I lost my tea

So for the last 2 weeks I have been busy in a productive way, whilst having the time of my life meandering my way around Mumbai and Delhi, attending Lakmé Fashion Week, visiting designers at their studios and basically eating at every opportunity I got. This running around and ever need to feed my mouth consumes a lot of my energy, which only the simple act of having good brewed tea can provide. In simple terms, I run on tea.

My daily routine consists of having a mug of masala ‘chai’ (or tea for those unaccustomed to the term) with my breakfast, followed by another cup of any other flavour after dinner. 2 cups in 1 day and I am set to go.

Masala chai originated from India (or at least one would hope!) as it is the staple drink in most Indian households. So you would expect to indulge in the best tea once in India.

Fake
Fake

However, I was extremely disappointed to receive the drink in front of me dubbed as ‘masala chai’. Every restaurant, every hotel, every shop, every (the list goes on) … we sipped on this new fad of machine-produced masala tea. In India, when I order a cup of masala tea, I automatically mean the ‘proper’, brewed and cooked-over-a-stove kinda one. Not the one where you open a packet and add hot water to. Not the one where you add water to a masala tea bag. This is India for crying out loud!

Admittedly, my morning cuppa consists of a masala tea bag. But the circumstances are different. I live in London.

I do occasionally make the authentic version over a stove, and nothing can beat the aroma or the taste.

The only place where I found the authentic masala chai was at the street vendors’ stalls, where their tea brews for hours on end to supply the demand of the working class all day long. This was the real deal.

Oh India! Why this trend to produce machine-brewed tea, when the original version is so much better and so original? In this change to provide a perhaps more universal choice, the actual authenticity has been lost. The decision to provide this fake substitute is beyond me and, on many a time, I had to resort to the option of having coffee instead.

Rant over.

Love in details

Ka/Sha by Karishma Shahani Khan presented its Lakmé Fashion Week Summer Resort 2015 collection titled ‘Neel’ this afternoon as well.

This über quirky and peppy designer’s personality completely reflects in her label, with design in details and design in layering forming the basis of this collection. Beautiful embroidery coupled with ikat prints on whites and blues showcased a myriad of colours and separates.

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Shoes with matching ikat prints

Ka/Sha transforms an unsuspecting everyday textile, the sari, into a modern, experimental garment that is a delight to wear. This particular one invokes some sort of déjà vu, perhaps because is so reminds of the exquisite veil by Versace for Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress.

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My absolute favourite collection from Ka/Sha to date.

Love me not

Hit smack in the face by the Mumbai heat this morning, I, along with two friends and The Man of the House (henceforth known as The Stud of the House), arrived in India to attend the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer Resort 2015. This is the second such fashion week that I have attended as Co-founder of S9 Muses.

The design duo Shikha and Vinita of Ilk presented their collection titled ‘Love me not’ this afternoon. Relaxed silhouettes formed the core look of the collection, with floral embellishments adding to the well-known textural elements associated with Ilk.

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Floral detail

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Very feminine in nature, yet containing the undertone of grunge that is classically associated with Ilk, the cottons, nets and gauze fabrics simultaneously added to the luxe feel of the aqua, peach, grey, black and white garments.

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Giants

This week, the eldest member from my family lineage passed away at the age of 89 years. This brought back memories the day my grandfather passed away just over 4 years ago. Time never heals any wounds; I think you simply get used to the circumstances you are in. My grandfather was big-chested, generous and, in all manners, the Godfather of the house. He stood tall, always with a straight back. The attention he commanded is the kind that legends are made of. A true giant, in every sense.

My first job was as a Production Editor for scientific journals. Through those years, I cannot explain just how useful the keyboard shortcut ‘ctrl+shift+z’ was. This is the equivalent of ‘undo’. This shortcut was so embedded in my memory and daily use, that I found myself constantly thinking of erasing, or undoing, moments in life itself. As soon as something unwanted happened, or was said, or a thought processed that I did not want to occur, I automatically thought ‘ctrl+shift+z’. Only to realise, this is not some unwanted artwork or text on my screen. It is happening in real-time, in real life. I could not undo life.

The ever procrastinator, I have toyed with the idea of what to write as my very first blog post. I’m certain that the first blog post is the most difficult for all bloggers. Cue several weeks, and late one night a few days back, just before I was drifting off to sleep, I knew what I wanted to write.

This is an ode to the heads of families, the giants. The stalwarts who form the backbones.

MY RED COAT is aptly named after my most prized possession. I’ve had this coat for over 10 years, and it is still in pristine condition. I mean, the zipper is broken, and it has lost most of its fluffiness, but it still looks good. I have yet to find a coat that I love so much to replace it. Don’t judge, but in a world full of uncertainty, it has been my comfort.