Chapter Twelve: White Noise
Chapter Twelve: White Noise

It's overwhelming isn't it. Everyone on social media is sexier, smarter, happier and seemingly more successful than you almost by default. You might think you have this amazing idea, but there's already some hundred people who've executed it, and maybe even better than you.

In the current age of social media, it is important now more than ever to find your voice and remain true to it. Ripe in association with Kharakapas photographed five such women with distinct identities and spoke to them about finding their independent voices and what being confident means to them today. Excerpts from the conversations...

  Sarah Naqvi, Textile Artist   Art has been something that is inherent to who I am. I've always perceived things around me differently, almost like through a lens where I feel the need to translate it into something tangible like a sketch or embroidery; I feel the need to capture everything through art. I love trying new things and you'll always see me changing my hair colour or trying new hairstyles, I love experimenting and cannot settle on one thing even when it comes to my art. The reason I create what I do is to cater to people who do not understand these issues and feedback is a very important aspect of it. Therefore I take it as it comes, as it is a part and parcel of reaching an audience that hasn't been exposed to these ideas before.

Sarah Naqvi, Textile Artist

Art has been something that is inherent to who I am. I've always perceived things around me differently, almost like through a lens where I feel the need to translate it into something tangible like a sketch or embroidery; I feel the need to capture everything through art. I love trying new things and you'll always see me changing my hair colour or trying new hairstyles, I love experimenting and cannot settle on one thing even when it comes to my art. The reason I create what I do is to cater to people who do not understand these issues and feedback is a very important aspect of it. Therefore I take it as it comes, as it is a part and parcel of reaching an audience that hasn't been exposed to these ideas before.

 We have to create a safe space for dialogues and engage in conversations that can actually be fruitful while coming up with solutions. The day I started feeling comfortable in my own skin was when I stopped comparing myself and started perceiving my own body as something that I've been gifted and that we tend to create boundaries for ourselves in our heads. Once you truly let go of those insecurities and start appreciating what you have consciously, let go of these unrealistic standards the society demands you meet is when you'll be able to do so much more in life.

We have to create a safe space for dialogues and engage in conversations that can actually be fruitful while coming up with solutions. The day I started feeling comfortable in my own skin was when I stopped comparing myself and started perceiving my own body as something that I've been gifted and that we tend to create boundaries for ourselves in our heads. Once you truly let go of those insecurities and start appreciating what you have consciously, let go of these unrealistic standards the society demands you meet is when you'll be able to do so much more in life.

  Vipasha Agarwal, Model/ Actor/ Mother   I never wanted to be a model. I grew up in a small town (Varanasi), where modelling at that time was not considered a respectable profession so to speak. I've always felt that I am a very average looking girl, so when I got commercial work, especially with big brands like Lakmé and Garnier, it took me by surprise.  I realised that my complexion and earthy looks were well accepted and learnt to own them and make them my identity. I am happy with what I've done and how I look and will never change it for anything. I want women to love themselves irrespective of whatever shape, size or colour they're born with. Because if you don’t love yourself, no one else will. So be confident with what you have and then see how it changes the way people treat you.

Vipasha Agarwal, Model/ Actor/ Mother

I never wanted to be a model. I grew up in a small town (Varanasi), where modelling at that time was not considered a respectable profession so to speak. I've always felt that I am a very average looking girl, so when I got commercial work, especially with big brands like Lakmé and Garnier, it took me by surprise.

I realised that my complexion and earthy looks were well accepted and learnt to own them and make them my identity. I am happy with what I've done and how I look and will never change it for anything. I want women to love themselves irrespective of whatever shape, size or colour they're born with. Because if you don’t love yourself, no one else will. So be confident with what you have and then see how it changes the way people treat you.

  Rytasha Rathore, Actor   I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid. I've always been pretty funny I think, and being in front of an audience never scared me. I remember how during college at some point I wanted to basically be Deepika Padukone. And in the second year of drama school I had a meeting with my Programme Leader who told me that I wasn't the 'typical' Bollywood female type. I think that's when it really hit me that I had to find my own voice. Ans so I did. It started with short, funny videos on Instagram called #Kaarnamey and then television happened. It all sort of pushed me to be this person; to be a voice for the girls in India who didn't have one of their own.

Rytasha Rathore, Actor

I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid. I've always been pretty funny I think, and being in front of an audience never scared me. I remember how during college at some point I wanted to basically be Deepika Padukone. And in the second year of drama school I had a meeting with my Programme Leader who told me that I wasn't the 'typical' Bollywood female type. I think that's when it really hit me that I had to find my own voice. Ans so I did. It started with short, funny videos on Instagram called #Kaarnamey and then television happened. It all sort of pushed me to be this person; to be a voice for the girls in India who didn't have one of their own.

 For most of school I was really insecure about my physical appearance. Largely, it had to do with the boys in school. Every boy I liked didn't like me back. To top it off, I had PCOD and a facial hair which I used to bleach regularly. So my male friends called me a Golden Retriever for most of high school. That didn't help either. Also, most of my friends were gorgeous skinny girls! I think it was drama school and life after that which forced me to reconsider my body image issues. But yes, thereafter, with the tv show etc, I've just gained a lot of confidence. Young girls message me on Instagram saying my posts really inspire them to love themselves. If that's all I can do, it's enough for me. Indian women need to start loving and respecting themselves. I'm happy to be a small part of that journey.

For most of school I was really insecure about my physical appearance. Largely, it had to do with the boys in school. Every boy I liked didn't like me back. To top it off, I had PCOD and a facial hair which I used to bleach regularly. So my male friends called me a Golden Retriever for most of high school. That didn't help either. Also, most of my friends were gorgeous skinny girls! I think it was drama school and life after that which forced me to reconsider my body image issues. But yes, thereafter, with the tv show etc, I've just gained a lot of confidence. Young girls message me on Instagram saying my posts really inspire them to love themselves. If that's all I can do, it's enough for me. Indian women need to start loving and respecting themselves. I'm happy to be a small part of that journey.

  Maalavika Manoj, Musician   I always wanted to be a musician but for the longest time I wasn't sure if music was going to be a serious hobby or a lucrative career option. I can't say I've found my voice or style yet. I think it is a lifelong process, and the beauty of it is the journey towards finding what suits you and what works in the moment. It's all about identifying what to listen to and what to disregard. The truth is that everyone's going to have an opinion so when you put art out into the world you need to be ready to take compliments just as well as criticism and know that if there are people who really love your work, there most definitely are people who don't, and that's alright. You can't please everyone, but you can always stay true to yourself.

Maalavika Manoj, Musician

I always wanted to be a musician but for the longest time I wasn't sure if music was going to be a serious hobby or a lucrative career option. I can't say I've found my voice or style yet. I think it is a lifelong process, and the beauty of it is the journey towards finding what suits you and what works in the moment. It's all about identifying what to listen to and what to disregard. The truth is that everyone's going to have an opinion so when you put art out into the world you need to be ready to take compliments just as well as criticism and know that if there are people who really love your work, there most definitely are people who don't, and that's alright. You can't please everyone, but you can always stay true to yourself.

 When I was younger, I didn't think I was the most proportionate person. There were times I wished I was a few inches taller, or had thinner thighs or thicker hair. But I've learnt to accept that most of us don't fit in with the cookie-cutter image we're conditioned to find attractive, and that's perfectly fine. We're lucky to be living in a time where people are actually speaking up about embracing different beauty standards. Though most of us have grown up being conditioned by mass media to think there's an ideal look, we have to unlearn all of it and open our minds to so many different definitions of beauty. And the moment we can see this beauty in others, we will most definitely see it in ourselves. Own those curves, own those scars and celebrate the unique combination of traits and features that make you what you are.

When I was younger, I didn't think I was the most proportionate person. There were times I wished I was a few inches taller, or had thinner thighs or thicker hair. But I've learnt to accept that most of us don't fit in with the cookie-cutter image we're conditioned to find attractive, and that's perfectly fine. We're lucky to be living in a time where people are actually speaking up about embracing different beauty standards. Though most of us have grown up being conditioned by mass media to think there's an ideal look, we have to unlearn all of it and open our minds to so many different definitions of beauty. And the moment we can see this beauty in others, we will most definitely see it in ourselves. Own those curves, own those scars and celebrate the unique combination of traits and features that make you what you are.

  Nimisha Verma, Motivational Speaker   People tend to disparage what they can't comprehend and that's okay. I can't make everyone in this world understand me. I do what I love, and for me that's enough. I let others decide if they find it conventional or unconventional. After all, we are under the same sky. There are days when I feel like I am the ugliest person alive. And then there are days when I am sad inside, but when I see myself in the mirror, it makes me forget that I am sad. I've realised that this body is carrying me. I am not carrying this body. All I need to do is embrace however it makes me feel. I change my hair colour with my mood and with each turning point in my life, I get a new tattoo on my skin. The more real and closer to yourself you reach, the more confident you become.

Nimisha Verma, Motivational Speaker

People tend to disparage what they can't comprehend and that's okay. I can't make everyone in this world understand me. I do what I love, and for me that's enough. I let others decide if they find it conventional or unconventional. After all, we are under the same sky. There are days when I feel like I am the ugliest person alive. And then there are days when I am sad inside, but when I see myself in the mirror, it makes me forget that I am sad. I've realised that this body is carrying me. I am not carrying this body. All I need to do is embrace however it makes me feel. I change my hair colour with my mood and with each turning point in my life, I get a new tattoo on my skin. The more real and closer to yourself you reach, the more confident you become.

  Us humans are taught that we are capable of defining, categorising and differentiating. But I believe that we are nothing but a 'zariya', a mere medium. The universe manifests itself through us. Who are we to call something fictional or real? So let's reach a dimension where our conscious and subconscious world meet. Where two different ocean currents unite. Where the lotus meets the rain. Where two lovers meet and laugh at the word. We've been away since a very very long time. And you did your fair share of travel, wrote your karmic account. Now that we've met, don't you feel that our experiences are different but the essence is the same?  Photographed by Indra Joshi   

 Us humans are taught that we are capable of defining, categorising and differentiating. But I believe that we are nothing but a 'zariya', a mere medium. The universe manifests itself through us. Who are we to call something fictional or real? So let's reach a dimension where our conscious and subconscious world meet. Where two different ocean currents unite. Where the lotus meets the rain. Where two lovers meet and laugh at the word. We've been away since a very very long time. And you did your fair share of travel, wrote your karmic account. Now that we've met, don't you feel that our experiences are different but the essence is the same?

Photographed by Indra Joshi

 

Chapter Ten: My Body, My Home
Chapter Ten: My Body, My Home

Learning to love yourself isn’t as easy as it ought to be. We live in a society that is perpetually off balance, where expectations and reality rarely align themselves, where validation is often sought in strangers that merely exist in a virtual space. 

It is important to create a safe space for oneself mentally, physically and emotionally, and to love the self in its entirety. And on this path to self realisation and care, loving the body is one of the most crucial aspects of growth.

Ripe, in collaboration with Design Fabric and Half Full Curve, interviewed six women coming from different worlds who love or have learnt to love their bodies, accepted their flaws, and shared their stories. 

Text by Rohini Kejriwal.

 Harnidh Kaur  Poet  For the longest time, I ignored my stretch marks because I didn’t see them very often. Being a part of this shoot made me realise that I wasn’t ignoring them as much as avoiding them. When I showed them off, I realised I quite like them. They make my skin look like river beds. When you grow up hating your body, you think everyone else hates you for it too, even when they don’t.  This went on for the longest time till it exhausted me into accepting myself. I don’t think I ‘love’ my body. I might never. But it’s strong, it’s weathered storms it didn’t deserve, and it soldiered on when the rest of me was broken and hurt. So is my body a shrine? No, shrines can be desecrated. Shrines are built by someone else and modified to please the men who create them. My body is a city. It has layers and layers of cacophony and history. 

Harnidh Kaur

Poet

For the longest time, I ignored my stretch marks because I didn’t see them very often. Being a part of this shoot made me realise that I wasn’t ignoring them as much as avoiding them. When I showed them off, I realised I quite like them. They make my skin look like river beds. When you grow up hating your body, you think everyone else hates you for it too, even when they don’t.  This went on for the longest time till it exhausted me into accepting myself. I don’t think I ‘love’ my body. I might never. But it’s strong, it’s weathered storms it didn’t deserve, and it soldiered on when the rest of me was broken and hurt. So is my body a shrine? No, shrines can be desecrated. Shrines are built by someone else and modified to please the men who create them. My body is a city. It has layers and layers of cacophony and history. 

