The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

Himalayan Glimpses

View from the aircraft flying over the Himalayas. Awakens a thousand desires to go into each of those valleys on foot and knowing I shall never be able to do … Continue reading

July 10, 2019 · Leave a comment

Games of Chance – Ganjifa

A note on the beauty of antique Mysore Ganjifa Cards

May 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

No Shoes Indoors

The origins of this  gently-but-strictly enforced rule in all traditional Asian homes might be many. But I think the real reason is the art that is displayed on the floor…. … Continue reading

May 9, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Note on Phulkari Classification

A compilation of my jottings on Phulkaris Textiles of Punjab

April 30, 2019 · 4 Comments

One Old Lady meets Another

The paint has worn out. And there are plenty of nicks on the woodwork, each telling an unforgetable tale. Layers of old paint shed – layers of fresh paint applied … Continue reading

April 28, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Art of Marble Jalis

Seen at the magnificent Mumbai Airport Museum. Cannot get enough of this airport! jm April 2019

April 23, 2019 · Leave a comment

Tears in Heaven

We never love quite as much as at the time of saying goodbye…. I loved this piece – I loved the artist who lived a hundred years ago – I … Continue reading

March 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

Textile Study Tour of Punjab

Preface on the minor notes about the textile study tour, Punjab, 2019

March 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

Glimpses of Punjab

A few photos that offer a little cultural flavour of the style Punjab. It was a delight to witness the preservation of ethnic identity in-spite of the tsunami of bland … Continue reading

February 24, 2019 · 3 Comments

A Textile Lover’s Dream

7am As I struggled to walk barefoot at 15 degrees Centigrade on even colder marble floors – suddenly I see this vision: An unopened pile of textiles …who knows what … Continue reading

February 20, 2019 · 1 Comment

Architecture of Amritsar

What have these bricks seen? Set in the city of Amritsar, these buildings have seen strife and tragedy like few others have. The Jalianwala Baug massacre, the Partition, Operation Blue … Continue reading

February 8, 2019 · 2 Comments

Divine Caring

A street photo taken just outside the Golden Temple Complex, Amritsar 7am, Early February, Temperature 14 degrees Celsius No words needed.

February 6, 2019 · 1 Comment

A Phulkari Fan from the Olden Days

Here’s another cultural remnant of the olden days in Punjab – A ceiling fan decorated with Phulkari work: The rope is used to swing the fan and is held by … Continue reading

February 5, 2019 · 2 Comments

A Charkha Spinning Wheel

Sighting of a decorated Charkha Spinning Wheel – used in a vanishing craft

February 3, 2019 · 1 Comment

Wearing her mother’s Bridal Haalvan Phulkari

A “haalvan” phulkari is done on very fine cotton cloth that is similar to mul mul. This is the first time I held one in my hand! All bridal textiles … Continue reading

January 30, 2019 · 2 Comments

The Olden Days – Right Here Right Now

Different places in the world are living in different time zones. And so  even though it is not yet possible to do time travel, it is possible to revisit my … Continue reading

January 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

Boats of Eastern India, 1800s – Company School Paintings

Seen on an auction site, these paintings give us a glimpse of the lifestyle of those times. To pursue the characters that lived these lives, watch the Netflix original series … Continue reading

January 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

Just another day in India

  And while real rural India wears gorgeous clothes as daily wear, in urban India I am wearing blue jeans… Sigh! jm December 2018  

December 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Goldsmith’s Craft

In another life that I lived within this life I had a little venture called IQ Club. Had a lot of fun creating a brain-games-based workshop for kids. The parents … Continue reading

December 6, 2018 · 2 Comments

Washing Shawls in 1867

An antique Indian miniature painting from the Kyburg exhibition catalog (1988) depicts the washing of shawls The 1867 painting is possibly from Lahore, Such a treat to get  a glimpse … Continue reading

September 23, 2018 · 3 Comments

Wealth of  Ladakh 

Photos of photo prints of women wearing traditional jewelry at festivals.  The magnificentv Petak headdress has been discussed earlier.  But the  others have not received enough attention!  Here are sone … Continue reading

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Painting Seen on a Wall in Nomadic Chanthang

Contemporary Art is one area that Dies not appeal to me.  But this painting seen on a wall  spike to me enough to want to cluck it and shate ut … Continue reading

May 25, 2018 · Leave a comment

A New Mystery -Ancient Terracotta Blocks 

Seen in one of the important trading hubs of the old Silk Route – and retrieved with difficulty from the back of  a dealer’s dusty shelf, lying in a plastic … Continue reading

May 23, 2018 · 1 Comment

      Legacy of a Past Life 

This post is not about art or culture… Once upon a time I had a little venture called IQ Club. The idea came from working with my own kids and … Continue reading

May 20, 2018 · 2 Comments

Nomadic Weavings of Chanthang

Seen in the Himalayas in the Chanthang desert in Eastern Ladakh.  Their living spaces Let’s gp in … To see their home & their weavings ​(videa to follow later) Volunteers: … Continue reading

May 20, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 4

The Yarma Gombo A set of natural rock formations revered and venerated by Buddhists as the appearance resembles the face of Buddha and other dieties. I would not have known … Continue reading

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 3

Seen just outside Mulbeg – An engraving on a mountain face that may have been the starting point of a sculpture.  May 2018

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 2

The Mulbeg Chamba Mulbeg is a small Buddhist village in Kargil that I’d first heard of while studying Perak headdress types.  Never thought U’d visit it someday to see the … Continue reading

May 14, 2018 · 1 Comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 1

Huge Ancient Buddhist Sculptures in the Himalayas

May 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ancient Cave Paintings in Sasphol

13th Century Sasphol Caves, Ladakh Went up a mountain to see the magnificent Buddhist cave paintings. Worth every huff and puff. The big achievement was the small journey out of … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Visit to Phyang Monastery

Sat still within the ancient halls with only a young monk in attendance. Time passed unmarked by minutes and seconds. What do these matter when the walls have seen centuries!  … Continue reading

May 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Himalayan Peaks – Journeys of the Soul

A few photos of some Himalayan Peaks taken over many journeys over the years. These spots evoke in me a great longing for journeys that I will never undertake …. … Continue reading

May 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Sawantwadi Palace

A walk around the charming old Palace building of Sawantwadi, in South Maharashtra just a few km from Goa. The overall building layout and the minor accents are native to … Continue reading

April 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day: Mirrors of Identity

A pair of Chaakla Decorative Textiles from Gujarat with rare golden mirrors Asset 152 on WOVENSOULS.COM  

April 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Nomads in the Himalayas

Found these photos taken in March 2016 in my folders – waiting silently for my attention.   A sighting of a nomadic settlement – a split second decision to stop … Continue reading

March 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Applique Art from Bharaich

View a Khanduri cloth from Bharaich from the Met

March 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sentinels & Thresholds 

The threshold is a very important line in a traditional Indian home.  It is washed and decorated beautifully every day with auspicious symbols  drawn in powder by the woman of … Continue reading

February 28, 2018 · 4 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Antique Kalamkari Art

A fabulous 17th C Kalamkari Artwork!

February 23, 2018 · Leave a comment

Goa Carnaval 2018

Something to do over the weekend in case you are in Goa!  Delighted to find local culture in the themes of the floats!  Delighted to find people of all ages … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Tipu Sultan’s Tiger

What an interesting artwork commissioned by Tipu Sultan!  Seen at the V&A museum, London

February 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Saris as Textile Art!

Seen at the Victoria & Albert museum jaina mishra Feb 2018

February 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Painted Map of Benaras – Indian Art

A pilgrim’s map of Benaras with the Kashi Vishwanath temple at the centre. Seen in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more Exquisite Antique … Continue reading

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Silken flowers from Gujarat India 

One more fabulous piece from Gujarat! At first I thought it was a print … until I read the explanatory note! ❤️ This textile is from the V & A … Continue reading

February 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Goan Portugese Houses – Art in Architecture

Classic Goan Portugese Houses are found all over Goan villages. Some are in great condition, others dilapidated. Viewed collectively, they represent an art style that belongs to the late 1800s … Continue reading

February 1, 2018 · 2 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Textile Art of Gujarat – AGAIN! 

