What type of Indian handicrafts always in demand for home decoration at online?

These days, there are plenty of websites that are selling handcrafted Indian products on the internet. They are selling a wide range of products that can be broadly classified into a number of heads with sarees, stationery, t-shirts, stoles, and paintings being the most popular ones. However, this is only scratching the surface. You also get items that are meant specifically for men, women, and kids – you can also buy gifts and souvenirs from these online shops – but home décor seems to be the most popular category out there. Now as far as these items are concerned they can be divided into the following categories:

Bed and bath

As far as bed and bath are concerned there are plenty of items that you can choose from. Some of them may be mentioned as below:

  • recycled handwoven durries
  • Jawariya lugda
  • Kalamkari natural colour durri
  • organic cotton blankets
  • Kutchi quilts and bedspreads
  • double bed sheets
  • cotton bed sheet

Paintings

India has a rich history of painting and the vast nature of the country has meant that you see several styles of painting that just tends to boggle your mind. As such following are some examples of paintings that you can order online:

  • fine work
  • gold foil work
  • miniature paintings
  • tribal art known as Pattachitra
  • rajasya art
  • Pichwai paintings
Indian handicrafts for your home decoration
Indian handicrafts for your home decoration

Space accessories

A lot of people like to do up their home with space accessories created by Indian handicraft artists. Following seem to be the more popular options:

  • felt toys
  • sheep planters
  • elephant planters
  • cow planters
  • fridge magnets
  • cat planters
  • hanging bells
  • animal figurines
  • nests
  • tiny bowls

Wall hangings

Wall hangings are also an important part of your home décor. Following are some options that you can look up online and buy:

  • felt toys
  • chhau masks
  • appliqué wall art
  • jute wall art
  • animal figurines
  • nests
  • tiny bowls

Kitchen ware

What better that decorating your kitchen with some kitchen ware that has been created by the incomparable folk artists of India? Following are perhaps the best options that you have in this regard:

  • sugar pots
  • masala jars
  • planters
  • matka vases
  • liquid dispensers
  • serving trays
  • knobs
  • jewellery boxes
  • incense holders
  • cylinder vases
  • coaster sets
  • bowls
  • bathroom sets
  • burners
  • brass trays and chota dabro
  • brass trays and bada dabro
  • chokoor boxes

Tabletop accessories

When it comes to looking for handcrafted home décor items online tabletop accessories seem to be in high demand. Following are the major selections in this regard:

  • sheep planters
  • small bowls
  • animal figurines
  • cow planters
  • elephant planters
  • fridge magnets
  • nests
  • hippo planters
  • giraffe planters
  • hanging bells
  • clay dolls

Furniture

The first thing that any person notices at your home is your furniture. So if you are thinking of redoing your home décor you can give these handcrafted furniture items a try:

  • wing shaped furniture
  • yak shaped furniture
  • b chairs
  • work horses
  • book shelves
  • wallscapes
  • unipods
  • single benches
  • tree shaped furniture
  • rocking bulls
  • high stools
  • elephant shaped furniture
  • chairs with woven seats
  • chairs with slat seats
  • plain chairs

Puppets

Following are the most popular handcrafted puppets on the internet:

  • elephants
  • cotton dolls
  • puppets of famous figures

What are the handloom items of Jammu & Kashmir famous among the Indians?

Jammu and Kashmir is a state in India that is well known for its scenic beauty. The exquisite beauty of the mountains and valleys of Jammu and Kashmir have mesmerized travellers and poets for many years. This beauty also impacts the senses of the local people to a great degree and its impact can also be seen in the art and craft of this region. The handicrafts and handlooms of the state of Jammu and Kashmir expresses the latent beauty of the region which is why they are so popular among buyers in India as well as the rest of the world. From the vibrantly colored shawls and woolen handlooms to the fine designs that are created on the carpets, the handlooms of Kashmir have a lot to offer to people with a fine sense of art and beauty.

The handloom products created in Jammu and Kashmir have a magical quality about them that is loved and appreciated by people in all parts of the world. The classic Pashmina material is often used by designers for making different kinds of shawls due to its naturally soft and warm texture. The reason for which Pashmina is loved so much by users is that it is wool in its purest form. Sometimes the Pashmina material is also combined with silk in order to give it a shiny appearance. Other than the classic Pashmina, there is also a great demand for the Kashmiri carpets that are known for their eternal beauty. The colorful threads that are used for weaving the carpets and the designs that are created on them exhibit a strong Mughal influence. Along with this, the embroidery style Kasida is also well known all over the globe. The rich intricate patterns of Kasida stand as a great example of classic elegance and richness. Such strong traditions of handloom arts have served to shape up the identity of Kashmiri people for a long time. With the advent of new handloom styles, artisans are finding new ways of expressing their inner sense of beauty.

