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Still Coveted--Ancient Weaves Photos--1

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Wedding Sari was a beautiful Brocade from Benaras in heavy Gold and Purple like the first Picture here---only still heavier with Gold!!I still have it carefully wrapped in soft Cotton Muslin.Even today the shine of it's Gold Thread is undimmed---unfortunately I don't know how to upload Photos from the Camera---hence another Photo similar to my Sari has to suffice!!

The craft of weaving "Paithani" Saries of Maharashtra is over 2000 years old.These are still handwoven with pure Gold plated Silver and Silk Threads and have small all over Motifs or "Butties" interspersed over the body of the Sarie with heavy Borders and intricately woven heavy Gold and Silk "Pallus" or the upper end of the Sari.The Pallus sport a variety of Flowers or Birds---sometimes even both!!

This is my Paithani which I bought to wear for my Lotta's Wedding.Both Sayali and she too own Paithanies--Sayali's is a deep Royal Purple which shimmers with a green tinge while Lottas is a Pink with deeper Pink shimmer!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EACHDAYAGIFT 6/24/2011 2:26PM

    I can just picture a special occasion with many women clothed in fabrics like these... the beautiful saturated colors and the sheen of the fabric... the men must feel like they are surrounded by goddesses.

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SAASHA17 6/23/2011 12:13PM

    cant wait to be married so i can wear my collection...My mom keeps adding to my collection and plan to go to kanchipuram to get some stuff before the actual wedding too:) hehe

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BOVEY63 6/23/2011 11:54AM

    Love the vibrant colors.

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ATMANI 6/23/2011 9:53AM

    Beautiful! I love the palloo with the swans...

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ANITAS66 6/23/2011 8:04AM

    Absolutely gorgeous saris.

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Traditional Fabrics

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A beautiful Chinon Saree in a beautiful Aqua/Turquoise Colour with an intricate Border and Motifs in traditional Kashmir "Aari" Work---one of my prized possessions.

Another one in Silk intricately worked all over in a "Jaal" on an Indigo background---I love the beautiful effect it gives!!Again Kashmir "Aari" Work!!

Kashmir "Zalakdozi" work on a Linen Fabric for making a Lady's "Kurta".

One of my favourite Organdie Saries---worked all over with delicate Shadow Work.This is the reverse side of the Sari---notice the neatness in the way the Motifs have been worked.

These are just the tip of the beautiful Art that Indian Cottage Industry weaves over us transforming mundane everyday Cloth into something specially magical---worth it's weight in Gold!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EACHDAYAGIFT 6/24/2011 2:22PM

    Ooh! These are my favorites so far. I've always loved leaves and vines and flower embroidery, and wore clothing even when it was not at all in style because of this! These fabrics are so beautiful. I would feel like royalty in some of them!

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ANITAS66 6/22/2011 4:19PM

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful work. Nice collection

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MILLISMA 6/21/2011 10:22PM

    Beautiful! When I went to Washington there was a wedding nearby and everyone was dressed in the traditional Saree. I felt so lucky to see them.

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BOVEY63 6/21/2011 2:03PM

    Absolutely beautiful! Wish we could get more of those fabrics and designs here.

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SOPKAMANJU 6/21/2011 12:27PM

    Thank you it is a beautiful post the fabric and embroidery are masterful and awesome

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Pictures of my Favourite Fabrics--2

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

These are examples of beautiful Karnataki "Kasuti" Kashida from the State of Karnataka.This is a very difficult Art---based as it is on counting the Threads forming both the warp and the weft of the Fabric.Today it is being revived but even so the people who do this are few.It is a very delicate and beautiful way of embellishing Traditional Saries and I am the proud owner of 2 such works of Art!!

These are the beautiful and colourful examples of Kutchi Embroidery often embellished with Mirror Work from Kutch Region of the State of Gujarat.I love wearing these Motifs----specially when embroidered on the Yokes of our long Tops we call "Kurtas".In fact I have two pairs of White Indian Pants or "Salwars" which sport this embroidery on the legs as high as thigh length!!

This is an example of the Rabari Work also from the same region.

This is an example of the Tribal Embroidery from the State of Karnataka.
Each and every State has it's own unique form of decorating Cloth with intricate Stitches and these are held in very high esteem---and passed down as Heirlooms!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILLISMA 6/21/2011 10:23PM

    These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing

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SAASHA17 6/21/2011 12:03PM


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MAGIK0731 6/21/2011 9:19AM

    I have a seen the Kutchi Embroidery with a mirror for years now and have always thought it was a "fun" piece to display in a room. I neer knew which state is was from.

I absolutely LOVE the shirt. Its very tiny and if I were to wear something like that, I'd need to run everyday, do thousands of planks just to wear it for 5 mins! haha

Thanks for sharing!