I might be accused of bias as Gujarat is my home state – but since I am not the only one to be smitten by Gujarat I might be absolved … Continue reading

February 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Weight of Commitment 

The weight of this token of commitment is about 100grams. Of Gold. !!! In case you are underwhelmed … here is a similar piece displayed in the V & A … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Tent Hanging from India

The series on the V & A textiles continues with the printed tent hanging! Makes me think that I should pay some more attention to prints …   From the … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Wine Cup of Emperor Shah Jahan

Emperor Shah Jahan’s wine cup: Am still confused about the way it is to be used as a cup for drinking …  It is probably cups like these that inspired … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Kalamkari Coverlet – Antique Indian Textiles

A visit to any museum can be exhausting and the maximum I can handle is about 1 – 2 hours of exposure. In any given hall there are always too … Continue reading

January 23, 2018 · 2 Comments

Creating Art Every Day

Isn’t it terrific that in our way of life, the act of creating art is one of the basic household activities that every single woman indulges in? Art is too … Continue reading

January 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

I’ve seen a dozen or so amazing  antique zari  saris but none has been as unusual as this one seen in the museum of Sawantwadi, This shalu – a zari … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

Bullock Carts & Oil Mills in Applique! 

An endearing naive  2-dimensional rendering of bullock cart & a bullock-run oil press or oil mill! And the featute that makes me wonder about the Banjara connection is the white … Continue reading

December 25, 2017 · 1 Comment

Connecting the Dots of Gold

In the past, gold jewelry with motifs created by arranging tiny granules of  gold was popular in some parts of India. Ancient Greeks used the granulation process too but the … Continue reading

December 18, 2017 · 2 Comments

My kind of Palace

After a long time I have been able to afford the time to take a little solo trip.  And here I am in a charming palace sipping green tea!  in … Continue reading

December 13, 2017 · 2 Comments

Blessing Containers in Silver

How many people have others praying for them? Am certain that I have fewer today than I had 50 years ago. And so as these blessings become rarer, I value … Continue reading

December 8, 2017 · Leave a comment

Art Revived

Some vanishing arts have been strengthened and resurrected by external change agents. Soof Embroidery of Gujarat is one such art that had the blessing of nurturing by people who devote … Continue reading

December 4, 2017 · Leave a comment

Hidden Gems – new sightings in old acquisitions! 

In an embroidery rich in texture and motifs and age, it was easy to miss the 5th color used sparingly – it hid within the flowers – almost shy of … Continue reading

September 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix -Sindh Dowry Embroidery

Bless the woman who made this!! A great way to start my day …. with a dose of beauty – gives the heart a small positive kickstart!  Sept 2017

September 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

More Strength to the Camel’s Back!

Here’s a beauty that will strengthen the proverbial camel’s back ….  With something so gorgeous to call his own,  no last straw will ever have the strength to break his … Continue reading

September 4, 2017 · Leave a comment

Beaded Textiles from Rajasthan?!! 

Just noticed the fabulous beadwork on a shawl from Rajasthan that I’ve had for awhile.  Endless delights in old acquisitions…   All from the WOVENSOULS collection!  ❤️

August 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jai Ho Lord Jagannath

A Puri Jatri Patti artwork to celebrate the Lord Jagannath Yatra festival that is happenninf now in Puri, Odisha Jai Ho!  June 2017

June 26, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Astitva Project – A Report on the Micro Project in Ladakh – Chapter 2

The Story They say that ‘when the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly’ – stressing the importance of the planning that must … Continue reading

May 12, 2017 · 6 Comments

A Culture Celebrates Identity! Happy New Year!

I have grown up in Mumbai …. in a neighborhood that was made of up mainly Maharashtrian and Gujarati residents (us). I learnt both language even before I knew what … Continue reading

March 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Where the Men are Liberated

In most places around the globe, the world has imprisoned men in clothing of plain colors – colors that ensure that the wearers melt into the background. The most they are allowed is a strip of color in the form of a tie. [But don’t be fooled – it is mostly lip-service – out of the 5 feet of fabric, only about 1 foot is allowed to peep through from under the coat!! ]

February 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

The City of Benaras

“Yeh Benaras Hai” Literally it means “This is Banaras” but the tone included pride and an assurance – a way of saying “Don’t worry – it’s okay – this is … Continue reading

October 1, 2016 · 2 Comments

Palace on the Ganga – Art in Architecture

  Just pictures of a lovely place that has the atmosphere of serenity and quietude. The opulence is in the atmosphere created – rather than in its fixtures.     … Continue reading

September 5, 2016 · 3 Comments

Kashi nu Maran – The Flood of Ganga – 2016

According to a famous saying in Gujarati – my mother tongue –  one can attain Nirvana (bliss) through two simple ways: “Surat nu Jaman ke Kashi nu Maran” i.e. (By … Continue reading

September 3, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Hybrid is Born

In the olden days textile-art hybrids came about when a woman married into another group and brought with her art-memes from her parental culture. Today the world has shrunk and … Continue reading

August 31, 2016 · 3 Comments

The Holy River Ganga

A few sunrise photos captured on the phone camera of the important Ganga whose significance to Hindus is as deep as its waters.   This may seem obvious – but … Continue reading

August 30, 2016 · 1 Comment

Benaras Ganga Diaries

An unplanned visit to the Ganga came my way. For spiritual reasons. For filial piety reasons. For ceremonies that complete the cycle of life & death. Measured in the number … Continue reading

August 29, 2016 · 5 Comments

Pattua Singing from Bengal

In Bengal, in the olden days, in order to disseminate the holy stories, folk legends adn perhaps even news of major events, Pattua scrolls were used. Women first painted out … Continue reading

August 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

Handlooms of India

The title of this note is misleading as it is too broad – it is like saying ‘the universe’… I am sure that even if I were to toil 10 … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

Parsis and the Opium Trade

Yesterday at a condolence visit, the conversation with my top mentors, inadvertently veered into the subject of collectibles and we spoke of many random subjects such as his encounter with … Continue reading

July 24, 2016 · 2 Comments

Rich & Poor

The Barber comes home…. Do we in the big city have this luxury? A little village with its own little wheels of economic output, buying and selling services that are … Continue reading

May 13, 2016 · 1 Comment

External Article: Caste System

Worth reading “Why is the world so obsessed with India’s caste system” by Sahana Singh    

May 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Warli Paintings on Dung

The original idea was to use the cow dung walls of homes as the medium to paint on using white pigment made of rice & gum. Then at some point … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · 3 Comments

Royal Loin Cloths of Ceylon

Exploring some amazing rare antique loin cloths of Ceylon

May 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

News from the National Museum Delhi

An interesting pre-exhibition note by the curator on bringing the  exhibition “The Everlasting Flame Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination”  to Delhi. “A curator’s view: some key items from the British … Continue reading

March 16, 2016 · 1 Comment

And we thought ornaments were only for people? Traditional Animal Adornments – 2

  Link to PART I And the journey continues….   Part II These are adornments filled with love for the animal. For why else would one create such artworks for … Continue reading

March 13, 2016 · 1 Comment

Understanding the Y – Women not allowed in Sabarimala Temple

It is easy to rake up activism simply for the sake of it. After all we have all been raised on inspirational sayings  like “be the change you want to … Continue reading

January 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

A New Museum with a Fabulous Fresh Focus!

A museum or rather an institution that focuses on perpetuating the art amongst the creators … a museum in which the creators can see and learn from the work of … Continue reading

January 25, 2016 · 1 Comment

An Affluent Community Endangered?!

Parsis or Zorastrians number only about 75000 worldwide and in spite of being one of the most affluent communities in the world, they are an endangered ethnic group. They have … Continue reading

January 16, 2016 · 2 Comments

Motif & Meaning – Caravans & Herders

More textiles, more meaning! Here are some created by a Bishnoi group from Rajasthan India. These motifs that tell us about their lives through their portrayal of the cultural elements … Continue reading

November 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Narakasur again

Driving back to my home in Goa last night, I saw many fully constructed Narakasurs along the way home. Saw many groups of children stopping cars for donations…. But regrettably … Continue reading

November 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

Shared Festivals across the Border

Is it any surprise that India and China have festivals that are somilar in manisfestation?  Compare the Lantern festival to Diwali.     Lanterns for Diwali or the Mid-Autumn Festival?  Compare the … Continue reading

November 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

Beauty is Ageless

“Beauty begets beauty” Timeless beauty from Gujarat creating more timeless beauty.

