Abheri --- A Rich Cauldron of Art and Craft

Imagine a giant canvas. Four young women walk towards it. They pick up brushes, pens and other mediums of art and start doodling. They don’t hesitate. It’s about freedom of expression. So, they pour out their thoughts taking from history, hobbies, memories and all that they have been encountering through their growing up years. What do you think will be the end product? A canvas of colour, lines, scribbles… basically a confused vocabulary, right? But Abheri Crafts is anything but befuddling. It is a beautifully constructed conglomeration of Indian colours, textiles, art, craft, history and so much more. A canvas that takes you down memory lane. Through handmade sarees, dupattas, separates and menswear. Abheri is also an instance of how if you put your mind and dedication to it, you can make it happen. A labour of love that bore fruit on Valentine’s day of 2014, it was conceived by three school friends, Rohini Raychaudhuri, Sanjukta Ghosh and Punnya Guha Thakurta. They were joined in by …

Roong... The Colours of a Happy Flight

She gets gooseflesh remembering the night her father passed away. She was just above seven. While the world and people around her broke down with the sudden sorrow, she sought refuge in her drawing book. “I painted till the crack of dawn, the colours cutting out the chaos and cacophony. I couldn’t process much of the events but there was a dull wound piercing through the heart. I had come back from school. He was being rushed to the hospital after a sudden cerebral haemorrhage. He went peacefully, in his sleep. But a storm brewed in my heart. I expressed my feelings through swift brush strokes albeit in dark colours,” recalls Saumi Nandy as we meet up in her Calcutta studio called Roong, a hub of exquisite saris, dupattas and artworks. There is bric-a-brac for homes as well. The common denominator in all of them is a display of Saumi’s art. Art inspired by her experiences, travels, insights and thoughts.
Introduced to the wondrous world of books by her father, Saumi recalls how he indu…

Gulnoor... Sue Mue Spring Summer 2019

The inspiration could arrive from anywhere, but to give it a unique expression is the manoeuvring of a gifted creative brain. An expression that is as much about traditions, as it is about love. An expression that is not restricted to the heritage or craft that it has been inspired from. But also, where the two are connected on a sublime level.
Gulnoor is about love, about evolving, about self-expression and exploration. A discovery of the beauty we are born with, the wonderment that we grow into. Bespoke womenswear label Sue Mue’s Spring Summer 2019 collection is a vision inspired by Kashmir’s shawl traditions. But it is also an apt tribute to the woman through the ethereal land that no Urdu couplets, no ghazals, no novels and novellas can encapsulate. An emotion that is best felt with the eyes and the heart... Just like love.

Dreamy pastels, fluid gossamer handwoven fabrics and exquisite workmanship of the needle and thread have brought to life a collection that takes a page out of Ka…

Continental Calling at Clique Delhi

Often at weddings I stand in front of the buffet counter utterly confused about what to eat from the gazillion things on offer. It turns out that I choose the most mundane dishes after running my eyes over the exhaustive spread. I will not say that it doesn’t leave me a bit irritated. At myself for not being able to sift through judiciously.
That is why now, whenever there is a need to organise catered food to celebrate any function, the diktat is, “Keep it simple. So that people enjoy the curated selection even more.” Hoping that the guest will appreciate the thought that we didn’t want him to go back feeling the same as I did when I found myself in front of a chilla counter dishing out 20 variants of the snack.
Hence, the decision of the foodpreneurs at Clique Delhi, to stick to one kind of cuisine is a sensible one. Instead of running a place that offers a ho-hum version of everything, it’s better to create a strong impact in the segment you are strong in. In this case, continenta…

Pallavi Jaikishan --- An Era of Floral Fantasies

An instrumental rendition of two popular Bollywood classics cuts into the steady murmur. Aradhana’s Roop tera mastana and Kati Patang’s Pyar diwana hota hain are the preludes to couturier Pallavi Jaikishan’s show at the FDCI India Couture Week held recently. The walks incidentally have also been choreographed on modern romantic ballads from tinsel town. Romance---an all-pervasive mood that has characterised doyen’s journey in fashion since 1972. There is but one element conspicuous by its absence. Music made by her legendary husband, Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal, one-half of the famous Shankar-Jaikishan duo that rocked the music charts before the latter passed away in 1971. Leaving his wife and three young children---Chetan, Yogesh and Bhiaravi---under a pall of gloom. “Here, hear this piece I was putting together for the show. A modern take on Sangam’s Yeh mera prem patra par kar. If only I had a touch more time,” Jaikishan’s voice trails off, only to add soon after, “I’ve used so many …

Bringing together the best of Indian art, music and dance traditions...

Have you ever wondered what Pandit Ravi Shankar does when he is not strumming heavenly music on his sitar? Maybe, he is composing ballads, or watching movies, or writing a memoir… there could be a gazillion ways a maestro destresses with. Practising a knack that maybe the world is not privy to. A hobby he nurtures in the inner precincts of his nest. A habit that is another window to the soul of this stupendously talented man. Back in the days when Panditji regularly visited Triveni Kala Sangam to perform and spend time with students, he used to occasionally dabble in poetry. Beautiful poems that sadly never saw the light of day. Maybe because the legendary sitar player wanted his music to resonate louder than his words…
On a chilly winter morning as students trooped in for their classes at the Triveni Kala Sangam, I sat listening to many such stories unravel. About Pandit Ravi Shankar coming to the academy, about Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra giving Odishi lessons to his Delhi students …

Winter Afternoons at Tara, Roseate House

I might keep cribbing about my inability to move from one room to another simply because then, I would have to creep out of my fuzzy blanket, and the chill might yet again hit me to the bone, but there is one reality that I cannot deny. That Delhi is the best in winters. The balmy sun tries to comfort people like us, and replenishes our starved bones with natural vitamin D. It also is a fabulous season to eat to your heart’s content because the lards deposited will be nicely concealed by the multiple layers of woollens.
That was the thought in my mind when I walked into Tara, the Japanese restaurant situated on the sixth floor of Roseate House. It is an open-air space that over looks the blue infinity pool and is helmed by deck chairs, the spa and wellness section of the extreme left end. A live kitchen sends out freshly prepared Japanese fare to the guests. I liked the fact that we would be eating wholesome Jap preparations enjoying the sun.
Now before I forget, Tara serves only din…