OF WINE AND THE GIRLS WHO RISK

“Generalising a girl is your first big mistake”.

So, we had this vineyard visit a few weeks back. We visited the Barbare Vineyards, a little outside the city limits of Istanbul. Once having reached, the place for sure took my breath away. Very quiet, echoing a country side vibe, the peace that lets you contemplate and gets you on, a trip with yourself.

We tasted around four to five kinds of wine and to be very honest I do not remember the names,  but I can tell my wines apart in taste and I can tell you that one was a Blush wine and the rest, Red. While warming up to the sunshine, cool breeze and every cliché of a romantic nature, sea view et al, my mind wandered far beyond the Marmara sea.

I was having an epiphany. It happened in a moment where I realised that in today’s world, being a woman who had a mind of her own, had a voice, above all was dominating, was something that was still unacceptable in more terms than one. The acceptance is not something that validates one’s existence, of course, but reflects well on the progress we have made, given we are all products of four billion years of evolution, time we act like it. Almost.

Reflecting on one dialogue by  Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City , she said at a point when she left her job as a lawyer, ” You know, I’m just realizing, it wasn’t my tone of voice that my boss didn’t like.It was the fact that I had a voice.”

 

 

23 years and later, I realise that although everyone is in some sort of mad rush to progress, it comes to very few men to not generalise a woman. And the moment you face these stereotyped expectations, you know you have to pack your bags and flee. Be it India, Istanbul or any part of the world really, the patriarchal social hierarchy is so deep set and global that without realising and with no fault of our own, we become attuned to notions of generalising.

I remember a time when I was a kid, barely 8 – year old, and I was coming back in the school bus, and I was almost going to punch a boy because he threw my bag down and took my seat. At that point he started crying to my utter astonishment, and said that you are a mean and dominating girl. I laughed. I said, it’s okay kid, i don’t cry.

Years later, when I reflect on that incident, I ask myself why do we teach little girls to be fragile and soft, why do we not tell our girls to be risk takers, bossy and independent. Whoever is told they are dominating should be told they have leadership qualities instead, and whoever is told that you are a risk, take it as a compliment.

I know of so many women who portray the image of vulnerability to massage a man’s ego. It is absolutely redundant, something that also lets one generalise genders, just the way in retrospect, I am doing right now. But what I am also stating are hard facts, the very reason how a #metoo campaign was required to alarm human beings universally that united, honest women were fearless and dangerous. While talking to my brother Nikhil, about such situations, both of us couldn’t disagree that, even when a man says that they like a woman who is confident and all of that, in reality they had rather put their attention on someone who will not argue or put down their viewpoints.

It is funny to think that even today, there exists this mental gap where a man still considers himself to be rather supreme, and continuously generalise women as being weak. It is more amusing when I come across such men, I feel nothing but sorry for them.

And to all the women reading this, I couldn’t help but put out a more clear message  –

“Keep being feisty, and never ever let anyone intimidate you. This world needs more of you women who have a voice and an opinion. People are always afraid of strong girls who breathe fire and yet have a warm heart. Also, never trust anyone so much that you forget to trust your own instincts. Never love anyone else so hard that you forget to love yourself first.

And last but not the least, be proud of that moment when someone says they don’t want to take a risk with you. You represent to them all the sins they would never have the courage to commit.”

PS: The wine really helped.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Shot on Iphone7plus

Location – Barbare Vineyard

OF RELATIONSHIPS AND DOPAMINE

Science says relationships are mostly like drug induced reactions of the brain that is in love. For centuries and evolution, the universal problem and equation that human beings have tried to solve is the mystery of romance and relationships. There have been crimes of passion, wars fought for love, glorified love, undying love. This intense physiological and biochemical reactions are all scientifically linked to various hormones and neurotransmitters that our brain releases when triggered, the main one being the reward centre of the brain.

We all are aware of dopamine which is released by the brain during positive experiences like unforgettable dates, flattery, amazing sex and grand romantic gestures. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the pleasure centre of our brains which creates reward circuits, which then generates automatic associations in our brain that link our romantic partners with pleasure and even our survival.

