Friday, 27 January 2017

White Clouds In Jaipur

Since almost 3 years, I had dearly wished to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival but something or the other always came up due to which I ended up staying in Delhi whenever it took place. However, this year I was adamant that I will attend the JLF even if I had to go alone. Lucky for me, one of my college friends agreed to accompany me on a one day journey as I had to leave for Dehradun the next day. (post on that trip coming too!)
We took an overnight sleeper bus to save time and reached Jaipur at sharp 5:00 AM. Although we reached way too early and got lost, it was a wise decision for us because by 11:00 AM, we were at the festival. Plastic flowers and colorful paper mache greeted us as soon as we entered the Diggi Palace. Almost every body present at the venue was clicking pictures with the decoration. Even the news anchors and journalists chose to make the paper mache decoration their background, while reporting the festival.


There were 6 halls in the festival- Charbagh, Mughal Tent, Front Lawn, Baithak, Durbar Hall and Samvad where sessions of authors and poets were taking place at every hour. My favorite author- Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni was one of the speakers at the festival. Sadly, I missed her session and couldn't even get her new book- Before We Visit the Goddess signed. (broke my heart!) There was also a huge bookstore from where one could purchase books (signed copies as well) of only those authors who were going to speak in the festival. I bought many novels (mostly of Chitra Banerhee Divakaruni only) and left from there as a happy kid. 
Stalls of clothes, accessories and bags were set up right next to the Front Lawn. While I bought a wallet in the shade of lime green, my friend eyed the dream catcher earrings and Khadi kurtis. 
We spent a good amount of time roaming around and taking in the feel of the festival. We even bumped into the contestants of the famous reality show- Big Boss!
A whole section was dedicated to food stalls which had all sorts of cuisines while another section was for just the Rajastani cuisine

After attending the Jaipur Literature Festival, we decided to kill time at one of the most famous hangout places in Jaipur- Tapri, The Tea House. Their tagline is- "Himmat Rakho" which was printed on every waiter's tshirt. There we ordered cutting chai, masala shikanji, khakra pizza and a few other dishes. But when at Tapri, do order their splendid corn shots. (consists of cheese, mayo and corn) I get sudden midnight cravings for these shots every now and then. The atmosphere at Tapri was calming and serendipitous because of the pleasant weather and the Rajastani songs being played in the background. 
After chilling at this rooftop cafe, we went back to our room and watched tv till midnight. Next day, I had to leave as early as I could to reach Delhi on time and pack for Dehradun but due to the Jaipur Literature Festival, all the buses were full and I was stuck in Jaipur till late afternoon. Something like this was bound to happen as it was my first trip alone but this trip also opened new horizons for me and I realized, what a bliss travelling alone is! 




If you ever get a chance to travel alone even if people tell you that it's crazy and that you'll get bored, tell them to screw themselves and go ahead with the trip. It may turn out to be the best decision of your life!

-Shweghna.


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Genderless in Japan- Approve!

Yesterday an article in the Times Trends section caught my attention. After reading it, I knew I had to share it and what could have been a better portal than my own blog?
We've all been familiar with the fact that Japan has been leading the pack when it comes to fashion but this time they chose to target the norms of the society and has got the entire world surprised for real. 

Genderless Kai (genderless style) came into existence after the Tokyo Girls Collection 2015 A/W fashion show. Ever since then, there has been no turning back for the danshi (young men) of Japan. Now some might anticipate that this movement is related to sexuality but it has nothing to do with it whatsoever. It's a movement to blur the line between pink and blue- between femininity and masculinity. Genking, an out gay male model gained a lot of popularity after his appearance in the Tokyo Girls Collection fashion show. Toman, another model and a member of the XOX band is often spotted defending the movement on the Japenese telly. He in fact, flaunts his genderless style whenever he's performing on the stage!
Toman feels that if a person finds something which suits him or matches his taste (even if it's a slim-fit tank top), then gender has absolutely no role to play. You will be able to watch many Danshi of Japan to be bending the gender norms by dying their hair, getting manicures done and donning bright colored lipsticks.

Toman

To some this may seem odd. And surely, there will be many out there who might find this concept interesting but will be too afraid to try it because of the society. Because our society has taught us that dolls are for girls and cars are for boys. That if a guy cries, he may seem weak which is just not acceptable. So why is it that when actors are seen with makeup on screen, it's completely fine but when it's off screen, the guy is assumed to be gay? Many guys from Japan pointed this out that for decades women have been jealous of men who get to work and do whatever they wanted. But what they are jealous of is how women get to express themselves by the clothes they wear and the makeup they put. 
I feel that this is a splendid attempt by the young generation of Japan to break the norms formed by the society. It means that a guy has to be brave enough to let down his guard and actually do whatever he wants.

-Shweghna.


Saturday, 7 January 2017

TMxPolishTheNailBoutique

Situated on the 100 feet road of Chattarpur, Polish the Nail Boutique is a nail salon which provides services such as nail extensions, eye lash extensions, pedicures, manicures and facials. Never having done anything to my nails before, I was pretty thrilled when Karuna (one of the founders) invited me over for a review. As soon as I entered the salon, I could't help but fall head over heels for the white and grey interiors.There were two booths for nails and two for pedicures while a whole section was dedicated to facials. Right opposite the nails booth, I spotted a cabinet full of nail polishes and one of creams. The nail polishes cabinet looked nothing less than heaven even to somebody like me who rarely paints her nails.


  

I had my doubts about nail extensions but as soon as I saw the designs and prints that I could get done on my nails, those doubts exited as quickly as they entered. 
After consulting Karuna about the designs, I decided to go with a black french manicure. The technician then started with the process by first removing the cuticles of my nails. As I'm a nail biter, I hardly had nails on my fingers to begin with. To fix this, my technician first put extensions on all of my fingers. Then he cut the length as per my convenience. Next came the filing and shaping of these extensions. I wanted the semi oval shape so my technician kept the length to medium. Believe it or not dear readers but getting the extensions fit only took one and a half hour. 





Nobody loves nail art more than my sister so she had to be taken along to Polish. She decided to go with a multi color glitter nail art which would go with all of her outfits. For both her and my nails, UV gel was used. 
After extensions were fit and shaped, my technician used the gel and asked me to insert my hand inside the UV lamp. Now this can be risky because there is a chance that your nails might burn inside the lamp so you have to be really careful while getting extensions. This went on till three times after which finally the gel nail polish was put. Then the technician again put the gel and asked me to put my hand inside the lamp. After 3 long hours, my nails were finally done. 








Although the process is time consuming and it can be difficult for clumsy women like me to stay still, it is worth the wait. You won't be able to stop staring at your nails once the work is done. In my sister's words, my hands now look girly and eyeful. The results were bang on for both me and my sister and we loved the fact that the technicians were able to make any kind of design we wanted. Polish can also provide digital prints, one stroke designs, 3D and 4D designs on the nails. The nails will remain the same for 4-6 weeks after which new nails will start to grow so what one can do is get the design changed after a month. The staff is super sweet and will make sure that you leave the salon only after getting exactly what you want. I had a wonderful experience with Polish and I sure am going to pay it a monthly visit from now on.


You can see their work on- 



Get in touch with them for appointments-

Salon- D/94 100ft road chattarpur
New Delhi, India
Call- 098100 76910


-Shweghna.