Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Indian Sari

A sari or saree or shari is a female garment in the Indian subcontinent. A sari is a strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from four to nine metres in length that is draped over the body in various styles. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with one end then draped over the shoulder baring the midriff. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat (pavada/pavadai in the south, and shaya in eastern India), with a blouse known as a choli or ravika forming the upper garment. The choli has short sleeves and a low neck and is usually cropped, and as such is particularly well-suited for wear in the sultry South Asian summers. Cholis may be "backless" or of a halter neck style. These are usually more dressy with a lot of embellishments such as mirrors or embroidery and may be worn on special occasions. Women in the armed forces, when wearing a sari uniform, don a half-sleeve shirt tucked in at the waist. The saree was born in both South and North India and is now a symbol of india.

The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with the loose end of the drape worn over the shoulder, baring the stomach. However, the sari can be draped in several different styles, though some styles do require a sari of a particular length or form. The French cultural anthropologist and sari researcher, Chantal Boulanger, categorizes sari drapes in the following families:
Nivi – styles originally worn in Andhra Pradesh; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kaccha nivi, where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. This allows free movement while covering the legs.

Bengali and Oriya style.

Gujarati – this style differs from the nivi only in the manner that the loose end is handled: in this style, the loose end is draped over the right shoulder rather than the left, and is also draped back-to-front rather than the other way around.

Maharashtrian/kashta; This drape (front and back) is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti. The center of the sari (held lengthwise) is placed at the center back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, then the two ends are wrapped around the legs. When worn as a sari, an extra-long cloth is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. They are primarily worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Dravidian – sari drapes worn in Tamil Nadu; many feature a pinkosu, or pleated rosette, at the waist.

Madisaara style – This drape is typical of Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Kodagu style – This drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagu district of Karnataka. In this style, the pleats are created in the rear, instead of the front. The loose end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder, and is pinned to the rest of the sari.

Gond – sari styles found in many parts of Central India. The cloth is first draped over the left shoulder, then arranged to cover the body. the two-piece sari, or mundum neryathum, worn in Kerala. Usually made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or colored stripes and/or borders.

tribal styles – often secured by tying them firmly across the chest, covering the breasts.

The nivi drape starts with one end of the sari tucked into the waistband of the petticoat. The cloth is wrapped around the lower body once, then hand-gathered into even pleats just below the navel. The pleats are also tucked into the waistband of the petticoat. They create a graceful, decorative effect which poets have likened to the petals of a flower.

After one more turn around the waist, the loose end is draped over the shoulder. The loose end is called the pallu or pallav. It is draped diagonally in front of the torso. It is worn across the right hip to over the left shoulder, partly baring the midriff. The navel can be revealed or concealed by the wearer by adjusting the pallu, depending on the social setting in which the sari is being worn. The long end of the pallu hanging from the back of the shoulder is often intricately decorated. The pallav may either be left hanging freely,tucked in at the waist, used to cover the head, or just used to cover the neck, by draping it across the right shoulder as well. Some nivi styles are worn with the pallu draped from the back towards the front.

The Nivi saree was popularised through the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. by modifying the south indian saree called mundum neriyathum. In one of his painting the Indian subcontinent was shown as a mother wearing a flowing nivi saree.


"Patiala Salwar"

A Patiala salwar (also called a pattian walee salwar) is a type of female trousers which has its roots in Patiala City in the Northern region of Punjab state in India. The King of Patiala in earlier times had its Royal dress as Patiala Salwar. The Patiala Salwar has a close resemblance to the pathani Suit which has similar loose lowers as salwars and long knee length top know as Kameez. Over the decade the dress now is not worn by men but has classically transformed itself with new cuts and styling into women's Patiala Salwar.

The reason why the patiala dress is preferred by most of the women of punjab and other regions of Northern India is its comfortability and durability in summers. Since the patiala salwar is very loose and stitched with pleats its a very comfortable outfit to wear. Its distinguishing characteristic is folds of cloth stitched together that meet at the bottom. Patiala salwars require double the length of material to get stitched. The fall of the pleats of the Patiala Salwar is such that it gives a beautiful draping effect.