 Neelakshi Singh   Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger  I have always had issues with myself being photographed. I'm very concerned about my double chin, my paunch, my muffin top, and the way the fat folds over my knees. Growing up, I was always the chubby kid that would be the first one to get into the pool to hide her thick thighs. But I was told I had such a pretty face that people would just dismiss looking at my body. So I centred my attention to my face too much. But for this shoot, I decided to bare it all.   It really bothers me how people still expect plus-size models to have the perfect hourglass figure with a curvy bum and boobs.What's worse is that the brands making clothes for plus-size women expect you to look a certain way to wear their garments instead of making feel-good clothing for the body type. 

Neelakshi Singh 

Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

I have always had issues with myself being photographed. I'm very concerned about my double chin, my paunch, my muffin top, and the way the fat folds over my knees. Growing up, I was always the chubby kid that would be the first one to get into the pool to hide her thick thighs. But I was told I had such a pretty face that people would just dismiss looking at my body. So I centred my attention to my face too much. But for this shoot, I decided to bare it all.

 It really bothers me how people still expect plus-size models to have the perfect hourglass figure with a curvy bum and boobs.What's worse is that the brands making clothes for plus-size women expect you to look a certain way to wear their garments instead of making feel-good clothing for the body type. 

 Hanisha Tirumalasetty   Visual Designer  For me, it's always been a love-hate relationship with my body. I tend to have my odd days of complete insecurity and most days of complete acceptance and love for it. I definitely don't see my body as a shrine. I go overboard and abuse it knowing it can take it. I don't eat healthy too often nor do I sleep on time. I just like to do whatever I feel like at any given time. This is probably not the greatest way to look at it.   I think because I'm relatively comfortable with my body and its ability to feel different to me everyday, I draw women of different shapes and sizes as an artist, without consciously trying to. When I depict women, my main focus is more on the emotion they evoke and less on the actual shape of their bodies.

Hanisha Tirumalasetty 

Visual Designer

For me, it's always been a love-hate relationship with my body. I tend to have my odd days of complete insecurity and most days of complete acceptance and love for it. I definitely don't see my body as a shrine. I go overboard and abuse it knowing it can take it. I don't eat healthy too often nor do I sleep on time. I just like to do whatever I feel like at any given time. This is probably not the greatest way to look at it.

 I think because I'm relatively comfortable with my body and its ability to feel different to me everyday, I draw women of different shapes and sizes as an artist, without consciously trying to. When I depict women, my main focus is more on the emotion they evoke and less on the actual shape of their bodies.

 Apoorva J  Yoga teacher and choreographer  Being into fitness, fashion, dance, and yoga, it’s absolutely necessary to have a very healthy relationship with your own body to be able to influence others to love theirs. I truly believe that I have never been fitter or healthier, and I am extremely accepting of whatever “flaws” I think I may have. Personally, I’ve always had an extremely athletic body, so this is pretty much what I envisioned my body to be like when I was younger - fuller, healthier, and lean with some sexy curves.  As a fitness influencer, a lot of my work involves being on social media. I get a lot of messages from people on my various social media channels and would like to believe that I am doing something that probably inspires someone, somewhere to start taking care of their body.

Apoorva J

Yoga teacher and choreographer

Being into fitness, fashion, dance, and yoga, it’s absolutely necessary to have a very healthy relationship with your own body to be able to influence others to love theirs. I truly believe that I have never been fitter or healthier, and I am extremely accepting of whatever “flaws” I think I may have. Personally, I’ve always had an extremely athletic body, so this is pretty much what I envisioned my body to be like when I was younger - fuller, healthier, and lean with some sexy curves.

As a fitness influencer, a lot of my work involves being on social media. I get a lot of messages from people on my various social media channels and would like to believe that I am doing something that probably inspires someone, somewhere to start taking care of their body.

 Pratiksha Singh  Plus-size model  There was a time when I had my own share of insecurities about how fat I thought my arms were or how I could never imagine wearing gorgeous dresses because I was too "big" for dresses. There have been points in life where I was at my lowest and was close to giving up. I have gone for almost a week without food, and if I was forced to eat, I would go throw up to ensure I had an empty stomach. As stupid as it feels now, it was only happening after listening to all the "You've become too fat, you should do something about it”. And most of it came from the closest of friends and family. It went to an extent of hating my body and life and everything about it.      

Pratiksha Singh

Plus-size model

There was a time when I had my own share of insecurities about how fat I thought my arms were or how I could never imagine wearing gorgeous dresses because I was too "big" for dresses. There have been points in life where I was at my lowest and was close to giving up. I have gone for almost a week without food, and if I was forced to eat, I would go throw up to ensure I had an empty stomach. As stupid as it feels now, it was only happening after listening to all the "You've become too fat, you should do something about it”. And most of it came from the closest of friends and family. It went to an extent of hating my body and life and everything about it.

 

 

 But over the years, I’ve gotten myself to love my body. When I look in the mirror, I love what I see. I especially love my curves and my shapely legs - they're big and strong and take me places. I couldn't be more grateful! I wish people were also capable of normalising all body types. It bothers me that people allow size to matter so much!   I’ve been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease Lichen Planus, which is basically an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to red and purple bumps all over the body, which eventually fade away leaving permanent black spots. I have been suffering from this condition for the last 18 months and honestly thought my modeling would have to stop because of the spots.. Now I just see them as special kinds of freckles on my body. They make me unique and I'm not ashamed to show it off or talk about it anymore.

But over the years, I’ve gotten myself to love my body. When I look in the mirror, I love what I see. I especially love my curves and my shapely legs - they're big and strong and take me places. I couldn't be more grateful! I wish people were also capable of normalising all body types. It bothers me that people allow size to matter so much! 

I’ve been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease Lichen Planus, which is basically an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to red and purple bumps all over the body, which eventually fade away leaving permanent black spots. I have been suffering from this condition for the last 18 months and honestly thought my modeling would have to stop because of the spots.. Now I just see them as special kinds of freckles on my body. They make me unique and I'm not ashamed to show it off or talk about it anymore.

 Sofia Thenmozhi Ashraf   Rapper  I didn’t get to choose my body, but I’ve made it my own. I’ve personalised it with ink and piercings and haircuts. Somedays I hide imperfections. Somedays I flaunt flaws. I think I’m too skinny. I know I’ll never be called sexy and I’m cool with that.   I was diagnosed with Lower Lumbar Scoliosis at the age of 15. Luckily, mine isn’t an extremely serious case. Extreme scoliosis can be morbidly disfiguring and become a physical limitation. I just go to bed in a bit of pain everyday, pull my back easier than most people, can’t sit or stand for long periods or carry heavy objects.

Sofia Thenmozhi Ashraf 

Rapper

I didn’t get to choose my body, but I’ve made it my own. I’ve personalised it with ink and piercings and haircuts. Somedays I hide imperfections. Somedays I flaunt flaws. I think I’m too skinny. I know I’ll never be called sexy and I’m cool with that. 

I was diagnosed with Lower Lumbar Scoliosis at the age of 15. Luckily, mine isn’t an extremely serious case. Extreme scoliosis can be morbidly disfiguring and become a physical limitation. I just go to bed in a bit of pain everyday, pull my back easier than most people, can’t sit or stand for long periods or carry heavy objects.

 Also, I walk funny and can’t do a handstand. Still, my scoliosis has been manageable. I’ve masked my duck walk with rapper swag. I use special orthopedic cushions on my chairs. I vow to do yoga each year, do it for a bit and fail to follow through.  For the shoot, I focussed on my Scoliosis for a number of reasons. Most people aren’t even aware of this condition. For those who wish to fix it, if diagnosed early, a back brace will save you from a lifetime of discomfort. My second reason was to show that having Scoliosis doesn’t make you a grotesque gargoyle.  I won’t romanticise a medical condition by calling it beautiful or something that adds character to my body. But I will say this - it is a part of who I am and if I can’t beat it, I’m going to own it.

Also, I walk funny and can’t do a handstand. Still, my scoliosis has been manageable. I’ve masked my duck walk with rapper swag. I use special orthopedic cushions on my chairs. I vow to do yoga each year, do it for a bit and fail to follow through.

For the shoot, I focussed on my Scoliosis for a number of reasons. Most people aren’t even aware of this condition. For those who wish to fix it, if diagnosed early, a back brace will save you from a lifetime of discomfort. My second reason was to show that having Scoliosis doesn’t make you a grotesque gargoyle.  I won’t romanticise a medical condition by calling it beautiful or something that adds character to my body. But I will say this - it is a part of who I am and if I can’t beat it, I’m going to own it.

  Featuring outfits courtesy  Half Full Curve , by Rixi and Tinka Bhatia.    Photographed by  Anai Bharucha .    Creative Direction by  Sanket Avlani .    Concept and Styling by  Shirin Salwan .    Hair and Make-up by  Alisha Agarwal.     Produced by Vanshika Chaudhary on behalf of  Design Fabric .           

Featuring outfits courtesy Half Full Curve, by Rixi and Tinka Bhatia.

Photographed by Anai Bharucha.

Creative Direction by Sanket Avlani.

Concept and Styling by Shirin Salwan.

Hair and Make-up by Alisha Agarwal.

Produced by Vanshika Chaudhary on behalf of Design Fabric

 

 

 

Chapter Eight: Rewind. Repeat.
Chapter Eight: Rewind. Repeat.

“All that she wants, is another baby, she’s gone tomorrow but,” said the cassette player, and I wondered why this woman wanted to have another child and then leave. Who was this anonymous person she so badly wanted a child from? Was it her child forcefully taken away from her, to begin with? I must be four when my Punjabi parents discovered Ace of Base and blasted it in our Maruti 800 on our way to the hills. And so it began, my quest for this mythical baby, who, a decade later then wanted to be hit one more time (that sadistic prick), and eventually only spoke in metaphors for male and female sexual organs.

 Us millennials were born during the fag end of the music revolution. We missed out on the swinging ‘60s, the roaring ‘70s and the rebellious ‘80s. We were the MTV generation, waiting with bated breath at night for our parents to fall asleep so we could watch bikini clad men and women gyrating next to a pool. The ‘90s is when we hit puberty, musically. And so as we exited the ‘90s, we eventually found our way back. Suddenly throwbacks seemed to be the new it-thing, sampling old beats and spitting and scratching modern day overtures over them.

Us millennials were born during the fag end of the music revolution. We missed out on the swinging ‘60s, the roaring ‘70s and the rebellious ‘80s. We were the MTV generation, waiting with bated breath at night for our parents to fall asleep so we could watch bikini clad men and women gyrating next to a pool. The ‘90s is when we hit puberty, musically. And so as we exited the ‘90s, we eventually found our way back. Suddenly throwbacks seemed to be the new it-thing, sampling old beats and spitting and scratching modern day overtures over them.

 That’s how I stumbled upon these women from a time before mine, women who felt their music was an instrument of power and used it to establish a strong individualistic identity like no other.  These women had a point of view and weren’t just sex symbols. From smashing gender norms to shutting up racist tv show hosts, they sure knew how to make a statement.    Supermodel  Nethra Raghuraman  effortlessly morphs into five such extraordinary female artists from the eighties we love and admire.

That’s how I stumbled upon these women from a time before mine, women who felt their music was an instrument of power and used it to establish a strong individualistic identity like no other.

These women had a point of view and weren’t just sex symbols. From smashing gender norms to shutting up racist tv show hosts, they sure knew how to make a statement.  

Supermodel Nethra Raghuraman effortlessly morphs into five such extraordinary female artists from the eighties we love and admire.

  Grace Jones    For making it about the music than the colour of the person creating it     “ I see myself as no color. I can play the role of a man. I can paint my face white if I want to and play the role of white. I can play a green, I can be a purple. I think I have that kind of frame and that kind of attitude where I can play an animal.”

Grace Jones

For making it about the music than the colour of the person creating it

I see myself as no color. I can play the role of a man. I can paint my face white if I want to and play the role of white. I can play a green, I can be a purple. I think I have that kind of frame and that kind of attitude where I can play an animal.”

