Manju and her story! Take #1

Triveni’s Pragya happened to visit “Aunti ji” (who works as a sweeper in Pragya’s hostel), to ensure that her grandchildren were keeping well and following up in their studies. That day there was someone new at home, who Pragya had not seen before. She didn’t smile much but spoke with a distinct clarity. She visited to help her aunt to take care of the kids. Whenever she did smile during her conversation, it was brief but it was like a revelation- a gentle glimpse into her life, unspoken and un-revealed and that was what made Pragya want to know more about her.

Some people have courage. Those very people also have the unique ability of not giving up – of not being controlled by circumstance – but making the most of their situation. Some people, like Manju and this is her story.

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Manju has had a difficult childhood. She came from a rural background – the kind that doesn’t facilitate much for those who are ill, aspiring or developing. Her father passed away due to a rupture in a brain nerve when she was very small. Her mother had a chronic illness that deteriorated her life and her brother passed away because of alcohol consumption.

After this, Manju, with no immediate family to call her own, was taken in by her elderly aunt. Her aunt is the only person that Manju looks to, confides in and is cared for.Her aunt makes ends meet by sweeping the Girls’ Hostel at BITS. She is accompanied by Manju whenever possible for help; otherwise Manju is at home taking care of her aunt’s grandchildren.

That’s life for Manju, for now at least.

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Click here to read our next post and discover what’s ahead!

Picture Credits: Rahul Jain (PicU)

Day 1 at BFW12

The 12th Edition of the Bangalore Fashion Week commenced on 22nd Januray 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel, Brigade gateway. This edition of BFW boasts of partners – Deccan Chronicle, Kingfisher, Dream Zone, Coral Media, Indigo 91.1 FM, Sheraton Bangalore, Snapdeal, MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimiation) and the program idea conceived and executed by Dream Merchants.

Bangalore Fashion Week 2015 will see some of the best designs we have seen till now and there are well known and loved names in the list this year. BFW12 is a 4 day event and will see more than two dozen fashion designers showcasing their designs.

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Day 1 started with a fashion show featuring the works of students of Dream Zone.

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The designs were fresh and modern.

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In fact all days of the Bangalore Fashion Week start with this program– Student program Dream Zone.

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Next, came the first big show of the Bangalore Fashion Week event – NY Couture by Nasim Yalgar.

Authored by Ritu KT (Shopping Escapades)

Unique Indian Traditions!

India is a land of many cultures. It is the amalgamation of many traditions and customs, and each has a unique place in the hearts of its citizens.

One such tradition is treating guests as god, or “Atithi Devo Bhava”.

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The line is part of the verse mentioned in the Taittiriya Upanishad, Shikshavalli I.20 that reads in full as: matrudevo bhava;  pitrudevo bhava;  acharyadevo bhava;  atithidevo bhava. The literal translation of the verse would bring out the sense that an ideal person should strive to “become a person who considers the Mother as God, the Father as God, the Teacher as God and the guest as God.”

Tithi” in Sanskrit means a date. “A-tithi” means who does not have any date. In earlier days, there was no way of fast communication, and so guest didn’t have the means of communicating their arrival. So they used to pay visit without any information and therefore in course of time they came to be called as “athithi” i.e. one who does not have any fixed time of arrival.  “Devo” in Sanskrit means God-like and “bhava” means to assume/understand. Atithi Devo Bhava means to assume or understand a guest as God-like and so pay respect and homage in the similar way one would give to his God. This unique custom came about to make sure that no guest was left felling unworthy- each and every person was treated the same and not discriminated on the basis of caste ore creed or religion or colour. So, despite the high cultural diversity, guests in India are treated the same.

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After it is understood that guest is like a god then comes the process of serving them. In Hinduism, the rituals performed to welcome the guests comprise of five-steps which is known as Panchopchara Puja. These five rituals from the worship similarly become the five “code of conduct” to be followed while receiving guests which are as follows:

  • Fragrance/Incence (Dhupa)
  • Earthen Lamp (Dipa)
  • Eatables (Naivedya)
  • Rice (Akshata)
  • Flower Offering (Pushpa)

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Thus, Atithi Devo Bhava, the tradition of hospitality in India is what drives the tourism industry. The Ministry of Tourism has even made this the tagline for their Incredible India campaign, which is used to increase social awareness, and they have even roped in Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as their brand ambassador.