Patiala salwar with lots of pleats is also referred to as Patiala "Shahi" salwar since it was worn by the shahi (royal) people of Patiala city in state of Punjab.


Patiala shahi salwar retains its popularity


It is common knowledge through the length and the breadth of the state that the erstwhile principality of Patiala has come to symbolise three things — the Patiala peg, the Patiala pugri and the Patiala shahi salwar. While the Patiala peg has been virtually immortalised by the lovers of Bacchus the nation over , the Patiala pugri has seen a drastic decline in its popularity. And the `Patiala shahi` salwar ? No doubt it has retained its popularity but somewhere along the line it has also earned the distinction of being one attire that has been written about more than it has been worn.

What is the fascination with this kind of salwar? Well , apart from the fact that it is a beautiful ensemble the other factor is that over the years it has earned a ‘royal’ reputation for itself, worn as it was in the yesteryears by members of the royal family alone. The reason being the large amount of cloth required to make the heavily pleated salwar . In the olden times only noblewomen could afford to buy the seven metres of cloth needed to make a suit sporting a Patiala salwar. Hence the ‘shahi’ tag to the garb.

The tradition has continued somewhat with the salwar being the firm favourite of the ‘Sardari Grahak’ which encompasses a wide circle of `old` landed Jat Sikh families of the state. However, the salwar is very popular among the general masses, too, who have not shunned it in favour of various other types of salwars popular nowadays. In these times of fast changing fashion trends this ‘shahi’ salwar has managed to hold its own. To get an idea of the popularity the Patialashahi salwar enjoys among the fair species, a visit to the ‘Darjiya Wali gali’ in the old city is enough.
The tailors of this gali specialise in stitching this kind of salwar and owing to the heavy rush of work the usual time period for the delivery of a suit is a week. However, such is their skill that customers are willing to wait for the stipulated time instead of going elsewhere to get their suits stitched. Most of these tailors have been `darjis` for generations and their forefathers used to sit and stitch cloths in these very alleys in the times gone by.

The most sought after shop here is Daleep Tailors where a celebrated tailor of the city the late Master Daleep Singh, once used to work. He had the honour of draping the Rajmata of the Phulkian dynasty, Maharani Mohinder Kaur, in the late fifties, besides President Giani Zail Singh`s better half, Bibi Pradhan Kaur. Though his son Gurinder Pal Singh can no longer boast of any ‘royal’ client, his customers include many from the rich and famous list of the region. He also keeps readymade moderately priced Patiala salwars of all hues for the general public \have proved to be a big hit with the young girls of the city.

What sets this salwar apart from the regular salwar is the style of cutting essential to it. Whereas the normal salwar is cut after the cloth length is folded into half , the Patiala salwar is cut after spreading open the whole ‘arz’ or ‘panna’ of the cloth. This salwar uses nearly 4.5 to 5 metres of cloth in contrast to the mere 2.5 metres required for the regular salwar.

The resultant salwar has fold upon fold of cloth in neat layers going right upto the upper thighs.
The salwar continues to be cut in the old style albeit with one major difference, its enormous ‘Ghera’ (circumference) has been replaced by the smaller ‘belt’ which holds the pleats together at the top. The Patialashahi, though beautiful to behold, carried an enormous amount of weight with it owing to the accumulation of numerous folds around the waist when tied. Many a royal waistline had ached with the burden before being relieved by the new ‘avataar’ of the salwar in the late fifties. The popularity of the salwar increased manifold after the ‘creator’ of the modern Patialashahi salwar, Master Santokh Singh, introduced the `belt` at the top and even a drastically changed fashion scene has failed to dent its popularity.

- Written by Gurvinder Kaur

Dad beat mom, burnt me with ciggies: Pooja's sis

Shubhra, Pantaloons Femina Miss India World Pooja Chopra’s elder sister, remembers their mother sleeping hungry, tying a dupatta around her stomach, after feeding her daughters. Now a mother to a daughter herself, she believes that girls are the best.

