“Ricky is a dancer and I make funny videos on instagram. I want to make people happy and that’s what I love to do. We were both born in October and we both love Lily Allen & Adam Levine.”
—Vanlalhmangaihi & Ricky | Aizawl, February 2017.
Nijhum Nj Patra, 23. Fashion Model/Student…loves her blue sapphire hero cycle that now has a basket in front; prefers street shopping to mall shopping; has been listening to a lot of Adele; loves electro progressive; is reading The Collector; loves all animated films-Despicable Me & Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs are her favourites; is in her final year of studying fashion at NIFT Bombay; dislikes people making her wait; is obsessed with the color green…and loves the smell of cocoa butter.
As a kid I was always leading-was the march past band leader, team captain of kho-kho/kabaddi teams..but really bad at basketball. I grew up in Duliajan in Assam..studied at St. Mary’s, Guwahati then moved to Bishop Cotton, Bangalore for final school years. My family grew up all scattered-my dad was in some other city, and my sister in another; we’d meet in 6 months.
It was in 11th standard. I did this part-time job for some Aero India or Air-India Expo? I just had to stand and welcome people at the expo. I didn’t get paid much.
First fashion week.
LFW is the first time I’m doing something really big. I came through auditions..there were about 120 girls and being one of the selected few was a big boost. My dad came for my first show here and he was gleaming with pride. I could see it on his face.
What do you intend to do with your LFW earnings?
I plan to send my parents on a trip. My mom has been telling me about how beautiful Kashmir is. I’m not sure if it’d be safe to send them there…so maybe I’d pay them to come visit me. But this entire first salary goes to them.
“Most I ever spent was on these Ed hardy shoes..they’re white..with lace tie-ups & fur in front..like white panther on my feet. And I’ve put neon colored laces on them. Bought them for 18,000! Cheapest would be 100 bucks chappals from Linking Road.”
On a non-working day
I sleep! Or finish the pending college assignments.
Designer or a model?
I eventually want to be a fashion designer…but doing fashion weeks is a lot of fun. You get to know what happens backstage..how designers, stylists, choreographers, models, and all other crew work together. It’s a big learning process. I love the spotlight..& clothes..& transforming myself in to the clothes…playing the part that I’m expected to play. Maybe I’d do modeling for a few years till the face & body stay….and then something else..
Modeling is what I love doing but I think I would make a better designer. The collection I loved the most was Ruchika Sachdeva‘s Bodice. I’d love to own a piece from it.
I don’t work out or follow a beauty regime as such. This is where the grooming part comes. I probably need to start doing that.
I’ve been staying alone for 1 and half years and I love my space. Best thing about staying alone is you can roam around naked in the house…and not really worry about the mess either..as the mess is your own.
Food is brilliant. Traveling is a pain…since I stay in Kharghar. Street shopping is great too but I think it’s better in Delhi. Parties and music is good here..but not as good as Bangalore…but then Bangalore shuts by 11. I feel Bombay is the place to be if you want to learn something. This is where it all happens!
Hate the unexpected rains. Then there is this particular bombay smell – smell of fish and filth. Hate that!
Can you smell it now?
No. Now I can only smell hairspray.
Standing photos taken at Hyatt during LFW’11.
Oona(The Billet Doux)(update:she discontinued her blog), never eats breakfast because she gets up too late, starts her day with chips & chocolate tart from her college canteen; reads travel magazines and fashion blogs; hates rotis and green vegetables; misses her Swedish boyfriend, and the thunderstorms back in Assam; does not have an opinion about Chuck Palahniuk, likes dubstep, loves Abbey Lee Kershaw and anything Céline.
Photographed in Delhi.
Wandering. Wondering. Forgetting. Lost. I’m the transition. Paused. Gripped with desolation. Being watched. Watching. I’m the dream. The scooters laughed. The cars coughed. Like a song on repeat. Hearing, but not listening. In chorus the cacophonies seemed to say Have A Nice Day. Buzzing. Changing. Adapting. Staring…into the future..an abyss. I’m the street.
Man photographed in Shillong.
I am a little confused about Jainsem and Jain-kyrshah(pictures below). According to my little research based on asking around some local people..Jainsem is an attire which hangs loosely from the shoulders down to the ankles, and is not caught in at the waist..while Jain-kyrshah is a checkered cotton cloth knotted over one shoulder-sort of an improvised apron.
While the checkered cloth tied around the lady’s(left below) head is called a Kyrshah, and is usually worn during harvesting.
A few good examples(below) of wearing the traditional tartan patterned shawl Tapmohkhlieh. It is worn from the top, covering the head, fastened behind the neck, looping down to cover the upper part of the body, and then falling loose. Sometimes it’s folded in half which I’ve been told is not the right way to wear it. The short shawls with fringes are not Tapmokhlieh but just regular shawls, and the long ones are..umm..blankets?
Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland and Scottish kilts usually have tartan patterns, so do Tapmohkhliehs. 2nd reason why Shillong is called Scotland of the East. First is the English houses with chimneys…..