  Signature Style:  Rebellious, adventurous and experimental.    Music:  Disco, Art-Pop, Electropop, Reggae.   Playlist:  Slave to the Rhythm, La Vie En Rose, My Jamaican Guy.  Mesh dress courtesy Anand Bhushan.

Signature Style: Rebellious, adventurous and experimental. 

Music: Disco, Art-Pop, Electropop, Reggae.

Playlist: Slave to the Rhythm, La Vie En Rose, My Jamaican Guy.

Mesh dress courtesy Anand Bhushan.

  Sade     For refusing to be a sellout     “I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. You can only grow as an artist as long as you allow yourself the time to grow as a person.”

Sade

For refusing to be a sellout

“I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. You can only grow as an artist as long as you allow yourself the time to grow as a person.”

  Signature Style:  Mysteriously elegant, relaxed and understated.    Music:  Soul, R&B.   Playlist:  Smooth Operator, The Sweetest Taboo, Nothing CanCome Between Us.  Shirt gown courtesy Nikhil Thampi. 

Signature Style: Mysteriously elegant, relaxed and understated. 

Music: Soul, R&B.

Playlist: Smooth Operator, The Sweetest Taboo, Nothing CanCome Between Us.

Shirt gown courtesy Nikhil Thampi. 

  Joan Jett    For being a true rockstar in an otherwise male dominated genre   “ People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do.”    

Joan Jett

For being a true rockstar in an otherwise male dominated genre

People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do.”

 

  Signature Style:  Rock-chic, punk and grunge.   Music:   Hard Rock, Punk Rock.   Playlist:  I Love Rock ’n’ Roll, Bad Reputation, You Don’t Own Me.  Embellished bustier courtesy Anand Bhushan.

Signature Style: Rock-chic, punk and grunge.

Music:  Hard Rock, Punk Rock.

Playlist: I Love Rock ’n’ Roll, Bad Reputation, You Don’t Own Me.

Embellished bustier courtesy Anand Bhushan.

  Patti Smith     For pioneering genderless style     “My mission is to communicate, to wake people up, to give them my energy and accept theirs. We're all in it together, and I respond emotionally as a worker, a mother, an artist, and a human being with a voice. We all have a voice. We have the responsibility to exercise it, to use it.”     

Patti Smith 

For pioneering genderless style

“My mission is to communicate, to wake people up, to give them my energy and accept theirs. We're all in it together, and I respond emotionally as a worker, a mother, an artist, and a human being with a voice. We all have a voice. We have the responsibility to exercise it, to use it.”


 

  Signature Style:  Androgynous, gender-neutral and boho-chic.   Music:  Art Rock, Punk Rock.   Playlist:  People have the Power, Going Under, Dream of Life.  Metal detail shirt courtesy Nikhil Thampi.

Signature Style: Androgynous, gender-neutral and boho-chic.

Music: Art Rock, Punk Rock.

Playlist: People have the Power, Going Under, Dream of Life.

Metal detail shirt courtesy Nikhil Thampi.

  Siouxie Sioux    For making crazy look cool     “ People forget the punk thing was really good for women. It motivated them to pick up a guitar rather than be a chanteuse. It allowed us to be aggressive.”        

Siouxie Sioux

For making crazy look cool

People forget the punk thing was really good for women. It motivated them to pick up a guitar rather than be a chanteuse. It allowed us to be aggressive.”

 


 

  Signature Style:  Eccentric, punk-vamp, dark and OTT.   Music:  Post Punk, New Wave, Goth Rock.   Playlist:  Happy House, Candyman, Song from the Edge of the World.  Molecule detail vest courtesy Anand Bhushan.

Signature Style: Eccentric, punk-vamp, dark and OTT.

Music: Post Punk, New Wave, Goth Rock.

Playlist: Happy House, Candyman, Song from the Edge of the World.

Molecule detail vest courtesy Anand Bhushan.

 Concept and Styling by Shirin Salwan.  Photographed by Rafique Sayed.  Hair by Akshata Nandan Honawar.  Makeup by Alisha Bhambani Agarwal.

Concept and Styling by Shirin Salwan.

Photographed by Rafique Sayed.

Hair by Akshata Nandan Honawar.

Makeup by Alisha Bhambani Agarwal.

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Chapter Seven: Escape
Chapter Seven: Escape

There are good days. And then there are bad ones. Last month I found my Facebook feed inundated with vacation pictures (still better than those pre-wedding shoots I suppose). And here I was, sitting in front of the laptop staring at the screen drinking my fifth cup of coffee so I could force ideas out of my system. 

 Nothing like a heady kick of caffeine to get you going. But somehow it did not seem to be doing it's job very well that morning (read afternoon). What keeps people motivated on days like these, I wondered.

Nothing like a heady kick of caffeine to get you going. But somehow it did not seem to be doing it's job very well that morning (read afternoon). What keeps people motivated on days like these, I wondered.

 I see a lot of women posting their pictures on social media and writing paragraphs on positivity in the description. And then of course there are the endless motivational quotes, something I've always openly mocked and ridiculed in the past. You almost know a person's entire life history by the content they share online. Just like an open book.

I see a lot of women posting their pictures on social media and writing paragraphs on positivity in the description. And then of course there are the endless motivational quotes, something I've always openly mocked and ridiculed in the past. You almost know a person's entire life history by the content they share online. Just like an open book.

 "Yeah we get it, your boyfriend left you," I'd remark jokingly. And today, here I was in dire need of motivation, almost ready to do anything that'd help, even if it meant sharing a quote or the lyrics to a song. And that's when it occurred to me what a hypocrite I had been. I had, on my wrist, tattooed the name of my favourite song. Yet I found myself judging people for their outlets of emotion. Was I confusing vulnerability for weakness? 

"Yeah we get it, your boyfriend left you," I'd remark jokingly. And today, here I was in dire need of motivation, almost ready to do anything that'd help, even if it meant sharing a quote or the lyrics to a song. And that's when it occurred to me what a hypocrite I had been. I had, on my wrist, tattooed the name of my favourite song. Yet I found myself judging people for their outlets of emotion. Was I confusing vulnerability for weakness? 

 Millions of people go through life struggling to be happy, to express, to love and be loved. And everyone finds different channels to vent. To release anxiety or to feel better after a bad day at work or a tiff with their partners. A song, a meme, an illustration, a poem. I think we all just have to learn to let it flow. Every once in a while, it's okay to let go. Did I get an idea for my story? I think I just did.       "Take your broken heart, make it into art." -Carrie Fisher

Millions of people go through life struggling to be happy, to express, to love and be loved. And everyone finds different channels to vent. To release anxiety or to feel better after a bad day at work or a tiff with their partners. A song, a meme, an illustration, a poem. I think we all just have to learn to let it flow. Every once in a while, it's okay to let go. Did I get an idea for my story? I think I just did. 

 

"Take your broken heart, make it into art." -Carrie Fisher

 Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Appurva Shah

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Appurva Shah

Chapter Five: Same Difference
Chapter Five: Same Difference

Ladies, the struggle is indeed real. For every seemingly perfect selfie you post on Instagram, there are a gazillion selfies you'll stumble upon browsing through your feed. The one with that girl in those ripped denim shorts and a crop top. "Ugghhh I hate those endless legs," you find yourself murmuring under your breath. Or, " Damn, I have the same dress but it looks so different on me." Here's the thing. You look different because, well, you are different. How many times have you seen or shared these body positive motivational quotes with clouds and rainbows as backdrops to re-assure yourself. You've convinced yourself in many ways that you slay, you're lit af and you're everything Maya Angelou or Marlyn Monroe said girls your age should be.

 And yet we find ourselves constantly comparing and somehow believing that a certain piece of clothing or colour is not for us. We've become so accustomed to being dictated fashion and beauty trends that we often forget to use our own brains. Growing up, I always hated my athletic legs and I refrained from wearing shorts or dresses for a very long time. Today, you’ll see me mostly in dresses and I don’t look half as bad, but I wish someone had told me then that it was okay to be shaped a certain way. I wish more and more influencers and magazines spoke about how diversely we’re all made, each unique with their own colour and curves.   Therefore, we decided to have a little fun with this one. We took two contrasting women with some underlying similarities and put them in front of the camera. In a similar outfit. 

And yet we find ourselves constantly comparing and somehow believing that a certain piece of clothing or colour is not for us. We've become so accustomed to being dictated fashion and beauty trends that we often forget to use our own brains. Growing up, I always hated my athletic legs and I refrained from wearing shorts or dresses for a very long time. Today, you’ll see me mostly in dresses and I don’t look half as bad, but I wish someone had told me then that it was okay to be shaped a certain way. I wish more and more influencers and magazines spoke about how diversely we’re all made, each unique with their own colour and curves. 

Therefore, we decided to have a little fun with this one. We took two contrasting women with some underlying similarities and put them in front of the camera. In a similar outfit. 

  Toshada Uma and Nashpreet Singh   Toshada is the tiniest girl I know and yet she can take any outfit and make it look straight out of a Parisian street style blog. So when we gave her these striped shorts that Nashpreet with her never-ending long legs posed in, the photographer couldn't stop clicking and we ran overtime on the studio!

Toshada Uma and Nashpreet Singh

Toshada is the tiniest girl I know and yet she can take any outfit and make it look straight out of a Parisian street style blog. So when we gave her these striped shorts that Nashpreet with her never-ending long legs posed in, the photographer couldn't stop clicking and we ran overtime on the studio!

 Nashpreet is a model by profession, and therefore, being in front of the camera comes easy to her. She is recovering from an ankle injury, but she jumped and pranced around for the perfect shot.

Nashpreet is a model by profession, and therefore, being in front of the camera comes easy to her. She is recovering from an ankle injury, but she jumped and pranced around for the perfect shot.

  Priyanka Balwa and Fehmin Belim   Priyanka was one of the first few people to write to me when I launched Ripe, and I loved her curves and confidence. I spotted Fehmin at a guest lecture I was taking at a fashion school and she was this frail little fashion enthusiast who actually paid attention and asked questions! I had to pair these two extremes together. A pencil skirt on a size zero looks as good as it does on a size eighteen, doesn't it!

Priyanka Balwa and Fehmin Belim

Priyanka was one of the first few people to write to me when I launched Ripe, and I loved her curves and confidence. I spotted Fehmin at a guest lecture I was taking at a fashion school and she was this frail little fashion enthusiast who actually paid attention and asked questions! I had to pair these two extremes together. A pencil skirt on a size zero looks as good as it does on a size eighteen, doesn't it!

  Nupur Kar and Pallavi Gurtoo    These two show you how to rock a LBD whether your skin is the colour of ivory or mocha. Pallavi is a super camera shy person and I've barely seen her post any selfies of her. Nupur, on the other hand is a social media junkie. They met for the first time and a lot of awkward posing later, they were a riot on set laughing and cracking jokes, and looking extremely stunning while doing so. 

Nupur Kar and Pallavi Gurtoo

These two show you how to rock a LBD whether your skin is the colour of ivory or mocha. Pallavi is a super camera shy person and I've barely seen her post any selfies of her. Nupur, on the other hand is a social media junkie. They met for the first time and a lot of awkward posing later, they were a riot on set laughing and cracking jokes, and looking extremely stunning while doing so. 

  Geetu Hinduja and Neha Thakker   This dynamic mother daughter duo was a complete delight to photograph. A lot of women shy away from wearing bold colours because they think it's not "age-appropriate".    "I'm wearing the skirt and you wear the pants," Geetu was quick to remark sifting through the many outfits we sourced for her. And needless to say, she rocked it.   Outfits courtesy: Payal Khandwala    Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Krishna V. Iyer  Make-up: Deepika Surana  Hair: Hemal Shah and Kanchan Zutshi 

Geetu Hinduja and Neha Thakker

This dynamic mother daughter duo was a complete delight to photograph. A lot of women shy away from wearing bold colours because they think it's not "age-appropriate".  

"I'm wearing the skirt and you wear the pants," Geetu was quick to remark sifting through the many outfits we sourced for her. And needless to say, she rocked it.