Embroidery Salwar Suit of Kashmir
Embroidery Salwar Suit of Kashmir

There is always a steady demand for Pashmina embroidered shawls that are made by the skilled handloom artisans of Jammu and Kashmir. The fabric of Pashmina is known for its exquisite softness. These shawls are also made more beautiful and attractive with the help of intricate hand embroidery. The fabric used in the shawls is derived from fleece of Pashmina goats that are found in the hills of Kashmir. Owning a Pashmina shawl is considered a matter of great pride since it is associated primarily with wealth and luxury. It is therefore no surprise that people who visit Kashmir focus on getting the best Pashmina shawls for their loved ones at home. Over the years, the Pashmina shawls have become symbolic of the love and warmth that people love to share with their near and dear ones.

Other than the Pashmina shawls, the Kani Shawls also enjoys a lot of popularity and is a major form of handloom product that is produced in Kashmir. Kani Shawls is very popular among people who share a strong love for artistically beautiful clothing. The fine needlework and tapestry of designs that characterize these shawls show the skill and endeavor of the craftsman who have toiled for days to create such shawls. Additionally, plain marino shawls and casual woolen shawls crafted in attractive shades and designs are also popular here. Jammu and Kashmir is also known for producing top notch tweed materials which is very similar to traditional Scottish tweed. Specially designed tweed jackets and coats made here enjoy widespread popularity among customers in India and other parts of the world.

How Nandita Das is flaunting Indian Handloom Worldwide?

If there is any actress who has made impact in the global cinema while staying true to her Indian roots, then it is certainly Nandita Das. The actress has been known to create a strong fashion statement by flaunting her love for Indian handlooms. As an actress and a woman of substance, Nandita Das is really getting a lot of attention by wearing clothes that are made of Indian handlooms. Whether it is in her home country or in Cannes, Nandita chooses to sport the best of Indian handloom clothing that makes her stand apart from the rest. While the usual fashion scene at the Cannes Film Festival is characterized by Swarovski studded gowns or long, sweeping dresses, Nandita is sticking to her usual signature style by wearing the best of Indian handloom clothing.

Recently Nandita Das was at the Cannes Film Festival to promote her latest movie Manto. The filmmaker stayed in France for the Festival de Cannes which went on from May 17 to May 28. She met with the producers for the film as well as the lead actors of the movie Rasika Dugal and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. In this event, she was mostly seen in traditional Indian handloom clothing which she carries with a complete élan. As an individual with Odisha roots, she always had a strong love for traditional Indian handloom clothing and this can be seen clearly in her choice of personal wardrobe. For the Cannes event, she was seen in a peach and gold saree which made her look simple yet elegant. She had her hair artfully folded into a small bun and wore earrings in the form of handcrafted Indian danglers. The saree was designed and crafted by Anavila Misra which had a distinct classic appeal of its own.

Nandita Das wearing a handloom saree at Cannes
Nandita Das wearing a handloom saree at Cannes

To add more versatility to her Cannes wardrobe, Nandita chose to wear another handloom set by Anavila Misra that consisted of a charcoal kurta and tassar stole. This fine set created nice chic look that was quite comfortable at the same time. Over the years, this talented actress turned director sported numerous stylish handloom garments for the most important red carpet event at Cannes. Whether it was short tops, block print kurtis or silk sarees, Nandita Das was seen flaunting them all with her characteristic confidence and charisma. In her own way, she has become the ambassador of Indian handloom fashion in the foreign soils. Last year she was seen in some strikingly elegant clothes that were created by Swati Garodia for her label Sartorial. In 2016, she was seen at the Festival de Cannes in a white embroidered and beautifully sequined maxi dress that was created by designer Purvi Doshi.

From the very beginning, Nandita Das has been known to create a distinct style statement of her own by wearing simple silk and cotton sarees. Her simplicity was one of the distinct qualities that immediately attracted the attention of cinema lovers and industry insiders. She also instinctively understands how to combine her dresses with the best of ethnic jewelry which in turn has always helped her to create a strong impression. She also loves to wear stylish Indian handloom clothes when she is overseas promoting her projects. This strong love of Indian ethnic wear has characterized her way of life from the very beginning. She can also carry any kind of traditional ethnic wear easily and effortlessly which makes them look great on her. In her own way, she has inspired countless women in India and abroad to adapt a more ethnic fashion sense which in turn has popularized this form of clothing everywhere.