Dr. Helen Fisher discovered that this “frustration-attraction” experience of obstacles in a romantic relationship actually heightens our feelings of love, rather than hindering them. She discusses how the brains of those in adversity-ridden relationships become activated in an eerily similar way to the brains of cocaine addicts.

In other words? Our brains can become masochists, seeking the very people that hurt them.Then there is also oxytocin, named the ‘love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone.This is the same hormone that bonds mother and child at birth, and it also bonds you with the men that are undeserving of you.

The oxytocin effect may also be stronger for women than for men; according to Susan Kuchinskas, author of the book, The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy and Love. According to Christopher Bergland, oxytocin, adrenaline and cortisol work together to consolidate and reconsolidate fear-based memories.

We can become addicted to this effect. Fear also releases dopamine, which again feeds those reward circuits in our brain, leaving us longing for that adrenaline rush. Fear and pleasure inevitably become intertwined despite our best efforts to expose and dismantle the seeming irrationality of our behaviour.

When we fall in love, we become obsessive like people with OCD, literally. Since serotonin regulates and stabilises mood, curbing obsessive thinking, you can imagine how low levels of serotonin we have, when we’re romantically involved with someone that can cause our decision-making abilities and judgment to go haywire. Low levels of serotonin also encourage sexual behaviour, so serotonin only makes it more likely that we’ll also be swept away by bonds created by oxytocin and dopamine as well.

Okay why am I talking science about relationships? You must be wondering so if you are in a relationship or going through a bad one, like you already haven’t heard enough.

The bottom line and fact of the matter is that if you dig deeper there is always always a rationality that lies beyond the irrational behaviour and impulses of the brain in love.

Last weekend, I was out at some three pubs with the Erasmus student group here in Istanbul. Everyone was enjoying, there was a good level of intoxication spreading like a wave through out the party, and literally everywhere my eyes went, I saw a pair of lips glued together. Now, of course I had my share of fun too, dancing with boys and engaging in random light banters, but when I sat back and thought about it, I realised how even after countless years of evolution humans across various continents and cultures will always act on their basic instincts. It’s like you are hungry or thirsty, the need to find that thrill and your brain wiring you to seek pleasure that comes with pumping in so much of “feel-good” factors in your system is really something.

Also, from a single girl’s point of view, even in a crowded night club with so many men and women at disposal, and the freedom to have any kind of night you want it to be, how scientific and practical are we when it comes to the concept of love and lust? Do we always act on our basic instincts to serve our purpose of a one night stand or is it simply the design of nature that amidst all this chaos, we might just be searching for the perfect mate. They say, love and lust are two factors that transcends every society in this world, how far have we come in accepting our wilderness within? How long would we deceptively play the hand of fate, on a night of attraction, orgasm and science? Think back, its all really scientific, there is no right or wrong, even at that pub, with total strangers or couples acting out their feelings and hormones, like it or not, no matter how emotionally cold turkey you might credit yourself for, every one is looking to let off steam sometime, in the most desirable manner that evolution has made us.

Ending on a poem by an anonymous Red Indian of Southern Alaska to a missionary in 1896,

“ Fire runs through my body with the pain of loving you,Pain runs through my body with the fires of my love for you,Pain like a boil about to burst with my love for you,Consumed by fire with my love for you,I remember what you said to me,I am thinking of your love for me,I am torn by our love for me,Pain and more pain,Where are you going with my love?I am told you will go from here,I am told you will leave me here,My body is numb with grief,Remember what I said my love,Goodbye my love, Goodbye.”

Dopamine your night away.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Shot on Iphone7plus

Wardrobe : Dress – Forever 21

Denim Jacket – Latin Quarters

Accessories from Accessorize India

Makeup – NYX Amethyst and L’Oreal Gold Palette

OF NEW BEGINNINGS

“And suddenly you know, it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

Fresh starts. Beginnings. The first day. Orientation. New life.

I think there is a little part inside us that always craves for hope, to start anew. So, I have been saying how I am settled in Istanbul now for my MBA in Luxury Brand Management at IFA Paris, studying at the Kadir Has University here. I will be here for six months before moving onto Paris for a year as a part of the course program.

