Posted in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Reading: Is it a Dying Hobby?

Recently, when I told my friend that I was not finding enough time to read, she scoffed at me and said, “Who even reads anymore? Don’t you have a phone to keep you updated?” That sentence was such a jolt to me, and I realized that a majority of people consider reading a waste of time, thanks to the digital age. Whether you are an adult or a child, everyone is engrossed in all kinds of digital mediums, making reading an obsolete hobby.

If you come to think of it, an increasing number of people are reading, but that does not amount to traditional reading. ‘Reading’ as a hobby is diminishing, and for book enthusiasts like myself, it is disheartening, to say the least. More and more bookstores are closing down, and that is a disturbing trend.

Sometimes it makes me think if words will be lost collectively; whole words, paragraphs, texts- all gone from collective memory. All we will be left with will be short-forms, 240 character tweets, and Instagram captions. Books are relevant only when someone reads it, otherwise its nothing but sacrificed forests. Wouldn’t such a world be bleak? I shudder to think.

Our younger generation is far engrossed in consuming short, easy, digestible content due to which they are unable to commit to reading a book. Because reading a book is a commitment you make to yourself; without that commitment in place, reading is nothing but a chore. I am appalled at the lack of love for reading in today’s youth. But I realize that visual storytelling is what they enjoy the most. A medium where you do not have to wait for what will happen next, the information is dished out in a matter of a few hours. Alas! The love for reading is diminishing.

Inculcate the habit of reading in children

I agree that there are several factors influencing the choice of visuals over reading, but in my opinion, parents also play a huge role. The ease that electronic devices provide has convinced parents that not reading will not harm their child as they are learning in any case. That attitude is also a significant reason for reading to become obsolete. I, as a parent, have filled an entire library full of books and insist my children give time to reading. Little efforts from parents can help inculcate the right reading attitude. I urge one and all, give reading a little bit more importance!

To conclude, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

Posted in Lifestyle

Joy of Street Shopping Rediscovered!

With the advent of malls and high-end shopping, the street shopping culture is slowly fading away. Apart from young college students, we don’t see a lot of people opting to rummage through the long line up of similar looking street stalls selling absolutely everything under the sun. Ah! The wonderful days of youth are mighty missed. I have observed that the present generation is more focussed on online buying or popping up to a nearby mall for a quick purchase. The charm of street shopping is inadvertently fading. 

Restraining myself from lamenting about the good old days, here are 4 street shopping areas across the globe that you must visit!

1. Colaba Causeway, Mumbai, India

For someone who is looking for a complete immersive street shopping experience, Colaba Causeway is their best bet. One of the most eclectic places to visit, it is a complete shoppers paradise. Home to products ranging from clothes, to ethnic jewelry, shoes and also books, this place is a must visit for those who love to roam the streets. However, make sure you bargain profusely since this is one of the most visited places by tourists. 

If you find yourself feeling famished with so much of shopping, visit the famous Cafe Leopold or Cafe Mondegar, two of the oldest cafes out there.

Colaba Causeway, Mumbai

2. Khan-e-Khalili, Cairo, Egypt

Wouldn’t it be a lot of fun if you could access medieval malls? Khan-e-Khalili is just that! It is one of the most vibrant markets, selling hordes of products that range from soaps, clothes, toys to souvenirs and marble items. This open air market is traditionally known as a ‘Souk’ and is a perfect amalgamation of old world charm with new age products! The market itself was once the financial center of the Fatimid Era, and then became the trade center in later years. Today it serves as a must-visit market, especially of you are interested in local knick-knacks. Like all other street markets, haggling is a part of the buying process here. All prices are substantially marked up, therefore make sure you start from really low!

3. Ubud Market, Bali, Indonesia 

The famous and well-know Ubud market in Bali, Indonesia is a favourite amongst tourists. From souvenirs to self gifts there is everything available in this single lane. Cluttered with humans around the world shopping for their loved ones its a vibrant locality. I purchased handmade wallets with Bali painted on it, surfboard keychains with names engraved on it, soothing body oils and not to forget a T-shirt which has Tanha Lot on it( I dearly love it).

P.S: you have to bargain a lot to buy it at a best bet. They quote sky high prices.

Ubud Market, Bali

4. Meena Bazar, Dubai

Who would have thought that the city of malls would be home to some amazing flea markets and street shopping? Meena Bazar is the epitome of cheap and quick buying in the city. Located in Bur Dubai, it is nothing but a slice of India in Dubai! This market is home to some of the best gold, silver, clothing and shoes from the Asian subcontinent. The narrow lanes and by-lanes are all crammed with tiny stores, offering scores of items! If you have been to Dubai, and not been to Meena Bazar, believe me, you’ve missed out on the best shopping experience!

