It was in a small village in the South of India that once a remarkable incident had occurred. A Hindu boy was carrying a pot of milk to be delivered to a customer and was rather tired on the way. He rested himself under a banyan tree for a while near a pond.
As he was catching his breath, along came a woman, dressed in bright white clothing, carrying a baby. She asked him if he could spare some milk for her baby to drink. He was sympathetic to the mother and lent them his pot of milk. She thanked the boy and went on her way.
The boy had to reach the customer’s home empty handed and spoke about what happened to the milk. But as soon as he looked at the pot, milk suddenly began filling up inside the pot, right up till the brim! They were both amazed at the sudden happening and rushed to the pond where the boy had met with the woman. She appeared to them there as a vision of light and then disappeared.
A little while after that, a group of Portuguese sailors were caught in a storm. They prayed for the storm to pass and in a sudden flash of light, she appeared to clear the winds. The storm had passed, and they reached the shores of the very same village where she had appeared before. The fishermen led them to the chapel for them to pay their respects. The Portuguese were so thankful to her, that to mark her existence and her miraculous effects of healing and enlightenment, a shrine was put up in her honour, named after her. This was the Shrine of Mother Mary – Now known as St. Mary’s Basilica – In Velankanni.
Her influence has spread far across India, where there has been another Shrine in Delhi to commemorate her image as the Holy Mother Mary. Those who visit the shrine ask her to fulfill their wishes. And for those devotees whose wishes have been granted, they offer a new Saree to the replica of her statue in Velankanni that is then draped over her image.
Her image has been one that has transcended all levels of faith, despite region or religion, and has become a symbol of everlasting hope, grace and healing.
It will be hard to find a child who has not heard of puppets. They may be known by different names in different areas, but puppets have, for centuries, enthralled children across the world. The first puppets are estimated to have originated nearly 3000 years ago. They are used for the primary purpose of story-telling and nowadays, it is also used to spread awareness about socially relevant topics. For instance, Ranjana Kanitkar’s organization first used puppets as a means to raise the voice against child marriage.
As far as the Indian subcontinent is concerned, there is slight evidence of puppetry in the Indus valley Civilization. One terracotta doll with a detachable head capable of movement was unearthed by archaeologists and it is believed to be nearly 2500 years old.
Various ancient literature such as the Mahabharata, Tamil epics, Ashokan edicts, Natya Sashtra, etc. have mentions of puppetry. Mahabharata, for instance, has a number of allusions to puppetry, the most famous one being from the Gita which talks of the three qualities, Sattah, Rajah and Tamah compared to three strings being pulled by the Divine to lead men in life. In the Kamasutra, it was revealed that the best way to entertain and seduce young girls was to organize a puppet show and present the puppets to the damsels after the performance!! The treatise contains elaborate descriptions on the making of puppets.
Puppets are used frequently in folklore. These puppets are made to imbibe all the expressions of humans thus making them as an extension of human expression. Ancient India considered them as a form of divine creation. Even today, a puppeteer opens his show with prayers. When the show is over, he puts the puppets reverentially aside.
When a puppet has to be discarded, it is not thrown away. Instead, they are floated away in rivers after performing a religious ceremony. And it happens only in India.
We shall come back with more. Till then stay tuned to TriveniTimes!
Authored by Jijo George
The Indian fashion scene has been rapidly changing from the 1900s helped along by the freedom struggle and later by the proliferation of the film industry. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India, initiated the Swadeshi movement in protest against the policies of the British. The movement envisioned boycotting of various imported items. What started then as a movement against oppression, has today turned into a style statement.
Khadi is today the de-facto fabric for politicians and has now become a part of numerous fusion experiments within the fashion industry.The versatile fabric has received another boost with visibility on account of half-sleeve starched khadikurtas worn by Shri NarendraModi, the Prime Minister of India.
When the century dawned, fashion was a preserve of the rich. Today, with the power of the Internet, there are firms that allow customisation of fabrics and manufacture clothes “to measure” (Raymonds, for example). The lower tiers usually went in for garments made at home or at the local tailor. The consciousness of the Indian identity was being formed during the 1930s and the dresses and the styles reflect the broad confusion with some clothes veering towards use of silhouettes and the broad usage of black and grey as the overlying theme. Towards the end of the decade, women’s fashion became more and more feminine in the urban areas and the body hugging suits made their appearance.
Due to western influences, use of items such as angarkhas, cholas and jamas all but disappeared replaced by the convenient achkan and sherwani. Within this space, politicians brought in their own twists, the most famous being Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s trademark jacket
and the Gandhi cap worn by the followers of the Congress Party. Yet, if there was any remarkable change in the offing, it was post-independence especially in the 1950s.
