Raksha Bandhan Celebrations | Of timeless art forms

So, there is always this confusion regarding my caste and religion.
Because in India, so many distinctions exist, they are bound to merge.

By caste, I would be Kutchi (i.e. hailing from the Kutch district of Gujarat).
My family follows the religion of Jainism.
On both counts, I belong to a minority.
Except when you consider the larger region I come from, i.e. Gujarat.
We have an abundant population all over the world. 😉

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated throughout India,
popularized primarily by the North.
Essentially, it is a day of celebration for brothers and sisters.

Sisters tie rakhis (a holy thread if you may) on their brothers’ wrists.
They do so in exchange for a lifetime of protection.
The exchange is sweetened with both feeding one another mithais
(traditional Indian sweets).

The brothers unite

In the city of Mumbai, everything can be made commercial.
We like to have fun with our rakhis.
As our brothers seem to enjoy toys and animals more than traditonal symbols.

While scrambling for something different is always a task.
We came across these paper quilled rakhis at an exhibiton.

Greeting card

A little bit of research on paper quilling will tell you all about its origin,
historical transition and popularity, even in today’s day and time.

What I find most interesting though is how modern rakhi-makers integrate all these art forms into making rakhis. The mere transference of the art form generates interest in the user and receiver.

Another art form I am extremely fond of is greeting card creation.

Hence, in a matter of minutes, I whipped up a greeting card
to be sent to my cousin brother residing abroad (picture above).

This excerpt from Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ [edited] , you might enjoy:

Mrs Rupa Mehra glanced in a cursory manner over her piles of old … cards before returning to the birthday roses. She took out a small pair of scissors from the recesses of her great black handbag. … Eight years of the deprivation of small luxuries could not reduce her for the sanctity of the … greeting. In fact she enjoyed the challenge of making … cards. Scraps of cardboard, shreds of ribbon, lengths of coloured paper, little silver stars and adhesive golden numerals lay in a variegated trove at the bottom of the largest of her three suitcases, and these were now pressed into service. …

“It’s not a standard greeting | For just one joyful day | But a wish that’s meant to cover | Life’s bright and shining way – ”

Greeting cards today are extremely fancy sitting pretty in large air-conditioned shops. The only element, they miss perhaps, is a personal touch. Nothing speaks better in a greeting than your own voice.

Speaking of such nice traditions, the rakhi tying is accompanied by a ritual.

The sister paints a tikka/tilak on the brother’s forehead,
and consequently decoartes it with chokha.
They exchange blessings and good wishes. Of course, gifts are included.

Thali/Tray preparation for Raksha Bandhan

If all these aspects had an important role to play in the celebration.
How could the ensemble not be important?

In keeping with the spirit of tradition and cultural roots,
I picked an ensemble dad brought from Kutch especially for me.
The embroidery on the kurta is perhaps
the work of a local Muslim ‘karigar’,
Although it has the remnants of the handicraft so popular in the region.
The brocade border on the hem is popular even now.

My traditional ensemble

I’m extremely fond of costume jewellery as I find it more dynamic, innovative and less heavy on the pocket as compared to real jewellery.

Earring

Like all things I like, create and have fun with, everything featured in the post was custom-made.
I always come across various people who have a creative bent of mind.
For more details, please leave your feedback and queries in the comments section. You also know how to reach me via email (alicewandering25@gmail.com)

Do you celebrate Raksha Bandhan? How do you celebrate it? Would you like to know more? Are you interested in the traditions and festivals of India?

Phone | The Bachchans

This is all happening so fast. And it is all so exciting.

Amitabh Bachchan | Work in progress

My twitter stream:

  • @dhruvis: Answered house phone. Received a call from justdial in @SrBachchan‘s voice. Trying to fool me with #KBC promos doing the rounds? ROTFL
  • @SrBachchan @dhruvis oh must check on this …
  • @dhruvis @SrBachchan Its quite funny. Sounds like a mimicry artist advertising justdial. I was so thrilled at the thought of getting into KBC. 😛
  • @dhruvis: This is hilarious! & now I receive a call from Idea asking if I want a V.I.P. number, since its available. @juniorbachchan promoting too?
  • @dhruvis: Start 2 the day has been fantastic. @SrBachchan‘s voice & @juniorbachchan‘s promoted telecom company showing quite some interest in me. 😀
  • @dhruvis: Second call: ‘Raj’ from Idea insists I must get the similar no. 😀

This morning took all the ‘phone’y-ness a couple of notches higher.

I receive a call from Justdial. “Pehchana? Main Amit bol raha hoon…”
And I, starry-eyed, imagine I’ve made it to Kaun Banega Crorepati.
As the conversation continues, I realize I’m listening to a prerecorded advertisement.

After my tweet exchange with Amitabh Bachchan (yes, it happened! :-D)
I receive 2 calls, this time from Idea, asking if I want a V.I.P. no. similar to mine

I have been warned not to look for signs.
I’m still giggling with excitement like a 16 yr old. 🙂
I’m so glad dad bought me this no. when I was still in school.

I am a proclaimed phone addict. Some people still have my no. saved as Munna Mobile. Yeah. Aamir Khan hangover is quite obvious. I’ve had the same no. since I got my first cellphone. To my luck or ‘un’luck, apparently, Juhi Chawla also has a similar no. (a digit here and there).
Over the years, I’ve received calls on her behalf and of course, she, loads of texts.
I woke up one morning in my cousin’s seaside bungalow to be reminded that I needed to take trials and fittings of the clothes kept aside for me at Tarun Tahiliani’s studio. Some way to break a girl’s heart.

Anyway, I love the ensemble Amitabh Bachchan sir is sporting today.

T92 -At the sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad shooting for Gujarat ... on Twitpic

It is absolutely simple and in a colour that represents freedom for me (white). I love how sheer fabrics drape when you wear them around your neck. (chunnis, dupattas, stoles, scarves…) Churidars must be well-fitted. Otherwise, you’re missing the point of wearing them. And lastly, it’s quite obvious I love his spectacle frames.

It’s been a great start to the day! Do you have ‘phone’y incidents to share?
A phone call that brought about a change in your life?
Please share in the comments section or tweet to me. I’d love to know! xoxo

No Riksha Day Outfit

Having pulled an all-nighter
I rushed at half past one
For the press screening of Peepli Live

Rushing from home

In protest and to support Meter Jam
I had to sport the BEST bus

In sync with the film Peepli Live
Farmer suicides | I had to wear jute
And of course, black is my colour of protest

At the mall | After the screening

Also, this outfit works if one had to travel by riksha
It is completely hassle free
A jhola of adjustable length | Sturdy heels

Rummaging through my stuff

Kurta, Leggings | Shoes – Platinum Mall, Bangkok, Thailand
Bag – Neil Dantas @Golmaal, Lokhandwala, Mumbai, India

(I <3 Bombay BEST bus series bags)
Bangles – Vile Parle Market, Vile Parle, Mumbai, India

I’m obsessed with shoes. And taking pictures of footwear.
Aniruddha picked up striking comic style slippers from the UK.

Comic convention

And I’m in love with these red, white and black accessories.

Red, Black & White

Photographs: Himani Shah, Aniruddha Guha