Sunday, April 20, 2014

Look of Love

The look of love captured in the moment

              I was recently looking through my wallet and in there I have a picture of my maternal grandmother with her sister, both sisters looking at each other. The look of love that passes between them in that moment is something I can sense every single time I look at it. I wasn’t present when this picture was taken but this picture captures the love between them; it melts my heart, making it a touching moment for me, and it allows me see love a bit differently. Looking at that picture brings back memories of my grandmother’s gentle soul, her tenderness, and her resilient spirit.

             Looking at photos….nostalgia…the emotions….the connections….I could sit for days looking through photographs and reading old letters and cards. How lucky are we that what a photographer captured in a moment captures us over and over again allowing us to relive that moment from the past.

             Looking at that picture of my grandmother reminded me of another picture taken with my son, on my first Mother’s day. I still remember that moment; the look of love and shyness in his eyes as he saw me dressed up especially for the day and the emotion that I felt as I recognized his adoring eyes. I am specifically talking of those photos in which the photographer has captured the eye contact, a loving look, and the exchange of emotions between the subjects in the picture. I am talking of those photos that have caught a pure moment; a moment in which the eyes’ of the subjects sought each other’s, and openly expressed in the language of love and trust.

            As we go through the routines of life, remember to enjoy simple moments of love. Don’t wait for a perfect setting and time for love, every moment is perfect. So as the first anniversary of my blog approaches, which happens to be on Mother’s day; I want to celebrate my labor of love, I want to give thanks for the love and support of my family and friends, and I want to share some of my family pictures showing emotion captured in the moment…showing the love behind the emotions. In searching through my albums for photos that have captured the look of love in a purest moment, these hold a special place.

My ammamma and her younger sister

My son and I on our first Mother's Day

Amma, my son, and I at my home in India, on his first visit 

My daughter and I

            Please join me in recognizing photographs and memories that have successfully captured powerful and emotional moments, moments that convey those emotions and tell stories. Please share any photograph that is special to you and that has caught emotion, any kind of emotion, with a single camera click.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Shringar: (v); adorn, decorate, enrich, grace, ornament

Beautifully expressed in the eternal song
ThaaDe rahiiyo, o baa.nke yaar  from the film Pakeezah; Lata Mangeshkar, on Meena Kumari, sings:

mai.n to kar aauu.n solaah si.ngaar / (I will come, adorned with the sixteen embellishments)
ThaaDe rahiiyo, o baa.nke yaar / (Keep waiting, oh beautiful lover) 


               Shringar is a natural desire of a woman to enhance her appeal and attractiveness through the process of getting ready using clothing, makeup, jewelry, and accessories; adding a spark to her beauty. Shringar in an Indian woman alludes to the ritual of dressing up in which she embellishes her beauty from head to toe in adornments symbolizing femininity, fertility, and prosperity.

               Shringar in a traditional Indian woman is a reflection of her rich Indian culture, tradition, and heritage. A traditional Indian woman dresses up using components and accessories of beauty and attire that symbolize her faith, belief, culture, and value; and with her attire and accessories she symbolically carries with her well-wishes and blessings.

               Shringar for me is not about style and fashion, but about those things that add beauty and vibrancy to life.

               In this project I have tried to do just that, add a bit of spark to highlight the beauty in this piece of cabinetry. The merger of design and tradition in this piece was brought forth through simple ethnic Indian design, worked with a very fine tuned hand painted design. Just as an Indian woman with every step of shringar, adds to herself another aspect bringing out her inner beauty and charm; so did this piece with every brush stroke reveal its stunning beauty and wonder.

               In choosing my colors for the hand painting I drew from shringar of an Indian woman; the white color signifies purity, the red color is considered a sign of auspiciousness, joy, and happiness and the gold lends a touch of opulence and prosperity. The maharajah elephants add a sense of majesty to this piece. The richness of the final piece reflects all components of choices and decisions coming together.

               At the end of it all…no shringar compares to the beauty of a woman’s smile, reminding me that a woman’s beauty comes from more places than her outer appearance. The soft beauty, grace, elegance, and representation of cultural art in this piece serve to enhance its beauty in the admirer’s eyes. In working on this piece, along the journey, touching its depths with respect and admiration and appreciation for its beauty, I was rewarded with joy. Joy and pride and happiness.