I have had a little problem to figure my way around initially but since the time I have had Akshita, my classmate and roommate from Bangalore, move in with me here, I have had some good company and its much easier to figure things out when you have someone at your end. Even getting lost can be okay sometimes as long as you are not alone.

So, I have only had one day of class so far which was very interesting. I always like when I am well prepared and I am able to answer any questions thrown at me, knowing that I am very competitive and I struck a good chord with my Professor Catherine then and there. We spoke a lot about the cult of emerging luxury markets and details about the same, while realising the whole time that I had really studied a lot as a graduation student back in Symbiosis when we had Fashion Brand Management classes. I aced it.

Moving on, we had our orientation yesterday, which was very interesting. We are a small bunch of students here who chose the Istanbul program, rest are in Shanghai and Paris at the moment so we obviously see everyone and become an entire batch when we are in Paris next year.  After the introductions and going through the technicalities and know-hows of college life and how it would be for the next six months, our coordinator decided to take us out for welcome drinks.

We took a bus near Taksim , a really popular tourist district here which is both near to where I live and the university. After a brisk walk, we came in front of the Galata towers which is extremely famous and a must see. Right opposite the Galata Towers is a place called Sensus Wine Boutique. Needless to mention, that it was a beautiful aesthetic place and I felt like I had walked into one of those modernised wine cellars where vintage meets modernity.

What can I say, it seemed like the perfect marriage of the past and the present. Small tables with candles, the aroma of wine and cheese, and a piano where live music would soon take over, it was a very nostalgic and cozy place, it transported me to a mood which I would have honestly enjoyed sitting alone with my glass of some really good wine. I think I have this problem where I need to put up a social exterior to talk to people whereas I would be honestly enjoying the voice of the old man singing Roberta Flack’s Killing me Softly on the piano and having my cheese and just enjoy my company. Now, I know that would make me antisocial and to a certain extent I feel I am but I have been doing well in keeping up the tempo of socializing.

There are three of us from India, one from Indonesia and one from South Africa. We all come from diverse backgrounds, and experiences but while sitting at the table with our glasses, all we were reminiscing majorly about was home, excluding me. Reflecting on the conversation I think home for me are just my parents who I carry in my heart no matter where I would live.

The art of detachment is crucial and so is the habit of adaptation. Missing my rice and fish curry is an obvious but I am also realising learning and mixing with a culture is as important as knowing your roots. You will always miss your roots because that is where you were nurtured but as you grow older, you have to start accepting that your roots are something you carry with you everywhere you go. Change is the only constant and at every moment you are a different person showing certain aspects of your personality, trying to fit in. At the table, looking around Akshita, Karishma, Tshepiso and Ismail, I couldn’t help but wonder about how little we had in common when it came to everyone’s opinions but how sometimes we still tend to be together despite our differences. I realise that people miss home and they try to make a home out of every place they go to. But there are certain aspects about humanity and human beings that are so universal, be it India, Istanbul or South Africa, human emotions are a constant.

In this race and chase of trying to establish our identities, starting fresh and new beginnings, what if we realise it is not the fresh start that matters at all? What if men will always have their biased opinions irrespective of changes and modernisation and we will always be stereotyped as women have been for years ? I think there are these characteristics that I see in men here too in Istanbul, the point of self-glorification and the need to always prove their mettle because of their respective gender is real.

So ultimately, roots are not connected to where you belong to, you see your real roots are what you have been formed into, how you have moulded yourself and can you really break free from the patriarchal mindsets that are so prevalent universally? We play along, sure, but when out of everyone at the table you take a moment back and observe, you understand in people’s reactions and stories who they really are, it gives away more than you can imagine. You can always project an illusion of being social but you know it’s only an illusion because in your head, you are reading everyone and understanding how similar we all are at the end of the day, despite the differences.

Also, the bartenders were very cute. I got a lot of pretty smiles and come again next time statements and well we know there are always next times, but should we wait and see how this story pans out for the next six months?

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Shot on Iphone7plus

THE UNTAMED x RANGTARA

” I am here to live, laugh, learn, love, celebrate, expand and contribute. I am magic and I am power, and in this remembrance I am free.” – Lee Harris

She stood amidst the colours. Her mind wandering to the fact that how life was nothing but a spectrum of colours to choose from, colours that reflected ideologies and perceptions, colours that reflected choices. She knew that even when she was standing apart her soul was blending in. She had heard that strength lied in not being attached but didn’t the true test of strength lie in the notoriety of attachment and still maintaining one’s free spirit.

