Click…Click…Click…

It’s been a while since my last post… have been a bit too busy with professional commitments. But, all in good fun of course!

This post too has been pending for quite some time. A few months back I got a chance to go on a Fashion shoot. A friend of mine, Nosh Mather has been planning for this shoot since last January. Apparently, we sit right next to each other in office. Hence I am the first one to know or peep into his thoughts and imagination. The day he narrated the concept of this shoot, I was so thrilled, that I coerced him to drag me along with him in his journey to ‘A day in the life of a Muse’. What amused me was the preparation that went into planning and executing the shoot. Nosh has an eye for detail. From the flooring to the curtains, lighting to wall colour, make up to shoes, Nosh has dealt with each aspect of the shoot meticulously, with utmost care and detailing. The antique furniture, the unfinished jewellery, the vintage candle stands and the hand painted masks were just apt for the concept.

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This indoor studio shoot was styled around capturing the candid moments of a new age woman who has an evening revelry to attend. All she wants is to impress her date. Twisting and turning on bed, she pulls herself to get dressed to the occasion. With his fascination of capturing emotions rather than just poses, Nosh made sure he not only got the right face in his frame but also those of sensuality & mischief, amongst other emotions. The most important aspect of this shoot was to get Pooja Pradaan (the muse) to emote the variety of expressions that Nosh wanted to capture through his lens. And Pooja did more than justice to the job. She was at ease and was be able to show off the perfect emotions during the shoot. I must say, a model’s job isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Fashioned with the help of Ruchika Vyas, a young versatile stylist, this shoot would have been incomplete without her exotic creations. Be it her dresses, accessories or embellishments, she has a knack of picking up the right ensemble for creating the perfect look.

Talk about FUN!!! Nosh and his team of stylist, make up artist, lighting technicians, art director, studio assistant and his muse have been just awesome!!!

Thank you guys for the wonderful experience. This was a first for me and I hope it’s not my last!

Take a look at the amazing work done by Nosh & his team.

Morning Glory!

Sizzling Red...

Oh Sexy Lady...

Mirror mirror on the wall...

Flare it up

Nosh & Team1

Happy Rakshabandhan to all my brothers…

Raksha Bandhan, is one of the most cherished festivals in India. A day meant to celebrate the love, affection and care between brothers and sisters. This raksha bandhan I decided, I would get back to my old school days of creating fancy rakhis for my brothers. Rakhi today comes in lot of modern and traditional designs. All you need for making rakhis at home is a simple thread (be it wool, satin ribbon or any silk thread) along with some unique fabrics (felt, crisp cotton colourful cloth), sequins, pearls, beads etc which can be twined together to bind the love. Hope my brothers love the rakhis. :-) :-) Check out my creations…

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Goa…a land of Heritage Homes

Whenever I travel to different places, there’s one thing that I set my eyes on – the traditional houses and heritage buildings of the city. I feel every house has a story to tell. From its architecture to its colours, from its outdoors to its interiors; every little aspect of a house speaks about the style quotient of the family residing in it. One such place of beautiful homes is Goa. Apart from its nightlife, exotic cuisine and sun kissed beaches; I am in love with the heritage homes of Goa.

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On my way to Palolem beach, I was drawn to the old world charm of the traditional row houses in Margao. Though it was an unplanned visit to the town, am glad I stopped by to take a look at the beautiful sprawling heritage homes that dotted the roads of Margao. What caught my attention was the mysterious period look about them.  Huge castle like houses overlooking the streets with covered porches and verandah are a treat for the eyes. One cannot miss out on the green lush gardens in front of these traditional homes. It was worth seeing these Indo – Portuguese style mansions.

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The Goan houses boast of impeccable style and luxury. While verandahs are adorned with classic neo gothic windows and pristine old English furniture, the roofs are made of Manglorean terracotta tiles. The ornamental cast iron railings, often a combination of greek and gothic motifs are quintessentially Goan. You would also find similar railings in the colonial buildings of Panjim.  Goan homes, they say have a significant influence of the European and Portuguese style of architecture. Though I felt, some of the houses have some resemblance to the typical hindu courtyard style mansions.

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The most striking feature of the goan heritage homes are the expressive gables and the intricate eave boards. Each of these design elements epitomizes the luxurious goan lifestyle.

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This time I could only glimpse through the verandahs and the gardens. Am sure in my next trip am definitely gonna enter one of these heritage homes to explore the beauty within the mansions and hear stories about the ancestral goan families and their lifestyle as I feel the history of theses heritage homes will be incomplete without their legendary tales.