Triveni makes sure that Ethnic Wear for men turn out to be no less trendy.
Click here to check out for yourselves!
Authored by Jijo George
Clothing, they say, is a function of the environment and the lifestyle of the people staying in a place. The same holds true for India. India has had a rich culture – a culture that tried to keep its essence intact and at the same time, inculcated the best of everything that came into the land. Whenever new cultures took root in the land, by way of various kingdoms and dynasties, the people of India adapted themselves to the new styles and created something new. We see that most evident in food – biriyanis, pulaos and naans are just some of the examples.
The same holds true for clothes.
Take for example, the Aryans who came down from Central Asia to settle in the land of the Ganges. They migrated from woollen clothes and animal skin to cotton and linen fabrics keeping in line with the climate of the Gangetic plain.
Men developed clothes like pyjamas and kurtas that would help them in the agricultural work while women came up with the wonder called saree – that was gracious, whichever the colour may be, offering numerous mix and match possibilities with different colours, patterns and hues. Over time, the character of the clothes would change character as people would differentiate themselves based on their religions, regions and sometimes even tribal characteristics. Simple loin clothes would lead to royal clothes, different styles of wearing similar kinds of clothes, to adoption of international trends, to the present age where ace designers like Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bahl and others deconstructing the saree and fusing western elements to bring in a cosmopolitan feel to the Indian dress.
Authored by Jijo George
What do you get when you put together a Qutab Minar adorned with lamps, chandeliers and red carpet, live music by the powerhouse Shubha Mudgal and a line that is an ode to Nishat Bagh in Kashmir?
A whooping grande finale by Rohit Bal. 102 models cascaded down a runway lined with ornate lamps on either sides with the crowd watching in absolute state of awe. The line covered everything a dreamy bride or groom could ask for. Larger-than-life lehengas in full circle skirts, peplum cut blouses, achkans, sarees with ornate jackets, full length anarkalis, jodhpuris and jackets for men and an entire bouquet of Indian wear deemed fit for a prince and a princess. The colour palette went from white with red, red with gold, black with red and gold and deep wines. The highlights of the grandeur relied on kashmiri thread embroidery, hints of brocade, gold embroidery on velvet and the works. The accessories to accompany these mesmerising clothes were rose flower maang tikkas and rose adornments in the hair. Arjun Rampal walked the ramp for Rohit Bal in a black velvet number and Louboutin shoes. It was interesting to see Christian Louboutin sitting front row for Rohit Bal. This show was the epitome of grandeur and magnificence like never seen before. Kudos to a brilliant end to a wonderful season of fashion.
Authored by Shreya Kalra of http://www.ftlofaot.com (For the Love of fashion and Other Things)
Lets face it, all shades of orange are trending this spring summer season. At the final day of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, we saw five defining moments of shades of orange becoming the highlights of the day. These ranged from peaches to corals to candied fiery oranges. If you have not already, get yourself something in the shade of the season.
Joy Mitra’s sensibility of light ‘jaal work’ keeps the mood festive and delicate in this beautiful apricot and cream number.
Good Luck Irani Cafe by Nida Mahmood brought to life Parsi fun, kitsch sensibilities and this cool semi drape saree with a bright orange border is definitely one to acquire.
Niharika Pandey’s mood was fun and quirky and this LOVE cropped top with the water paint effect maxi skirt was a fun orange ensemble.
Rahul Singh played with sequins and this gown with interesting slits and cutwork lined with sequins was a cool fiery orange number.
Harem pants and a cropped blouse, this bohemian gypsy ensemble in a coral shady by Kanika Saluja for Annaika with its beautiful mirror work definitely worked wonders.
Authored by Shreya Kalra of http://www.ftlofaot.com (For the Love of Fashion and Other Things)
Kanika Saluja of Annaika presented a collection which highlighted the use of glass beads and mirror work along with a thread embroidery holding it together. The silhouettes were bohemian and warrior like and the cut-out detailing in the garments gave it a very risqué feel. Annaika’s fixation with the metallic and the jewel tones shone through this season too and the collection had a very cohesive feel to it. From shades of aubergine to peaches and moss greens, the palette covered it all. Our favourite has to be the peplum style blouse saree combination. Monica Dogra of Shaair n Func closed the show for Kanika.
Authored by Shreya Kalra of http://www.ftlofaot.com (For The Love of Fashion and Other Things)