Stay tuned to Triveni Times for more such insights on unique Indian traditions.

Authored by Sabiha Gani

Sprucing Up for Lohri!

Winter has arrived. The chill in the atmosphere makes us all seek heat and warmth. Imagine being around a bonfire on a cold, freezing night… and there you have one of the lesser-known, but no less enthusiastically celebrated festivals of India. Originating from Punjab, Lohri was generally celebrated on winter solstice- the shortest day and longest night of the year. But these days, Punjabis celebrate it on the last day of the month during which winter solstice takes place. This is because Lohri is linked to the Bikrami calendar and the twinning of the festival with Makar Sankranti which is celebrated in the Punjab region as Maghi Sangrand.

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Lohri has many different associations. Some celebrate it to give respect to the seasons and the natural elements of earth, fire, wind and water. Some associate it with the harvest season- the harvest of rabi crops. Sugarcane products such as gurh and gachak are also central to the celebrations. Farmers believe the new financial year starts with Lohri and celebrate it as such.

The ceremony involves children goiung form door to door singing folk songs- they are given sweets and/or money, and this collection doen by the kids is called “Lohri” and it consists of til, gachchak, crystal sugar, gur (jaggery), moongphali (peanuts) and phuliya or popcorn. This is later distributed during the bonfire ceremony. The bonfire is generally lit at sunset in the main village square. People sit around, toss the lohri in it, sing and dance till the fire burns out. Some also go around the bonfire offering prayers.

Singing and dancing forms the main integral part of the festival. People wear their best and brightest clothes and come and do the bhangra dance. The festival was shown in the famous movie Veer Zaara too as shown below.

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Ethnic wear from Triveni from like the one shown below, can be worn to the best effect during the celebration. Dressing up in these will make your Lohri brighter!

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authored by Sabiha Gani

 

Manju and her story! Take#2

Before we begin the second part of the story, for the readers who do not know about Manju, kindly take a look at Manju and her story! Take #1

Triveni wanted to actively do something to help Manju; to honour someone of her caliber that truly represented what the values of Triveni – grace, dignity, identity – that we want to celebrate. And so Triveni’s Pragya and Pratibha set in action with photographer Rahul Jain. Here’s what happened next.

“So what have you thought about her future aunty ji?”, inquired Pratibha.

“I am getting married in the month of February”, said Manju and for the first time her smile grew wider.

“And before we could ask more, she asked us to wait. And in absolutely no time, stood in front of us a pretty bride.” tells us Pragya.

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“Manju you look beautiful, but why this saree now?”

“Didi, this is my sister’s saree. I want my pictures in this. Will you click for me?” And so we did…

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A new family to call her own, a new life in holy matrimony and a special occasion to mark the beginning of it all. Manju has a dream – that she will one day be able to fulfill that gap that had been gaping through her since she was a girl – since when she could remember.

Manju is hopeful. She continues smiling through her day as if she was going through bliss. She is happy that she has her aunt, and happy that she has a life to live. She wants to make the best of her opportunities and appreciate what is given to her. She is simple, yet graceful as she spends her days; she is her own individual as much as she has her own dreams. She is strong-will as much as she is caring and warm.

For her upcoming wedding and also to congratulate her for winning at life no matter the consequences she has faced, Triveni presented her with two Sarees that she can proudly wear as she ties the knot.
There is much more we would like to do for Manju. We would like to see her fulfill her dream of being happy and not worry about the cost of life. Our initiative is to provide for Manju as much as possible so that she is settled comfortably to start a married life.

You can help us achieve this. We have integrated a ‘Help Manju’ checkbox during checkout on all our online purchases.

Picture Credits: Rahul Jain (PicU)

Indian Curries: A Melange of Spices

Curry is one of the most definitive Indian exports to the western world. The UK has adopted the curry as a national dish and the British have made their own versions of curry after having been mesmerized by chicken tikka masala. The meaning of the word itself has changed through the years. It earlier used to mean only Indian food but it now denotes “various kinds of dishes from different parts of the world, which are savoury, spicy and have some gravy”.