How to wear silk saree perfectly in different occasions?

Women in India simply love to deck themselves up in silk sarees for all kinds of special occasions. These sarees have long been associated with royalty and it is therefore no wonder that women simply love to have beautiful silk sarees in their wardrobes that they can wear on different occasions. Here is a look at the various looks that women can create with silk sarees.

Weddings

When it comes to Indian weddings, the silk sarees are very much considered a staple. In fact, the first thing that comes to the mind of any fashion conscious woman is a perfect silk saree in gorgeous colors. Whether it is the bride who is all well dressed in this traditional attire or the friends of the brides who come for the special event of wedding, silk sarees are extremely popular when it comes to the occasion of wedding. In the northern parts of India, most women prefer to wear Benarasi silk sarees for the most special day of their lives. On the other hand, in south India, the most popular type of silk saree is certainly the Kanchipuram.

Puja and other religious ceremonies

Any fashion conscious woman would love to deck herself up with the best quality silk sarees on a special day of a Puja or a religious ceremony. There is an extensive market of sarees that are specially made for these types of special occasions. A woman can choose a silk saree that is light and comfortable to be worn for long hours while at the same time offer plenty of scope to look classy and elegant.

Silk Saree is a Perfect Choice for any Occasions
Silk Saree is a Perfect Choice for any Occasions

Guest outfits

Women are often required to attend different types of traditional ceremonies or functions and the best way to create a lasting impression is to attend the event by wearing a gorgeous silk saree draped in the best possible manner. Plenty of women love to wear Chanderi silk sarees and Uppada silks since they are quite soft and lightweight and can be worn at all times of the year. While these sarees are as rich and well made as any other type of silk saree, the comfort that is associated with this attire is comparatively high.

Casual wears  

As more and more women nowadays prefer to wear silk sarees for various casual outings, it is the type of outing that should determine the kind of silk saree that the woman should wear. It is always best to stick to lightweight silk sarees that come in neutral shades as they can blend well with most occasions.

Work wears

The women of today certainly prefer to look dashing in the workplace and create a highly professional image. This is something that can be achieved with a stylish silk saree that is not too flashy but come in somewhat understated colors. A well draped saree made with a fine blend of silk and cotton can make a woman look truly elegant and beautiful. The high quality fabrics that are used in these sarees truly make them stand out from others. One can also choose the silks that come with less motif artwork can be an excellent choice for work as they can help to create a sheer ethnic yet richly formal look.

Evening parties

Evening parties offer the best scope to socialize with others, be in a casual mood and have a great time. In these occasions, the best silk sarees to wear would be different shades of Ikat silk sarees or Tussar silks. These sarees offer the best opportunities for women to look classy while at the same time stand out with a rich look that can be worn only on certain occasions.

How to use Traditional Dhokra tribal Jewellery?

Dhokra tribal jewelry is one of the most important art forms in India. For centuries, Dhokra tribal jewelry has enjoyed widespread popularity among women in India due to their rustic appeal. The Dhokra metal jewelry pieces are created by experienced craftsmen and artisans who work truly hard to carve some of the most beautiful jewelry pieces like trinkets, necklets, bracelets, anklets etc.

The Dhokra tribal jewelry has its roots in Dhokra craft which is a form of tribal craft combining metallurgical skills along with wax techniques for creating items of distinctive beauty. These tribal jewelry pieces are known for their primitive simplicity, enchanting folk motifs, rustic beauty along with imaginative patterns and designs. This technique of creating unique pieces of had been in practice since the days of Mohenjo Daro when craftsmen used to cast bronze figurines of dancing girls more than 4500 years ago.

Currently, the craft of Dokhra metal casting is practiced in various districts of Dhenkanal, Puri, Nayagarh, Khurda, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Ganjam, Mayurbhanj and Phulbani in Orissa. These jewelry items are also created in various tribal dominated parts of Andhra Pradesh, certain regions of Bengal, Raigarh and the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. These areas are known to have vast tracts of minerals that can be used by the tribesmen and artisans for creating Dokhra jewelry items. The unique appearance of Dokhra jewelry pieces and craft items is due to their rustic look along with stark and antique finish. Such factors have led to their widespread demand in both domestic as well as international art markets.