Women are mostly about floral and paisley prints like following some sort of custom. Men are mostly colorful only on their heads. I hung around in this Sardar Bazaar market because everyday the market sees new people. Other than the regular tourists, there is an influx of people from nearby villages and it’s packed on the weekends. It is close to the railway station. Most places near the railway stations in India have markets where they sell clothes+just about everything that a traveling person(or even a non-traveling person) might need. Considering all that I assume I pretty much got everyone from in and around Jodhpur..or maybe that’s a bit too ambitious.
In a market like this you find cheap goods even by the local standards. Here, the probability of finding international brands is extremely high. Either they are export rejects or a few seasons old stock but they look perfectly fine. Comme Des Garcons and YSL cardigans sell for 60Rupees on push carts parked around the clock tower.
You don’t really look forward to getting older, but as you reach a certain age, you think about it all the time. You get extremely selective about things you like and you don’t. You carefully choose what you want to do with your time. You feel the constant want to know more about more things while forgetting what you already know. You sleep early or at least try to, thinking you’d wake up early too. You ask bigger questions about the purpose of existence and meaning of life. You are happy, and you are terrified, and you are still in your 20s.
Being in this world, in this time, where change is constant, you just can’t help getting older. It is a part of nature. A never ending human experience.
Ripped/torn clothing has been in and out of fashion for decades but the last time it gained ground it had a better significance than before, probably because it was “reflecting recession,” in the sense – “poor state of economy = poor state of clothes.” No one wanted to look like they had money.So there were leggings, jeans, skirts & shorts – all slashed, mutilated but more expensive than before.
I wonder if most of the trends are born out of not caring. For example: the seams of the sweater in the photo above are coming off at the neck, and it is probably out of indifference or not having enough money to get it stitched or both.
Considering the unpredictability of fashion, I’m thinking if it’d become a trend some day for the top part of clothing as well, just as it did for bottoms. At the least, it could be argued, whether deliberate or not, the tearing of clothes, and the current state of the world economy are interestingly symbolic.
All Tibetan women are seen dressed up in long-sleeved shirts and striped aprons at the waist. According to the Tibetan custom, aprons are worn by women to indicate they are married. There are aprons in different colors, varying mostly in the sizes of the stripes. If a woman gets divorced or becomes a widow, she no longer wears an apron. Also, if observed, no Tibetan men wear rings or any other specific articles of clothing that indicate their marital status.
I am also wondering if old people worry about matters like – “So today I am going to the temple, and I should wear this black bowler hat with my brown walking stick, and canvas moccasins?”
Old folks of Dharamsala. Praying, turning beads between their fingers, counting; smiling at the unfamiliar, greeting the familiar; content; lost on the streets, and within selves.
One of the things that struck me the most, when I stayed in Dharamsala, was the abundance of color all around that somehow seemed to be in perfect harmony with the projected minimalism of life.
In reality, the color of a monk’s robe is not just plain red but varies in many shades of red, ranging from maroon to crimson to deep wine.
The color “red” had become the traditional monk robe color in Tibet mainly because it was the most common and cheapest dye at one point of time. Also, red is considered a ”poor” color in Tibet so the idea of wearing red symbolizes deflecting attention from oneself and focusing on compassion & kindness towards other beings – one of the main principles of Buddhism.The Buddhist robe is said to be more colorful than other sects. Interestingly it is also one of the oldest styles of fashion that is still in existence despite 2500 years having passed by since this type of attire came to be.
The simplicity of wearing such robes also symbolizes the vow taken to lead simple lives. A monk’s robe is like his uniform in a way – a symbol of his non-status that he no longer partakes in a material world. It is interesting to see that a symbol of such self imposed insignificance has become so significant with time.
They talk about global warming, space shuttles, and Bollywood. Many have nothing and want nothing except their homeland back. Most of them renounced everything they had to embrace the simplicity of a life dedicated to a religion that preaches selflessness. Everyone else including local Indians & many travelers around them complete their large circle of family, love, friendship, and support.
The controversial 17th Karamapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most revered leaders and a probable successor to the Dalai Lama.
Conversation classes are hugely popular in Mcleod Ganj. A typical description of a conversation class is English-speaking travelers converse with monks/tibetans in English in order to improve their spoken English. These conversation classes are held every day for an hour or two, 5 days a week. Teaching and learning at these classes work both ways. Volunteering travelers talk about their city life & day-to-day experiences, and learn about the tibetan way of life, their struggles, their dangerous journey over the Himalayas, the sacrifices they made, and their rehabilitation in a foreign land.
Poster for a *Conversation Class* held at one of the NGOs I was volunteering at.
The monastic life feels like a big alternative spiritual get-together.
These photos were taken during the months of August, September, October in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala. It was considerably cold throughout. People looked happy when the sun shone, rain always brought with it a bit of gloominess, and life got colder with the dark winter fog. Just a state of mind? I can’t be sure.
Meanwhile, the cost of these umbrellas remained unaffected, ranging from 60Rs. to 250Rs.
Tee – FCUK. Chappals – Linking Road. Bag – Art Oxygen by Neil Dantas
Girl on the right was dressed as a character from some pixie tale..umm..the wobbly shoe? It’s a shame i couldn’t click from the front.
Could these be used for my garden? But..i don’t have a garden!
Now some fancy patchwork, intricate embroideries & well-thought-of text on denims…