Curated by Jane Borges, Yusra Husain, Heena Khandelwal and Nidhi Lodaya
Our quest to find the perfect gift for a newborn in the family took us to Wild Little Society. Sunaina Somu Divakar, a flight attendant, noticed a dearth of brown skin colour in dolls when looking for toys for her son. The fixation with fairness wasn*t new - she had seen it in her profession and among people of all ethnicity; but she couldn*t allow this bias to enter her child*s playtime. So a series of dolls, priced at Rs 2,999, were created. What interested us is that not only do they represent all shades of brown, but also have a backstory. They also wear a variety of clothes - kurti-pants, ghagra-choli, crop tops, skirts, jumpsuit, straight pants, shorts and midi.
Rounak Maiti. PIC COURTESY/KARANJIT SINGH
Singer-songwriter and producer, Rounak Maiti*s latest single Enlightened is a love song, but it is also a coming-of-age song in which the Delhi-based musician reflects on the theme of selfhood. He tries to capture his restlessness to become something and achieve a greater purpose, while stressing with the fact that it can distract him from his loved ones. Maiti*s music is usually synth-driven, and so is this song with its nostalgia pop and *80s rock vibe. Sonically, comparisons can be drawn between Enlightened and American dream pop and Shoegaze duo, Beach House. Accompanying the song is a dreamy, aesthetically-pleasing colour-graded video, directed by Maiti and Surabhi Chowdhury. It is shot by Jayant Parasher, and edited by Rana Ghose, and features Maiti*s sister, Rohini. The five-minute-long video has beautifully-shot, double exposure clips running throughout, and the grainy footage and subdued colour tones add to the nostalgia pop vibe.
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This writer is an eternal Michelle Obama fan. From her speeches, podcasts, and her memoir, the learnings are immense. Her new Audible book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, where Michelle reads out from her new book, is no different. This work stemmed from the confusion that the former First Lady of the United States experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her awareness that many were just as lost and overwhelmed, made her feel the need to write about the tools that helped her see it through. The book is divided into 10 chapters, with Michelle discussing a whole gamut of issues that cloud our present - feeling helpless and unseen, our own deep-seated fears, and ever-crippling self-doubt. Michelle*s mantra is simple - look inward, in order to realise the potential of the light we carry within us. From doing the small things that bring us pleasure to practising kindness, and learning to take risks in the face of fear, she offers simple tips to make even ordinary moments count.
Did you know that the cult classic Amitabh Bachchan starrer Don, was born out of a severe debt incurred by producer Nariman Irani? Or that Bachchan, Pran and Zeenat Aman took their remuneration only when the film was declared a certified blockbuster after an initial âflop* assessment, and that producer Irani died in a wall crash accident on the movie set even before the film could complete? Well, we did not know any of this and stumbling upon this interesting thread on it by Paperclip, opened up a whole new dimension into the filmy world. Run by a group of "passionate storytellers" the account posts regular intriguing threads on topics across the arts, culture, from India and beyond. Another recent insight from these storytellers deep dives into the life of Naval Godrej focusing on his work ethics.
Manto jhola bag
If you*re into Urdu poetry, and its many poets fascinate you, then these jhola bags (Rs 400) from Artykite are a perfect gift for yourself or a fellow wordsmith. The website popped up when we were ardently looking for something poetic to fill in some mundane moments of our life and be it Saadat Hasan Manto, Jaun Eliya, Ismat Chughtai, Amrita Pritam or Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the tote bags had our heart.
Apart from the art, the canvas bags have been made from recycled material. And if totes are not your thing, the website also has lamps with Rumi*s verses on it, wall hangings and wall posters, stationery and several other things related to Urdu poetry and its poets for that touch of the lyrical language in your life.