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Showing posts from March, 2018

Ekaya and its brilliant journey with Cousu D'or

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Your mission is not to sedate, but to awaken, to disturb, to communicate, to command, to instigate and even to provoke.
American art director, designer and author George Lois’s profound words rang in my mind as I watched her greet one and all. Dressed in a steel, black and copper Banarasi draped gown, conceived by Pierre Charles Letz, the French president of the Fédération Française de la Création Couture Sur Mesure, Palak Shah stood out in that haze of warm ivory, white and gold. Wearing the graceful smile of humility yet enveloped by that confident air of success, the youngster did what many her age would just be doodling about on their I-pads. But, Palak knows what she wants. And she is carefully mapping the path to broaden the scope that Indian textiles. Because of the belief that they deserve global laurels. In that surreal setting at Bikaner house on an evening last week, if anyone doubted the versatility of Indian handloom, Palak’s vision successfully altered that erroneous idea…

Peeli Dori--Threading together the rich Crafts of India

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At a certain point in our conversation Niharika Choudhary reminds me of R Madhavan’s Farhan Qureshi in Raju Hirani’s Three Idiots. Like when he stupefies his unsuspecting parents the day before placements begin in the engineering college he studies in. While the folks expect him to land up with a cushy job, he throws down the gauntlet and announces his knack for wildlife photography. A bitter row ensues. Eventually the parents do realise that destiny has other plans for their son. Letting out her shy yet cheeky smile when I remark about the gamble Niharika took, the owner and designer at six-year old Peeli Dori says, “I did not even tell them that I was skipping placement interviews at NIFT. I just did not feel up to it. I wanted to go back to the hinterlands of India to unravel the indigenous crafts there.”  She relinquished the opportunity to work with renowned interior and design specialist Tarun Vadehra after graduating from NIFT because somewhere in her heart she had already gravit…

Celebrating Navroze at SodaBottleOpenerWala

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Every year, on Bengali New Year’s my Ma says one thing. “Whatever you do today, you will do it for the whole year!” Taking a cue from that declaration, as kids, we carefully planned our day every April 15th. We wriggled out from studies. Lunch would be a simple Bengali meal cooked by her, followed by an afternoon siesta. At 6 pm, the family headed out in their new Poila Boishak gear. Dinner would be either Chinese or Mughlai meal in any of our favourite eateries. As far as I can remember, that was the Adhikary Poila Boishak. And no, that is not what we did for the rest of the year. Didn’t we know that already… But still believed in it! When I tell that to my Ma these days, we share a hearty laugh over it. Also, I have continued the tradition. Every April 15th, we head out here and there and eat a wholesome meal for dinner! Celebrations come with a wave of memories and nostalgia. And traditions. Today, I felt that kind of warmth, reminiscent of one’s childhood, chatting with a trio of l…

The Vicky Ratnani show at The Runway Project

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We are gradually trying to initiate Bono to the colourful world of celebrity food shows. Because this family likes to eat. So, just like his father, the tot, to our glee, has taken to the art of Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, Peter Kuruvita and David Rocco. Did I mention that the boys stare transfixed at Nigella when she does her thing on TV! Just like how I find Vicky Ratnani casually create all that drama in Vickypedia. Food, yes, we three are pretty much in love with the sights, sounds and smells of that world. Just the reason why an invitation to The Runway Project got me really kicked. Because the menu has been created by him. If you have seen his shows on television, the man has this uncanny ability to make even the most difficult dish appear easy-peasy. And in a very stylish way. He goes chop-chop, blend-blend, mix-mix and grill-grill and in a matter of minutes the dish is out there looking good enough to eat. Vicky also has this thing about healthy eating, a concept that has…

Taking Kerala to Switzerland, is the talented artist Unnikrishnan C

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If Kerala-based artist, Unnikrishnan C were to sift through experiences to come up with a single high point, maybe that would be his work coming into the purview of American investment banker, Richard Blum. When the United States Senator from California picked up his work from a group show at Gallery SKE two years ago, little did the artist realise that the act would open the floodgates of opportunities for him in the global arena of art. Blum learned more about this young Pezhumpara artist who did not let existential drudges trample his artistic flair and decided to support him for two years. All this benevolence and creative intelligence culminates in a solo show for Unnikrishnan next month in Blum’s native Zug, Switzerland. A proud moment this is for the artist, his patron and for us. Born in the small, mountainous town of Nemmara in Palakkad district of Kerala, Unnikrishnan, who still lives there, spent a lot of time in the fields and forests around his village. It was there that …