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India has a plethora of curries to its credit. Each region has its own distinct ways of preparing curries and even within regions, different communities have different ways of creating dishes through the same ingredients. The precise selection of spices for each dish is a matter of tradition, religious practice and to some extent, family preferences. Traditionally, spices are used whole and ground, cooked or raw and added at different times. Usually, a mixture of spices are used such as Garam Masala, curry powder, sambhar powder, etc. Each mixture also has regional variations. More than the spices, though, equal importance is also given to the selection of vegetables and meats. Although a specific dish may have a specific way of preparation, households come up with their own twists and variations. Hence, while the dish itself may be same, taste will vary from house to house.

Curries in India are classified based on their way of preparation. Korma is mild and yellowish in color.Do Pyaza (literally, two onions) refers to the usage of both fried and boiled onion in the preparation.

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Pasanda, that royal mix (as we like to call it) is a mild curry featuring rich use of cream and almonds. Bhuna is a thick sauce based in tomatoes. Dhansak is a Parsi variety prepared medium or hot with a sweet and sour sauce. Madras curries are fairly hot, red in color and heavily uses red chili powder. Other types of curries are Achari, Dahi wala, Jaipuri, Karahi, Kashmiri, Kofta, Kolhapuri, Mussalam, Saag, Tikka, Tindaloo and Vindaloo.

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Authored by Jijo George

Desi Designs Go Global!

India is the quintessential desi country. Be it typical Indian things, or the clothes, desiness is the new way to go. And this is why the desi designs have become a rage all over the world. The vibrant colors catch the eye of everyone, and it brings about a sense of youthfulness and zest that is at the heart, Indian.

The Indian prints are infused with the colours of the country’s past. Its rich heritage lends it the beautiful and vivid feel that is admired by all. Some of the prints have the animals and birds depicted on them, which are eye-catching, and provide a new look to one who wears it for the first time.

Some are traditional, like the Bandhni print from Gujarat.

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The embroidery of Indian clothes is world-famous. It has inspired many new looks over the ages. In fact, no wedding is complete without a Zardosi print-and even that as now gone global.

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We have dresses that are made on the style of Mirror embroidery that is famous in Gujarat.

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And let’s not limit ourselves to only clothes. Even the wallpapers, furniture and interior designs have taken a distinct desi feel these days. Here take a look-

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All the things that were earlier purely western now have a distinct Indian feel- Clutches, purses, shoes, ottomans- everything has become desi.

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Thus, we can safely say that desi designs have indeed, gone global.

Authored by Sabiha Gani

Drape it like that! #1

Saree from the Indian Culture is probably one of the oldest pieces of clothing still worn today. It is a very long piece of cloth which measures about 1m by 5.5m. (One size fits all!)

What is wonderful about Saree is that it is not a costume reserved only for traditional festivals or ceremonies. Irrespective of caste, religion or customs, saree is still worn by Indian ladies going about their daily chores. For a country as varied as India, without a doubt there are distinct differences in the ways that a Saree is draped. The Pallu is the throw of a Saree, the outer end of the Saree with elaborate designs.


Traditional Nivi Style:
The most commonly worn style, this draping technique is a timeless classic. Worn with pleats, the sari extends over the left shoulder that leaves enough room for experimentation with all kinds of your favorite jewelry & nifty blouses.

Sheers over ghagras:
We saw this idea come to life at Manish Malhotra’s show last year at WIFW, and how! Pair a sheer sari with an ornate ghagra or lengha skirt and watch how quickly all eyes will be on you. Here are two fantastic sheer sari options we think are perfect if you want to try this look.

The Dhoti Sari:
A perfect combination of the silhouettes of the pallu & dhoti pants into an ensemble that completely reinvents the sari. We fell in love with an impeccable creation by the master of drapes, TarunTahiliani at BMW’s India Bridal Fashion Week 2014. Pair it with a waist coat .or a gilet and you’re all set!

The Tunic Sari:
Not one for blingy blouses? Want to use your favorite sari in a whole new avatar? This is what you need. Leave the blouse at home & go for your favorite tunic or shirt for a look that is completely unique!

 

Authored by: Gazal Trehan