Outfits courtesy: Payal Khandwala

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Krishna V. Iyer

Make-up: Deepika Surana

Hair: Hemal Shah and Kanchan Zutshi 

Chapter Four: Doing it Right
Chapter Four: Doing it Right

Featuring Naina and Niyati, Nike+ Run Club Pacers and Athletes

It’s funny that most women I know (including me) want to lose weight. We’ve always equate fitness with weight loss and we’ll do whatever it takes. Whatever, except for the most effective method of them all- exercise. I hear of a new diet almost everyday from my friends; Intermittent fasting, Keto, GM and the list is endless.

On Niyati: Nike International Women's top, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in white

On Naina: NSW Tank Floro, Women's Aeroswift running shorts, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in black

 And while we covet a flat stomach or skinny limbs we see on athletes and fitness experts, we often forget how much time and effort they put into being the way they are. It’s a choice they make because their profession demands this of them. With all the talk about body positivity and loving diverse body types, we often end up singling out fit women who spend hours training and have the body they do because of sheer discipline and hard work; 6 am runs followed by a full day’s work ahead.   

And while we covet a flat stomach or skinny limbs we see on athletes and fitness experts, we often forget how much time and effort they put into being the way they are. It’s a choice they make because their profession demands this of them. With all the talk about body positivity and loving diverse body types, we often end up singling out fit women who spend hours training and have the body they do because of sheer discipline and hard work; 6 am runs followed by a full day’s work ahead.

 

 I mean think about it. Skipping a night out with friends to be able to train for a game the next morning; it’s not easy. So the next time you see a pair of abs on a woman, understand that she did not just #wakeuplikethis. And if a well-toned body is what you want, put on those running shoes, what are you waiting for?!  On Niyati: Nike Pro Hyperclassic bra

I mean think about it. Skipping a night out with friends to be able to train for a game the next morning; it’s not easy. So the next time you see a pair of abs on a woman, understand that she did not just #wakeuplikethis. And if a well-toned body is what you want, put on those running shoes, what are you waiting for?!

On Niyati: Nike Pro Hyperclassic bra

  Naina Mansukhani   For me, fitting in is the hardest thing to do. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to find a place for myself. I was a complete social outcast and considered very uncool by my peers. One morning, my school captain made me choose between running the cross country race or getting a detention, so I chose to run. When I began running, the first kilometre felt so monotonous that I just wanted it to end!  On Naina: Nike Pro Classic Logo bra

Naina Mansukhani

For me, fitting in is the hardest thing to do. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to find a place for myself. I was a complete social outcast and considered very uncool by my peers. One morning, my school captain made me choose between running the cross country race or getting a detention, so I chose to run. When I began running, the first kilometre felt so monotonous that I just wanted it to end!

On Naina: Nike Pro Classic Logo bra

 But as I went on I felt better, I didn't feel tired anymore. Instead, I  felt like I found a rhythm. This run happened when I was 8 years old and since then I've never stopped running. It gave me an identity, I went on to represent my school, my district, my city and my state. It's the only sport that is so accessible and personal. All you need is a pair of shoes. I run when I'm happy, I run when I'm confused, I run when I'm sad and I run when I'm angry. It's my answer to everything because I feel so connected to myself when I run.

But as I went on I felt better, I didn't feel tired anymore. Instead, I  felt like I found a rhythm. This run happened when I was 8 years old and since then I've never stopped running. It gave me an identity, I went on to represent my school, my district, my city and my state. It's the only sport that is so accessible and personal. All you need is a pair of shoes. I run when I'm happy, I run when I'm confused, I run when I'm sad and I run when I'm angry. It's my answer to everything because I feel so connected to myself when I run.

  Niyati Bharucha   People don't realise that athletes have to work their asses off all the time to be good at what they do. Looking good is a by-product, not the end goal. We don't tell ourselves everyday that hey if I train 9 times a week, then I will have abs and more followers on my social media page. I have to train everyday to beat myself from the previous month, to beat my opponents the next month, and to have the mental strength and ability to handle anything that comes my way for the rest of my life.  On Niyati: Power Nike Legendary Mid-rise training tights, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in white

Niyati Bharucha

People don't realise that athletes have to work their asses off all the time to be good at what they do. Looking good is a by-product, not the end goal. We don't tell ourselves everyday that hey if I train 9 times a week, then I will have abs and more followers on my social media page. I have to train everyday to beat myself from the previous month, to beat my opponents the next month, and to have the mental strength and ability to handle anything that comes my way for the rest of my life.

On Niyati: Power Nike Legendary Mid-rise training tights, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in white

 Why are more athletes not photographed wearing activewear in commercials? Athletes already know the movements, the reality of lifting the weight, of running for that long, of working that hard. Instead you have extremely unhealthy-looking women and men wearing it with tiny pink weights in their hands and terrible posture giving the wrong idea about fitness to people on social media.                      

Why are more athletes not photographed wearing activewear in commercials? Athletes already know the movements, the reality of lifting the weight, of running for that long, of working that hard. Instead you have extremely unhealthy-looking women and men wearing it with tiny pink weights in their hands and terrible posture giving the wrong idea about fitness to people on social media.                      

 On Niyati: Nike Pro Classic bra  On Naina: Nike Power Speed running tights, Nike Air Max Thea shoes  Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Aniruddh Kothari  Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora  Art: Appurva Shah  Follow Nike+ Run Club (@nikerunning), Niyati Bharucha (@ninjabharucha) and Naina Mansukhani (@noye17) on Instagram for some more fitness and style inspiration.      

On Niyati: Nike Pro Classic bra

On Naina: Nike Power Speed running tights, Nike Air Max Thea shoes

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Aniruddh Kothari

Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora

Art: Appurva Shah

Follow Nike+ Run Club (@nikerunning), Niyati Bharucha (@ninjabharucha) and Naina Mansukhani (@noye17) on Instagram for some more fitness and style inspiration.

 

 

 On Naina: Nike Pro Fierce bra, Nike Power Epic running tights, Nike Women's Air Presto shoes  All accessories and garments unless mentioned otherwise: Stylist's own   

On Naina: Nike Pro Fierce bra, Nike Power Epic running tights, Nike Women's Air Presto shoes

All accessories and garments unless mentioned otherwise: Stylist's own

 

Chapter Two: A Case for Statement Jewellery 
Chapter Two: A Case for Statement Jewellery 

The first time I saw Mrinalini Chandra’s collection at Fashion Week, I was intrigued by how she’d taken a childhood anecdote of her getting lost in a museum where she entered a room full of chairs and translated it into intricate pieces like ear cuffs, bangles and bold neckpieces with chairs being the central motif.

 I for once instantly felt drawn towards her collection because I love a backstory to objects. Whether it is something as trivial as a book in a bargain shop with hand written notes from a stranger, there’s a certain value addition to the most mundane things when they reek of nostalgia. 

I for once instantly felt drawn towards her collection because I love a backstory to objects. Whether it is something as trivial as a book in a bargain shop with hand written notes from a stranger, there’s a certain value addition to the most mundane things when they reek of nostalgia. 

 Now let me be honest here, like most people my age, I haven’t really bothered saving up enough to invest in jewellery or some other commodity that grown ups refer to as an ‘asset’ (yes, I am a grown up in denial). But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over these many years of working in Fashion, it is that when in doubt, wear a statement piece over anything from a LBD you’ve probably worn a hundred times previously to a simple shirt and jeans. 

Now let me be honest here, like most people my age, I haven’t really bothered saving up enough to invest in jewellery or some other commodity that grown ups refer to as an ‘asset’ (yes, I am a grown up in denial). But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over these many years of working in Fashion, it is that when in doubt, wear a statement piece over anything from a LBD you’ve probably worn a hundred times previously to a simple shirt and jeans. 

 I absolutely love Mrinalini’s contemporary take on traditional Indian techniques like kundan, jadau and meenakari that make it a perfect accessory for everything from a night out with friends to a wedding. Versatile pieces like these will go a long way in defining your style, giving you a distinct personality in a room full of nondescript high street knock offs. 

I absolutely love Mrinalini’s contemporary take on traditional Indian techniques like kundan, jadau and meenakari that make it a perfect accessory for everything from a night out with friends to a wedding. Versatile pieces like these will go a long way in defining your style, giving you a distinct personality in a room full of nondescript high street knock offs. 

 Jewellery can sometimes act like a time capsule, capturing and releasing memories from a bygone era that somehow still find relevance in one's present. A silver trinket from your childhood, a choker passed on to you by your great grandmother; there's something decidedly charming about these pieces that have withstood the test of time.

Jewellery can sometimes act like a time capsule, capturing and releasing memories from a bygone era that somehow still find relevance in one's present. A silver trinket from your childhood, a choker passed on to you by your great grandmother; there's something decidedly charming about these pieces that have withstood the test of time.

 Staying true to the theme of the jewellery, this house in the by-lanes of Wadala with retro frosted glass work to vintage mirror frames, is the epitome of old world charm while being nestled amongst the new. And though today many multi-storied structures tower these quaint archaic buildings, they've somehow managed to retain the essence of togetherness and warmth.

Staying true to the theme of the jewellery, this house in the by-lanes of Wadala with retro frosted glass work to vintage mirror frames, is the epitome of old world charm while being nestled amongst the new. And though today many multi-storied structures tower these quaint archaic buildings, they've somehow managed to retain the essence of togetherness and warmth.

 And while we struggle to find that fine balance between the old and the new, designers like Mrinalini Chandra are bridging the gap with their attention to detail and the passion to narrate folkore with a contemporary tone.   You can check out her Facebook page for more: Mrinalini Chandra, Artisan Atelier  Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Appurva Shah  Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora  Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das

And while we struggle to find that fine balance between the old and the new, designers like Mrinalini Chandra are bridging the gap with their attention to detail and the passion to narrate folkore with a contemporary tone. 

You can check out her Facebook page for more: Mrinalini Chandra, Artisan Atelier

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Appurva Shah

Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora

Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das

Chapter One- The Sari and The Shirt
Chapter One- The Sari and The Shirt

As millennials, we often underestimate the power of a sari. With temperatures rising, one yearns for something light and almost weightless touching the skin.

 That's the beauty of these nine yards of translucence; it conceals and reveals just the right things. I haven't come across a single woman who doesn't look good in a sari.

That's the beauty of these nine yards of translucence; it conceals and reveals just the right things. I haven't come across a single woman who doesn't look good in a sari.

 Growing up in a Punjabi household, I always saw my mother, grandmother and aunts wear salwar suits for any occasion; rarely a sari - with the exception of my aunt in Vishakhapatnam. She wore a sari all day, everyday - whether to do household chores or even sleep. It baffled me as to how she was so comfortable in what looked like a lot of fabric bunched together.

Growing up in a Punjabi household, I always saw my mother, grandmother and aunts wear salwar suits for any occasion; rarely a sari - with the exception of my aunt in Vishakhapatnam. She wore a sari all day, everyday - whether to do household chores or even sleep. It baffled me as to how she was so comfortable in what looked like a lot of fabric bunched together.

 I thought I would never be comfortable in something so complex. But the sari is one of the simplest and most creative piece of clothing you can have in your wardrobe.

I thought I would never be comfortable in something so complex. But the sari is one of the simplest and most creative piece of clothing you can have in your wardrobe.

 There are endless ways to drape it and even more ways to pair it and make it work for your body type.For this shoot, I decided to team my favourite cotton ones with shirts from my wardrobe.By pairing it with a light denim shirt or a formal pinstriped one, cotton saris can help you survive the summer and make a bold statement.

There are endless ways to drape it and even more ways to pair it and make it work for your body type.For this shoot, I decided to team my favourite cotton ones with shirts from my wardrobe.By pairing it with a light denim shirt or a formal pinstriped one, cotton saris can help you survive the summer and make a bold statement.

 I've come across so many people who think a sari ages them, but that's something I strongly disagree with. It's a fun garment to play around with if you're ready to experiment and are bored of cotton dresses and the usual jeans and tee combos.   Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Appuva Shah  Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora  Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das            

I've come across so many people who think a sari ages them, but that's something I strongly disagree with. It's a fun garment to play around with if you're ready to experiment and are bored of cotton dresses and the usual jeans and tee combos. 