She was always untamed, unfazed and wild. She just knew that some women weren’t born to blend in, they were just meant to stand apart and herald spring after winter had waged its wars. These women were supposed to lead and empathise. Some women were born to show this wretched universe how a human can be so gentle yet so strong.

She assumed she could be anyone. From being an independent working woman, to being the girl who cheats on fashion with grocery shopping, she was always striving for perfection but she knew in her heart, that her heart was something that raced, through the eyes of the lady selling vegetables, to the man bargaining for an extra piece. Some women, she learnt, were born to be the centre of gravity. She knew better to advise people to never mess with a woman who knows there is magic inside her.

She knew she was not singular. She had many aspects of her individuality that went from day to night, just like the setting sun. She knew that someone’s sunset was a sunrise somewhere. She had this illusion about romanticism and she always found so much of depth and love in clothes that adorned her and reflected her free spiritedness. She wasn’t willing to be someones six am sunrise but someones gloomy sunset definitely.

She was well aware of the fact that time waited for none, and the seed with a sun’s love, in the spring, becomes the rose. She was such an expert of duality that her clothes reflected the same attitude. She felt choices in life didn’t define a person alone, but also the clothes you wear and how you wear these stories of a fabric on you reflects a lot about your personality too. She could be a morning desk person laughing at a mirage to a 8 p.m dinner date where she is breaking rules and making vibes. She was half a goddess and half a tribe, she wanted no mistakes to be made in her recognition.

Clothes weren’t just items for her to cover the body, they were stories fabricated into a personality. Each garment was a work of art, pin tucks and slits, collars to bandhnis, it was a ricocheting affair. An affair she wanted to be remembered wearing, and in that moment she was the maverick, uninhibited and the untamed.

“You keep me safe, I will keep you wild.”

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Brand Collaboration – Rangtara 

Photo Story by Manjari Singh and Mehuljeet Singh

Assistant Styling by Vaishali Pandey

MY ISTANBUL PACKING WITH AFAMADO

So my departure is close, and I am a bit upset with a heavy heart as saying goodbyes and leaving home is tough, especially when there is no guarantee of a return. I have just three days in hand which means ideally I should have started packing by now and progressed with checklists, but here I am, writing a post for you guys, telling you how difficult it is to pack 23 years in 2 suitcases over three days.

Since my departure to Istanbul is on Sunday and that country is going to be my home now for a long time for my MBA, I have been thinking of taking some modest yet stylish dresses because I need clothes and makeup to survive. While listing down the dresses and clothes and shoes of late, I came across this very pretty floral, double-flap neck white dress from the brand Afamado. It is so elegant and stylish, it was definitely in my “Take” list. I love the fact that it totally reflects my sense of personal style and comfort and their variety is endless.

I think Istanbul is looking a lot better as I am trying to pack my way through. What do you think?

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Photography by Manjari Singh

OF SOAPS AND SKIN-RANGTARA INDULGENCE

I woke up one morning with a bad dream and a zit on my face and I freaked out to the next level of awarding myself a new trophy in my dramatics, but I just couldn’t help it! I have a very sensitive skin and a bit of harsh makeup or prolonged shoot hours can make my skin look dull, lifeless and zit prone apparently.

After covering it up, I decided I needed some coffee and called up my friend Tara to meet me at Koregaon Park. The first thing I did was complain about my zit obviously and how that was the biggest problem in my life currently. Headlining trivial problems was something I aced at in today’s economy. Anyway, after all that hoopla, she told me how she makes these absolutely amazing hand made organic soaps that have helped many with their skin problems and dryness, especially given the weather, and because it is purely organic, it has no side effects.

I was thrilled at the prospect of trying these soaps out and she went to her car to get me a few. Now, even though black coffee was what I crave at 6pm every evening, I saw these soaps and I was hungry too. Why? You would be too if you scroll down and take a look.

