या देवी सर्वभुतेषु विष्णुमायेति शब्दिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ||
To that Devi Who in All Beings is Called Vishnumaya,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.
We look forward to her arrival with eagerness. We bid her goodbye with prayers and tears, and exclaim “Abar Esho Maa” (Do come again Maa Durga).
Durga Puja is barely a fortnight away. Preparations have already begun in full swing. Every nook and corner of the City of Joy is decked up like a new bride. This being my first blog post for the festive season, is dedicated to some of the real-life Durga’s that we see around us.
Tic Talk Toe in collaboration with “Flaunt All You Want”, a Facebook Group by the Women, for the Women, of the Women had organised a fun contest, where the members of the group were asked to flaunt a photograph in their Festive Attire. And what a heart warming response we got! Hundreds of entries poured in over a span of only two days, and we really had a very difficult time selecting three entries for featuring on Tic Talk Toe. Finally, we came up with three Devi’s who took turns in flaunting their best in the festive attire. They are all extremely talented and super-women in their own lives. Presenting our three finalists, and their flaunts!
Paushali De Roy
She is a lawyer by profession, an occasional author by passion, an armchair thinker, almost a bookworm but a complete and full time dreamer. The bong-beauty from Amsterdam juggles effortlessly between a demanding job and a home. She perfectly fits into the shoes of a modern woman with deep rooted traditional values. Her child-like smile will melt anybody’s heart. She shares her world views on her blog: https://paushali.com, however, most of her writing/blogging happens nowadays on her blog’s Facebook page -‘The Big Bong Theory‘.
Tic Talk Toe was in awe with her personality and charisma. She managed to sweep us with her entry (Photograph displayed below). Here is what she had to write for the contest.
Flaunting my favourite sarees for Sanandita Chakraverty‘s innovative idea! The first one on the left is Bengal’s famous ‘K(n)atha stitch’ weave. Teamed it up with simple junk jewellery bought from my favourite street shopping haunt in Calcutta – Gariahat. I flaunted this look on Ashtami night, last year but I think this look can be very comfortably styled for office parties or if you wish to add some old world glamour to your normal everyday work look.
The second one on the right is a yellow and red Bhagalpuri Tussore weave and I wore this for the centuries old Lakshmi puja at my house. Since this was for a very traditional occasion, I styled it accordingly. Wore some antique Bengali gold jewellery like kaanbala (ear jewellery) and ‘bauti’ (bangle). Also, wearing an heirloom silver brooch that belonged to my grandmother, but it is not so clearly visible here.
What not to love about the way she described her look!
More from Paushali :
Look One: I am an ardent believer in sarees. They can turn a very simple and mundane look into a special one by adding subtleties here and there. Needless to say, I have been wearing sarees for all the special events of my life. This picture was clicked as a part of the official photo shoot for my first book called -‘Tales to Tell’ where I was selected to be one of the contributing authors/storytellers. I am wearing a beautiful South Silk saree in the picture. The saree itself was so gorgeous that I wore minimal accessories in the form of the statement dangler and a ‘bindi’ to complete the look.
Paushali, you nailed the look with your simplicity. Here is some more saree and festivity love from her:
Look Two: While the rest of my looks were about the everyday ‘me’, I have to admit that I take recourse to sarees (again!) when I try donning a comely traditional look. The very Bengali ‘red and white’ saree combination never goes wrong. In this picture, I am wearing a traditional Jamdani saree which is a much coveted weave for Bengali women all around the globe. This handwoven Jamdani is even more special since it was produced in our neighboring country Bangladesh, making it a ‘Dhakai Jamadani’. My mother in law had handpicked this saree for me as my Durga Puja gift few years back and I wore it on Ashtami morning, which is the most special day of Durga Puja for us. I accessorized this look with antique Bengali gold jewellery like kaanbala (earring), chur (bangle), a statement gold finger ring and a long chain which is a cherished piece of heirloom jewellery that belonged to my grandmother-in-law and which she had specifically kept aside for her eldest grandson’s bride (That is me).
No Bong can ever go wrong with the classic red and white dhakai along with traditional gold jewellery. Seeing this photograph made me exclaim “Pujo te ar kotodin baaki?”(How many days are left for Durga Puja?)
Here is the third and last look from the day-dreamer!
Flaunting some classic ‘Banarasi saree’ love today! I love wearing sarees (well, who doesn’t?), but if I had to pick up a favourite among the weaves, I will blindly swear by Banarasi sarees. There is something magnetic about them – cool, classy and timeless. Needless to say, the choice of my wedding day attire was the eternal red Banarasi saree, which is a favourite among most Bengali brides. This one was also a part of my wedding trousseau or ‘tottwo’ as we call in Bengal. My mother had handpicked this saree from Varanasi/Benaras, even before my wedding was fixed. She just knew that this saree had to be a part of my wedding trousseau. Wore this for a wedding last year and everyone kept complimenting me. Contrary to popular perception, this saree is very easy to wear and not so heavy.