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Appuva Shah

Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora

Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das

 

 

 

 

Chapter Twelve: White Noise
  Sarah Naqvi, Textile Artist   Art has been something that is inherent to who I am. I've always perceived things around me differently, almost like through a lens where I feel the need to translate it into something tangible like a sketch or embroidery; I feel the need to capture everything through art. I love trying new things and you'll always see me changing my hair colour or trying new hairstyles, I love experimenting and cannot settle on one thing even when it comes to my art. The reason I create what I do is to cater to people who do not understand these issues and feedback is a very important aspect of it. Therefore I take it as it comes, as it is a part and parcel of reaching an audience that hasn't been exposed to these ideas before.
 We have to create a safe space for dialogues and engage in conversations that can actually be fruitful while coming up with solutions. The day I started feeling comfortable in my own skin was when I stopped comparing myself and started perceiving my own body as something that I've been gifted and that we tend to create boundaries for ourselves in our heads. Once you truly let go of those insecurities and start appreciating what you have consciously, let go of these unrealistic standards the society demands you meet is when you'll be able to do so much more in life.
  Vipasha Agarwal, Model/ Actor/ Mother   I never wanted to be a model. I grew up in a small town (Varanasi), where modelling at that time was not considered a respectable profession so to speak. I've always felt that I am a very average looking girl, so when I got commercial work, especially with big brands like Lakmé and Garnier, it took me by surprise.  I realised that my complexion and earthy looks were well accepted and learnt to own them and make them my identity. I am happy with what I've done and how I look and will never change it for anything. I want women to love themselves irrespective of whatever shape, size or colour they're born with. Because if you don’t love yourself, no one else will. So be confident with what you have and then see how it changes the way people treat you.
  Rytasha Rathore, Actor   I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid. I've always been pretty funny I think, and being in front of an audience never scared me. I remember how during college at some point I wanted to basically be Deepika Padukone. And in the second year of drama school I had a meeting with my Programme Leader who told me that I wasn't the 'typical' Bollywood female type. I think that's when it really hit me that I had to find my own voice. Ans so I did. It started with short, funny videos on Instagram called #Kaarnamey and then television happened. It all sort of pushed me to be this person; to be a voice for the girls in India who didn't have one of their own.
 For most of school I was really insecure about my physical appearance. Largely, it had to do with the boys in school. Every boy I liked didn't like me back. To top it off, I had PCOD and a facial hair which I used to bleach regularly. So my male friends called me a Golden Retriever for most of high school. That didn't help either. Also, most of my friends were gorgeous skinny girls! I think it was drama school and life after that which forced me to reconsider my body image issues. But yes, thereafter, with the tv show etc, I've just gained a lot of confidence. Young girls message me on Instagram saying my posts really inspire them to love themselves. If that's all I can do, it's enough for me. Indian women need to start loving and respecting themselves. I'm happy to be a small part of that journey.
  Maalavika Manoj, Musician   I always wanted to be a musician but for the longest time I wasn't sure if music was going to be a serious hobby or a lucrative career option. I can't say I've found my voice or style yet. I think it is a lifelong process, and the beauty of it is the journey towards finding what suits you and what works in the moment. It's all about identifying what to listen to and what to disregard. The truth is that everyone's going to have an opinion so when you put art out into the world you need to be ready to take compliments just as well as criticism and know that if there are people who really love your work, there most definitely are people who don't, and that's alright. You can't please everyone, but you can always stay true to yourself.
 When I was younger, I didn't think I was the most proportionate person. There were times I wished I was a few inches taller, or had thinner thighs or thicker hair. But I've learnt to accept that most of us don't fit in with the cookie-cutter image we're conditioned to find attractive, and that's perfectly fine. We're lucky to be living in a time where people are actually speaking up about embracing different beauty standards. Though most of us have grown up being conditioned by mass media to think there's an ideal look, we have to unlearn all of it and open our minds to so many different definitions of beauty. And the moment we can see this beauty in others, we will most definitely see it in ourselves. Own those curves, own those scars and celebrate the unique combination of traits and features that make you what you are.
  Nimisha Verma, Motivational Speaker   People tend to disparage what they can't comprehend and that's okay. I can't make everyone in this world understand me. I do what I love, and for me that's enough. I let others decide if they find it conventional or unconventional. After all, we are under the same sky. There are days when I feel like I am the ugliest person alive. And then there are days when I am sad inside, but when I see myself in the mirror, it makes me forget that I am sad. I've realised that this body is carrying me. I am not carrying this body. All I need to do is embrace however it makes me feel. I change my hair colour with my mood and with each turning point in my life, I get a new tattoo on my skin. The more real and closer to yourself you reach, the more confident you become.
  Us humans are taught that we are capable of defining, categorising and differentiating. But I believe that we are nothing but a 'zariya', a mere medium. The universe manifests itself through us. Who are we to call something fictional or real? So let's reach a dimension where our conscious and subconscious world meet. Where two different ocean currents unite. Where the lotus meets the rain. Where two lovers meet and laugh at the word. We've been away since a very very long time. And you did your fair share of travel, wrote your karmic account. Now that we've met, don't you feel that our experiences are different but the essence is the same?  Photographed by Indra Joshi   
Chapter Ten: My Body, My Home
 Harnidh Kaur  Poet  For the longest time, I ignored my stretch marks because I didn’t see them very often. Being a part of this shoot made me realise that I wasn’t ignoring them as much as avoiding them. When I showed them off, I realised I quite like them. They make my skin look like river beds. When you grow up hating your body, you think everyone else hates you for it too, even when they don’t.  This went on for the longest time till it exhausted me into accepting myself. I don’t think I ‘love’ my body. I might never. But it’s strong, it’s weathered storms it didn’t deserve, and it soldiered on when the rest of me was broken and hurt. So is my body a shrine? No, shrines can be desecrated. Shrines are built by someone else and modified to please the men who create them. My body is a city. It has layers and layers of cacophony and history. 
 Neelakshi Singh   Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger  I have always had issues with myself being photographed. I'm very concerned about my double chin, my paunch, my muffin top, and the way the fat folds over my knees. Growing up, I was always the chubby kid that would be the first one to get into the pool to hide her thick thighs. But I was told I had such a pretty face that people would just dismiss looking at my body. So I centred my attention to my face too much. But for this shoot, I decided to bare it all.   It really bothers me how people still expect plus-size models to have the perfect hourglass figure with a curvy bum and boobs.What's worse is that the brands making clothes for plus-size women expect you to look a certain way to wear their garments instead of making feel-good clothing for the body type. 
 Hanisha Tirumalasetty   Visual Designer  For me, it's always been a love-hate relationship with my body. I tend to have my odd days of complete insecurity and most days of complete acceptance and love for it. I definitely don't see my body as a shrine. I go overboard and abuse it knowing it can take it. I don't eat healthy too often nor do I sleep on time. I just like to do whatever I feel like at any given time. This is probably not the greatest way to look at it.   I think because I'm relatively comfortable with my body and its ability to feel different to me everyday, I draw women of different shapes and sizes as an artist, without consciously trying to. When I depict women, my main focus is more on the emotion they evoke and less on the actual shape of their bodies.
 Apoorva J  Yoga teacher and choreographer  Being into fitness, fashion, dance, and yoga, it’s absolutely necessary to have a very healthy relationship with your own body to be able to influence others to love theirs. I truly believe that I have never been fitter or healthier, and I am extremely accepting of whatever “flaws” I think I may have. Personally, I’ve always had an extremely athletic body, so this is pretty much what I envisioned my body to be like when I was younger - fuller, healthier, and lean with some sexy curves.  As a fitness influencer, a lot of my work involves being on social media. I get a lot of messages from people on my various social media channels and would like to believe that I am doing something that probably inspires someone, somewhere to start taking care of their body.
 Pratiksha Singh  Plus-size model  There was a time when I had my own share of insecurities about how fat I thought my arms were or how I could never imagine wearing gorgeous dresses because I was too "big" for dresses. There have been points in life where I was at my lowest and was close to giving up. I have gone for almost a week without food, and if I was forced to eat, I would go throw up to ensure I had an empty stomach. As stupid as it feels now, it was only happening after listening to all the "You've become too fat, you should do something about it”. And most of it came from the closest of friends and family. It went to an extent of hating my body and life and everything about it.      
 But over the years, I’ve gotten myself to love my body. When I look in the mirror, I love what I see. I especially love my curves and my shapely legs - they're big and strong and take me places. I couldn't be more grateful! I wish people were also capable of normalising all body types. It bothers me that people allow size to matter so much!   I’ve been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease Lichen Planus, which is basically an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to red and purple bumps all over the body, which eventually fade away leaving permanent black spots. I have been suffering from this condition for the last 18 months and honestly thought my modeling would have to stop because of the spots.. Now I just see them as special kinds of freckles on my body. They make me unique and I'm not ashamed to show it off or talk about it anymore.
 Sofia Thenmozhi Ashraf   Rapper  I didn’t get to choose my body, but I’ve made it my own. I’ve personalised it with ink and piercings and haircuts. Somedays I hide imperfections. Somedays I flaunt flaws. I think I’m too skinny. I know I’ll never be called sexy and I’m cool with that.   I was diagnosed with Lower Lumbar Scoliosis at the age of 15. Luckily, mine isn’t an extremely serious case. Extreme scoliosis can be morbidly disfiguring and become a physical limitation. I just go to bed in a bit of pain everyday, pull my back easier than most people, can’t sit or stand for long periods or carry heavy objects.
 Also, I walk funny and can’t do a handstand. Still, my scoliosis has been manageable. I’ve masked my duck walk with rapper swag. I use special orthopedic cushions on my chairs. I vow to do yoga each year, do it for a bit and fail to follow through.  For the shoot, I focussed on my Scoliosis for a number of reasons. Most people aren’t even aware of this condition. For those who wish to fix it, if diagnosed early, a back brace will save you from a lifetime of discomfort. My second reason was to show that having Scoliosis doesn’t make you a grotesque gargoyle.  I won’t romanticise a medical condition by calling it beautiful or something that adds character to my body. But I will say this - it is a part of who I am and if I can’t beat it, I’m going to own it.
  Featuring outfits courtesy  Half Full Curve , by Rixi and Tinka Bhatia.    Photographed by  Anai Bharucha .    Creative Direction by  Sanket Avlani .    Concept and Styling by  Shirin Salwan .    Hair and Make-up by  Alisha Agarwal.     Produced by Vanshika Chaudhary on behalf of  Design Fabric .           
Chapter Eight: Rewind. Repeat.
 Us millennials were born during the fag end of the music revolution. We missed out on the swinging ‘60s, the roaring ‘70s and the rebellious ‘80s. We were the MTV generation, waiting with bated breath at night for our parents to fall asleep so we could watch bikini clad men and women gyrating next to a pool. The ‘90s is when we hit puberty, musically. And so as we exited the ‘90s, we eventually found our way back. Suddenly throwbacks seemed to be the new it-thing, sampling old beats and spitting and scratching modern day overtures over them.
 That’s how I stumbled upon these women from a time before mine, women who felt their music was an instrument of power and used it to establish a strong individualistic identity like no other.  These women had a point of view and weren’t just sex symbols. From smashing gender norms to shutting up racist tv show hosts, they sure knew how to make a statement.    Supermodel  Nethra Raghuraman  effortlessly morphs into five such extraordinary female artists from the eighties we love and admire.
  Grace Jones    For making it about the music than the colour of the person creating it     “ I see myself as no color. I can play the role of a man. I can paint my face white if I want to and play the role of white. I can play a green, I can be a purple. I think I have that kind of frame and that kind of attitude where I can play an animal.”
  Signature Style:  Rebellious, adventurous and experimental.    Music:  Disco, Art-Pop, Electropop, Reggae.   Playlist:  Slave to the Rhythm, La Vie En Rose, My Jamaican Guy.  Mesh dress courtesy Anand Bhushan.
  Sade     For refusing to be a sellout     “I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. You can only grow as an artist as long as you allow yourself the time to grow as a person.”
  Signature Style:  Mysteriously elegant, relaxed and understated.    Music:  Soul, R&B.   Playlist:  Smooth Operator, The Sweetest Taboo, Nothing CanCome Between Us.  Shirt gown courtesy Nikhil Thampi. 
  Joan Jett    For being a true rockstar in an otherwise male dominated genre   “ People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do.”    
  Signature Style:  Rock-chic, punk and grunge.   Music:   Hard Rock, Punk Rock.   Playlist:  I Love Rock ’n’ Roll, Bad Reputation, You Don’t Own Me.  Embellished bustier courtesy Anand Bhushan.
  Patti Smith     For pioneering genderless style     “My mission is to communicate, to wake people up, to give them my energy and accept theirs. We're all in it together, and I respond emotionally as a worker, a mother, an artist, and a human being with a voice. We all have a voice. We have the responsibility to exercise it, to use it.”     
  Signature Style:  Androgynous, gender-neutral and boho-chic.   Music:  Art Rock, Punk Rock.   Playlist:  People have the Power, Going Under, Dream of Life.  Metal detail shirt courtesy Nikhil Thampi.
  Siouxie Sioux    For making crazy look cool     “ People forget the punk thing was really good for women. It motivated them to pick up a guitar rather than be a chanteuse. It allowed us to be aggressive.”        
  Signature Style:  Eccentric, punk-vamp, dark and OTT.   Music:  Post Punk, New Wave, Goth Rock.   Playlist:  Happy House, Candyman, Song from the Edge of the World.  Molecule detail vest courtesy Anand Bhushan.
 Concept and Styling by Shirin Salwan.  Photographed by Rafique Sayed.  Hair by Akshata Nandan Honawar.  Makeup by Alisha Bhambani Agarwal.
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Chapter Seven: Escape
 Nothing like a heady kick of caffeine to get you going. But somehow it did not seem to be doing it's job very well that morning (read afternoon). What keeps people motivated on days like these, I wondered.
 I see a lot of women posting their pictures on social media and writing paragraphs on positivity in the description. And then of course there are the endless motivational quotes, something I've always openly mocked and ridiculed in the past. You almost know a person's entire life history by the content they share online. Just like an open book.
 "Yeah we get it, your boyfriend left you," I'd remark jokingly. And today, here I was in dire need of motivation, almost ready to do anything that'd help, even if it meant sharing a quote or the lyrics to a song. And that's when it occurred to me what a hypocrite I had been. I had, on my wrist, tattooed the name of my favourite song. Yet I found myself judging people for their outlets of emotion. Was I confusing vulnerability for weakness? 
 Millions of people go through life struggling to be happy, to express, to love and be loved. And everyone finds different channels to vent. To release anxiety or to feel better after a bad day at work or a tiff with their partners. A song, a meme, an illustration, a poem. I think we all just have to learn to let it flow. Every once in a while, it's okay to let go. Did I get an idea for my story? I think I just did.       "Take your broken heart, make it into art." -Carrie Fisher
 Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Appurva Shah
Chapter Five: Same Difference
 And yet we find ourselves constantly comparing and somehow believing that a certain piece of clothing or colour is not for us. We've become so accustomed to being dictated fashion and beauty trends that we often forget to use our own brains. Growing up, I always hated my athletic legs and I refrained from wearing shorts or dresses for a very long time. Today, you’ll see me mostly in dresses and I don’t look half as bad, but I wish someone had told me then that it was okay to be shaped a certain way. I wish more and more influencers and magazines spoke about how diversely we’re all made, each unique with their own colour and curves.   Therefore, we decided to have a little fun with this one. We took two contrasting women with some underlying similarities and put them in front of the camera. In a similar outfit. 
  Toshada Uma and Nashpreet Singh   Toshada is the tiniest girl I know and yet she can take any outfit and make it look straight out of a Parisian street style blog. So when we gave her these striped shorts that Nashpreet with her never-ending long legs posed in, the photographer couldn't stop clicking and we ran overtime on the studio!
 Nashpreet is a model by profession, and therefore, being in front of the camera comes easy to her. She is recovering from an ankle injury, but she jumped and pranced around for the perfect shot.
  Priyanka Balwa and Fehmin Belim   Priyanka was one of the first few people to write to me when I launched Ripe, and I loved her curves and confidence. I spotted Fehmin at a guest lecture I was taking at a fashion school and she was this frail little fashion enthusiast who actually paid attention and asked questions! I had to pair these two extremes together. A pencil skirt on a size zero looks as good as it does on a size eighteen, doesn't it!
  Nupur Kar and Pallavi Gurtoo    These two show you how to rock a LBD whether your skin is the colour of ivory or mocha. Pallavi is a super camera shy person and I've barely seen her post any selfies of her. Nupur, on the other hand is a social media junkie. They met for the first time and a lot of awkward posing later, they were a riot on set laughing and cracking jokes, and looking extremely stunning while doing so. 
  Geetu Hinduja and Neha Thakker   This dynamic mother daughter duo was a complete delight to photograph. A lot of women shy away from wearing bold colours because they think it's not "age-appropriate".    "I'm wearing the skirt and you wear the pants," Geetu was quick to remark sifting through the many outfits we sourced for her. And needless to say, she rocked it.   Outfits courtesy: Payal Khandwala    Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Krishna V. Iyer  Make-up: Deepika Surana  Hair: Hemal Shah and Kanchan Zutshi 
Chapter Four: Doing it Right
 And while we covet a flat stomach or skinny limbs we see on athletes and fitness experts, we often forget how much time and effort they put into being the way they are. It’s a choice they make because their profession demands this of them. With all the talk about body positivity and loving diverse body types, we often end up singling out fit women who spend hours training and have the body they do because of sheer discipline and hard work; 6 am runs followed by a full day’s work ahead.   
 I mean think about it. Skipping a night out with friends to be able to train for a game the next morning; it’s not easy. So the next time you see a pair of abs on a woman, understand that she did not just #wakeuplikethis. And if a well-toned body is what you want, put on those running shoes, what are you waiting for?!  On Niyati: Nike Pro Hyperclassic bra
  Naina Mansukhani   For me, fitting in is the hardest thing to do. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to find a place for myself. I was a complete social outcast and considered very uncool by my peers. One morning, my school captain made me choose between running the cross country race or getting a detention, so I chose to run. When I began running, the first kilometre felt so monotonous that I just wanted it to end!  On Naina: Nike Pro Classic Logo bra
 But as I went on I felt better, I didn't feel tired anymore. Instead, I  felt like I found a rhythm. This run happened when I was 8 years old and since then I've never stopped running. It gave me an identity, I went on to represent my school, my district, my city and my state. It's the only sport that is so accessible and personal. All you need is a pair of shoes. I run when I'm happy, I run when I'm confused, I run when I'm sad and I run when I'm angry. It's my answer to everything because I feel so connected to myself when I run.
  Niyati Bharucha   People don't realise that athletes have to work their asses off all the time to be good at what they do. Looking good is a by-product, not the end goal. We don't tell ourselves everyday that hey if I train 9 times a week, then I will have abs and more followers on my social media page. I have to train everyday to beat myself from the previous month, to beat my opponents the next month, and to have the mental strength and ability to handle anything that comes my way for the rest of my life.  On Niyati: Power Nike Legendary Mid-rise training tights, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in white
 Why are more athletes not photographed wearing activewear in commercials? Athletes already know the movements, the reality of lifting the weight, of running for that long, of working that hard. Instead you have extremely unhealthy-looking women and men wearing it with tiny pink weights in their hands and terrible posture giving the wrong idea about fitness to people on social media.                      
 On Niyati: Nike Pro Classic bra  On Naina: Nike Power Speed running tights, Nike Air Max Thea shoes  Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Aniruddh Kothari  Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora  Art: Appurva Shah  Follow Nike+ Run Club (@nikerunning), Niyati Bharucha (@ninjabharucha) and Naina Mansukhani (@noye17) on Instagram for some more fitness and style inspiration.      
 On Naina: Nike Pro Fierce bra, Nike Power Epic running tights, Nike Women's Air Presto shoes  All accessories and garments unless mentioned otherwise: Stylist's own   
Chapter Two: A Case for Statement Jewellery 
 I for once instantly felt drawn towards her collection because I love a backstory to objects. Whether it is something as trivial as a book in a bargain shop with hand written notes from a stranger, there’s a certain value addition to the most mundane things when they reek of nostalgia. 
 Now let me be honest here, like most people my age, I haven’t really bothered saving up enough to invest in jewellery or some other commodity that grown ups refer to as an ‘asset’ (yes, I am a grown up in denial). But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over these many years of working in Fashion, it is that when in doubt, wear a statement piece over anything from a LBD you’ve probably worn a hundred times previously to a simple shirt and jeans. 
 I absolutely love Mrinalini’s contemporary take on traditional Indian techniques like kundan, jadau and meenakari that make it a perfect accessory for everything from a night out with friends to a wedding. Versatile pieces like these will go a long way in defining your style, giving you a distinct personality in a room full of nondescript high street knock offs. 
 Jewellery can sometimes act like a time capsule, capturing and releasing memories from a bygone era that somehow still find relevance in one's present. A silver trinket from your childhood, a choker passed on to you by your great grandmother; there's something decidedly charming about these pieces that have withstood the test of time.
 Staying true to the theme of the jewellery, this house in the by-lanes of Wadala with retro frosted glass work to vintage mirror frames, is the epitome of old world charm while being nestled amongst the new. And though today many multi-storied structures tower these quaint archaic buildings, they've somehow managed to retain the essence of togetherness and warmth.
 And while we struggle to find that fine balance between the old and the new, designers like Mrinalini Chandra are bridging the gap with their attention to detail and the passion to narrate folkore with a contemporary tone.   You can check out her Facebook page for more: Mrinalini Chandra, Artisan Atelier  Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Appurva Shah  Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora  Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das
Chapter One- The Sari and The Shirt
 That's the beauty of these nine yards of translucence; it conceals and reveals just the right things. I haven't come across a single woman who doesn't look good in a sari.
 Growing up in a Punjabi household, I always saw my mother, grandmother and aunts wear salwar suits for any occasion; rarely a sari - with the exception of my aunt in Vishakhapatnam. She wore a sari all day, everyday - whether to do household chores or even sleep. It baffled me as to how she was so comfortable in what looked like a lot of fabric bunched together.
 I thought I would never be comfortable in something so complex. But the sari is one of the simplest and most creative piece of clothing you can have in your wardrobe.
 There are endless ways to drape it and even more ways to pair it and make it work for your body type.For this shoot, I decided to team my favourite cotton ones with shirts from my wardrobe.By pairing it with a light denim shirt or a formal pinstriped one, cotton saris can help you survive the summer and make a bold statement.
 I've come across so many people who think a sari ages them, but that's something I strongly disagree with. It's a fun garment to play around with if you're ready to experiment and are bored of cotton dresses and the usual jeans and tee combos.   Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan  Photographed by: Appuva Shah  Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora  Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das            
Chapter Twelve: White Noise