So a little trivia about these aromatic and oddly delicious to look at, organic handmade soaps –

Composed of coconut oil,olive oil,sunflower oil,cocoa butter and shea butter even almond oil can be added as per need. Her brand, RangTara presents the magic of indulgence with more than 15 years of naturopath experience in health and beauty,  and they now bring the complete care for your skin, mind and body. The source of their essences happens to be a 100 year old family legacy secret!

How it works for the skin is that the ingredients in the products are finely picked in a naturopath, organic way to address all day to day problems, leaving skin clean and radiant.

For the body range, the natural scrubs and oils are specifically combined keeping in mind the difference between the face and body skin.  And for the mind their aromas and the colour of the products are made considring indulgence and therapy, each fragrance specialises in relaxation and rejuvenation.

Below are the mesmerising soaps and the christening has been done by me for fun.

The Floral Dilemma

The Coffee Addict

The Rose Garden

Of Mud packs and clay

Of Pastries, Cupcakes and Doughnuts

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try these amazing organic soaps or gift your loved ones to destress and turn it into an amazing home spa experience. I have tried the pastry and the doughnut soaps and they are so smooth and soft like butter, without much foam, and the aroma instantly soothes your senses after a long day and awakens you after that fresh morning shower. It is the best gift you can give your skin this festival!
For orders – Rangtara 
Written by Adhisa Ghosh
Photography by Manjari Singh
Featuring Brand – Rangtara

WILDBERRYCHILDxSHUBHASHINIxWABI-SABI

It was a weekday and I clearly remember I was busy under piles of document work while being out with dad, that is when my good friend Tara gave me a call asking me if I wanted to be a part of an exhibition happening at the Conrad. Benefits of being there would be lots of jewellery and fashion. Now, hey, I was in a oversized shirt and messy bun but boy who cares about that when fashion and accessories is more than often what a girl like me lives for, also shoes. In an hour I had rushed back home, taken a good long shower, set my hair, put on a halter maxi dress, some tall shoes and voila! I was ready to head out.

As I drove down, I was so excited to see how the Conrad Couture Exhibition was going to be like. Once having reached, I found my way to the stalls of Shubhashini Ornamnetals and Wabi-Sabi. Established by jewellery designer Akassh k Aggarwal, the label Shubhashini Ornamentals boasted of some amazing collections of temple style bohemian jewellery and statement pieces that one had to be bold enough to carry off.

The label Wabi-Sabi on the other hand by Neeru Wadhwa from Hyderabad was a perfect blend of sustainable fashion and comfort fabric with indo-fusion style and flowing silhouettes complete with basic tie and dye prints. From two-tiered gowns to skirt-blouse combination and sarees, I was spoilt for choice. I also think apart from the fashion, more often than not, I feel more activated when I meet people who are passionate about what they do because that, believe it or not, makes me look radiant! It is like the vibe surrounds me and I cannot help but soak it in.

After getting acquainted and going through the collections, I loved their styles and enthusiasm. Akassh and Neeru were such warm and caring people and I was immediately at ease , picking out my clothing styles and deciding to create a few looks.

The Magenta Glory and Statement pieces

I absolutely loved the softness and comfort of the gown with the flare at the hem, as I did a balancing act with Akassh’s statement neck piece, bangle and a ring. How gorgeous does the collection look?

The Tie and Dye embracing Turquoise

Ever thought that a saree could be extremely casual and comfortable, styled with statement pieces and could be a transient from your day to night look. Well, then this is something to take an inspiration from.

The Skirt Blouse Duo with Stone pieces

My favourite look. Throw in a colourful shrug to add layering and break the monochrome tie and dye print. Akassh styled me with some of his best pieces and they are absolutely to die for!

With Akassh K Aggarwal, Neeru Wadhwa.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Photography – Manjari Singh

Assistance – Sharmeishtha Singh

Outfits – Wabi-Sabi (Neeru Wadhwa)

Jewellery – Shubhashini Ornamentals

Location – Conrad, Pune

A DAY AT SEASONS

I remember a weekend when I was extremely gloomy and I needed some retail therapy. The weather outside escalated the gloominess more and the monsoon was really caving it’s way in. I decided to stop being lazy and digging into sitcoms, I needed a good dose of fashion and style, I needed to dress up and splurge, I needed the whole package. I called up a few friends but they seemed to be busy. So what I did instead was I told myself that I could do this on my own, took the car out of the driveway and headed towards Seasons mall. Since it is also a place that is not too far away from where I live, I was really looking forward to checking out some of their recent collections that the brands they house have to offer.