Traditional Dhokra tribal Jewellery
Traditional Dhokra tribal Jewellery

The term Dhokra or Dokra refers to a non–ferrous metal casting that is used for the ‘lost wax casting’ procedure. The metal casting practice is popular in India spanning for thousands of years. The name of ‘Dhokra’ comes from Dhokra Damar tribes; time-honored metal smiths living in the state of West Bengal. The lost wax casting technique is named after them. This form of metal casting is a major tribal heritage of India. Other than making jewelry items, Dhokra art and craft is also used for creating artefacts, utensils, accessories and jewelry. The rustic art and jewelry is known for their clean, distinctive, lines and enchanting folk motifs.

The craftsmen involved in making of the Dhokra jewelry items rely mostly on materials like wax, firewood and resin from forest, the riverbed clay as well as a firing oven that is made by creating a hole within the ground. The art and craft of Dhokra jewelry making is traditionally passed down from generation to generation. It is the contemporary and creative expression of ancient technique. While at one point of time these jewelries and crafts were made by using motifs of legendary figures, gods and goddesses, rustic designs and floral shapes, the craftsmen of today make use of innovative new techniques to create stylish and uniquely international ‘avatar’ of their own. This makes them perfectly in line ethnic as well as international styles.

Women who choose to wear this form of jewelry can easily combine them with silk or cotton sarees to create a unique look. Many women choose to sport heavy makeup while using these jewelry items. However, they can also be used along with light makeup techniques as well. The sarees that go best with these rustic looking jewelry items are of course the ones with dark colors. Sarees with darker drapes or those that combine light and dark shades are also a popular choice. Both small and large sized jewelry pieces are common, and they can be worn in a number of different styles. This helps to create different types of looks with Dhokra jewelry.

Traditional Clothing Ideas every Girl must have to know

For most other countries of the world such as the United States of America for example the one word to describe everything that an Indian lady wears is a sari. However, that may not be the right way to go about things. It just so happens that sari is just one of the various traditional outfits that women in this South Asian country wear.

Sari

There are several reasons for the global popularity enjoyed by saris. Compared to other Indian traditional dresses for women such as salwar kameez and lehenga this word is much easier to utter. Of all the traditional dresses that women in India wear sari happens to be the stateliest. When it comes to lady diplomats and politicians touring countries it is the dress of choice. As an example it may be cited that Indira Gandhi, the first lady Prime Minister of India wore a sari to White House when she visited Richard Nixon, the-then President of the United States of America. This happened way back in 1971.

In recent times, famed designers in the West such as Hermes, and Valentino have been trying to create looks that are inspired by saris. This has only served to make this dress even more popular than it already is.  There are several ways in which a sari can be worn. In fact, different states in India have their own ways of wearing the sari. However, the most-convenient way is to tuck an end into the petticoat, also known as the skirt slip, and then just wrap it round the waist. Once this is done, you can just drape the other end over your shoulder in a diagonal manner.

Traditional clothing ideas of Girls
Traditional clothing ideas of Girls

Salwar kameez

In any case saris are worn by Indian women on each and every day of their lives. This happens in a formal, as well as informal basis. As such they have become an important part of the Indian identity itself. However, apart from saris, women in India also wear many other dresses on a local basis. These are worn both casually as well as parts of ceremonial occasions. The salwar kameez is one such dress. Here the salwar is basically the loose pant and the shirt is the kameez. As per several fashion experts and analysts the usage of salwar kameez is restricted primarily to northern India while saris are worn all over the country. There are different styles of salwar kameez that are worn and as such it can get really tough to predict what is fashionable and what is not.

Normally in case of salwar kameez women normally choose the fabric that they wish to wear and then get one sewed by a tailor based on their bodily measurements. This is a traditional method of doing things and it ensures that the fits are perfect and the designs are unique.

Lehenga

This is also primarily a northern Indian dress. They are mainly worn on celebratory and special occasions. Normally women in India – especially the upper classes and middle classes wear western dresses. However, no matter what you wear in your daily life you cannot be expected to wear a western dress on a special occasion as a woman. It will always be deemed inappropriate.

As far as most Indian designers are concerned, most of their livelihood is sourced from traditional clothes that are worn during weddings. For most brides in India – as well as wedding guests – sari remains the biggest favourite but there are always plenty of other options to choose from. In northern India there has been a noticeable shift in this regard from saris to lehengas.

Kota sarees- A Beautiful Handloom Indian saree to flaunt

Kota sarees are also known as kota doria, and sometimes spelled as kota doriya too. The name comes from Kota, Rajasthan where these sarees are traditionally made. These sarees are made at Muhammadabad Gohna in Mau, Uttar Pradesh as well as elsewhere surrounding the region. These sarees are normally made from silk and pure cotton. They also have khats – patterns that are shaped like squares. Kota sarees are also liked by people because of their chequered weaving style. They weigh quite little and the weaves are pretty fine as well.