November 8, 2015 · 1 Comment

Mochi or Cobbler Embroidery of Gujarat

Anyone who knows Gujarati or Hindi knows that Mochi means a cobbler. So when I first heard my dealer say that a category of very fine embroidery is known as … Continue reading

November 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Superfine Embroidery of Awadh – Chikan Kari

Another superb article on Chikan embroidery of Lucknow. Link to the Article Nov 2015

November 4, 2015 · 1 Comment

Exhibition: Buddhist Art of India

New exhibition – ‘Buddhist Art of India’ in collaboration with Indian Museum, Kolkata. 30th Oct 2015 – 30th Nov 2015 National Museum, New Delhi

October 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Journey to Assam along a ‘Vrindavani Vastra’

It is said that if you cross the Brahmaputra river once, you will return again to cross it a total of seven times. I’ve done 3 and as I try … Continue reading

October 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – A Thousand Silent Bells

Heavy Silent Jhanjhar from Maharashtra, Early 1900s The latest addition to the Wovensouls collection Read more about Payal Traditions here. jm Oct 2015.

October 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Made for Each Other – A Handsome Turban for a Handsome man

\\ A guest at a Rabari Wedding wearing a handmade turban. jm Sep 2015

September 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Rajasthan Tribal Costume

Regular Costume of a woman from Rajasthan belonging to the Garasia tribe – one of the numerous tribes in Rajasthan. Am wondering how many of us can carry off that … Continue reading

July 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

DAILY ART FIX – AN ARTWORK A DAY

An addict constantly needs a fix to keep him stable. Me – in moments of extreme stress I find solace & peace in viewing works of traditional art. In normal … Continue reading

July 7, 2015 · 3 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Kinnaur Weaving

Click to view more images of this recently woven shawl from Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India. Daily Art Fix – Kinnaur Weaving July 2015 textile art, himachal weaving, himachal textile, India … Continue reading

July 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

Who Knew! Forts of Maharashtra

Who knew that Maharashtra had over 75 forts!! Seventy Five!!!   And who knew that there are nearly 200 groups that organise trekking & hiking day / overnight tours to … Continue reading

July 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Fiesty San Jao Festival of Goa

Reposting an earlier article about the San Jao Festival held every year on June 24th. Click to View The Fiesty San Jao Festival of Goa jm June 2015

June 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Learning Resource – Jain Art

A good starting point on Jain Art http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/j/jainism/ jm June 2015 Learning Resource – Jain Art

June 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

Yoga

In the days when we did not have any fancy Yoga classes….we had THIS WIllpower Testing? Mental Prowess? Phyiscal Endurance? Nirvana? jm June 2015 (photos from the net – no … Continue reading

June 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Book of the Month – April 2015

The last book I picked up – a world bestseller – did not hold my attention. I had to drop it half way. My teachers used to say we must … Continue reading

April 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

Naga Shells – Nocte Naga Portrait

Portrait of a Nocet Naga girl with traditional costume

March 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Women of the World – Garasia Tribe

Click to see more images of the colorful tribe! jm March 2015

March 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

Wool Art of a Different Type!

Camel Wool Art – found in Haryana & Rajasthan: A photo that came to me on Whatsapp advertising the Desert Festival in Bikaner, Rajasthan!

March 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei

Most are now woven on power looms but a few are still made on back-strap looms.A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei The Puanchei: The Puan is the … Continue reading

January 26, 2015 · 4 Comments

The Narakasura Festival, Goa

[A post from 2010 on the occasion of Diwali & Narakasur] Goa. Narakasur. Pre-Diwali. A unique folk festival that I noticed for the first time in 2004  then became more … Continue reading

October 20, 2014 · 7 Comments

Traditional Rajasthan Home – Patwaon ki Haveli – Jaisalmer

A place where the walls do not need art. Because the walls ARE art. The ceilings ARE art. Was it such a bad thing that women did not step out … Continue reading

September 13, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Lives of Brahmins

In general there has been a lot of Brahmin-bashing in the media and I myself have had mixed opinions about the subject with a tinge of negativity. In my circles … Continue reading

August 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Govinda Ala Re at Janmashtami – an Indian Miniature Painting

It is Janmashtami again! And to honor Krishna, his love for home-made butter and his theft from the homes of neighboring Gopis, communities in many cities will put up the … Continue reading

August 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Happy Birthday India – Jiye Mera Desh

India celebrates it’s Independence Day today. In the grand scheme of India’s long history, a few centuries under the British rule and then subsequent independence therefrom is not that big … Continue reading

August 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Of Human Bondage – The Chains of Marriage

  Marriage with its Emotional Bondage* that is Voluntary & Reciprocal can be a beautiful experience. In the Hindu tradition, this bondage is poignantly represented by the Gold Chain that … Continue reading

August 12, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Honey Trappers

* WARNING Several Graphic Images* Goa is one of the regions that is blessed with fertile forests. And a result of (or perhaps cause of) this is the large variety … Continue reading

August 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

When there is Respect – A glimpse of Bastar, India

In a land as diverse as India, even the smallest administrative segment – the Taluka or District – is home to a few dozen communities. Therefore, no matter who is … Continue reading

July 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Lambani Project

The Banjaras  & the Lambanis lived in the forested areas, mainly in South India.They have now been settled in villages through government schemes and no longer follow the nomadic / … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Praying for Rain

A self-explanatory photo pre-1900 : An Indian Fakir performing a ritual praying for rain. The context is relevant even today! jm June 2014    

June 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

At the homes of Rabaris

A few pictures taken with majestic Rabari women & men in their own homes, over the years. Attending a Welcome or Swagat at a wedding in the homes of welcoming … Continue reading

June 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

MANJUNATH – THE FILM

“MANJUNATH” An outstanding film – an outstanding true story about an outstanding young MBA who joins the corporate world made by another outstanding MBA  – who gave up his corporate … Continue reading

May 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Vanished Without a Trace – A Clan of 84 Villages

TIME: Around 13th century. PLACE: Rajasthan PARADIGM: Extremely Caste Conscious Social Hierarchy STORY Kuldhara is village outside Jaisalmer.  It was the home of Paliwal Brahmins. Every region, has its unstated … Continue reading

May 2, 2014 · 1 Comment

Bombay – Meri Jaan

Photos of a few must-see places that are off the beaten path in Bombay-Mumbai – the liveliest city in the world! 1. Banganga – a stepped well born of a … Continue reading

April 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

Need a Handmade Iron Tool? Go shop with the Gadaliya Lohar Tribe of Rajasthan

Hand made textiles I can understand – but seeing handmade iron tools on sale brought me face-to-face with my ignorance! As I walked through Jaisalmer, I came across 2 families … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · 1 Comment

Streets of Jaisalmer

One of the best ways to experience a city is to walk through it. And Jaisalmer with its charming architecture, narrow lanes and friendly bystanders is a treat to explore … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

TWO WORLDS

Bhil Woman whose lifestyle remains rooted in the past even as her surroundings have moved into the future with the adoption of new technology. Rural Rajasthan, India

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – In search of Shade

Man and beast subject to the elements of nature in equal measure.  The fragility of the human’s sense of empowerment over nature, is accentuated in the extreme testing conditions such … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Hamlets & Herds

A photo-essay on the little hamlets & goat herds seen in Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. The photos cannot capture the emptiness of the space, or the heat, but they … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Where did the desert go?

A desert is not something that one sees often. So when I planned my trip to Rajasthan, I was excited about seeing the Thar desert (pronounced by local as Thudd)  … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 2 Comments

A Temple of Miracles in the Desert – Tanot Mata Mandir

Locals believe that it was the Goddess Tanot Mata that prevented the bombs from exploding in a war a few decades ago. And the Goddess became famous beyond the local … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 1 Comment

Royal Cradles of Rajasthan

As I walk through the Mehrangarh Fort Museum hall exhibiting royal cradles, I cannot help but think about babies & nurturing & child-raising, about the tenets of parenting and the … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

Living with Art – A Home in rural Rajasthan

On a highway outside Jaisalmer, driving at 80kmph, I spot an artistically decorated walled enclave. The driver is instructed to stop. He is first confused about my request to visit … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Caste Fortress

Growing up in cosmopolitan Mumbai we lived very closely with neighbors from various communities, sharing our struggles, our celebrations, our resources, our cooking ingredients, our food and sometimes even clothes … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 1 Comment

Rajasthan Diaries

The caravan stops again.  At Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and the surrounding desert villages! Sand dunes, an abandoned village, mesmerising architecture, a surprising desert-turned-fertile landscape, warm people, and finally an unforgettable meeting … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 20 Comments

Holi Again!