I know that a lot of times, women who are plus sized and curvy find it a bit difficult to get their sizes in a mall. Quoting one of my main girl Raveena ,” The trial rooms of these malls sees so many hopes and dreams and when its not the right fit everything comes crashing in,” I mulled over at this statement while I parked.

Heading into the brand Splash first, I schemed through their collections and loved a few so much that i couldn’t resist being the quintessential fashionista in me take over. Splash has always been one brand that I find offers size variations and it is not very difficult to navigate your way through once they have new collections in stock. The designs and collections are extremely chic and trendy and offers a mix of personalities for every type of woman out there. Thanks to Seasons, I could immerse myself in clothes and accessories that did the exact effect as the extra fat and creamy ice creams had on Monica and Rachel.

-SPLASH

I love this blue dress and the sleeve details. Completely besotted and having some ultra retro and glamorous moments while accessorising with the ring glares and a choker. Add a pair of golden stilettos for the drama.

The quote shirts have been in trend for a while and what better than to “Create your own”.

-WESTSIDE

I think westside is again another brand that houses some really good, trendy, fashionable and affordable brands. My certain favourites are Nuon, Giacurves and Bombay Paisley. The best part also is that both the brands are adjacently located so one really doesn’t waste much time getting the best of fashion right there. I also think Seasons houses all the best brands that come in with some really good collections and the mall is never overcrowded that you can’t manoeuvre through.

My first stop was at the brand Bombay Paisley inside the store. Thanks to all the gloominess on the weather front I needed to feel like I was running on sunshine, and ain’t no clouds coming in my way! I love the almost yellow with a tinge of mustard shade and the checks giving it an extremely semi formal yet brunch feel, complete with the belt to cinch the waist. Add a heavy neckpiece like i did to assert a statement.

For all those who follow me on my social medias will know that even if I am all up for experimentation and trying out new trends, there is nothing more that I love than a monochrome look, lace and sarees. Baby pink and Salmon shades are totally my personality, I think i belong a bit on both the extreme points of the fashion spectrum! I can dress up in a baby pink dress like this one paired with heels of the same shade and complete with a dainty piece of accessory, basking in my monochrome glory. I can also dress up in a complete punk or goth style! However, this dress was love at first sight.

If you are someone who is conscious of being a plus size, I would not advise you to steer clear of this choice, I would tell you to rush to Seasons right now and grab this from Nuon brand at Westside, and flaunt your curves. As long as you love yourself in it , that is the only validation that matters, not even me encouraging you, or showing you.

Okay, I let the grey weather take over me completely in this oversized top and layered accessories from Giacurves. What else does a girl really want now, eh?

I think when I left the place, I left with the experience that Seasons was not just a mall, it was an experience and lifestyle that is achievable and something one can possess. Human beings love possession, especially of experiences, not just of goods and products. I had to completely give it to Seasons Mall that day for brightening my mood and letting me feel like Carrie Bradshaw, needless to say, I got ‘carrie’d away 😉

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Photography by Sameet Jain, Manjari Singh and Mehuljeet Singh

Assistant Styling by Vaishali Pandey

Location, Brand – Seasons Mall

SARI DON’T BE SORRY

I have always been a very traditionally rooted person. Being brought up in a very traditional and cultural Bengali family, saris have always been my first love. Even if I pride myself at the flexibility with which I can endorse a short dress to a nine yard sari, these lay down of handpicked handloom and silk saris come not only with me showing you how to be casual and comfortable in a saree, but also how there can be so many quirky ways of wearing one if you are a non-conformist. Saris are more than a garment, they come with so much of history and generations of hard work that has made them a national cultural identity for a reason. I hope you enjoy these styles and looks and if you want to get your hands on some of these, the details are mentioned at the footer.