Leaving you with the glimpses of some amazing colonial houses of Goa.

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The house of the Khatris…

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My quest for art, culture and beauty led me to the colourful villages of Kutch, where I discovered an extraordinary and unique form of art. At the first sight, I considered this art to be a form of intricate embroidery. But, as you enter the house of Sumer Gafoor Khatri, you unravel the mystery behind the richness of colours and an embossed hand painted art called ROGAN ART.

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Rogan art hails from the land of Persia that was brought to Kutch around 400 hundred years ago and is now only pursued by this lone family of Khatris, residing in a small village of Nirona, 20 kms from Bhuj, Gujarat.

Originally, Rogan art was developed as a cheaper and quicker substitute to hand embroidery to adorn bridal clothing of regional tribes of Kutch. From Ghaghras (traditional skirt) to huge odhanis (bridal veils), pillow covers to bed spreads, this art involved a diverse concoction of folk art forms, Persian architecture and linear embroidery patterns. Like my friends who accompanied me on this journey, I too wasn’t aware of this exquisite form of art.

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Though Rogan art, could well be on its last leg, but the dedication and the effort taken to keep this form of art alive is definitely noteworthy. And the credit goes to Abdul Gafoor Khatri and his extended family. Abdul Gafoor Khatri is Sumer Bhai’s uncle who like his peers had given up rogan painting and left Kutch in search of a steady job. Gafoor Bhai, as he is referred to in the village returned to Nirona after two and half years once he received an appeal letter from his grandfather to come back, rejoin the family tradition of Rogan Art and continue the legacy. This was the turning point in his life as well as the art form. Returning from a cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, Gafoor Bhai had gauged the mindsets of the new generation and started experimenting innovative ideas in the art form. And thus, today, rogan art finds expression on cushion covers, table mats, kurtas, wall hangings, stoles, purses, paintings and saris. While the age old folk art forms are an all time favourite, patterns such is “Tree of Life” was something that bedazzled me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet Gafoor Bhai, but was taken aback by this inspiring story and commitment to his art. The Khatris claim that no one on this world can produce such elaborate forms of Rogan art. This art has been passed to generations in the same family. Currently, the eight generation performs this art.

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The intricate process of Rogan painting involves 3 steps.

First step involves the basic preparation of color used in Rogan Art.  Castor oil is heated to a boiling point to reduce it to a thick gluey pulp to which appropriate amounts of colour pigments are added and thus we get different hues of red, yellow, white, green, and blue. These colours are stored in containers with water to keep them malleable. This process takes place over a period of 3 days in deep jungles as it leaves strong odour.

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The second step involves placing the fabric. Sumer Bhai squats on the ground, places the blank cloth on his thighs, pins it up to his jeans so that the cloth remains intact and doesn’t move.

The third and final step is the most important and time consuming process. The painting process starts as Sumer Bhai takes the colored pulp on his palm with the help of a metal stylus and keeps stirring vigorously till the pulp is stretched to a thread like consistency, perfect enough to start laying out the designs on the cloth. Apparently there are no outlines on the cloth, its free hand intricate painting done effortlessly with a precision born out of experience. Some designs have symmetric patterns. So to reduce the effort Sumer Bhai folds the fabric into half to get the mirror impression on the other half. This sight of painting left me completely awestruck and made me wonder, why not many art enthusiasts have tried their hands at this form of art?

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Once the outline designs are laid out, the entire taar work as they say is filled with vibrant colours to emphasize the beauty of the art.  And then finally the cloth is kept under sunlight to dry for atleast 2 days.

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The Khatri family boasts of some wonderful work on Rogan art and is also honoured by the Indian Government for their efforts to preserve this striking yet fading art. Gujarat Government has been taking a lot of effort to promote this art form by presenting framed rogan art work to foreign delegates who visit the state. With Gujarat tourism reaching new heights, let’s just hope this effort of the Khatris doesn’t go waste and the potential of Rogan art is appreciated by art lovers worldwide.

So if you are planning your next visit to Gujarat, the house of the Khatris is a must visit.

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Creamy, Luscious, Addictive…Part I

As my first food post, I thought it would only be appropriate to talk about my first love, CHOCOLATES..

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Chocolates!  Tell me one person on this earth who doesn’t like chocolates. As the famous saying goes, “God gave angels wings and he gave humans chocolates”, God has definitely been generous to mankind and I am sure He too must be jealous of us. Who can resist the chocolates, its aroma, its beauty, its allure, its texture? Definitely not me!