It’s the full moon night of Spring. And people are excited about the Dhuleti ir color festival that follows the night of Holi. A few pictures if the Holi Bonfire … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · 2 Comments

Rural India Beckons!

Wanderlust strikes again! The unparalleled beauty of rural India is beginning to call out to me again…. The simplicity, the warmth, the genuineness, people living as one with the earth, … Continue reading

March 15, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Craft of the Kalamkari of South India

Kalamkari – literally meaning ‘pen craft’ [ Kalam = pen in Urdu]  involving painting and printing on cloth with natural dyes. Styles of Kalamkari Art The art is an ancient … Continue reading

March 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Veiled Rebecca Marble

The piece that brought fame to the Salar Jung Museum Collection “Veiled Rebecca” – marble sculpture by Benzoni. The art lies in the way the artist has captured the fragility … Continue reading

March 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Wood Art Collection

Just a photo essay:

March 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Mughal Glass Collection

Mughal Glass constitutes a very prominent landmark in the history of glass in India. Under the reign of Akbar glass factories flourished but the best examples of Mughal glass were … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Ivory Collection

The pictures say it all!! The museum boasts of a collection of unimaginable ivory items such as a coach, coffee tables & chairs, and window panes! Other functional items such … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Walking Stick Collection

Salar Jung-III must have been an interesting man. For, a collection as diverse and as interesting as this, requires before all else, the keen eye of the beholder to see … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 8 Comments

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Antique Phulkari Bagh

A textile art that is now extinct – the Phulkari Bagh – embroidery so thick that the base cloth cannot be seen – yet made with extremely fine untwisted silk … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Traveling Godmen

An addition to the article on the Traveling Godmen or spiritual healers of rural India. This morning I came across this extravagantly decorated Bullock and the owner, going from door … Continue reading

January 30, 2014 · 1 Comment

Traditional Architecture & Art in the Houses of South India

How can a house that is so simple, serene and peaceful be the cause of the debilitating greed that arises in me when I view it? Every house that I … Continue reading

January 15, 2014 · 9 Comments

The Appeal of Art – What and Why

This answer is different for each of us. My answers is here: The type of art that appeals to me has revealed itself to me over the years. Across the … Continue reading

January 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Singapore based Business Consulting for India Market Entry : Bridges.sg

Entering a new market is challenging. In some markets more than others. Allow us to build you BRIDGES across all the hurdles. Allow us to be your local support   … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Want to see Indian Art? Go to London!

My desire to travel and explore cultures and cultural stories all ultimately lead me to India and South Asia. The wealth and diversity of cultures and living traditions is matchless. … Continue reading

December 27, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Calico Museum – an unforgettable experience

Recently I came upon this book. And it reminded me of my visit to the Calico musuem. Set in Ahmedabad, this is one of the most venerated museums in Indian … Continue reading

December 24, 2013 · 5 Comments

How many Indian Manuscripts exist?

In my readings about ancient Indian texts I came across an interesting article by Wujastyk. The main page  is linked below. A few interesting excerpts: India as a modern nation-state … Continue reading

December 17, 2013 · 3 Comments

Mystical Gold Ornaments from the past

When I look at some  of the ornaments from the past, they leave me awestruck! The art & craft within them is doubtlessly stunning. But beyond that, there is an … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 2 Comments

Spectacular Embroidery Art from the Patel Community of Kutch

  On all my trips to the Kutch, I have only seen 4 such saris. Motifs & Color that are similar to those from the North West Provinces – but … Continue reading

November 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Antique Colonial-Era Saris

Two rare & unique saris from a bygone era. Rare because of their age. Unique because of the unique English motifs woven into the borders of the sari – woven … Continue reading

November 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

Lifestyle & Beliefs of the Dard Aryan Ethnic Group of Ladakh

“It happens when it happens” Time is not a rare commodity and leisure is a luxury that all enjoy. ‘It happens when it happens’. No hurry. No time crunch. No … Continue reading

November 1, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Magnificent 11th Century Lamayuru Monastery – A photoessay

The Monastery    Student Monks doing their laundry.   And finally an invitation to  lunch of Rajam & Rice with the student monks! Food for the Soul, Food for the … Continue reading

October 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

An Adventure on the mighty Indus River

The road to the Dard village wound along the Indus river. We saw several bridges along the way. And I was also shown a few hand pulled rope carriages that … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Dances of the Dard Aryan People

The morning after we arrived, the village gathered together to arrange a small celebration. After several cups of butter tea and sweet tea with biscuits everyone helped each other to … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Costume & Jewelry Culture of the Dard Aryan People, Himalayas

It seems to me that all Himalayan cultures have spectacular costumes! One that stands out as distinct and unique is the Dard ethnic group in NorthWest India. Spread over a … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Living with a Dard Family

Sitting in a train in the city or a plane I often see people whose faces or expressions or language intrigue me. And I wonder what their lives must be … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 3 Comments

Aryan Diaries

My  first trip to Ladakh in 2011 was an extravagant visual feast of culture.  As a first-time viewer I was dazzled and overwhelmed so much that I could barely differentiate … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 4 Comments

FANTASTIC BAWAN BAGH PHULKARI – A WEDDING TEXTILE

A Bagh (phulkari) textile with 52 motifs created by the family as a canopy for the bride. Created by reverse embroidery!! Precision AND creativity! Art AND craft!! All while working … Continue reading

October 7, 2013 · 8 Comments

CALANGUTE GOA – BEACH RESORT PROPERTY FOR LONG RENTAL

If you plan to live in Goa in the heart of Goa’s most happening beach town Calangute, for a long period – do have a look at the long-rental properties … Continue reading

October 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

Small Town Magic – In Mega Mumbai

A few charming scenes from Mumbai that  are also charming and contain the warmth of small town life. The difference between awe and disgust is simply our own attitude. jm … Continue reading

September 24, 2013 · 4 Comments

Small Town magic – The Best Street Food

  I am not usually prone to making comments about ‘best’ since it is realistically not possible to test it all before making such a declaration that would be true. … Continue reading

September 24, 2013 · 1 Comment

Turquoise Art – The Blue Veil of Ladakh

An unusual Museum Quality Perak headdress from the Purang / Burang region. Authentic heirloom peraks are extreme,y rare now and among Peraks Purang Peraks are the rarest to find. The … Continue reading

September 23, 2013 · 2 Comments

Small Town Magic – Travelling Bakery

Who could have imagined the charm that lies in the small towns of India? A travelling bakery in a busy market.    jm Aug 2013

September 20, 2013 · 1 Comment

Small Town Magic – Cycle Rickshaws

Another mini photo-essay: This man who wheeled me around _ I wonder what his life has been like. Was it easy? Was he treated well by the people he served? … Continue reading

September 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

Small Town Magic

Be prepared to be completely delighted by the unexpected in the small towns of India. A few shots of fun walks in the bazaar that can provide endless entertainment IF … Continue reading

September 17, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Fantastic Skeypuk Jewelry of Himalayan Interiors

The mystery of how coral got to the Himalayas has many explanations yet the mind continues to meander into the past seeking confirmations. While the mind continues to thirst for … Continue reading

September 16, 2013 · 1 Comment

Gypsy Nomad Herder Women of Rajasthan

The job of herding is done by women in many of the tribes in Rajasthan. Where are the men? jm Aug 2013

September 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

I wish I could do that

Things I wish I could do…. A simple bucket list     All photos have been taken by me on various trips in the past 3 years. These and more … Continue reading

September 11, 2013 · 2 Comments

Handsome Turbans of Western India

A few photos from my old travel albums   The complete album with full size images may be viewed at WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013

September 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Animals in our Lives

A few photos from my older travel albums: View more images in full size in the Cultural Image Library on WOVENSOULS.COM jm

September 7, 2013 · 3 Comments

Forts in the Konkan Coast, India

A few photos of Konkan Forts: View all the images (in full size) on the parent website WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013

September 6, 2013 · 1 Comment

Artistic Mughal Architecture

A mini photo-article while I travel. Spellbinding Mughal Art View all the images (in full size) on the parent website WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013

