22 September, 2017

Tango space

Being connected with Art of living, Sri Sri Tango, yoga, tai chi and meditation, I strongly believe that tango has a meditative and spiritual side too. I am talking about that moment in tango when you feel the connection- one soul connects to the other soul, the heart beats amalgamate and the breaths unite. The two partners are in sync not just with one another but with all the others on the same dance floor. This is the most crucial detail, most satisfying experience of tango bliss without which your dance is incomplete. This is what gets you addicted to tango.
The serenity you experience while meditation, the calmness, the slowing of breath, that is what you experience in tango. That is what I term as being “in space”. Recently, when I did skydiving, it was a similar experience. The moment when the universe stands still, your heartbeat stops and yet you are alive like never before.
In Art of Living, I do “Sudarshan Kriya” every day without fail. My day is incomplete without it. I have devised my own way of doing a short Kriya but I do feel the connection with the Supreme power during it. I feel enormously taken care of by Him, I feel His presence and He engulfing me and uplifting me. I focus on my breath and chant and connect to Him. I am in “the Space”. There is stillness and calmness. When I get a “good tango” and I open my eyes, the feeling is exactly the same of being in “space”.
Another passion of mine is sarees. I feel sarees, being six yards of running fabric has free-flowing energy in them. The warps and wefts breathe and connect to you. They are quite alive, unlike the stitched garments. They are eternal, timeless, never go out of fashion or trend. They are stunning pieces meant to be admired, touched and flaunted. Now, the way you caress a saree and move your fingers on its folds, smell it, play with its ebb and flow, light and shadow is a mystical experience in itself (if you have experienced it). You will understand what I am talking about in tango- pauses, intervals, space.
This “space” in tango is like the space between two folds/ pleats of a saree. The space that sets them apart yet gives it, its form, shape, allure and life. It is multidimensional in its form and structure. They taper on top and expand at the bottom. They define the edges and are like hills and valleys. These spaces give the saree its true form, shape and structure. That is why saree is centuries old garment, draped in many ways.
The spaces found between each breath, in punctuation marks of each sentence, in pauses of tango dance and music bring the real meaning to its structure.
This pause or space you can generate in your dance only and only if you dance the tango peacefully and without rush. Connect with your partner whom you embrace and experience the tango bliss. 

21 September, 2017

Colours recommended being worn during nine Navratras.

Today is first Navratri. Prathama is the Sanskrit word for "first", and is the first day of the lunar fortnight (Paksha) of the Hindu calendar. Prathama is also known as Pratipada in Odisha & western India (Maharashtra, Konkan, and Goa).Among all the 9 days of Navratri, each day is devoted to the 9 different forms of the deity Durga.Goddess Durga is worshiped under 9 distinct names for 9 days of Navratri
On the very first day of Navratri, the deity Durga takes on the form of "Shailputri" who is reckoned as the daughter of Himalayas. This is another form of "Shakti"-The spouse of "Shiva".

For Hindus, the mother goddess, Durga, is a very special deity, able to appear in nine different forms, each of which is endowed with unique powers and traits. Together, these nine manifestations are called Navadurga(translated as "nine Durgas").
Devout Hindus celebrate Durga and her many appellations during a nine-night festival called Navaratri, which is held in late September or early October, depending on when it falls on the Hindu lunisolar calendar. Each night of Navaratri honors one of the mother goddess' manifestations. Hindus believe that Durga if worshiped with sufficient religious fervor, will lift the divine spirit and fill them with renewed happiness. 
Read about each of the Navadurga in the order in which they are celebrated with prayer, song, and rituals during the nine nights of Navaratri.

Navaratri begins with a night of worship and celebration in honor of Shaliaputri, whose name means "daughter of the mountains." Also known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati, or Hemavati, she is the daughter of Hemavana, the king of the Himalayas. Shaliaputri is considered to be the purest embodiment of Durga and the mother of nature. In iconography, she is depicted riding a bull and holding a trident and a lotus blossom. The lotus represents purity and devotion, while the prongs on the trident represent the past, present, and future.

Yellow color which is believed to be a color of the planet sun and is dedicated to Maa Shailputri means the daughter (putri) of the mountains (shaila). As the color yellow represents energy and happiness and is believed to be an appropriate color to start the festival. This color is very pious and considered sacred in Hindu religion.It is used in Puja and in our daily lives while using Haldi for every occasion and for cooking or as an ayurvedic medicine. It is also believed that yellow is the color of peace, warmth, and knowledge which is why most of the Hindu Gods are dressed in yellow robes and dhotis.

