Diwali 2016: In a Floor Length Floral Indian Gown

My earliest memory (hazy of course) of Diwali is at my maternal grandparents’ home in India. I distinctly remember being in a room, off the main verandah in their house, with all my cousins.  All us girls and boys, of a similar tender age, had devised a game where we were jumping off the main bed onto a smaller bed, which had been placed in front of it. Directly in front of this small bed was a water cooler embedded into the facing wall.  A distinct feature of this water cooler was that it had large handles sticking out of the front to help move the vents in different directions. So there we are – taking turns to jump from one bed to another free-standing bed…before I go any further with this story, a few clarifications may be in order:

1) Where were all the grownups?  I believe they were celebrating Diwali, like many Punjabi families, by playing cards in the main living room. This was before the days when entire generations had fallen prey to perpetual parental guilt and children could be left unsupervised to play among themselves in their own homes.

2) Why were we playing this silly game? – Well, these were also the days before the internet and bored children used their imagination to come up with games that could be potentially dangerous while playing together (yes those were perilous times we lived in!) Luckily,  given a similar situation now, all the children would be glued to their handheld devices, all movement would have seized and hence all physical danger averted.

To continue – as you may have guessed, running and jumping, pushing and shoving, we had worked ourselves up into a frenzied bundle of energy.  Soon enough, one of my cousins jumped onto the smaller bed, the bed moved and he was thrust forward towards the handle jutting out of the cooler.  The handle slashed his head, he was bleeding profusely and in turn, we were bawling loudly.  The adults were duly summoned and pandemonium ensued.  It was Diwali night, doctors were contacted on big red dial phones and he was quickly whisked into a car and taken to hospital.  We were all given a stern talking to and felt terrible about our poor cousin brother’s head.  We waited and eventually the big red dial phone rang again and thank the Gods, he was going to be OK.  He had required stitches but he was doing well and they would all be home soon.  The hospital party returned, dinner was served and soon the shock dissipated into the mountain of delicious food set before us.  Everyone ate, made merry and the children were finally put to bed so that serious ‘teen pati’ could be resumed.

Is this meant to be a Halloween story or a Diwali one?  No, I do not have my stories mixed up and there is a Diwali message here.  The point of this story is that despite the mishap, I have the fondest memories of  that childhood Diwali imprinted in my mind. It is that kind of Diwali I wish for all of us –  a Diwali filled with love and loved ones, heaps of laughter, lots of fun and a little bit of chaos. I hope that you create Diwali memories that remain with you long after 2016 has passed and enrich your life in the way only truly happy moments can.

During my recent trip to Delhi, I had a chance to go to Shapur Jat , an area I have heard much about but not had the chance to visit before.  I loved the various shops that dot the area and it is a great shopping destination for a determined shopper. I found this beautiful floral floor-length outfit at a shop called Kalista. The show-stopping print and elegant cut were right up my alley and I decided to add it to my collection as I did not own anything quite like it.

I hope you like this outfit as much as I do and thank you very much for reading my blog.  Here’s wishing you and your families a fabulous Diwali!

(Clothes and Accessories: Outfit – Kalista (https://www.facebook.com/kalistafashions/) , Bracelet and Rings – Isharya, Earrings – Fab India, Sandals – Dune)

 

 

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Channeling My Inner Movie Star: In A Bold Floral Maxi Dress

Happy Tuesday everyone! Every once in a while, I am drawn to clothes that are ‘larger than life’. I think a large part of the attraction is the over the top, almost theatrical element that dominates such outfits.  It could be the print, the cut and fall of the outfit or just the over all ‘aura’ of the piece that makes the garment stand out in a crowd of others. These kind of clothes lend themselves perfectly to the quote – ‘Life’s too short to wear boring clothes’ (the quote is attributed to Cushnie et Ochs – an American fashion house).

This ‘maximum’ maxi dress definitely falls into this category of clothing for me. The large black and yellow floral print reminded me of a 1970’s chiffon sari print at first glance. The falling ruffled shoulders, the criss-cross back tie and the flared skirt combine to make it a ‘statement dress’ in the true sense of the word.

This dress is a ‘bit over the top’ and herein lies its charm! It reminded me a bit of a movie star dress and therefore, instead of styling it to take it down a notch, I thought it best not to back down. Sometimes, ‘more is more’ and hence, I forged ahead and paired it with statement black heels, dangling earrings, a gold cuff, a black crocodile clutch and red lipstick.

Given the movie star vibe and my current location in Los Angeles, I decided to have some fun with this dress. It seemed the ideal dress to indulge in some ‘make belief lookbooking’, so I added a ‘statement’ convertible to the dress and drove around taking pictures and getting some odd looks from passersby.

For the sake of clarity, I must stress that I do not normally drive around Los Angeles in a Mercedes convertible, wearing billowing bold floral dresses and  fierce high heels (OK only when I am having lunch with a producer!) However, I must admit I had great fun doing this and I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – ASOS, Earrings – H&M, Shoes – Zara, Clutch – Ted Baker)

Floral Cold Shoulder Blouse: With A Black Wrap Shirt

I met one of my oldest and dearest friends, M, during freshman year at university. I had signed up for a 7:00 AM chemistry lab and on the first day of class, I was in the elevator going up.  When it arrived at my floor and the door opened, a girl was standing there waiting to get in. Before I could exit, she asked me if I was there for the chemistry lab – I said yes and she informed me it had been cancelled. Being the diligent student that I was at the start of every term (diligence that would swiftly disappear as the term progressed), I said I would like to check for myself.  She responded, ‘I will come with you to check”! So off we trotted to the lab room and sure enough there was a sign up stating that the lab had been cancelled for the day.  “When is your next class?”, she asked. “Not for three hours!”, I said.  “Want to go get some breakfast?”, she offered.  Having weighed my options of things to do at 7:00 in the morning on campus, I said yes.  We have been inseparable ever since and breakfast is always our favorite meal together!

The point of this story is that M knows me very well and often observes things about me that I am not aware of, as good friends do.  One fine day she pointed out that if a piece of clothing has flowers on it – I would buy it! I was a bit surprised and said I had never noticed that I was particularly drawn to florals.  She laughed and informed me that I had very ‘girly’ taste and was always buying flowery stuff.  I didn’t really buy into her analysis and promptly informed her that I had very diverse clothing tastes. Years later, one day my sister-in-law came home with a lovely dress for me.  She handed it to me and said, “When I saw this floral flowy dress I knew I had to get it – it was so you! Seems like M had been proven right and I had to accept- I have always been very drawn to florals.

Coming to this outfit, I am loving the ‘cold shoulder’ trend that it all the rage these days. The print on this blouse reminded me of an old oil painting as well as the English countryside in the summer. Given my new resolve to wear more skirts, I have paired it with a simple black wrap skirt.

Thank you so much for reading and have a great Thursday!

(Clothes and Accessories: Floral blouse – River Island, Skirt – New Look, Bracelets – Isharya, Shoes – ASOS)

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