching the rain. Hours chockfull of thinking and planning, reading and deciding. Sometimes, a lot of this is best done away from the internet (not always because I’ve chosen to be away from the Internet but because our internet connection in the boondocks where we live, has been erratic these past few weeks), in a little ‘downtime’ to slow down and live fully.

Decisions and what you want from your days often change on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis, your guideposts being what makes you feel more fulfilled at the moment, what fills your cup with joy, what you feel more inclined towards.

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