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ANITAS66 6/21/2011 7:28AM

    They are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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Pictures of My Favourite Fabrics---1

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Chikankari" is an Art from Lucknow belonging the Northern State of Uttar Pradesh.This is "Chikankari" Stitch---a reverse Herringbone Stitch which is worked under the surface of delicate transparent Fabrics----mostly fine Organdie and Muslin to create an embossed effect.It is either done all over and called a "Jaal" or in small Motifs evenly spaced on Pastel and White Backgrounds in White Thread and each piece takes 3-4 months in the case of Kurtas and Dupattas(Veils) to be completed.The Saries take about 6-9 months depending on the extent of the Embroidery to be done on it.The smaller the Stitches the more expensive the Fabric.It is also done on Chiffon and Georgette Fabric and embellished with Gold Thread Work and these Saries or Salwar Kurtas look ethereal and fey!!

This the famous "Kantha Stitch" of West Bengal State in the eastern part of India.A simple Running Stitch or "Tacking", it is used to create beautiful Patterns on Cloth both Silk and Cotton using various colours in fine Cotton and Silk Threads.Sometimes Satin Stitch is also used to add thickness to the Patterns.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILLISMA 6/21/2011 10:24PM

    I would love to have some of this fabric!!!

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*MADHU* 6/20/2011 12:18PM

    Love the chikankari work ... absolutely adore it on cotton and muslin...still on the lookout for dress material with kantha work.

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SAASHA17 6/20/2011 12:10PM


these are my favorite...This was my summer wardrobe or wait....my yearly wardrobe collection in college...lol...we only have summer..they are great for summer humidity...man I miss it all...


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BOVEY63 6/20/2011 11:38AM

    Beautiful fabrics - love them!

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ANITAS66 6/20/2011 9:22AM

    Love it

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ATMANI 6/20/2011 7:56AM

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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The Way Sayali Sees Me!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The one Weekend we spent in London was truly fantastic---and extremely interesting!!!There was a Cricket Match on T.V. that Saturday---prompting both the Men to stay at home---leaving both us Women to our own devices.Sayali decided that we'd both spend the entire day in and around Central London and she took me out shopping and treated me to Lunch at this extremely chic place called "The Hush Bar"---somewhere in the narrow by lanes near New Bond Street---just the two of us in a very long time!!Conversation flowed uncensored over an extremely well cooked Lunch and we spoke to each other as Friends---and not Mother and Daughter after a very long time.It was during Lunch when she was halfway through her grilled Sea Bass and I was halfway through my succulent and superbly grilled Veal Chop that she told me I'd let myself go and become a "Frump"!!Where was her stylish and sophisticated mother---she demanded???Suffice to say that I continued chomping away contentedly then but it hit me much later---had I changed that much??
I saw myself in a totally different perspective----seen from my daughter's eyes---and let me tell you it was a with mixed emotions---quite a few observations stung---but rang so true!!I married young and the kind of Society I belonged to and the People I was connected to made me very particular about the way I dressed,looked and behaved for those days we all were still very much in the shadow of the British Raj.The old fashioned Courtesy and Dress Code dictated Formal Wear not just for Weddings and other such Gatherings but even Casual Outings like going for a Drive, the Cinemas or for Plays in the Theatres.Even these meant dressing up to the hilt---full Make-Up,fashionable Saries with matching accessories---of course a lot of Fun while it lasted!!
As Sudhir became busier and busier the Fun activity shifted to the Weekends---he'd leave at 8 a.m. and return by 10 p.m.---besides the School Bus coming at 8 a.m. meant being totally prepared and waiting at the Gate---making late night Drives a rarity.So my routine altered in the evenings after cooking Dinner to just washing my face,combing my hair and a change of Casual clothes---"Home Wear" we called it then---I'd relax with my feet up---reading my favourite Authors and listening to the Radio till it was time to roll out fresh hot Chappaties for Dinner!! There was however in all this a certain feeling of wanting to be presentable then!!Weekends and Vacations would be great Fun times---and of course I'd be dressed up most of the time---as we went to the Movies,Theatres and Lunches and Dinners out---only the early morning and afternoon Tea would be prepared at home!!Childhood memories are the closest to one's heart---and it is this image of me that perhaps both my daughters carry in their mind---I know for sure that Sayali definitely does---she just told me so!!!
As the Girls grew up and formed their own circles the focus shifted a bit for us too.After both of them grew up and moved away after their marriages many things began to change.Our lives became our own again and we paced our routine to suit us.Sudhir and I spent a lot of time together.If he had a late Brief in the afternoon Session we'd meet for Lunch outside mostly at the Taj---we really enjoyed our dates together---particularly in the Monsoons---I'd sit there in the Sea Lounge waiting for him to pick me up after Court work was done most times.Those are perhaps my fondest memories before I fell sick and had to live on a Diet---permanently!!
The Traffic increased and going for a Drive meant getting stuck in various Traffic Jams for a minimum of 15 minutes on an average.Visits to my mother's and Sudhir's sisters homes slowly started dwindling due to Road Repairs and Traffic---and where we'd be regular Visitors at least twice each week we began meeting less often---these days we meet only for Festivals and Birthdays--- contact is mainly reduced to Telephonic conversations-----the pains of negotiating the Roads and the Traffic have put paid to our visitng them!!Our Social life started shrinking and with it the desire to dress up and go about too gradually receded.My heart attack literally put paid to our Lunches and Dinners out----besides most of what we order has to be parcelled and brought home we eat so little of it whenever we do go out!!These days we attend the odd Wedding or a Family Function---dressed far more casually than one would have even dreamt of then!!
All through this I too was growing older and my tastes were changing besides the shadow of The Raj too was receding---and fast!!Instead of the rich,heavy Silks/Chiffons/Chinons/Crepes handwoven Cottons had begun to make their mark---and being colourful,trendy as well as immensely comfortable I was carried away by them!!I love our Traditional Handlooms---I still adore Silks and the rest but these need a lot of Maintenance.On the other hand Cottons are a boon!!They come in such vibrant shades and designs----and the Price Tags can range from the extremely expensive to being absurdly affordable---cut out for one and all!!My gradual shift from dressing up with these heavy Silk Saries with heavy,ornate Jewellery to the equally expensive but more comfortable Cottons and Pearl Jewellery instead of the Gold or Diamond Sets to these Functions has shocked Sayali---she feels I've turned into a "Frump"!!On the other hand I feel I look sophisticated and dignified----and that this suits me and my personality better!!Today I'm always well dressed and presentable in comfortable hand woven,hand embroidered Cottons.Damn it---- I pay bloody 20 pounds for an Apron in Waitrose to wear over my beautiful Cotton Salwar Kurtas----and I still wear expensive Lipstick and Deos and Perfumes which these two gift me----I still accessorize my wardrobe to match---and yet I look like a "Frump"!!I agree that I've started wearing Saries rarely---but this is because since my Chemo and Radiation Therapies I feel more comfortable in Salwar Kurtas---and since I suffer from plenty of Hot Flashes thanks to the Tamoxifen I'm prescribed I stitch these a bit loose---again a throwback to the 3 months during and after completing Radiation when I wore Tent shaped Kurtas!!Well I'm sorry---there's no going back for these days I value being comfortable way too much to be bothered about being a "Sophisticate"----guess she has no choice but to lump it AND like it as it is!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EACHDAYAGIFT 6/24/2011 2:13PM