Shubhra Mendonca, Pooja Chopra's older sister, is playing with her daughter in her home in Mumbai. Her husband, Agnelo, a merchant naval officer, is away on the ship. "I’m so thrilled; I feel like I myself have achieved something," she chirps.

While Pooja was a baby who remembers nothing of her father's brutality towards her mother, Shubhra, who was seven when her mother walked out, remembers it all too clearly. "He used to hammer my mother... When I used to try to save her, he would burn out his cigarette on my hands." The reason she remembers, Shubhra says, is because she still has the burn scars. "My father was a commander in the Indian Navy. Later, when we left, we heard that he had taken voluntary retirement and joined the Merchant Navy and was a captain there. At that point his salary was no less than a lakh of rupees — and I'm talking 20 years ago. I thought once, when I had come to the Taj in Mumbai for some training, that I glimpsed him somewhere, but I couldn't be sure and I put it out of my head." Shubhra was in charge of Pooja's studies. She proudly says, “Her friends would be scared to come home when I was there because I was very particular about her studies. She was a brilliant child. She broke a 25-year-old record at St Thomas Academy — nobody had ever scored such high marks. In Mount Carmel, she was head girl." Shubhra's childhood was not much fun, "While the other children played, I worked. I would wake up each morning and distribute newspapers.” Now a mother to a girl child herself, she says, “I want to be the kind of mother my mother was to us. I remember her giving us all the food in the house — we never slept hungry — and tying a dupatta around her stomach. She would say 'my stomach is paining', but I knew." Now a stay-at-home mom, with an adoring husband who says he is father to Pooja too, she says, "I want to give my daughter everything I never had in life and more." "Today, because she is in this position, people are coming to know. But otherwise this is the suffering women go through. I can tell you today — girls are the best. Only a girl child can have the courage to stand up and have the determination to make her mother proud."

Source: Femina

How To Make Hair Stronger - Get Longer Stronger Hair Fast


Great hair is a thing of beauty and something to be proud of. It can make or break a person’s look. Longer stronger hair is the call of the day and how to make hair stronger is one of the foremost things on many people’s minds. Especially true for people who are involved in face-to-face careers or who just want to look good all the time.
A lot of us don’t want to spend so much on fabulous hair – that could expensive however. Luckily, thanks to the net, it’s easy to find natural methods to longer stronger hair that are easy on the wallet.

“Get a Haircut”
There are a lot of ways to make your hair longer and stronger, but getting a haircut might be one of those counterproductive measures but I find it’s definitely worth it. More often than not, especially for extra busy people, we end up with damaged hair ends.
I know I end up with them more often than not. Trimming them makes sure that there are no weak links when they finally grow out. Of course, it may slow down the overall process and speed of growth, but you’ll get quality hair out of it.

“Be Healthy”
Your overall health lends helps out your hair too. Have a great diet, exercise – anything that basically makes you healthier and lends itself to a longer life is pretty much part of any how to make hair stronger guide.
Various vitamins that help your body function smoother and with greater ease also help your body grow stronger hair. Iron and greens – that means vegetables for all those dedicated carnivores out there – are great things to eat to enhance hair growth.
Stress inhibits hair growth as well as muscle growth. That means less coffee and sodas, as they contain caffeine, a stressor.

“The Natural World”
Well, there’s no radioactive magic or super spell that will actually make your hair grow longer but what you could definitely do is to set up the deck so you end up stimulating hair.
Speaking of natural hair, a good way to make sure you have longer stronger hair is to take care of it through shampoo and conditioning it regularly.
Great hair is part of a great look. Paying attention to the way your hair is styled tells people that you care about your appearance - which could make an awkward social interaction into a thoroughly enjoyable one. Nothing like giving a complement with your gorgeous hair the moment you enter a room. Any “how to make your hair stronger” guide has this as its final result.



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