• Meet the Chilli King from North-East India

    The Indian army plans to use it as a weapon to force terrorists out of their hide-outs. Tribes in North-East India use it to ward off mean elephants. The adventurous use it to test their tolerance levels. Others find it a perfect accompaniment to their daily meals. Meet the Bhut Jolokia (also referred to as […]

  • The Wood-carvers of Pethapur, Gujarat

    Examples of the art of dyeing fabrics exist from the period of the Indus Valley Civilisation, however the origins of block carving are now lost among the pages of history. It is believed that this art was developed and specialised by artisans who were traditionally carpenters and the techniques may have been borrowed from Iran at the […]

  • Tantalizing Tibet

    The Tibetan plateau is a beauteous landscape of hidden treasures and riches. Steeped in magic and mystery, this wondrous forbidden land contains within its fold a mass of remarkable people. There is timeless romance in the way of life of Tibet’s travelling tribesmen who celebrate their unique heritage through elaborate costumes and ornaments. The designs are […]

  • Why do Indians wear Tilak on their Foreheads?

    The beauty of most Indian Traditions is that they are little lessons in Human Physiology. Disguised as Traditions and Customs, they form habits at an early age with deep meaning attached to them that ensure the well-being of our Mind and Body. Wearing Tilak on our foreheads is one such custom. Though it symbolizes Hinduism and has […]

  • Lucknawi Naqqashi: Decorating the Medicinal Metal

    Copper finds a pride of place in kitchens across India as it is held in high regard by Ayurveda for its remedial properties. The metal is believed to have electromagnetic energy, called ‘Prana Shakti’ and many Indian homes store drinking water in a copper vessel overnight to allow copper to make water ionic, thus helping […]

  • For the Love of the Loom: A young textile designer finds her passion in the weaving villages of Odisha

    Like most fashion school graduates, Gunjan Jain began working in the apparel export industry based in the urban centres of Delhi and Bangalore. But soon she was disillusioned with the industrial process of making clothes and their resultant commoditisation. Factory and assembly process of creating clothing lacked the collective union she wished to be associated […]

  • The Gilded Storytellers of Lucknow

    Deep kohl-set eyes follow the graceful movements of decorated fingers, the intricate beats of the tabla and the progressive tempo of rhythmic footwork. Spectators watch transfixed as elegant swirling movements, lightning quick pirouettes, subtle gestures and sudden poses combine to tell a breathtaking story. Kathak, the North Indian dance form famed for its subtlety and grace, traces […]

  • Sacred Conversations in the Sanskrit Village of India

    “All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.” – Robert Louis Stevenson Language evolves over time to allow effective communication and dialogue, giving expression to our ever changing lives and time. In this dynamic world where a social media tag can become a mainstream word, there […]

  • The Good Natured Neem Tree

    Ayurveda remains a treasure trove of secrets from nature and the countless benefits that exist therein. Before the time of bristled brushes and pearly white toothpastes, men and women reached out to the friendly neighborhood Neem (or Margosa) tree to solve many a problem. A Neem twig, or datun, was commonly used for cleaning teeth […]

  • Kantha – An Intimate Witness to the Spirit of Womanhood

    “Spreading the embroidered quilt She works the livelong night, As if the quilt her poet were Of her bereaved plight. Many a joy and many a sorrow Is written on its breast; The story of Rupa’s life is there, line by line expressed.” (From ‘Field of the Embroidered Quilt’ – a translation of ‘Nokshi Kanthar […]