1- Gadwal Sari

Gadwal sari is a handcrafted woven sari style in Gadwal of Jogulamba Gadwal district in the Indian state of Telangana. They are most notable for the Zari on the saris for its beautiful exotic designs.Gadwal sarees were a big hit, right from the beginning. Hence, some weavers from Gadwal were sent to Benaras by the king to learn the art of weaving this particular style. The outcome was hand woven variety of Gadwal saris that became immensely popular. The sari consists of cotton body with silk pallu and the golden zari work along the lengths of the borders gives it an exquisite touch.  Gadwal Handloom Centre, established in 1946 by the late Ratan Babu Rao, was mainly responsible for the widespread knowledge and detail regarding the Gadwal Sari.

2- The Kantha Sari

Kantha is one of the oldest forms of embroidery that originated in India. Its origins can be traced back to the ancient pre Vedic ages, however, Kantha embroidery as we know it today was found in Krishnadas Kaviraj’s 500 year old book, Chaitanya Charitamrita. Motifs found in early Kantha embroidery include many symbols that were derived from ancient art. Rural housewives in West Bengal played a significant part in the evolution of Kantha embroidery. It was customary for these women to make use of Kantha’s widely used running stitch and embroidery techniques. For centuries, the techniques of the hereditary craft were, and still are, passed down from mother to daughter. Though it continued to be practised amongst rural women, recognition of the craft faded over time, until it was revived on a global scale in the 1940s by the renowned Kala Bhavana Institute of Fine Arts, which part of the Viswa-Bharati University in Shantiniketan, West Bengal. It was revived yet again by Shamlu Dudeja in the 1980s when she founded Self Help Enterprise (SHE) that helped empower women and their livelihood through Kantha embroidery.

3- The Chiffon and Silk Sari

Chiffon, from the French word for a cloth or rag, is a lightweight, balanced plain-woven sheer fabric woven of alternate S- and Z-twist crepe yarns. The twist in the crepe yarns puckers the fabric slightly in both directions after weaving, giving it some stretch and a slightly rough feel.Early chiffon was made purely from silk. In 1938, however, a nylon version of chiffon was invented, and in 1958 polyester chiffon was invented and became immensely popular due to its resilience and low cost. Under a magnifying glass chiffon resembles a fine net or mesh which gives it some transparency. As a precaution, craftsmen work slowly and steadily with this fabric. If the fabric is stretched during the sewing process, it may bunch together and ruin the whole stitch. The stitching must be very clean and fine to improve the finished appearance.

4- The Dhakai Jamdani Sari

Jamdani, a word that came from Persian language, is a combination of the words ‘Jam’ and ‘Dani’ meaning “flower” and “Jar” respectively, that means- Jar of Flowers. The name is suggestive of the beautiful floral motifs that adorn these gorgeous sarees. Jamdani weaving is the Cutting Edge symbol of Bangladesh’s rich cultural heritage.The Bengali version of the name, Dhakai, comes from the place of its origin  — Dhaka in Bangladesh. Interestingly, the earliest mention of Jamdani sarees can be found in Chanakya’s Arthashastra, dating back to the 3rd century BC. The book refers to it as some fine cloth from “Bangla” and “Pundra” region.  Significant mentions of Jamdani can also be found in the book of Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, besides the accounts of Arab, Chinese and Italian travellers and traders. In the first half of the 19th century, James Taylor described the flowered Jamdani. Though Jamdani has enjoyed immense popularity right from the beginning, the art form bloomed during the Mughal period. However, colonisation by the British saw a decline in the production of this fabric. Post the partition, many weavers migrated to present day West Bengal, and that marked the beginning of the art form in India.

5- The Dhakai Muslin and Silk

Similar to its Dhakai sari roots and origin, the Dhakai Muslin in Blue and the magenta silk sari were two of my most favourite as well. Because of the quintessential Indian traditional vibe i wanted to lend to the rest of the styles I decided to be a bit more dramatic and give the saris a skirt twist and drape it with a shirt and blouse, for all the bold and gorgeous women out there who would like to style a sari more than just in the dhoti way or the traditional way. Pair it up with your favourite separates by adding volume as a skirt or by pairing it up with a shirt-blouse for a morning wedding where cocktails at the resort are on the menu!