History of these sarees

These sarees were earlier known as Masuria since it was in Mysore that they were woven. Rao Kishore Singh, a general of the Mughal army, brought these weavers to Shada, which happens to be a small town in Kota. This happened over two centuries – late 17th and early 18th. These sarees soon became famous as Kota-Masuria.

Style of weaving

Kota Doria sarees are woven on pit looms that have been used traditionally for these sarees. The weaving is done in such a way that a pattern of square checks is produced on the surface of the cloth. The checks are delicately wrought and are known colloquially as khats. After the initial weaving is done the sarees are smeared with rice paste and onion juice with plenty of care. This is done in the context of the yarn in order to make sure that it is strong enough to not need any extra finishing.

'Kota Doria' a famous saree from Rajasthan
‘Kota Doria’ a famous saree from Rajasthan

Industry

In Kota these sarees are popularly referred to as Masuria and outside the state they are known as Kota Doria. The term Doria means thread. One of the leading producers of these sarees is Rajasthan Handloom Development Corporation (RHDC). It has also made it possible to create silk sarees on the Masuria handlooms. Kota sarees stand out for their individuality that is heightened by the border patches as well as the bit of embroidery that you get to see on them. This is one reason why these sarees are so exclusive.

Top brands

These days, there are plenty of brands that are selling kota sarees. Some of the leading brands could be mentioned over here:

  • Bhelpuri
  • Bunkar
  • Chhabra 555
  • Jashn
  • pinkshink
  • Pavechas
  • Rajnandini
  • Sanjhi
  • Suvastram
  • Vogue Era

Prices of these sarees

The prices of these sarees – like any other product for that matter – depend on the class of saree as well as the service provider in question. They can be available in price categories such as INR 559 to INR 850, INR 874 to INR 1222, INR 1281 to INR 2099, and INR 2159 to INR 3937.

Colours

These sarees are available in all colours that you can think of. However, some of the most-popular ones that may be mentioned over here are as follows:

  • pink
  • beige
  • blue
  • orange
  • red
  • yellow
  • green
  • purple
  • peach
  • black
  • white
  • cream
  • maroon
  • magenta
  • turquoise blue
  • turquoise
  • sea green
  • off white
  • mustard
  • gold
  • brown
  • olive
  • multi-coloured
  • lavender
  • coral

Discounts on these sarees

You can also get discounts on these sarees. The discounts normally come in several categories such as 70 per cent, 60 per cent, 50 per cent, 40 per cent, 30 per cent, and 20 per cent. However, you need to keep a simple thing in mind. You will only be getting these discounts on the internet. There is very-little chance that you would get such discounts offline other than on special occasions.

Tips to Buy Readymade Blouse Online

Your million dollar saree would be a waste if you don’t pair it with a good blouse. You surely need accessories to go with the saree in order to look good but a blouse makes a saree complete. So when you are buying a saree, you should be equally considerate in buying a proper matching blouse as well. Now, going to the tailor for getting a stylish blouse stitched according to your imagination is quite a time taking affair. More so, when there are so many websites available where you can order them online! But what if something goes wrong and you don’t get what you had ordered. Here are some foolproof tips to buy readymade blouse online.

  1. When you buy readymade blouse online, you take your own measurements. So, first step is to be precise with your measurements. If you are towards skinny side, then it is advisable to keep a little margin because body size may change and if you outgrow the blouse someday, you can still fit in with some alterations. Take the measurement as per the online form of your website. Measure your bust, cup size, sleeves length, arm hole, length of back, depth of neck etc. Note them down properly in the respective sections and check for any typing error. Mention anything extra that you want in it, like hooks at back, zipper instead of hooks and so on.
  2. Every website as well as product brand has different size charts. So, instead of having an assumption that all are same, go through each size chart. Even when you are buying more than one blouse, check the size charts separately. It can be possible that what is size 32 for one brand is 34 for another. This way you can eliminate another aspect of mistake. Also, go through the customer feedback. If there is any discrepancy regarding size, someone or the other would mention it there.