    After menopause, my body shape changed, and it does make me look frumpier. Time seems to pass so swiftly as we get older, the thought of putting all the time i used to into shopping for clothes, accessorizing, hair styling, etc. seems unappealing now. If it brought me joy, I would still do it, but I'd so much rather spend my time and money on other things. I admire women my age and older who look sharp and fit and stylish and sexually attractive. But for me, I can't help feeling, "That ship has sailed!" I strive to look decent and clean and neat. My younger self would find this sad, so I guess I can see where Sayali is coming from. But for me, it is a choice I make, not an inevitable fate. Maybe some day I'll suddenly want to look better, enough to devote the necessary time. Not right now, though.

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RAIN454 6/23/2011 4:22PM

    its from the fear that your mom is getting older that I think sayali's 'concern' came from. She probably doesnt think you really let yourself go...she just wants the mom she remembers back. You dont realize how much you miss the little things until they're gone. I say that because im like that with my mom...she's always so prim and proper that makes me uncomfortable to see her "relaxed and comfortable"...lol ...i think thats what it boils down to...so dont take it to heart. Maybe when she's around (since its not often) you can be the old Komal that she misses. But dont sacrifice your comfort any other day...hello, thats the beauty of being older...u did your "time". Lol...jk
Btw, Im putting the "Hush Bar" on my list of restaurants I want to try one day ;)

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*MADHU* 6/20/2011 12:24PM

    Agree...casual and comfortable is my style too...love cotton fabrics!

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SAASHA17 6/20/2011 12:15PM

    I think its not the dressing but i think we kids never perceive that our parents have reached a stage where they are more worried about their comfort and not how the society needs them to be...its like I expect my mom to jump around, be adventurous ..she still is...but she does get tired more easily than before...she does prefer salwar kameez over her crazy fun chic sarees now....I think its just the way it is...but we daughters just like to criticize...hehehe...Initially my mom would feel bad or something but now she just ignores it...lol....
take care Love

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BOVEY63 6/20/2011 11:37AM

    I agree - casual and comfortable is what I go for.

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ATMANI 6/20/2011 8:01AM

    I like your reflection -- "like it as it is," beautifully said!

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