Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Snapshot: More sarees, more stories

I have not done a saree post for sometime now. So today's post is a long one. Bear with me!!!


When one is on her feet for the whole day, the mind stops working after a while because of sheer tiredness. When you try to rest, the body is inert but the mind is jumping all over. Such a vicious cycle.

break it or
wrap it around you
the choice is yours
myriad moods, 
a few unchartered 
yet symbolic 

I chose to forge ahead
rest be sent to sleep

What better way to get around it? By draping a mustard yellow handloom cotton saree with a purple handloom blouse, both from Nalli. Saree was gifted to my mom by my youngest SIL. Now mine. Un-starched. Soft. Body hugging. Blouse is newly tailored. 

Accessorized with Silver danglers from Fab India.What more do I need?


We all have something in our wardrobe which never sees the light of the day. It is a fact that I have many sarees that I have forgotten all about. And suddenly they merge out of the closet. How and why? Because the sarees have decided that they have to worn on that particular day. 

This saree of mine was a gift from my eldest SIL, Sujata Tripathy many years back. It is cotton silk handloom and looks like ikat to me. The purists will tell me more. It is half and half. Seems it has a double pallu. Very unusual. Double shaded with green and brown with a beautiful sheen. I loved it when I got it. I loved it when I draped it today with a brown embroidered khadi blouse. (BTW, I have lost weight and the blouse is loose). 


I and mom decided to go to a Weavers Exhibition in Aga Khan Hall, near Mandi house. I ended up buying more stuff than I wanted.I bought a Kanjeevaram,an Uppada, a Dhakai Jamdaani, an Indigo Chanderi and a bamboo saree. I also bought a few kantha blouses. I would have bought more but mom said I ought leave something for Dussehra/Diwali shopping!!

My mom is very knowledgeable about handloom weaves. She can recognize easily the difference between handloom and powerloom products. I wasn't aware of that! 

I am draping a greyish-mustardish Kargil saree and mom is draping a Passapali. Both new and without fall. I paired with a red Ikat blouse. My mom is draping a Sambalpuri Cotton. 


I don't recall anything about this saree except for that it was gifted by someone. It is from Maharashtra. A black cotton saree with brown checks. The border is bright and look like Silk. It seems to be a handloom as it has those tiny holes and imperfections but I am not sure. I draped it with an off white blouse with golden border on the sleeves. Next time I plan to wear a Kalamkari blouse with it.


It was some 20 years back. I was gifted an orange Organdie saree with shadow work. I loved that saree even though it had a mind of its own. It did not hug my body and stayed away as much it could. 

One day I set my mind to embroider a saree just like that. Bought the material in pinkish purple along with the embroidery threads and made my younger brother sketch the design on the raw saree. I was all set to do heavy thread work. I did the border, the anchal and lost interest half way through. I forced myself to do the coloured motifs so as to make the saree wearable. I even stitched an Sambalpuri Ikat blouse for it. I draped that saree many many times. One fine day, I told my mom to give it away. That was 10 years ago.

Recently, I was looking out for sarees to drape for the pact and mom gave this back to me. She hadn't given it away as she remembered how I had worked hard for it. I fell in love with it again. 

I draped it with a newly stitched Sambalpuri Ikat blouse, coincidentally the same shade as before. I accessorized it with an Amethyst necklace bought from some Emporium. 


I had bought this very light lemon cotton saree with Luknowi shadow work, for my mom some 12 years back. She draped it only once, and gave it back to me. I have draped it on and off. With a different blouse each time.

There is a story behind this saree but that is for my mom to tell, so I will leave it for now.....


A repeat for the pact but totally new in school. I bought this block printed Kalamkari from Nalli. Paired it with a handloom blouse from Andhra Emporium. My accessories are my usual platinum studs/earrings from Tanishq and Silver bangles from Cottage Emporium.

I was also wearing stone studded anklets but those were not visible to anyone.


Garden Vareli orange/rust chiffon with a embroidered Khadi blouse. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

iRead Book Tours: Welcome, Reluctant Stranger! by E Journey

 “In the conventional storyline, I’m supposed to be the one slaying dragons to save you, the princess in distress. So, you see, I feel odd being the rescued.” 

 Welcome, Reluctant Stranger! (Book 3) by E Journey

Book Description:

Frantic flight, peaceful life. Act of treason on an island country. Cauldron of warring emotions. Exotic beauty, ace with a gun. Hunk with gifts for mockery and cooking.

Nine-year-old Leilani and her family mysteriously flee the island country of Costa Mora, leaving her father. Years later, her peaceful solitary life in California ends when she rescues Justin Halverson from thugs and she learns a devastating truth about her father. As she agonizes over her father, Justin comforts her, and they’re drawn closer together.

With Justin, she returns to her birthplace to get her father quietly out. There, she reconnects with her past, but can she forgive her father and accept him for who he is? Can she finally be at peace with who she is? Welcome, Reluctant Stranger interweaves a love story into a tale of past political intrigue and Leilani’s inner journey, accepting her past.   


Such a powerful novel about love, healing and redemption. Leilani's past is always with her even though she leads a fairly peaceful life. She might be helping others but she can't come into terms with who she really is. 

When she rescues Justin from being beaten up, everything comes into head. She knows that she has to face her past to save herself. And goes back to Costa Mora, looking for hr father. JUstin too is a broken man, lost and trying to find himself.

This novel has it all. Political turmoil, inner conflicts, romance and the healing that has to come from within, not from any therapy.

It made a good reading, flowed well and grew into me....

Friday, September 18, 2015

iRead Book Tours: Hello Agnieszka by E Journey

Hello Agnieszka by E Journey

Short Synopsis
A passion for music. Her oldest son’s suicide attempt forces Agnieszka to reveal a past she has kept from her children. A young Agnieszka discovers a passion for music upon hearing her grand-aunt Jola, a concert pianist in Poland, give a recital. Jola hones her talent and feeds her dreams of becoming a concert pianist.
Shattered dreams. But real-world problems, thorny relations with a mother tied to her roots and betrayal by lusty Aunt Jola a shatter her dreams.
A 70s love story. Young Agnieszka finds love that renews her hopes for happiness. Sadly, it ends, cut short by forces outside anyone's control. Sustained by music and memories of her first love, Agnieszka grows and gets a second chance at happiness. 


Many layered writing, filled with emotions, makes for good writing. The characters come out alive on the pages and evoke strong emotions for the reader too. It moves back and forth between present and past effortlessly. Grips the reader with its plot and the pace is good.

Characters are very realistic. Agnieszka is a very strong woman and a mother who can go to any length for her children. The story is replete wit history oof her life and the consequences of that. Such a rich and deep novel.

I loved reading it. It opened my eyes at many levels...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

iRead Book Tours: Hello, My Love by E Journey

This book is a modern slant of a Jane Austen novel. Elise is a law student, bright, beautiful and very focused. She meets Greg in one of the dinner parties thrown by her parents. They keep meeting on and off. Initially Elise keeps her distance but slowly she likes Greg and looks forward to meet him. Greg is engaged but that does not stop him from hankering after Elise.

One year after after their meeting, just two days before his wedding, they end up spending a night together. Lori, his fiancee, is bent on revenge and that tears them apart. They are left questioning themselves, the way they behaved.

They meet again after a couple of years, Greg is as enamored with Elise as before but accident happens. Is it Lori again, who is hell bent on destroying them? 

This book has that suspense element, which keeps us hooked. I liked the way the romance developed, the characters developed. 

 I loved the romance with that right element of whodunit!!