September 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

Magnificent Lucknow Architecture

Am posting mini articles while I travel – these minis are mainly photos taken on previus travels.   More pr images available on the parent website WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013 … Continue reading

August 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

Large Textile Art Installations from the Buddhist World

Just a few photos from my past travels. Tashiding Sikkim More pro images may be viewed on WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013

August 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Buddhist Stupa Art from Sikkim India

Just a few mini photo-articles while I travel Sikkim, India More pro images on WOVENSOULS.com jm Aug 2013

August 27, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Sacred Art of Mata Ni Pachedi

An article published on Jozan.net on Aug 21st, 2013. Please click below to view the article. The Sacred Art of Mata Ni Pachedi jm Aug 21, 2013

August 22, 2013 · 1 Comment

Navratri – the Festival of Garba and Raas Dance

With the Full Moon night of this lunar month, the season of festivals begins in India. The festival phase of the year coincide with the lean activity phases in farming … Continue reading

August 20, 2013 · 2 Comments

Art in Antique Hookah Shisha Pipes

My children are surprised to learn that Hookah and Shisha is not a discovery of their generation! That generation (and every other before it) of young people believes that every … Continue reading

August 15, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Hungry Ghost and Shraadh Rituals

Today is the first day after the NO-MOON night. For the many religions that mark their lives with the moon’s revolutions this date marks the first day of a new … Continue reading

August 9, 2013 · 2 Comments

Into the Hearts and Homes of the Dard people of Ladakh

The Dard people of Ladakh are a minority group.  Their lifstyle is very different from the other groups in Ladakh yet this difference is  highly respected in the very inclusive … Continue reading

August 3, 2013 · 12 Comments

WOVENSOULS | Antique Jewelry | Silver

This page showcases some of the old silver collectible jewelry from the Wovensouls Collection.  The diversity of style and form in silver is certain to please even the mature collector. … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

Prehistoric Rock Carvings – Mizoram

A few photos of pre-historic rocks seen in Fawlkun village in Mizoram. This village is literally in the middle of nowhere – the nearest town Aizawl is about 18 km … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

WOVENSOULS | Antique Textiles | Tibet & Himalayas

This page showcases some of the Tibetan & Himalayan textiles from the Wovensouls Collection. To view  the dozen or so assets  please visit WOVENSOULS.com linked here.   jm July 2013  

July 29, 2013 · Leave a comment

WOVENSOULS | Antique Textiles | India

This page is a showcase and some of the best Indian textiles from the Wovensouls Collection have been displayed here. To view the detailed images please visit WOVENSOULS.com linked here.   … Continue reading

July 29, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Dowry

This is a much maligned concept in the context of India. It need not be. A few facts:  A large part of India has a bride price – where the … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · 2 Comments

Dowry of A Mother’s Love – The Bagh Textile of Punjab

THE DOWRY A young girl leaves her home to join another family of which she knows very little. She has spent her childhood and early youth sheltered within the large … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · 6 Comments

Textile Art of Gujarat

I grew up in the Gujarati community of traders. A community in which the critical success factor is ‘data mining’ within the community. Fathers, father’s brothers, mother’s brothers, neighbourhood elders, … Continue reading

July 25, 2013 · 3 Comments

Goan Fisherman’s tale – traditional wisdom, traditional fishing

While one half of the world chases efficiency and big money, Goa continues to chase the perfect life. Afternoon siestas are still not traded for earnings. I have been turned … Continue reading

July 16, 2013 · 8 Comments

Choodi Waale Baaba – the Bangle Seller

Hindi was a compulsory language to be learned at school. And language is usually taught through written material – stories about this and that from every day life. Sometime in … Continue reading

June 28, 2013 · 2 Comments

The story of the Pattua Painting of Bengal in the Wovensouls Collection

A few months ago, I spotted a piece of vintage folk art and without knowing quite what it was, I acquired it. It was a scroll, about 1 foot wide … Continue reading

June 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Interesting nuggets about Odisha

A series of random interesting nuggets from Odisha: 1. A temple that does not allow non Hindus and foreigners in. So a viewing post has been built outside the compound … Continue reading

June 26, 2013 · 2 Comments

Published Articles

Articles published in world renowned magazines and specialist websites.

June 22, 2013 · 2 Comments

Ankle Jewelry or Payal or Jhanjhar Traditions of Asia

All the assets in this article are a part of the WOVENSOULS collection and additional details of each asset may be viewed here on WovenSouls.com . Payal … a piece … Continue reading

June 22, 2013 · 11 Comments

DOCUMENTING THE SLOW EXTINCTION OF LAMBANI TEXTILE TRADITIONS

The tribal group known as the Lambanis have settled in South-West India and are known for their unique textile & jewelry adornments. Their traditional costumes are strong signatures and announcers … Continue reading

June 21, 2013 · 1 Comment

WOVENSOULS SUMMER AUCTION ANNOUNCEMENT

The Summer Auction of timeless textile art, jewelry art and folk art will be conducted online-only on Artfact.com and is open for bidding until June 30th. The catalog may be … Continue reading

June 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

Wall Art of Rural Rajasthan

Dedicated to those mistaken souls for whom ‘rural’ implies ‘poor’  or ‘undeveloped’ or ‘in-need-of-upliftment’. May the following pictures give them reason to modify their beliefs. Following are pictures of a … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 10 Comments

Irresponsible Photography

There is no code of ethics for photographers or tour operators. Each is guided by their own moral compass and their own motivations. Sometimes those motivations can be less-than-sensitive and … Continue reading

May 28, 2013 · 2 Comments

Tribal Life in Orissa – a tribute!

  I was in Orissa in January and the month of May is about to end, and yet the tribal life that I experienced there remains unshared on this blog. … Continue reading

May 27, 2013 · 4 Comments

Street Shrines of Orissa

Just a small photoessay of pictures from Orissa (Bhubanehswar | Cuttack | Konark) to supplement the Street Shrines of India blog article. Back to Kalinga Diaries jm May 2013

May 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

A walk through the market in Bhubaneshwar

For over a decade I have been exposed to the concept of auctions. I have bought and sold several dozen things at online auctions and have enjoyed he thrill of … Continue reading

May 26, 2013 · 4 Comments

Labour Day Contradiction

Today, the 1st of May, Labor day is a holiday that celebrates and honors workers. This photo on facebook reminded me of the shirts that the construction workers working on … Continue reading

May 1, 2013 · 1 Comment

My View

There – I said it : I am RICH and here I show off my wealth: When I turned 40 I looked forward and realised that if I were to … Continue reading

April 21, 2013 · 2 Comments

Anachronism : Mumbai & Elephanta

Among the largest mega-cities in the world, Mumbai also has an anachronistic satellite island about an hour away from its shores. An island that is only a few kilometers away … Continue reading

April 9, 2013 · 2 Comments

Journey to the Past : The science of Epigraphy

Imagine walking through a maze with instructions written in a language we do not understand. In reconstructing the history of a civilisation, we work with very few clues – artefacts, … Continue reading

April 7, 2013 · 2 Comments

Success

The success of an individual lies in the distance that she has managed to cover between the mindset (and therefore life) of her own grandmother and the life of her … Continue reading

April 4, 2013

In the Presence of the Past – Ancient Caves of Odisha

Just outside Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India monks carved out a cave complex from the stone mountain and made it their home. Today, I am here, in the same point in space … Continue reading

March 26, 2013 · 4 Comments

Return to Ladakh

There is a ‘magnetic’ mountain on the road between Leh and Alchi. The magnetism is strong enough to pull parked cars upwards. It is probably this magnetism that took me … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Magnificent Stone Artefacts of the Odisha State Museum

Orissa has been the seat of rich ancient civilizations and some of the archaeological finds have been displayed at the State Museum, Bhubaneshwar. Museums in the cities of India are … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 8 Comments

Palm Leaf Pattachitra from Odisha

Traditionally paper, textiles and stone have been used to create artworks. So when a new base material is encountered the most intriguing aspect for me is ‘how did this come … Continue reading

February 28, 2013 · 4 Comments

Indian History – my education system failed me

My school teachers and my school text books always told me that India had been ruled by the British. But through my travel and the books that I have stumbled … Continue reading

February 11, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Ladies Compartment in Mumbai Local Trains