It's overwhelming isn't it. Everyone on social media is sexier, smarter, happier and seemingly more successful than you almost by default. You might think you have this amazing idea, but there's already some hundred people who've executed it, and maybe even better than you.

In the current age of social media, it is important now more than ever to find your voice and remain true to it. Ripe in association with Kharakapas photographed five such women with distinct identities and spoke to them about finding their independent voices and what being confident means to them today. Excerpts from the conversations...

Sarah Naqvi, Textile Artist

Art has been something that is inherent to who I am. I've always perceived things around me differently, almost like through a lens where I feel the need to translate it into something tangible like a sketch or embroidery; I feel the need to capture everything through art. I love trying new things and you'll always see me changing my hair colour or trying new hairstyles, I love experimenting and cannot settle on one thing even when it comes to my art. The reason I create what I do is to cater to people who do not understand these issues and feedback is a very important aspect of it. Therefore I take it as it comes, as it is a part and parcel of reaching an audience that hasn't been exposed to these ideas before.

We have to create a safe space for dialogues and engage in conversations that can actually be fruitful while coming up with solutions. The day I started feeling comfortable in my own skin was when I stopped comparing myself and started perceiving my own body as something that I've been gifted and that we tend to create boundaries for ourselves in our heads. Once you truly let go of those insecurities and start appreciating what you have consciously, let go of these unrealistic standards the society demands you meet is when you'll be able to do so much more in life.

Vipasha Agarwal, Model/ Actor/ Mother

I never wanted to be a model. I grew up in a small town (Varanasi), where modelling at that time was not considered a respectable profession so to speak. I've always felt that I am a very average looking girl, so when I got commercial work, especially with big brands like Lakmé and Garnier, it took me by surprise.