    Tips to buy Readymade Blouse through Online
    Tips to buy Readymade Blouse through Online
  3. Don’t go by the colour and cut of the blouse. It is very important to check the fabric as well. When you are matching a blouse with a saree, fabric becomes an important parameter. For example, if you have chosen a heavy Benarasi saree for a wedding party, you cannot team it with a cotton blouse. It will be a complete wardrobe debacle. Rather you can pair a simple saree with heavy ornamented blouse but never the other way.
  4. No matter how much you try, there can be some or the other errors made on your part as well as on theirs. So, before you place your order, check for the refund or/and return policy. Usually there is a 7 to 15 calendar days to return the merchandise. Always retain the original packaging and receipt as proof of purchase. Most of the sellers send a bar code via email and arrange a pick up. Upon receiving your package they will either arrange another delivery for the product you originally ordered, or you will be requested to place another order. If you are no longer interested, they will initiate the refund procedure.
  5. When you are not sure about your measurements or not confident about taking the measurements yourself, it is better not to buy readymade blouse online. Rather take some time out to visit a good tailoring shop, browse through catalogues and select a good design. This way you can avoid a messy situation because a refund is made only with a valid point.

These are the few tips that can help you buy readymade blouse online seamlessly. Yet, just to be on the safe side, go through the reviews of the website. You will get to know everything about them, right from the product quality to shipping time. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Most Colorful Festival Pohela Boishakh of West Bengal 2017

Pohela or Poyla Boishakh marks the beginning of the Bengali New Year. Though from Durga Puja to Id, and Christmas to Book Fair, Bengalis have been known to have a big heart and be a part of all kind of festivities, be it religious or social. But Poyla Boishakh has a different charm. It is not observed with the extravaganza of Durga Puja, for sure, but everyone celebrate it in their own ways- subtle and cozy. Let us know some more things about the favorite festival of Bengali- Poyla Boishakh.

  1. Poila Boishakh falls on 14th or 15th April and is called Naba Barsho. Many regions in India observe New Year Day around this time. Baisakhi in Punjab, Maha Vishubha Pana Sankranti in Odisha, Vishu in Kerala, Rongali Bihu in Assam and the list goes on. In the morning, pujas are performed. Prabhat feri or morning processions are organized. Men, women, children and old people walk around their locality singing Tagore songs. Kids wear new clothes. Afternoon means wholesome lunch with all Bengali delicacies. Evening is left for some outdoor activities like meeting with relatives, friends and dear ones.
  2. Dressing is very important today on this particular day. Even those who do not get to wear authentic Bengali wear lovingly and zealously drape Bengali tant and handloom sarees, team it with custom jewelry that represent Bengali craft like terracotta, wooden beads etc. You will find men dressed in kurta-pyjama- a typical urban Bengali male wear. Thanks to rising fashion sense and social media hype, people have started taking Bengali festivals even more seriously. People dressed beautifully is truly a treat to eyes. Even the scorching sun fails to dampen the spirit of urban Bengali especially young crowd.

    Beautiful Tant Cotton Sarees for Summer Festive Wear
    Beautiful Tant Cotton Sarees for Summer Festive Wear
  3. Restaurants turn Bengali on these days. Elaborate Poyla Boishakh menu will keep you drooling just with its teasers. Advertisements are posted from 15 days with description of the items introduced especially for Poila Boishakh. Restaurants like Aheli, Bhajohori Manna, Oh Calcutta! and Sholo Aana Bangali compete to serve the finest but exclusive Bengali delicacies like Daab Chingri, aampora shorbot, paturi, chital machher muithha etc. Even in every household, there is a gastronomic explosion where every mother wants to serve the best for the family members. Mutton, hilsa, prawns etc are high on demand on this particular day.
  4. This is a very important day for the business. Bengali tradesmen and shopkeepers open new ledger on this day. They perform special puja of Lakshmi and Ganesh to mark this new beginning. This is called Haal Khata. Customers are invited and treated with gifts and snacks. On the day of Haal Khata, old books are closed and new ones are opened. Customers are expected to clear their debts and start afresh in the new book. Established big businessmen throw lavish party on this day. This custom was started by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1584 with an intention to ease taxation on tradesmen. The literal meaning of Haal Khata means updating ledger. Other than West Bengal, it is also celebrated in Tripura and Bangladesh.
  5. Bengalis are culturally inclined people, so music and dance programs are an integral part of Pohela Boishakh celebration. Rabindra Sangeet is an integral part of this festivity. Cultural functions are organized by societies, clubs and organizations where everyone performs. This has almost become a tradition. Though in big cities, celebrations revolve around visiting shopping malls and dining out. But there are still people, especially in suburbs and small towns of West Bengal for whom Pohela Boishakh and such cultural programs are synonymous.

Pohela Boishakh is undoubtedly a very vibrant festival and you don’t need to be a Bengali to feel it’s true essence. There is something in the air which makes everyone a part of it.