VENUE : The Ladies Compartment LOCATION : The local trains of Mumbai EVENT : 1. Shopping Gala 2. Bonding Gala COST : INR 40 / all day travel TIME : … Continue reading

February 7, 2013 · 7 Comments

Kalinga Diaries

Kalinga. Now called Odisha (Orissa). The poorest state in India financially. Yet, among the richest states culturally. Every Indian has heard of Orissa through its arts – either the dance, … Continue reading

January 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Pictures of the photography exhibition at Coomaraswamy Hall, Mumbai

The second in a series of three exhibitions, my limited edition photograph print series titled ‘Journeys of the Soul” was exhibited as part of a group show Mumbai Art by … Continue reading

January 7, 2013 · 3 Comments

Miniature Thangkas from Mongolia

Devotional Art – art that arises out of worship and devotion – produces some of the most spectacular works the world has seen.  Sufi music is an example and so … Continue reading

January 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Invitation to Photography Exhibition at Coomaraswamy Hall, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, Jan 4th-6th

Housed in the renamed Prince of Wales Museum – the Chatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya, the Coomaraswamy Hall will be the venue for my first photography exhibition in Mumbai. Exhibited as … Continue reading

December 18, 2012 · 1 Comment

Photographs of the Tribal Expressions Exhibition, Singapore

Photos of an absolutely amazing experience!  Visitors reacted beyond expectation to the people in the photos, to the photos, to the expressions of human emotion, to the expressions of tribal … Continue reading

December 3, 2012 · 3 Comments

New Textile Art Pieces in the WovenSouls Collection – November 2012

Am back from a project in Kutch India. The dealers of antique textiles are preparing for an alternate as they believe that the supply of up tribal textiles is drying … Continue reading

October 31, 2012 · 3 Comments

Camels go on a Pilgrimage with their Tribal Masters to pray

I am in Kutch. One of the districts of Gujarat. Which is one of the 28 states of India. This little portion tucked away in a corner of India bordering … Continue reading

October 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Additions to the Wovensouls Antique Textile Gallery – Tribal Bags

A few tribal bags that were acquired on my travels….. Some are  bags originally used by tribals. Others are made using antique or vintage tribal textiles. All gorgeous. All very … Continue reading

September 21, 2012 · 1 Comment

Meeting Lambani Textile Artists

Awhile ago, while doing research for an art installation project, I met these textile artists who work for themselves – who create their gorgeous art mainly for self-consumption and not … Continue reading

September 10, 2012 · 1 Comment

Mumbai says Happy Birthday Krishna 2012!

Mumbai celebrates Krishna’s birthday with a dramatic ritual sport : making human pyramids to reach and break a pot of milk that is suspended high between two buildings. Krishna stole … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · Leave a comment

New Acquisitions of Kutch Textile Art in the Wovensouls Collection

The eye learns with every new exposure and becomes more discerning. Now I value the unusual form more than I did earlier.  In the world of textile art everything can … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 2 Comments

A walk through a Rabari tribal Village

Rabari people are gypsies having their deep ancestry origins in Mount Kailash. They migrated to the Kutch via Afghanistan & Kashmir. Just a video taken as I walk about a … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 2 Comments

A Rabari Gypsy Tribal Wedding Ritual

‘Luck by Chaanus’* was on our side Mr. V.bhai – my self appointed guide for the day – declared observing that we had just witnessed two pre-wedding rituals an hour … Continue reading

August 10, 2012 · 9 Comments

Tribal Textile Art of Kutch – the Bhuj Folk Art Museum

A self explanatory photo-essay showcasing the mirrorwork & embroidery of various tribes in the Kutch region of Gujarat India. But first an introduction to the two lovely ladies from the … Continue reading

July 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of Mizoram, The Lunglei Museum Collection

A walk through the textile & jewelry section of the Museum of Lunglei, the remotest town in the North Eastern state of Mizoram, India. Details of these pieces are available … Continue reading

June 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Turban Art – the Crowning Glory of Indian Men

Turbans serve many uses for Indian men. They provide relief from the sun and a touch of color to the simple male costume. The loose ends are used as handkerchiefs, … Continue reading

June 26, 2012 · 1 Comment

Alternate Life Models 5 – Mizo culture

Most Eastern life models are patrilineal and the father-son lineage carries forward important life markers such as caste, name, inheritance etc. The rules are clear and common across geographies. But … Continue reading

June 24, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Classic Indian Village Fair – Gogunda mela

Not a single tourist present besides me. No Indian tourist. No foreign tourist.No men tourists. No women tourists. ONLY locals. ONLY villagers. And me. This is simply not a place … Continue reading

June 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Gangaur Festival

A festival of devotion and of celebration of love. Shiva and Parvati are the epitome of love in Hindu mythology and this is one of the stories about their love. … Continue reading

June 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Puppets & Puppeteers of Nagaur Rajasthan

An old folk saying “We are only puppets, our strings are being pulled by unknown forces” This is an article about puppets – from a place that is famous for … Continue reading

June 11, 2012 · 2 Comments

A Dog’s Sixth Sense – a spooky experience

My Grandma told me folk tales that aroused my curiosity. Tales that were so mystical and interesting that they opened up a whole world of the un-understood realm – enticing … Continue reading

May 21, 2012 · Leave a comment

Latest Photography Galleries – May 2012

Photo galleries added to JainaMishra.com recently  have been linked below: May 2012 PORTRAITS – MANGANIYAR MUSICIAN TRIBE OF RAJASTHAN PORTRAITS – GARASIA TRIBE OF RAJASTHAN PORTRAITS – TURBANS PORTRAITS – … Continue reading

May 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Women of India – the Weaker sex….

Presenting a view of the woman seen as the classical “abalaa naari” or the helpless woman of Indian society. The tribal Indian woman. An epitome of freedom and strength! She … Continue reading

April 26, 2012

Music of the Manganiyar Tribe

The Manganiyars are famous through their shows worldwide titled the Manganiyar Seduction. Presented by international performance companies their music has received a platform it deserves. Awards and acclaim have followed … Continue reading

April 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Blacksmith Gadaliya Tribe of Rajasthan & Gujarat

One of the many tribes I met in Rajasthan – the Gadaliyas – the Blacksmiths. I have posted some images and an informed article by another blogger on nomadic tribe … Continue reading

April 24, 2012 · 2 Comments

Mewar Diaries

Rajasthan needs no introduction. Colors flood my senses from the moment I drive into the city of Udaipur from the airport late in the evening. After stopping to pick up … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

Folk Dances of Rajasthan

No words. Just videos that I have taken on my phone camera at the Bagaur Haveli in Udaipur. 1. A folk musician plays a traditional instrument called the Raavanhatta : … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Man with 39 Wives

A remote village in Mizoram. Returning from Lunglei to Aizawl I took a detour via Sirchip in order to meet this man with a new idea of life. Communication with … Continue reading

March 17, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Chapchar Kut Harvest Festival of Mizoram

A glimpse of the Chapchar Kut Harvest festival held at Aizawl in March 2012. The Chapchar Kut is the Harvest festival of Mizoram and celebrated across the hills in March … Continue reading

March 17, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Holi Festival – Present & Past

Jari Mari Mata Temple on S.V. Road, Bandra. The venue for the Holi bonfire on the night of the Spring Full Moon. Past Holi bonfires at this location are a … Continue reading

March 9, 2012

Mizoram Diaries

Mizoram. A landscape of blue mountains. Rising above white clouds and mist. Green. Pristine. Located in the North East of India. With a population of 10,00,000. Spread over half a … Continue reading

March 4, 2012 · Leave a comment

Intense Spirituality – the Thaipusam Festival

They say spirituality awakens at a particular moment – and that moment is necessarily different for each person. I do not think I have reached my moment yet. But I … Continue reading

February 7, 2012 · 2 Comments

Arunachal Pradesh Diaries

Nested in the Himalayan foothills, almost untouched by my world that is desperately seeking answers to its energy crisis, its financial crisis fuelled by ‘more & more’ & ‘growth’, and … Continue reading

January 18, 2012 · 1 Comment

Fierce Nocte Headhunters

Portrait-collage of the Nocte Tribe, Khonsa, Arunachal Pradesh, a friendly happy yet fierce tribe with headhunting ancestry. Hi res images available on www.jainamishra.com My other related articles Headhunting Tropies Back … Continue reading