I realised that my complexion and earthy looks were well accepted and learnt to own them and make them my identity. I am happy with what I've done and how I look and will never change it for anything. I want women to love themselves irrespective of whatever shape, size or colour they're born with. Because if you don’t love yourself, no one else will. So be confident with what you have and then see how it changes the way people treat you.

Rytasha Rathore, Actor

I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid. I've always been pretty funny I think, and being in front of an audience never scared me. I remember how during college at some point I wanted to basically be Deepika Padukone. And in the second year of drama school I had a meeting with my Programme Leader who told me that I wasn't the 'typical' Bollywood female type. I think that's when it really hit me that I had to find my own voice. Ans so I did. It started with short, funny videos on Instagram called #Kaarnamey and then television happened. It all sort of pushed me to be this person; to be a voice for the girls in India who didn't have one of their own.

For most of school I was really insecure about my physical appearance. Largely, it had to do with the boys in school. Every boy I liked didn't like me back. To top it off, I had PCOD and a facial hair which I used to bleach regularly. So my male friends called me a Golden Retriever for most of high school. That didn't help either. Also, most of my friends were gorgeous skinny girls! I think it was drama school and life after that which forced me to reconsider my body image issues. But yes, thereafter, with the tv show etc, I've just gained a lot of confidence. Young girls message me on Instagram saying my posts really inspire them to love themselves. If that's all I can do, it's enough for me. Indian women need to start loving and respecting themselves. I'm happy to be a small part of that journey.

Maalavika Manoj, Musician

I always wanted to be a musician but for the longest time I wasn't sure if music was going to be a serious hobby or a lucrative career option. I can't say I've found my voice or style yet. I think it is a lifelong process, and the beauty of it is the journey towards finding what suits you and what works in the moment. It's all about identifying what to listen to and what to disregard. The truth is that everyone's going to have an opinion so when you put art out into the world you need to be ready to take compliments just as well as criticism and know that if there are people who really love your work, there most definitely are people who don't, and that's alright. You can't please everyone, but you can always stay true to yourself.

When I was younger, I didn't think I was the most proportionate person. There were times I wished I was a few inches taller, or had thinner thighs or thicker hair. But I've learnt to accept that most of us don't fit in with the cookie-cutter image we're conditioned to find attractive, and that's perfectly fine. We're lucky to be living in a time where people are actually speaking up about embracing different beauty standards. Though most of us have grown up being conditioned by mass media to think there's an ideal look, we have to unlearn all of it and open our minds to so many different definitions of beauty. And the moment we can see this beauty in others, we will most definitely see it in ourselves. Own those curves, own those scars and celebrate the unique combination of traits and features that make you what you are.

Nimisha Verma, Motivational Speaker

People tend to disparage what they can't comprehend and that's okay. I can't make everyone in this world understand me. I do what I love, and for me that's enough. I let others decide if they find it conventional or unconventional. After all, we are under the same sky. There are days when I feel like I am the ugliest person alive. And then there are days when I am sad inside, but when I see myself in the mirror, it makes me forget that I am sad. I've realised that this body is carrying me. I am not carrying this body. All I need to do is embrace however it makes me feel. I change my hair colour with my mood and with each turning point in my life, I get a new tattoo on my skin. The more real and closer to yourself you reach, the more confident you become.

 Us humans are taught that we are capable of defining, categorising and differentiating. But I believe that we are nothing but a 'zariya', a mere medium. The universe manifests itself through us. Who are we to call something fictional or real? So let's reach a dimension where our conscious and subconscious world meet. Where two different ocean currents unite. Where the lotus meets the rain. Where two lovers meet and laugh at the word. We've been away since a very very long time. And you did your fair share of travel, wrote your karmic account. Now that we've met, don't you feel that our experiences are different but the essence is the same?

Photographed by Indra Joshi

 

Chapter Ten: My Body, My Home

Learning to love yourself isn’t as easy as it ought to be. We live in a society that is perpetually off balance, where expectations and reality rarely align themselves, where validation is often sought in strangers that merely exist in a virtual space. 

It is important to create a safe space for oneself mentally, physically and emotionally, and to love the self in its entirety. And on this path to self realisation and care, loving the body is one of the most crucial aspects of growth.

Ripe, in collaboration with Design Fabric and Half Full Curve, interviewed six women coming from different worlds who love or have learnt to love their bodies, accepted their flaws, and shared their stories. 

Text by Rohini Kejriwal.

Harnidh Kaur

Poet

For the longest time, I ignored my stretch marks because I didn’t see them very often. Being a part of this shoot made me realise that I wasn’t ignoring them as much as avoiding them. When I showed them off, I realised I quite like them. They make my skin look like river beds. When you grow up hating your body, you think everyone else hates you for it too, even when they don’t.  This went on for the longest time till it exhausted me into accepting myself. I don’t think I ‘love’ my body. I might never. But it’s strong, it’s weathered storms it didn’t deserve, and it soldiered on when the rest of me was broken and hurt. So is my body a shrine? No, shrines can be desecrated. Shrines are built by someone else and modified to please the men who create them. My body is a city. It has layers and layers of cacophony and history. 

Neelakshi Singh 

Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

I have always had issues with myself being photographed. I'm very concerned about my double chin, my paunch, my muffin top, and the way the fat folds over my knees. Growing up, I was always the chubby kid that would be the first one to get into the pool to hide her thick thighs. But I was told I had such a pretty face that people would just dismiss looking at my body. So I centred my attention to my face too much. But for this shoot, I decided to bare it all.

 It really bothers me how people still expect plus-size models to have the perfect hourglass figure with a curvy bum and boobs.What's worse is that the brands making clothes for plus-size women expect you to look a certain way to wear their garments instead of making feel-good clothing for the body type. 

Hanisha Tirumalasetty 

Visual Designer

For me, it's always been a love-hate relationship with my body. I tend to have my odd days of complete insecurity and most days of complete acceptance and love for it. I definitely don't see my body as a shrine. I go overboard and abuse it knowing it can take it. I don't eat healthy too often nor do I sleep on time. I just like to do whatever I feel like at any given time. This is probably not the greatest way to look at it.

 I think because I'm relatively comfortable with my body and its ability to feel different to me everyday, I draw women of different shapes and sizes as an artist, without consciously trying to. When I depict women, my main focus is more on the emotion they evoke and less on the actual shape of their bodies.

Apoorva J

Yoga teacher and choreographer

Being into fitness, fashion, dance, and yoga, it’s absolutely necessary to have a very healthy relationship with your own body to be able to influence others to love theirs. I truly believe that I have never been fitter or healthier, and I am extremely accepting of whatever “flaws” I think I may have. Personally, I’ve always had an extremely athletic body, so this is pretty much what I envisioned my body to be like when I was younger - fuller, healthier, and lean with some sexy curves.

As a fitness influencer, a lot of my work involves being on social media. I get a lot of messages from people on my various social media channels and would like to believe that I am doing something that probably inspires someone, somewhere to start taking care of their body.

Pratiksha Singh

Plus-size model

There was a time when I had my own share of insecurities about how fat I thought my arms were or how I could never imagine wearing gorgeous dresses because I was too "big" for dresses. There have been points in life where I was at my lowest and was close to giving up. I have gone for almost a week without food, and if I was forced to eat, I would go throw up to ensure I had an empty stomach. As stupid as it feels now, it was only happening after listening to all the "You've become too fat, you should do something about it”. And most of it came from the closest of friends and family. It went to an extent of hating my body and life and everything about it.

 

 

But over the years, I’ve gotten myself to love my body. When I look in the mirror, I love what I see. I especially love my curves and my shapely legs - they're big and strong and take me places. I couldn't be more grateful! I wish people were also capable of normalising all body types. It bothers me that people allow size to matter so much! 

I’ve been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease Lichen Planus, which is basically an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to red and purple bumps all over the body, which eventually fade away leaving permanent black spots. I have been suffering from this condition for the last 18 months and honestly thought my modeling would have to stop because of the spots.. Now I just see them as special kinds of freckles on my body. They make me unique and I'm not ashamed to show it off or talk about it anymore.

Sofia Thenmozhi Ashraf 

Rapper

I didn’t get to choose my body, but I’ve made it my own. I’ve personalised it with ink and piercings and haircuts. Somedays I hide imperfections. Somedays I flaunt flaws. I think I’m too skinny. I know I’ll never be called sexy and I’m cool with that. 

I was diagnosed with Lower Lumbar Scoliosis at the age of 15. Luckily, mine isn’t an extremely serious case. Extreme scoliosis can be morbidly disfiguring and become a physical limitation. I just go to bed in a bit of pain everyday, pull my back easier than most people, can’t sit or stand for long periods or carry heavy objects.

Also, I walk funny and can’t do a handstand. Still, my scoliosis has been manageable. I’ve masked my duck walk with rapper swag. I use special orthopedic cushions on my chairs. I vow to do yoga each year, do it for a bit and fail to follow through.

For the shoot, I focussed on my Scoliosis for a number of reasons. Most people aren’t even aware of this condition. For those who wish to fix it, if diagnosed early, a back brace will save you from a lifetime of discomfort. My second reason was to show that having Scoliosis doesn’t make you a grotesque gargoyle.  I won’t romanticise a medical condition by calling it beautiful or something that adds character to my body. But I will say this - it is a part of who I am and if I can’t beat it, I’m going to own it.

Featuring outfits courtesy Half Full Curve, by Rixi and Tinka Bhatia.

Photographed by Anai Bharucha.

Creative Direction by Sanket Avlani.

Concept and Styling by Shirin Salwan.

Hair and Make-up by Alisha Agarwal.

Produced by Vanshika Chaudhary on behalf of Design Fabric

 

 

 

Chapter Eight: Rewind. Repeat.

“All that she wants, is another baby, she’s gone tomorrow but,” said the cassette player, and I wondered why this woman wanted to have another child and then leave. Who was this anonymous person she so badly wanted a child from? Was it her child forcefully taken away from her, to begin with? I must be four when my Punjabi parents discovered Ace of Base and blasted it in our Maruti 800 on our way to the hills. And so it began, my quest for this mythical baby, who, a decade later then wanted to be hit one more time (that sadistic prick), and eventually only spoke in metaphors for male and female sexual organs.

Us millennials were born during the fag end of the music revolution. We missed out on the swinging ‘60s, the roaring ‘70s and the rebellious ‘80s. We were the MTV generation, waiting with bated breath at night for our parents to fall asleep so we could watch bikini clad men and women gyrating next to a pool. The ‘90s is when we hit puberty, musically. And so as we exited the ‘90s, we eventually found our way back. Suddenly throwbacks seemed to be the new it-thing, sampling old beats and spitting and scratching modern day overtures over them.

That’s how I stumbled upon these women from a time before mine, women who felt their music was an instrument of power and used it to establish a strong individualistic identity like no other.

These women had a point of view and weren’t just sex symbols. From smashing gender norms to shutting up racist tv show hosts, they sure knew how to make a statement.  

Supermodel Nethra Raghuraman effortlessly morphs into five such extraordinary female artists from the eighties we love and admire.

Grace Jones

For making it about the music than the colour of the person creating it

I see myself as no color. I can play the role of a man. I can paint my face white if I want to and play the role of white. I can play a green, I can be a purple. I think I have that kind of frame and that kind of attitude where I can play an animal.”

Signature Style: Rebellious, adventurous and experimental. 

Music: Disco, Art-Pop, Electropop, Reggae.

Playlist: Slave to the Rhythm, La Vie En Rose, My Jamaican Guy.

Mesh dress courtesy Anand Bhushan.

Sade

For refusing to be a sellout

“I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. You can only grow as an artist as long as you allow yourself the time to grow as a person.”

Signature Style: Mysteriously elegant, relaxed and understated. 

Music: Soul, R&B.

Playlist: Smooth Operator, The Sweetest Taboo, Nothing CanCome Between Us.

Shirt gown courtesy Nikhil Thampi. 

Joan Jett

For being a true rockstar in an otherwise male dominated genre

People don't want to see women doing things they don't think women should do.”

 

Signature Style: Rock-chic, punk and grunge.

Music:  Hard Rock, Punk Rock.

Playlist: I Love Rock ’n’ Roll, Bad Reputation, You Don’t Own Me.

