A Knotty Checkered Affair this Bengali New Year
I met Anupriya of Style Prism in my early years of blogging. 2012, I think. We were a small bunch of Calcutta bloggers then. 5 of us got together and planned a Calcutta Bloggers Meet. I even have a blog post dedicated to it. Anu is that person nuns in convents will point to when they say lady like and I am the clumsy butter fingered girl they'd take for Satan. *a little exxageration here*
Poised and soft spoken to my loud and crazy, strong willed to my confused, order to my chaos, Anupriya and I are as different as we are similar. *We do share our love for sangrias, fashion and Calcutta.* So we decided to use our differences to bring to you two ways to do Indian Fusion this Poila Boishak (Bengali New Year) in a city we both love.
To me, Poila Boishak will always be about haal khata with mother, an overdose of sweets and new clothes. Before malls came up and made shopping an impersonal experience, your neighbourhood shop owners invited you to visit their shops every Poila Boishak to close old accounts and open new ones in their brand new red accounts book. I remember visiting overcrowded shops eating the yummiest sweets and showing off my new dress while mother dealt with the adult *money* stuff. It is considered auspicious to open new accounts on New Year. In the times of excel sheets and what not, people here do not let their traditions die. That is how we keep the old world charm of Bengal alive.
While it may not be possible for me to accompany Mother for haal khata anymore, I've kept my own little tradition of wearing new clothes every Poila Boishak. *Always looking for a chance to buy new clothes* The cotton saree and the block printed shirt are Mother's gift to me this year.
For this post, we travelled back in time to the old bylanes around Sovabazar Rajbari, mixed the old and new, the modern and the traditional to create fun ways to wear your Indian wear.
A Knotty Affair
When I think of a Bengali woman, I picture a woman in a laal paar saree (white saree with red border) in a big red bindi, shakha, pola (the traditional red and white bangles worn by Bengali women after marriage) and alta. Bollywood, I blame you for it because I definitely did not grow up seeing women dressed like this especially at weddings.
For all those asking, I am not going to wear a laal paar saree at my wedding, my cousin's wedding and every other Bengali wedding because it is worn during pujo and that too isn't as common as Bollywood would have you believe.
So I decided to go beyond the laal paar saree this Nobo Borsho (New Year). We Bengali women love our cotton sarees in every colour possible, benarasi silks, batik, kantha, everything handloomed and handwoven. And did I mention we love sarees? So this tasseled cotton saree was an obvious choice for Nobo Borsho.
This New Year style your favourite tradional wear in a not so traditional way. Knot up the pallu of the saree and wear it with your favourite shirt knotted up! A scandalous knotty affair with your favourite saree!
Anupriya says, "If you are bored of the same old ethnic styles for traditional occasions, then fusion is the way to go this season. A flared kurta in a not-so-traditional pattern like bold checks worn as a dress is a great way of standing out in the ethnic crowd on this occasion! Flaunt it with chunky silver jewellery, DIY boho-chic kolhapuri sandals & an oversized tote to make this New Year a head-turning one!!" Read more on her blog.
Shubho Nobo Borsho, you guys!
Tasselled Cotton Saree & Block Printed Shirt: Byloom, Calcutta
Earrings: Flea Market, Bangalore
Jootis: Street Shopping, Hyderabad