Today I wore this yellow saree. It is about 25 years old. I have worn it here before. At that time it was named Draupadi sari as Draupadi was depicted in Mahabharata wearing this sari. It is actually nine yards long and not six and hence so many pleats. Today I wore it with a Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt that I have worn here (with a saree) here (for a workout) and here (with a colorful skirt) before.

20 September, 2017

Saree from mom's closet

Recently I asked my mom to give me her sarees that she is not using anymore. She did not want to part away with her good collection and gave me the ones that she had kept away in a box. I told her, I am going to use them very proudly. The saree I am wearing today is one of them. Soon you will see much more from her collection. I paired it up with a shirt from Express. I have worn it here before.
I was recalling bygone days and many uses of pallu earlier- like wiping your hands to picking up hot pots or wiping your sweat. Pallu was also used like a fan. It is very cooling. It was also used to keep flies away. It was used to shield the face from the scorching sun. It could cover the face or head like a hat or umbrella. 
Pallu was something behind which a shy kid would hide, which mothers used to wipe the tears off from her baby. The little baby got up from crawling position to standing, using the support of a mother's pallu. I remember how my grand mother's pallu always smelled of her pooja incense. My mother's pallu smelled of the kitchen. In English, we say, "hold on to mother's apron". I think in India we hold on to mother's pallu.
When a girl gets married, her father ties the end of her pallu to the scarf of the groom. When something went in your eyes, pallu was used to blow air into it and place the warm pallu on the eyes for a soothing effect. Pallu is used like a shawl and wrapped around like a cover when it became little cold. 
If you forgot something or wanted to remember something, pallu was tied in a knot. Keys were tied to the pallu. Money bills were tied to the pallu. Pallu was used in farms to collect fruits or vegetables. Even today in temples, pallu is used to collect prasad that priest gives you. Pallu is also used to cover the head in temples.
Today, tissues have replaced pallus and the warmth is missing. Sarees are adorned occasionally and then they are so expensive that mothers do not allow the children to wipe their hands, sweat or tears with their pallus. I miss my grand mother's pallu the most. Placing my head there would be so comforting.

19 September, 2017

Kashmiri embroidered saree

This saree is more than 25 years old. The Kashmiri embroidery on it is called sozani/suzani work. It is one of the finest work done by one of the best embroidery workers in Srinagar. I bought it from
Kashmir shawl emporium
94, MM Janpath, New Delhi.
I must admit, it is not one of my favorite colors and hence this saree saw a daylight after many years. I have paired it with a floral top from Derhy that I have worn here and here before.
The silver jewelry- green pendant, pearl earrings, and bangles were bought from dad (he is a jeweler). Check the clearer picture of the gorgeous pendant here.

Sarees have some unimaginable grace in them. Do you know that research has proven that if a woman has to strike some very important deal and if she wears a saree, her chances of success become 60% more. Sarees weave some magical allure around them. The best part is that Sari can be worn in any way, it can make you look very attractive and beautiful and it can also give you a traditional look.

16 September, 2017

Kota doria saree

It is also known as Kota Doriya. This is one of many types of sarees made in Kota in Rajasthan. These sarees are pure cotton and silk. They have a square check like a pattern on them that is also known as khat. They are very fine weaves and are very lightweight. It is hand woven on traditional pit loom. While weaving, they smear onion juice and rice paste on the yarn that makes the yarn very strong and there is no need of finishing. Doria means thread. My Kota doria saree has bandhej or bandhani on it. This technique of tying produces the dots like effect. I wore with a silver grey top.

15 September, 2017

Sarees and stories

This blog post is dedicated to blogger and Instagram account that I follow- Sareesandstories. It is quite inspiring. She writes so well that I read/chew each word written by her. This blog and few others have revived my interest in sarees. I am almost craving to bring out my long forgotten collection of sarees. Another reason for not looking at my six yards is that I started finding the blouses too tight and could not breathe in them. Now I have decided to pair them with T-shirts, shirts, tops and maybe even kurtis. Nowadays, blouses do not have to match exactly. I wore my cotton saree with a very old Ritu Kumar top that I have worn here and here before.
The saree felt as comfortable as wearing a night suit. 

12 September, 2017

Fashion blogger

This blog is primarily fashion blog with emphasis also on a travel blog, fitness blog and food and restaurant reviews. Sometimes I also do technology and book reviews.
I have been traveling a lot lately and will be doing extensive travel posts that will be super informative. I bought this dress online and have worn it here earlier. 
This is a short post with just pictures. Detailed travel posts will follow soon.