January 18, 2012 · 1 Comment

The Gaanv Boodhas or Village Headmen of Arunachal Pradesh

Am stating the obvious – that every journey results in not only a fresh view of old things, but also views of things never seen before by the beholder. Having … Continue reading

January 16, 2012

Glimpses of a contented People – the Arunachalis

Images of interesting elements of Arunachali lifestyle have been put together as a general kaleidoscope. For separate articles on the specific topics, click on the links below: Hunter-Gatherer-Weavers  Innovative housing … Continue reading

January 15, 2012

A chance encounter with a Shaman Priest during a sacrifice ritual

Rural Arunachal Pradesh, Dec 2011 This was an encounter that took me by surprise and swept me off my feet! When I think back, it is difficult to imagine the … Continue reading

January 7, 2012 · 4 Comments

The Arunachali – the Hunter-Gatherer-Weaver

Tiny hamlets dot the Himalayan foothills of Arunachal Pradesh. Some lie along the winding roads while a large number are accessible only by foot paths taking as long as 3-5 … Continue reading

January 5, 2012

Tribal Signatures – Face Tattoos of the Apatani tribe

The lifestyle of Apatani hilltribe of Arunachal Pradesh fascinates a cultural traveller on several aspects. But the one that hit me with the greatest intensity are the 2 tribal signatures … Continue reading

January 4, 2012

Third World Country Happiness

My 20 year old son asked a question to which I have no answer. We’d spent 2 hours  neck deep in the Arabian Sea,  wave-bashing at Candolim Beach and eaten … Continue reading

December 21, 2011 · Leave a comment

Arunachal Hilltribe Lifestyle 2 : Innovative housing

Arunachal Pradesh landscapes comprise the foothills of the Himalayas and is inhabited mainly by tribes.The hills are dotted with tribal villages all across its 85000 sq km expanse. Hills and … Continue reading

December 16, 2011 · Leave a comment

Head Hunting Trophies

The British had banned head hunting during the days of the Raj and ordered that all trophies – such as skulls of enemy tribes – be destroyed. Most tribes complied. … Continue reading

December 11, 2011 · 4 Comments

Ram Leela at Dassera in Mumbai

The Ramayan is a well known epic about the triumph of good over evil. But the Ram Leela – the enactment of the Ramayana is a lesser known event. In … Continue reading

November 16, 2011 · 2 Comments

Ladakh Diaries

“LADAKH – THE HERMIT KINGDOM”  PROVIDES AN INTRODUCTION TO LADAKH AND IS A PREFACE TO A SERIES OF SUBJECT SPECIFIC ARTICLES ON LADAKH. In the olden days, in the Hindu … Continue reading

November 11, 2011 · 1 Comment

“An Indian Discovers India” – Photo Art Prints Exhibition

For an Indian born and raised in urban India, discovering the diverse spectrum of cultures in the extreme geographical ends has been a journey filled with revelations about India’s identity. … Continue reading

November 3, 2011

Mountain Adventures 18000ft above sea level – a landslide at the Khardungla Pass!

This was, without a doubt, the most difficult journey I have ever made. I have travelled to Everest Base camp, have travelled squeezed into the boot of a car on … Continue reading

October 24, 2011 · Leave a comment

Bactrian Camels of the Central Asian Silk Route – Ladakh

Diskit village, Nubra valley. Ladakh. Wedged between two ranges of the Himalayas. Sand dunes. River beds. Mountains with badly scratched faces. Mountains with a topology that mesmerised. Rock formations that … Continue reading

October 23, 2011

The Chamms Masked Dances by the Monks of Chemrey Monastery – Ladakh

Lamas of the ancient Chemrey monastery performing the Masked dances in Leh in which they enact religious tales with a moral. The stunning colors of the flowing robes combined with … Continue reading

October 23, 2011 · Leave a comment

Traditional Sports of Ladakh – Polo

Where else would we find a monastery, a chorten, mountain peaks AND polo players in the same shot??!!! The cheerleading squad – traditional drummers The teams A flying horse? A … Continue reading

October 4, 2011

An Appeal for “The Blue Veil Project”

  The magnificent head dress of Ladakh – the Perak laden with rows and rows of turquoise gem stones and coral, is probably among the most exquisite bridal ornaments in … Continue reading

October 1, 2011 · 2 Comments

Ancient Murals of Alchi Monastery – an art-collector’s delight

Alchi is a sleepy and simple unglorified village about 70 km to the West of Leh. Nothing in its approach route or in the buildings and structures of the village … Continue reading

September 23, 2011

A night-out with the Nomads of Changthang

  Dreamt of spending time with nomads for a long time. To experience their minimalistic lives,  to observe the mental strength with which they embraced the harshness of nature, to … Continue reading

September 15, 2011 · 6 Comments

Dreams I dreamt and realised – Ladakh

Each of us is born with a curse – a predominant sentiment that rears its head at almost every occasion. My curse is ‘disbelief’. Every day something good happens that … Continue reading

August 30, 2011

Dreams I dreamt but did not live : the Ambubasi Tantric Fair

My first visit to the Kamakhya temple or Kamakshi temple exposed me a little to its history and to its significance. Every year this temple celebrates the Ambubasi Tantric fair … Continue reading

August 29, 2011

Travelling between two eras – an encounter with Pushpa the maid servant

Pushpa used to work for the previous owners of our portugese villa before the family dissipated in numbers and before the house fell to ruin As per Goa laws, she … Continue reading

August 27, 2011

Lives of Others – The Beggar-Toddler

A hot summer noon. Sometime in the year 2008. A crowded traffic junction in a suburb in Mumbai. ‘Crowded’ as defined by Bombay peak hour standards. Me in an autorickshaw … Continue reading

August 14, 2011 · 1 Comment

Antique Jain Paintings, India

Jainism as a religion has harmony with all elements of nature as one of the core beliefs. Non violence, minimalistic living and compassion are values central to its philosophy. All … Continue reading

August 13, 2011

Antique Sculptures of Buddha

Crowned Buddha in Dharmachakra, 11th century. This sculpture is a typical representation of ‘Pala’ art found in Bihar, India. Many such scultpures were placed in niches around the Bodh Gaya … Continue reading

August 6, 2011

Christian Paintings from the Past

Old. Beautiful. Full of stories. Full of devotion. Antique Church Paintings. Many of these are on wood board. Others may be on canvas. Some hang high up on walls and … Continue reading

July 31, 2011 · 4 Comments

Church of St. Francis Xavier of Assisi, Old Goa

I studied at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, and my school was a convent run by a nun order that is closely associated with the Jesuit priests, an order started … Continue reading

July 25, 2011 · 2 Comments

Shadow Puppets of Malaysia, Indonesia & South India

Wayang Kulit is the name given to folk ‘shadow’ puppet shows performed in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The puppe tperformances are usually story telling mediums and most stories narrate excerpts … Continue reading

July 21, 2011

Viva San Jao

24th June 2011 A second visit to the wonderful non-touristy festival in Goa! For the local people and by the local people. Vibrant colors, Vibrant music, Vibrant boat decor and … Continue reading

June 25, 2011 · 1 Comment

Invitation to a Lambani Gypsy Tribal Wedding

A Lambani Gypsy family. A Village in Karnataka, India. May 8th 2011. An arranged marriage. This is an account of a gypsy tribal wedding in a tiny village that had … Continue reading

May 7, 2011

Yak Horn textile adornments, Sikkim

Yaks must be much loved creatures since their owners – the Dokpas – who adorn them so fashionably! The behavior of yaks is best described in Heinrich Harrer’s book ‘Seven … Continue reading

March 20, 2011

Sikkim Diaries

‘To live many lifetimes within a lifetime…”. Its time for another lifetime! My trip to Sikkim in March 2011, was planned during the week of Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations. … Continue reading

March 17, 2011

Chanting ceremony at Kagyud Monastery, Lingdum, Sikkim

The Kagyud Monastery was the best experience of my Sikkim trip. This is the monastery that I will return to someday. On the first visit, 2 days prior to Losar, … Continue reading

March 17, 2011 · 1 Comment

Lama Dances at Thongsa Monastery, Kalimpong

The dates for my Sikkim trip were arranged so that I could experience the Lama Dances at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Information on the net was sketchy, but some websites … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Breathtaking Mural Paintings of Sikkim Monasteries