Meena Bazaar, Dubai

To conclude, street shopping is a common phenomenon across the globe, you only need to find the will to venture outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Posted in Lifestyle

The Joy of DIY

Do you like to look at old ideas and think about how to give a modern twist to it? If your answer is yes we welcome you to the DIY club. Designing your own outfit is like changing the fashion to fit you. After all, Fashion fades style is eternal. This must have happened with most of us that we come across a stunning rida / dress but can’t afford it. A simple solution to this is designing your own and slay it with confidence. We hold this absolutely true that everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway.

To motivate and encourage all you inbuilt designers we present to you a few ridas exclusively handcrafted by US. To make your life easy we have also given deets to where you can find what to make and flaunt your own outfit.

This elegant party wear Rida is completed DIY. We know when we say this you will give it another look and think to yourself not possible. But it’s true. This two toned fabric was a gift which I thought to transform into something that will turn heads. Since I wanted to make it a party wear I decided to complement it with a golden floral lace (found at one of the lace shops), the leaf lace is from Iraq (something I had from before). To give it a dainty touch further we added the zardosi work patch available at one of the Mumbai markets called CPchawl. To complete the look we approached a local embroider and with his help added shimmer dots all over. In a fraction of days a chic Rida was ready.

The next Rida we designed was a daily casual one. I don’t clearly remember where the fabric is from however, I found the cute chevron lace and check border at the market mentioned above. Loved it so much that simply layered it till the top. The colourful flowers you see patched up are just stuck appropriately. Next my local embroider was to the rescue, added stars to give my outfit a dreamy look, just as I wanted. Doesn’t look that simple right?

This next Rida was a complete brainstorming session with loads of inspiration from some of the most extraordinary designers we have come across on Instagram. So I got this very beautiful base fabric with tiny rose prints from @thefabricsouq and planned on making it a Rida that would stand out. Another visit and I bought some borders from her. While brainstorming the parallel lace idea struck me and I set about designing the rida. Within no time the Rida setting was done and believe it or not the Rida was completed in just 2 days! This Rida remains my favorite!

The last smart colorful ensemble may look very well designed for a DIY, but believe me I made it from scratch! This is quite an old Rida when the trend for such triangular borders was very much in trend. I called up a friend and we went on fabric hunting! After choosing the base (when small dots were so much in-vogue) I went crazy with colors and got these pinks and yellows! Gave the whole concept to my tailor and he did an excellent job with the border and flowers. Yes, I did ask him to add some bling! I was young guys, didn’t know the best. But yes, it was an amazing Rida nonetheless.

Remember, people will stare, make it worth their while!

Posted in Lifestyle

Love Laughter and Happily Ever After

Weddings in urban India have lately been all glitz and glam. From food to the venue to the bride/groom couture, spends on everything are enormous. Even if you want to have a low budget wedding, because of society pressure you end up eventually having a big fat one. The concern of wasting one’s hard earn money on pleasing others has led us to drought down why you should save on weddings and how small thoughtful gestures while doing so can bring a broad smile on someone’s face.

In light of all these social pressures to “go big or go home” for your wedding day, it’s sadly not a surprise that many couples overspend and end up in debt. But that’s no way to begin what should be an amazing new chapter of your life, especially considering money is one of the top reasons for divorce.
Instead of going overboard on wedding expenses, the easiest way to avoid spending too much on your wedding is to budget appropriately and focus on everything else you want to accomplish in life.
Even if you are well to do by gods grace and want to make your big day lavish, you are still spending to please others right? Rather it would be wise to safeguard it for yourself and your spouse.Go for the most exotic honeymoon, tick off places your travel checklist, give a great education to your kids.

To answer the question of how much you should spend on your wedding, you need to take your other goals into consideration. Budgeting simply means aligning your spending with your values, so you have money left to spend on the things you treasure. Getting clear on your priorities while planning for your wedding will help you say “yes” and “no” to the appropriate things. One of the best ways to save money on a wedding is to keep it simple. The more elaborate the gown, the food menu and gifts are the more expensive it will get. Do you even wear your wedding gown after the wedding day? What happens to the extravagant decor for each function? After a few days no one even remembers what they ate at a wedding.

Well, if someone will remember and really appreciate your wedding are the ones who never get to attend one. Consider donating leftover food from your wedding meal to a local homeless shelter, women’s shelter or retirement homes. While planning your wedding contact a few NGOs or keep a family member/friend responsible for the leftover food. Brief them in advance so you don’t have to worry on your D day. Flowers and other decorations can also be donated to these locations to brighten up someone’s day.

Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life, but it can also be one of the most wasteful. We’re not saying to skip the party, we’re talking about seemingly small changes that make a major impact. Yes we are talking about going green and planning a sustainable and eco-friendly wedding. In July last year there was a simple Indian wedding that championed an eco-friendly cause. Flowers from the organic market, no plastic, no new clothes and jewellery made it a zero-waste wedding.

Thank you gifts consisted of seed bags and garden fertilizers; the latter made from ground vegetable waste from the kitchen and wrapped in appealing paper pouches

By now, you should have a better idea of what your perfect wedding day looks like, and how much you should invest. It doesn’t need to reflect “society’s standards” or have a price tag. It just needs to create memories and laughter.