I love chocolates – dark, gourmet, Belgian, milk, truffles, all of it! Never thought this love and passion for chocolate would lead me to create unique chocolates that looked as good as they tasted. And thus I named my little chocolate venture Tastebuds. I started this journey a year back with a small workshop on chocolate tempering and never looked back. This little venture of mine caters to yummy home made chocolates that add that exceptional sweetness to special moments, family celebrations, corporate events and gifting. I have enjoyed every bit of it – learning and making assorted handcrafted chocolates. From simple plain chocolates to ganache filled chocolates, I can make them all and have them all. :-)

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SAMSUNG

Diwali Special Chocolates from Tastebuds

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Tastebuds’ Ganache filled milk chocolates are to die for! These handcrafted chocolates bring together the wonderful flavor combination of dark chocolate and sweet creamy ganache together in one bite.

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Tiny Temptations – Dark Chocolate cups with creamy white chocolate and roasted almond & butter scotch musings – from Tastebuds

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Sinful Chocolate Cups with Chocolate Mousse from Tastebuds

Chocolates have such a good, positive impact on me that the mere sight and smell of it just make my heart skip a beat! Be it a slice of a rich chocolate cake or a swirl of creamy dark chocolate, a mug of hot cocoa, an ice cream drizzled with hot chocolate fudge, or a chocolate cupcake, chocolates just makes me (and my heart) go ummmh!

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Mesmerizing Wall Art…

From the regal ambiance of its elegant palaces to the riveting beauty of its desert, from striking wildlife sanctuaries to its colourful culture, Rajasthan is all wrapped up in splendid beauty.

Rajasthan is a state which has always been very close to my heart.  It is an experience that one will always crave for more. Whenever, I flip through my photo album, I always feel like visiting the state once again, owing to its opulent palaces, magnificent paintings, the excellent blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, colorful textiles and of course the exotic cuisine.

One thing that stands out amidst all the beautiful offerings of Rajasthan is its Paintings. Intricate, colourful and elaborate; the miniatures, phads, mandanas, folk and wall paintings of Rajasthan are unique and absolutely outstanding.

The wall paintings in the four doorways of the majestic Pritam Niwas Chowk, a courtyard in City Palace, Jaipur; left me awe struck and fascinated.The four brass doorways are adorned with some amazing wall art, each representing a different season and dedicated to a Hindu deity. The  spectacular Peacock Gate at the northeast doorway has some exquisite peacock art of atleast seven variations.The Peacock gate symbolises the autumn season and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, whose marble idol can be seen resting right above the brass door.

The Southwest gate, representing the summer season is called the Lotus Gate predominantly adorned with pink lotus petals. Lotus, being the manifestation of goddess Laxmi, this gate is dedicated to the supreme Devi.

Right opposite the Peacock gate, one can view another stunning gate in lovely shades of green. Named after the dominance of the base colour, this northwest lehariya patterned Green Gate represents the spring season and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

And finally, I reached the winter season Gate dedicated to Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati. The vibrant pink roses embellishing this gate create a beautiful pattern that is still fresh in my mind. The outside wall of theRose Gate looks spectacular with patterned pink leaves and golden yellow hibiscus flower.

I literally went berserk admiring these immaculate patterns on each doorway. So stunning and detailed… Truly royal!

Some more inspiring patterns on the Pritam Niwas Chowk doorways…

Well, that’s it for my first post. Will delve into more aspects of paintings, patterns and colours. Hope you all enjoyed reading the post as much as I enjoyed penning it down.

Know Me…

A creativity aficionado, I am Isha – a self confessed designer. Though I do not have any formal training in designing, I have a penchant for anything artistic and inspiring. I am a part of the corporate world, but at heart I am a fabric junkie, an art & craft fanatic, home décor enthusiast and I love dabbling in sewing. Wall paintings, Indian architecture, festivals, culture, hand made collectibles, food and textiles profoundly interest me. Would love to hear from you. Pour in your comments and suggestions to mohanty.isha@gmail.com Thanks for visiting my blog!

Welcome to aरtisha…

I am so thrilled to introduce you all to my blog, named “atisha” based on Art, Beauty & Culture. The idea of this blog emanated from my fascination for paintings, Indian architecture, festivals & culture, hand made collectibles, food and textiles. Be it a palace, a saree or a piece of cake …anything that looks immensely picturesque and dramatic, and has a story to say will feature on my blog atisha.

atisha, will be a platform for sharing some exquisite facets of creativity and imagination. So, join me in this ride to explore the beauty of the world through the eyes of atisha