The images need no supporting words… Just a small preface …all images were taken inside a large hall lit only by a few butter lamps. I have not used a … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Buddhist Ritual Objects

My awareness of Buddhist rituals and practices is limited to my observations. Someday I hope I will have the opportunity to seek out the stories and the philosophies behind these … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Sikkimese Monastery Architecture

The initial images display exteriors of monasteries while the last dozen display the interiors. Back to Sikkim Diaries jm March 2011

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Wood Art in Sikkim Monasteries – Windows, Doors and Pillars

The design of the Buddhist Monasteries in Sikkim is heavily influenced by Tibetan designs and bears a close similarity to the visuals seen on the other side of the Himalayas. … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Little Lamas, Sikkim

A collage of images of cute little baby lamas in their regal robes….offering a glimpse into their daily lives. Their impishly twinkling smiles, the ease with which they carry their … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

On the Silk Route at the Nathula Pass, India-China border

The day journey from Gangtok is a difficult one, but that doesn’t stop tourists from reaching the pass 15000 ft above sea level…..I was just one of the 4-5 dozen … Continue reading

March 7, 2011 · Leave a comment

Buddhist Yak Butter Art of Sikkim

I usually travel ‘blind’ – without detailed research. So I do not have a clear idea of what to expect. As a result, the experiences I go through along the … Continue reading

March 5, 2011 · 1 Comment

Procession at the Enchey Monastery, Sikkim

The head Lama at Enchey, a quiet handsome and dignified gentleman who rarely speaks to visitors, honored me with a detailed conversation about his life* and about the monastery. He … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

Losar Celebrations – Bonfire at Kagyud Monastery, Sikkim

The Kagyud Monastery was the best experience of my Sikkim trip. This is the monastery that I will return to someday. On my second visit,  the day just before Losar, … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

A journey on a state transport bus in Satara district, Maharashtra

That India is a land of diversity is an often repeated cliche. The spectrum found on any parameter – wealth, lifestyle, mentality, cultural beliefs to name a few – covers … Continue reading

February 28, 2011 · Leave a comment

Pattachitra Art of Assam

Pattachitra is similar to ‘storyboards’ or stories told along with pictures. The tales depicted are usually derived from epics such as Bhagawat and Ramayana. In ancient India, this art was … Continue reading

February 18, 2011 · 3 Comments

Rural art & crafts of Assam

Art arises as an expression of common people as expressions of culture, expression of religion and expression of belief. In cases where the art form finds a patron, the technique … Continue reading

February 18, 2011 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of the Ahom Kingdom – Guwahati Museum Collection

The Ahoms are a community found largely in Assam. This community consists of the descendants of ethnic Tai people who accompanied the Tai prince Sukaphaa who established the Ahom kingdom … Continue reading

February 17, 2011 · 2 Comments

Street Shrines of India

The Gods are everywhere – literally. In busy Bombay, in parts where its working class real people live, almost every street has a wayside shrine. A holy tree or an … Continue reading

January 22, 2011 · 1 Comment

Tribal Textile and Bead Art of Nagaland

This photoessay is preceded by the article that appears on Jozan.net titled “Red, White and Black – Tribal Textiles of Nagaland” available here. Images will say it better than words … Continue reading

December 27, 2010 · 3 Comments

Nagaland Diaries

An image from 1870s Nov 29th, 2010 Am setting out to explore Nagaland – home to over 20 distinct tribes characterised by two intriguing lifetsyles: headhunting and minimal clothing. This … Continue reading

December 26, 2010 · 1 Comment

Tribal Dances of Nagaland

Every tribe has unique ways of celebrating festivals – some that are common to all Nagamese, others that are unique to each tribe. A collection of images of various tribal … Continue reading

December 26, 2010

Sacrificial Lamb at Kamakhya temple, Guwahati

I had heard about the Kamakhya or Kamakshi temple through a scientist friend recently. He was intrigued by the world of Tantrics and as he talked about his fascination, he … Continue reading

December 24, 2010 · 10 Comments

Train Ride across rural Assam – Guwahati to Dimapur

The railway station was just as enchanting as every other Indian railway station. Bustling with travellers and vendors, crowded with passengers sleeping on the platforms waiting for their next connection, … Continue reading

December 20, 2010 · Leave a comment

Traditional Naga Bamboo Climbing and Fire Making

Greased-bamboo pole climbing and Traditional fire-making….a few images. Boys preparing to compete in the greased bamboo pole climbing competition between tribes Splashing mud to create friction *** Fire making by … Continue reading

December 13, 2010 · Leave a comment

Naga lifestyle

Pineapple plantation Buddies chatting on a ‘puliya’ Local Backpacks Dimapur market: Small intertwining lanes that would challenge the map-drawers skills; Shops spilling out onto the streets with wares stacked in … Continue reading

December 13, 2010 · 1 Comment

Tears in Kohima

My friend who had fought several wars as part of the infantry brought me to look at this landmark site. It probably held some significance to him, but I had … Continue reading

December 12, 2010 · 1 Comment

Bharat Varsha – Ancient Indian Kingdoms

My education, although I am among the small percent of Indians who have a Master’s, degree, has proven to be highly insufficient since I had no idea that the map … Continue reading

November 26, 2010

North East India

Jointly called the seven sisters and one big brother, even most graduates in India would have difficulty naming these states – which is a complete shame! Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, … Continue reading

November 16, 2010 · Leave a comment

Goan Folk Art – Tulsi Pots

Goa is known for its beaches …but over the years its numerous hidden attractions have revealed themselves to me, slowly, one at a time, ensuring that I remain in love … Continue reading

October 25, 2010

Panaji to Sindhudurg Sea Fort and back

If you are considering going to Sindhudurg Sea Fort, you’d look at the map, find Sindhudurg on it and then head for it….but that would be a mistake! If you … Continue reading

October 24, 2010

Beautiful People – the Eunuch community of Bombay

Eunuchs have been mentioned in the Mahabharata, in tales from the Mughal times and from ancient China. In all of these they played a role in royal and noble homes. … Continue reading

October 20, 2010 · 2 Comments

The Dhunuchi Dance at Durga Puja

I first experienced this dance through one of the most beautiful Hindi films of this decade – Parineeta. This dance is performed at the Durga Puja – a hindu festival … Continue reading

October 13, 2010 · Leave a comment

Lucknow – Capital of Awadh & city of Nawabs

Memories of Lucknow (2006) A Nawab, his perfect hosting, the splendour of Awadh Architecture, a dramatic guide, outstanding kababs, a beautiful Nikaah (wedding) ceremony and amazing antique textiles. The city … Continue reading

September 18, 2010 · 1 Comment

Janmashtami Festival in Mumbai

On Krishna’s birthday this folk festival brings the whole mega city together – mainly to watch the human pyramids, and to dance to the accompanying bands in the Mumbai monsoons! … Continue reading

September 3, 2010 · 1 Comment

A cup of tea with Nomads and Gypsies of Kutch

  This trip in early 2006  marked the start of my solo travelling life. A novice solo traveller a bit nervous, but as usual serendipity helped me along….. Armed with … Continue reading

August 24, 2010 · 6 Comments

Ajrakh Block Print Art

This is a photoessay on the art of block printing called ‘Ajrakh’. The process described here, is the same for any block print art. The speciality of Ajrakh is that … Continue reading

August 24, 2010 · 10 Comments

‘Time Travel’ Tour Operators

Travellers can go to anyplace they want – Harbin or Kyoto or Sunderbans… The only limitation they face is that the destination can be experienced only in the ‘present’ moment. … Continue reading

August 13, 2010

Kissing a Bengal Tiger

If Webster needed examples from the real world to explain the word ‘inappropriate’ – the names of two tigers I met and cuddled, Sticky Rice and Spicy Sausage would be … Continue reading

August 12, 2010 · 1 Comment

Common Memes between Tribes

To see the populations of India and China as ‘tribes’, one would certainly require  the consumption of certain mind-expanding agents – but for the sake of hypothetical discussion let us … Continue reading

August 11, 2010 · Leave a comment

Travelling Godmen – the Spiritual Healers of India

Travelling Godmen are wanderers that travel from village to village, restricting themselves to a particular geographical area (usually dictated by the language). They sell spirituality and its benefits in different … Continue reading

July 10, 2010 · 6 Comments

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