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Actress Sakshi Tanwar turns showstopper for Anju Modi at Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Autumn/Winter 2017

The “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii” and “Dangal” famed actress looked radiant in lehanga choli matched beautifully with accessories

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Actress Sakshi Tanwar, Twitter

New Delhi, March 18, 2017: She is one actress who always made headlines with her acting skills but at Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Autumn/Winter 2017, she decided to steal the thunder with her confident ramp appearance as a showstopper for designer Anju Modi.

“I think the confidence came because of my theatre background because there also you are in direct contact with light with no one visible. So even when I don’t see anybody, you know that people are watching you. The connection is there and this feeling helped me here too,” the actress told IANS when asked her confident ramp walk.

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Unearthing some of the hidden treasures of textile heritage, Modi presented an architecture-inspired collection that channel in the core tenants of the label which is Timeless, Vintage, handcraft and organic.

A juxtaposition of fluid floral motifs and organic elements with structural silhouettes and design details of the minarets, the collection titled Neelambar was an outtake of our rich textile legacy; an attempt to weave the traditional knowledge and skills of our master craftsmen with threads of modernity.

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Talking about Sakshi as a showstopper, the designer told IANS: “I connected with her from hearts. The kind of mature thinking she has is amazing. We always praise and admire her. We value the inner self of the person and Sakshi is great.”

The “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii” and “Dangal” famed actress looked radiant in lehanga choli matched beautifully with accessories. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Eco-friendly Fashion: Should India Contribute on this Booming Global Market?

Changing the face of Indian textiles

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Eco friendly Fashion
Eco-friendly fashion: The Golden Book Gown made of recycled book pages. Wikimedia
  • Designer Nandita Mahtani says that the fashion industry over the years has changed in many ways
  • The designer also has an international reach with participation in events like Australia Fashion Week, Colombo Couture Fest and Chivas Fashion Tour
  • Mahtani has recently come up with her new line White Wash and her fondness for white is the inspiration behind the collection

New Delhi, June 21, 2017: Designer Nandita Mahtani says sustainable and eco-friendly fashion is a booming market worldwide and India as a country can contribute to that segment in a big way.

“A huge booming market worldwide is sustainable and eco-friendly fashion, which I feel is something India can contribute in a much bigger way than it is now,” Mahtani, who is in the industry for over a decade, told IANS in an interview.

She has styled celebrities like Virat Kohli, Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Karan Johar, Katrina Kaif and Sushmita Sen.

“We have some of the best cottons, khadi and organic fabrics available at our disposal. The main issue is the processes tend to be very expensive. But soon enough, we should be able to find a balance and do our part,” she added.

Known for her mastery in luxurious resort wear, Mahtani’s USP lies in her using Indian embroideries subtly translated into feminine western silhouettes and a progressive style acumen shown in fashion shows like Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) and Blenders Pride Fashion Tour.

The designer also has an international reach with participation in events like Australia Fashion Week, Colombo Couture Fest and Chivas Fashion Tour. The latest is an association with Mercedes Benz for a Luxe drive where she will showcase her collection.

Mahtani says that the fashion industry over the years has changed in many ways.

“The fashion industry was difficult to get in when I started. Today people are more open to experimenting with their styles and standing up for their beliefs and ideology through fashion.

“Also, initially people were more influenced by the west, but now even India has a great domestic market for export and buyers. In general, globally, smaller countries are exporting fashion all over the world,” she said.

She also feels that with the availability of so much technology, sky is the limit for the designers nowadays.

“With all the tools and resources available today, designing can be very innovative. Educating oneself and being updated has become so easy with the internet and outstanding tutorials. From creating graphics, prints on your desktop to choosing any shade of any colour — everything is a fingertip away,” said Mahtani.

She has also done various interior projects in India and abroad.

Recalling her journey from when she started designing, she said: “It’s been over a decade since I launched my first resort wear line and I still remember the overwhelming response I got at my first fashion show.

“At the time, no one was really aware of resort wear in India as a line that can be worn to a brunch or night out. People were excited to see something different… We started selling backstage. Then there was no looking back,” she added.

Mahtani has recently come up with her new line White Wash and her fondness for white is the inspiration behind the collection.

“I absolutely love white — from my wardrobe to my house interiors, everything is white. The main idea behind the line is breathable fabrics like cotton and easy to slip on silhouettes that can be taken from a day to night look with a blink of an eye,” said the designer, who is currently working on a pret and couture line for her label and store apart from working on an international project. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393