Embellished bustier courtesy Anand Bhushan.

Patti Smith 

For pioneering genderless style

“My mission is to communicate, to wake people up, to give them my energy and accept theirs. We're all in it together, and I respond emotionally as a worker, a mother, an artist, and a human being with a voice. We all have a voice. We have the responsibility to exercise it, to use it.”


 

Signature Style: Androgynous, gender-neutral and boho-chic.

Music: Art Rock, Punk Rock.

Playlist: People have the Power, Going Under, Dream of Life.

Metal detail shirt courtesy Nikhil Thampi.

Siouxie Sioux

For making crazy look cool

People forget the punk thing was really good for women. It motivated them to pick up a guitar rather than be a chanteuse. It allowed us to be aggressive.”

 


 

Signature Style: Eccentric, punk-vamp, dark and OTT.

Music: Post Punk, New Wave, Goth Rock.

Playlist: Happy House, Candyman, Song from the Edge of the World.

Molecule detail vest courtesy Anand Bhushan.

Concept and Styling by Shirin Salwan.

Photographed by Rafique Sayed.

Hair by Akshata Nandan Honawar.

Makeup by Alisha Bhambani Agarwal.

Chapter Seven: Escape

There are good days. And then there are bad ones. Last month I found my Facebook feed inundated with vacation pictures (still better than those pre-wedding shoots I suppose). And here I was, sitting in front of the laptop staring at the screen drinking my fifth cup of coffee so I could force ideas out of my system. 

Nothing like a heady kick of caffeine to get you going. But somehow it did not seem to be doing it's job very well that morning (read afternoon). What keeps people motivated on days like these, I wondered.

I see a lot of women posting their pictures on social media and writing paragraphs on positivity in the description. And then of course there are the endless motivational quotes, something I've always openly mocked and ridiculed in the past. You almost know a person's entire life history by the content they share online. Just like an open book.

"Yeah we get it, your boyfriend left you," I'd remark jokingly. And today, here I was in dire need of motivation, almost ready to do anything that'd help, even if it meant sharing a quote or the lyrics to a song. And that's when it occurred to me what a hypocrite I had been. I had, on my wrist, tattooed the name of my favourite song. Yet I found myself judging people for their outlets of emotion. Was I confusing vulnerability for weakness? 

Millions of people go through life struggling to be happy, to express, to love and be loved. And everyone finds different channels to vent. To release anxiety or to feel better after a bad day at work or a tiff with their partners. A song, a meme, an illustration, a poem. I think we all just have to learn to let it flow. Every once in a while, it's okay to let go. Did I get an idea for my story? I think I just did. 

 

"Take your broken heart, make it into art." -Carrie Fisher

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Appurva Shah

Chapter Five: Same Difference

Ladies, the struggle is indeed real. For every seemingly perfect selfie you post on Instagram, there are a gazillion selfies you'll stumble upon browsing through your feed. The one with that girl in those ripped denim shorts and a crop top. "Ugghhh I hate those endless legs," you find yourself murmuring under your breath. Or, " Damn, I have the same dress but it looks so different on me." Here's the thing. You look different because, well, you are different. How many times have you seen or shared these body positive motivational quotes with clouds and rainbows as backdrops to re-assure yourself. You've convinced yourself in many ways that you slay, you're lit af and you're everything Maya Angelou or Marlyn Monroe said girls your age should be.

And yet we find ourselves constantly comparing and somehow believing that a certain piece of clothing or colour is not for us. We've become so accustomed to being dictated fashion and beauty trends that we often forget to use our own brains. Growing up, I always hated my athletic legs and I refrained from wearing shorts or dresses for a very long time. Today, you’ll see me mostly in dresses and I don’t look half as bad, but I wish someone had told me then that it was okay to be shaped a certain way. I wish more and more influencers and magazines spoke about how diversely we’re all made, each unique with their own colour and curves. 

Therefore, we decided to have a little fun with this one. We took two contrasting women with some underlying similarities and put them in front of the camera. In a similar outfit. 

Toshada Uma and Nashpreet Singh

Toshada is the tiniest girl I know and yet she can take any outfit and make it look straight out of a Parisian street style blog. So when we gave her these striped shorts that Nashpreet with her never-ending long legs posed in, the photographer couldn't stop clicking and we ran overtime on the studio!

Nashpreet is a model by profession, and therefore, being in front of the camera comes easy to her. She is recovering from an ankle injury, but she jumped and pranced around for the perfect shot.

Priyanka Balwa and Fehmin Belim

Priyanka was one of the first few people to write to me when I launched Ripe, and I loved her curves and confidence. I spotted Fehmin at a guest lecture I was taking at a fashion school and she was this frail little fashion enthusiast who actually paid attention and asked questions! I had to pair these two extremes together. A pencil skirt on a size zero looks as good as it does on a size eighteen, doesn't it!

Nupur Kar and Pallavi Gurtoo

These two show you how to rock a LBD whether your skin is the colour of ivory or mocha. Pallavi is a super camera shy person and I've barely seen her post any selfies of her. Nupur, on the other hand is a social media junkie. They met for the first time and a lot of awkward posing later, they were a riot on set laughing and cracking jokes, and looking extremely stunning while doing so. 

Geetu Hinduja and Neha Thakker

This dynamic mother daughter duo was a complete delight to photograph. A lot of women shy away from wearing bold colours because they think it's not "age-appropriate".  

"I'm wearing the skirt and you wear the pants," Geetu was quick to remark sifting through the many outfits we sourced for her. And needless to say, she rocked it.

Outfits courtesy: Payal Khandwala

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Krishna V. Iyer

Make-up: Deepika Surana

Hair: Hemal Shah and Kanchan Zutshi 

Chapter Four: Doing it Right

Featuring Naina and Niyati, Nike+ Run Club Pacers and Athletes

It’s funny that most women I know (including me) want to lose weight. We’ve always equate fitness with weight loss and we’ll do whatever it takes. Whatever, except for the most effective method of them all- exercise. I hear of a new diet almost everyday from my friends; Intermittent fasting, Keto, GM and the list is endless.

On Niyati: Nike International Women's top, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in white

On Naina: NSW Tank Floro, Women's Aeroswift running shorts, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in black

And while we covet a flat stomach or skinny limbs we see on athletes and fitness experts, we often forget how much time and effort they put into being the way they are. It’s a choice they make because their profession demands this of them. With all the talk about body positivity and loving diverse body types, we often end up singling out fit women who spend hours training and have the body they do because of sheer discipline and hard work; 6 am runs followed by a full day’s work ahead.

 

I mean think about it. Skipping a night out with friends to be able to train for a game the next morning; it’s not easy. So the next time you see a pair of abs on a woman, understand that she did not just #wakeuplikethis. And if a well-toned body is what you want, put on those running shoes, what are you waiting for?!

On Niyati: Nike Pro Hyperclassic bra

Naina Mansukhani

For me, fitting in is the hardest thing to do. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to find a place for myself. I was a complete social outcast and considered very uncool by my peers. One morning, my school captain made me choose between running the cross country race or getting a detention, so I chose to run. When I began running, the first kilometre felt so monotonous that I just wanted it to end!

On Naina: Nike Pro Classic Logo bra

But as I went on I felt better, I didn't feel tired anymore. Instead, I  felt like I found a rhythm. This run happened when I was 8 years old and since then I've never stopped running. It gave me an identity, I went on to represent my school, my district, my city and my state. It's the only sport that is so accessible and personal. All you need is a pair of shoes. I run when I'm happy, I run when I'm confused, I run when I'm sad and I run when I'm angry. It's my answer to everything because I feel so connected to myself when I run.

Niyati Bharucha

People don't realise that athletes have to work their asses off all the time to be good at what they do. Looking good is a by-product, not the end goal. We don't tell ourselves everyday that hey if I train 9 times a week, then I will have abs and more followers on my social media page. I have to train everyday to beat myself from the previous month, to beat my opponents the next month, and to have the mental strength and ability to handle anything that comes my way for the rest of my life.

On Niyati: Power Nike Legendary Mid-rise training tights, Nike Cortez Classic Leather in white

Why are more athletes not photographed wearing activewear in commercials? Athletes already know the movements, the reality of lifting the weight, of running for that long, of working that hard. Instead you have extremely unhealthy-looking women and men wearing it with tiny pink weights in their hands and terrible posture giving the wrong idea about fitness to people on social media.                      

On Niyati: Nike Pro Classic bra

On Naina: Nike Power Speed running tights, Nike Air Max Thea shoes

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Aniruddh Kothari

Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora

Art: Appurva Shah

Follow Nike+ Run Club (@nikerunning), Niyati Bharucha (@ninjabharucha) and Naina Mansukhani (@noye17) on Instagram for some more fitness and style inspiration.

 

 

On Naina: Nike Pro Fierce bra, Nike Power Epic running tights, Nike Women's Air Presto shoes

All accessories and garments unless mentioned otherwise: Stylist's own

 

Chapter Two: A Case for Statement Jewellery 

The first time I saw Mrinalini Chandra’s collection at Fashion Week, I was intrigued by how she’d taken a childhood anecdote of her getting lost in a museum where she entered a room full of chairs and translated it into intricate pieces like ear cuffs, bangles and bold neckpieces with chairs being the central motif.

I for once instantly felt drawn towards her collection because I love a backstory to objects. Whether it is something as trivial as a book in a bargain shop with hand written notes from a stranger, there’s a certain value addition to the most mundane things when they reek of nostalgia. 

Now let me be honest here, like most people my age, I haven’t really bothered saving up enough to invest in jewellery or some other commodity that grown ups refer to as an ‘asset’ (yes, I am a grown up in denial). But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over these many years of working in Fashion, it is that when in doubt, wear a statement piece over anything from a LBD you’ve probably worn a hundred times previously to a simple shirt and jeans. 

I absolutely love Mrinalini’s contemporary take on traditional Indian techniques like kundan, jadau and meenakari that make it a perfect accessory for everything from a night out with friends to a wedding. Versatile pieces like these will go a long way in defining your style, giving you a distinct personality in a room full of nondescript high street knock offs. 

Jewellery can sometimes act like a time capsule, capturing and releasing memories from a bygone era that somehow still find relevance in one's present. A silver trinket from your childhood, a choker passed on to you by your great grandmother; there's something decidedly charming about these pieces that have withstood the test of time.

Staying true to the theme of the jewellery, this house in the by-lanes of Wadala with retro frosted glass work to vintage mirror frames, is the epitome of old world charm while being nestled amongst the new. And though today many multi-storied structures tower these quaint archaic buildings, they've somehow managed to retain the essence of togetherness and warmth.

And while we struggle to find that fine balance between the old and the new, designers like Mrinalini Chandra are bridging the gap with their attention to detail and the passion to narrate folkore with a contemporary tone. 

You can check out her Facebook page for more: Mrinalini Chandra, Artisan Atelier

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Appurva Shah

Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora

Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das

Chapter One- The Sari and The Shirt

As millennials, we often underestimate the power of a sari. With temperatures rising, one yearns for something light and almost weightless touching the skin.

That's the beauty of these nine yards of translucence; it conceals and reveals just the right things. I haven't come across a single woman who doesn't look good in a sari.

Growing up in a Punjabi household, I always saw my mother, grandmother and aunts wear salwar suits for any occasion; rarely a sari - with the exception of my aunt in Vishakhapatnam. She wore a sari all day, everyday - whether to do household chores or even sleep. It baffled me as to how she was so comfortable in what looked like a lot of fabric bunched together.

I thought I would never be comfortable in something so complex. But the sari is one of the simplest and most creative piece of clothing you can have in your wardrobe.

There are endless ways to drape it and even more ways to pair it and make it work for your body type.For this shoot, I decided to team my favourite cotton ones with shirts from my wardrobe.By pairing it with a light denim shirt or a formal pinstriped one, cotton saris can help you survive the summer and make a bold statement.

I've come across so many people who think a sari ages them, but that's something I strongly disagree with. It's a fun garment to play around with if you're ready to experiment and are bored of cotton dresses and the usual jeans and tee combos. 

Concept and Styling: Shirin Salwan

Photographed by: Appuva Shah

Make-up and Hair: Bhavya Arora

Creative Consultant: Sohiny Das

 

 

 

 

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