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Saris – Supriya Dasgupta Boutique – 98230 11050/ 93253 14402

Sari draping – Anindita Guha

Assistant Styling –  Vaishali Pandey

Photography – Manjari Singh , Mehuljeet Singh

Location – Ekta California

CAFE RENDEZVOUS

I have always been a very outdoorsy person when it comes to unwinding with friends over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with some good ambience and people at some of my favourite places in the city. I know there are plenty of amazing places combined with food and drinks that the city has to offer but if I had to give a lay down or take someone out, these are the cafes I would vote! From Where Else to Sassy Spoon to Beetroot, my selective choices of cafe where you can have a simple, romantic or a fun hangout at any point in the day. Also, these cafes come with the kindest of people who are more than delighted to take care of you at your arrival and are ever so accommodating!

1- Where Else Cafe 

I have a certain nostalgia with this cafe at Viman Nagar because during my student days in Symbiosis, I was a regular here. Every single evening was spent in the company of Boobie and Ballsie ( the adorable persian cats ), my laptop and coffee. Me and my friends would also hang out here at every opportunity we got. We also even had a project discussion here once so this cafe has been more than home and more than just a regular place. I would always be biased about this place because anyone who knows me well knows that my spirit is attached to cats. Apart from the obvious ambiance and the animals, I love the fact that humans are tolerated and the staff are such amazingly friendly people. I am not much of a food critic but i love the way they present their dishes, and the English Breakfast, Cajun grilled fish and Bacon wrapped Chicken with a glass of Strawberry Daiquiri are my absolute favourites. Also, the hot chocolate once a month is a much simpler way to take a trip to heaven.

2-The Sassy Spoon 

During my internship days in Mumbai I had made a few trips to the Sassy Spoon at Bandra and always wondered why Pune didn’t have its own dose of Sassy! After all the city is pretty sassy with the maximum population being student dominated. And on my return home I was thrilled to see that Pune had opened its doors to Sassy Spoon at Koregaon Park, Lane 7 next to Sanskriti Lifestyle. Perfect area that definitely needed a Sassy Spoon.

Sassy Spoon’s philosophy has always been delicious food peppered with sass. The restaurant is resplendent with quirky bar bites, innovative mains, takeaways, scrumptious breakfasts and a menu spread across European, Mediterranean, South East Asian and Indian cuisines, for both vegetarian and non-vegetarians, along with an exciting selection of cocktails and mock tails. The ambience, with both outdoor and indoor seating makes it the perfect dining and drinking destination. What I love most about this place is the Sangria, their ladies nights on Wednesdays with some live music and the absolutely amazing people who serve you here. The outdoor seating area at the rear gives me a very French vibe and the cakes and truffles at the Sassy Teaspoon counter is my little cheat sheet. Try their whisky chocolate tart  on bad days when you need both alcohol and chocolate and you cant decide so you have both anyway!

3- Raasta Cafe 

I was thrilled the day I got to know that Raasta Cafe had opened its doors at NIBM. From having a great rooftop view at the Dorabjee Royal Heritage Mall to the amazing interior, romantic ambience and a perfect bar with live Tandoori grill and pizza ovens, this cafe offered more than candles, coy looks across the table or the sunset. If you ask me, this would be my personal recommendation if you were planning to take your man on a date. The cocktails are crisp and smooth, the cheese fondue is thick and tasty and the red velvet in a jar really mesmerises me. Apart from this, candles in a jar and live music never gets old.

4- Beetroot Bistro

I love the mediterranean vibe this place gives off. It has this very rhythmic aura and vibe and I love the space it has and the way the set up changes from a laid back brunch place in the afternoon to a cozy sundowner place, but the reason this place is one of my favourites is because of the Sangria they serve (evidently I am a Sangria person of late) and the Piri Piri Chicken. I love the dramatic touch the fairy lights adds to this place giving it a very romantic youth atmosphere. It has a certain tone of nostalgia at the same time and my glass of Sangria and me agree on that a lot.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Photography – Anmol Singh 

Floral Maxi Dress and Slit Wrap Skirt – Parampara

Top – Zara 

Striped Maxi Dress- Chemistry 

White Shirt Dress- AND