8 Awesome Ethnic Outfits and Trends to Rule This Summer

In summer, choosing the right kind of clothes is very important, especially when you are planning outdoors. Whether you are going to your regular college or office, or a special party, or for a weekend getaway, if you are not dressed comfortably, you will feel restless, let alone enjoy anything. Now, there is a dress code everywhere. You cannot go to your work or university in vest and shorts, just because you feel comfortable in them. Another important factor is, are you comfortable wearing these clothes? If no, you cannot wear them when you are on a weekend trip either. So, what to wear this summer which will look fashionable yet comfortable? Here is a list of 8 awesome ethnic outfits and trends to rule this summer. Follow them and prove that you don’t need to wear western outfits to be fashionable.

  1. First and foremost factor to feel comfortable is, choose your fabric carefully. Remember synthetic clothes will make you feel more uncomfortable. Cotton, silk, jute or khadi works best in this season. Cotton has always been a favourite of the designers. This summer you can choose a sleeveless top of cotton to pair with long flowing skirt that looks like a ghagra. Pick up a kalamkari print top. It is quite in fashion; dyed with vegetable colours, they are eco friendly as well. This is an apt dress as regular wear in scorching summer.
  2. Summer means a series of wedding invitation. We keep wondering how can someone choose this time of the year to get married and feel pity especially for the bride who has to put up with heavy bridal wear, jewellery and makeup with a smile on face. But you can attend the party and enjoy it when you have dressed accordingly. Simple linen saree with border and pallu work with designer blouse is an easy option. Bengali Dhakai saree with minimal makeup and simple jewellery can also nail a perfect wedding party look. As for men, khadi or simple silk kurta can be magical. Do not go for tussar or heavily embroidered ones. With sweat plops, you would not be a pleasant sight.

    Pure cotton Sambalpuri Pasapalli Saree and Salwar
    Pure cotton Sambalpuri Pasapalli Saree and Salwar
  3. Choose sheer white linen kurti and team it up with matching cotton leggings, trousers or even churidar. A stroll can be a fashionable accessory with it as well as a means to protect your hair and face from dust and sun.
  4. For formal occasions, do not go for pure or raw silk. They stick to your body. Rather you can go for silk blends like butter silk or ghicha silk. They are light and have flowing texture. These fabrics are very much in fashion, so you will not look out of place either. You can choose saree or even better, if you take a dupatta of this fabric and wear it with cotton, linen or khadi salwar suit.
  5. For college going generation, cotton kurti with printed palazzo pants are both comfortable and stylish. As they put it, being “carefully careless” is and has always been “in”.
  6. Be careful while choosing colours. Pastel shades are comfortable in summer. When you are wearing linen, select shades like nude, pink, pale blue, beige etc. They are cool colours and cause less sweating.
  7. Stay away from bold motifs. Give in to floral as well as our very own kalamkari. You will feel the difference in your skin.
  8. And finally one fashion tip. When attending a wedding party this season, if you are not comfortable, do not go for lehenga or heavy saree, no matter how close you are to the bride or the groom. Go for salwar suit or simple sarees in khadi or crepe. This will spare the unnecessary volume which makes the wearer uncomfortable in sultry evenings.

8 Super Cute Outfits Worn by Great Child Actor Harshali Malhotra

Post the success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, the blockbuster Hindi movie, India saw a new star rise in the horizon. It is Harshali Malhotra aka Munni, a nine-year old girl who took our breath away with her amazing acting skills, who never looked uncomfortable even in one frame while sharing the screen with stalwarts like Salman Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Kareena Kapoor Khan. Here are some super cute outfits worn by this little angel on different occasions.

  1. A face as innocent as this is an absolute delight to the designer and the dresser and it reflects in all her public appearances. For example, the red frock in which Harshali graced the Star Screen Awards event looks tailor made for her. Right hairdo and matching accessories like rose ring and red shoes gave her a look apt for her age. When children dress and make up like adults, it is an injustice to the nature. But Harshali in her red dress looked like a little diva, which she indeed is.
  2. For Lux Zee Cine Awards, her look was away from those like Disney princesses. She wore a chequered mini pleated skirt with a frilled white blouse of lace work. She teamed her outfit with a long matted brown boots and left her untied with adorable hair pins on right side. When she posed with the trophy, she looked every inch a professional to the core.
  3. If you ever wonder about the existence of angels in real life, take a look at ITA Awards events segments where little Harshali is featured. She attended the award function in a simple white frock with matching white shoes and her hair set with a simple hair band. Her simplicity is a treat to eyes and will re-establish your faith on the concept of angels.