And who would not compliment such a beautiful lady flaunting one her most prized possessions in her wardrobe. The colour of the saree, the radha krishna idols, the traditional jewellery and above all, your smile made this frame complete! Much love to you my friend. Over to our next finalist.
Introducing Dr. Neelima Kamrah who is presently a Registrar with KIIT Group Of Colleges. She started her career as a teacher in 1993. Her passion for sarees complemented her love for teaching, and has increased manifold over the years. She fondly recalls the day when she was given the responsibility of teaching Grade One students, when she was herself in Grade Three, as many teachers were on leave that day. She had then vouched that if she were to take up teaching, she would only drape a saree. And she has kept her promise intact. She adds “Till date I have never entered a class without a saree. A woman when dressed in a saree feels so feminine and beautiful from inside that the charm and glow is visible on her face. In other words, we can say that a saree defines woman unlike any other garment /attire. So no turning back from 1993. I wear a saree everyday and enjoy draping them. In turn, my students also get motivated to wear sarees”.
The charm and glow on her face is evident from the photographs. Here is her entry for Tic Talk Toe’s contest, along with the write-up.
For me every day is celebration,with minimal make up, with minimum accessories, making most of Gods gift. Three different looks for three different festivals. What say friends!!
Well we have to agree on that! Flaunting a few more looks that she had to share for the festive season:
Look One (on the left): Draped one of the most elaborate and traditional Assam Silks in Blue. It has design woven in zari replete with the flowers, trees and abstract motifs in a happy profusion.The Saree depicts spring as the bushes and trees dance merrily and burst forth like crackers on a dark blue night.
Look Two (Picture in the Center): Ajrakh indigo blue contemporary saree with hand sewn mirrors and applique. It is a wonder! Paired it along with an Ikkat blouse having frill retro sleeves. A Tanjore painting pendant adorns the neck.
Look Three (On the right): This Saree is a Midnight Blue Patli Silk from Orissa, which has very intricate gold/bronze work all over it. The body of the saree has the same work as on the anchal, which gives the saree a rich and regal look.
Mrs. Nanda completely lives upto her name – ‘Joy’. She is a fun loving person and leads her life with a positive attitude. I was astonished to see her experiments with sarees and cholis! She mixes and matches her sarees with crop tops, tees & kutchi tops. She tries and follows the theme according to the festivals. She is extremely talented and creative. She loves singing, poem writing, painting & loves creating her own accessories to match it up with her sarees!! How cool is that? In her words:
Like the saying goes…
Life is neither a ‘midsummer night’s dream’ nor a ‘tempest’…
It’s a’ comedy of errors’, so ‘live as u like it’.
Here is her entry for the contest that won our heart! Joydeepa is wearing a Blue Kanjivaram for Ganapati Puja. She created this Ganapati Motif on the back of her blouse using eye liners and nail enamels along with sequins. And all this in an hour! Her D.I.Y. flaunt was commendable. The neck pieces and pendants are her own creations. Aren’t they lovely?
Let us move on to her detailing and styling for the festive season ahead.
Look One: Joydeepa is wearing a Cotton Bomkai in Black with a Newspaper printed Kaftan Tee. The newspaper print breaks the monotony of the otherwise plain saree. Can be worn both during the day or at night.
Look Two: Do you find the traditional Red and White Garad/Taant Saree too common for your choice? Then, how about a white kanjivaram with a red zari border, paired with a scripted top. The seedha pallu drape highlights the scriptures printed on the top. Very comfortable for Ashtamir Anjali or Sindur Khelaa. A big bright bindi completes the look.
Look Three: You can never go wrong with a Red Kanjivaram for your Nabami night pandal hopping? Ditch your regular choli and pair it with a Black short kurti. A big red bindi and that smile! Who needs makeup when you can flaunt the brightest smile? And what better way to usher into the Nabami night?
So these were the looks that our finalists had curated from their albums for the festive season ahead. Do let us know your suggestions in the comments section below. They really mean the world to me.
I dedicate this post to Mrs. Palak Gupta, founder of Flaunt All You Want, without whom I would never have been able to launch this blog post. Flaunt All You Want (FAYW) is a platform to promote an individual’s own creativity, talent and expression. Thank you FAYW for providing me the platform to launch this post.
You can join Flaunt All You Want on Facebook by clicking here
Will be back with a series of blog posts over the couple of weeks for the festive season. Till then, please keep us in your prayers.