    Cute Child Actor Harshali Malhotra
    Cute Child Actor Harshali Malhotra
  4. Though on all her public appearances, she stole the limelight from the stars, but her appearance in Britannia Filmfare Awards night, she was indeed the show stopper. She looked absolutely adorable in a peach off shoulder gown. With a tiara and matching pair of shoes, it seemed that she had come straight out of the pages of fairy tales.
  5. Harshali made it quite clear that she is not all sweet and sugar coated but spicy and naughty too on Sansui Stardust Awards event where she wore a black short dress. Little rockstar Harshali in little black dress with a black headgear and short black boots gave everyone present there as well as watching her on television set a serious fashion goal that night.
  6. When she appeared for the Big Star Entertainment Awards event in a pink frilly frock with a golden bow at waist and a frilled hat with matching golden belles, she looked like Cindrella all set to take prince under her spell of charm. Her sheepish smile on face, yet composed attitude was silently screaming that a diva has born in Bollywood.
  7. Her body language in Sony Guild awards event in a floral maxi gown with a yoke of floral prints and side-swept hair was that of a debutant artist who was now convinced of stardom. With a flower ring in middle finger she gave her fashion statement.
  8. Apart from these formal black-tie events, Harshali Malhotra has been spotted in different locations on and off the shoots. She looked super cute, smart and her age in pretty pink frocks, rompers and co-ord trousers, just like any little girl will dress. On all the occasions, she wore matching gladiator shoes, petty rings, flower crowns and clips. And everywhere she was pictured in any dress, she has convinced us that she is here to stay and this is her well deserved success.

Rock This Ugadi Festival with These Traditional Ikat Sarees

Thirteen festivals in twelve months give us, the women, a good reason to buy and flaunt new sarees. And why not, when the rich and varied heritage of India gives us a multitude of options in terms of sarees! Have you ever thought how many kinds of sarees are found in all over India? You can bet that you don’t own more than 1%-2% of them. There is no dearth of designer sarees and each of them looks exclusive and fashionable. But appeal of Indian traditional sarees does not need any introduction. Ikat is one such variety. And since Ugadi, the new year of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka and spring festival in Maharashtra, is not far away, why not rock this Ugadi festival with these traditional Ikat sarees.

  1. With uttering the word Ikat, first image that pops up in our mind, is that of a box checked saree in maroon, black and white. This is the ultimate traditional Ikat saree. You will get this design in both cotton and silk. If you do not belong to Andhra, Telengana or Maharashtra and have been invited for Ugadi festival, you can wear this saree as a mark of solidarity. Your thoughtfulness as well as style would be appreciated by one and all.
  2. One of the most popular colour combination in Ikat sarees is blue and red. The typical motif which is the signature of this kind of saree is there all over the body and pallu. Body of the saree is in blue while border and pallu is red or maroon with golden thread work as well. This can be worn for wedding or other traditional parties. You can enjoy the limelight because the woven sarees, though look same due to their patterns, but are exclusive. It is like a chef making sweets where each one looks and tastes same but requires exclusive and absolute attention.

    Traditional Ikat Sarees for Ugadi Festival
    Famous Ugadi Festival
  3. When you are celebrating Ugadi as your main festival, what you wear should be the best. After all, you are beckoning a new start. So, here is a special saree for the special day- a red and golden silk saree. The entire saree is red with small cream motifs all over the body while the border is of solid tissue zari. The pallu is gorgeous red with golden stripes and temple patterns. When you team this saree with traditional gold jewellery, you are surely going to be the show stopper.
  4. For some casual Ugadi get together, cotton Ikat sarees make a perfect wear. This time of the year is quite hot in these regions. So pick up a lavender colour saree with small Raj Kot designs all over the body and simple off white and baby pink border and pallu. This saree is in one word comfort with style.
  5. Try black Ikat with yellow and red pallu. It is simplicity at its best. The all over black body has sparse off white dots within faint off white checks. There is no border. But the pallu is in solid yellow with big bold red square within. Undoubtedly, this saree is simple, stylish and comfortable. When you are holding veneration for Ugadi, you must wear something comfortable to carry it off till end.

So, these were five best Ikat sarees, both in silk and cotton. If you still don’t have one in your collection, this is the right time. No matter you are from Andhra region or not, you can always wear the signature saree of the region to celebrate Ugadi. Isn’t this is a great excuse to add another traditional Indian saree in your exclusive collection.