It’s tough to find someone comfortable in their skin on social media, making her worth following
Bald and beautiful
She was diagnosed with alopecia when six months old. Then the condition got worse and she had to wear a wig… until she finally decided to shave her head off. Neehar Sachdeva is a force to reckon with on Instagram, nudging followers to track her moves. Once there, we are enamoured by the ‘Brown Ba(l)ddie’ who has also modelled a wedding collection with oomph. Sachdeva’s account of her struggle and success is genuine and that keeps you glued to her posts and reels. She also posts about her love life and offers style inspirations. It’s tough to find someone comfortable in their skin on social media, making her worth following.
Crack up like a Parsi
Whether you are Parsi or not, you will recognise Zervaan J Bunshah’s SoBo (South Bombay) aunty, and residents of NoBo (North Bombay). Bunshah is an actor, model and voiceover artiste, who captures the eccentricities of his Parsi community. Not to be missed are his one-sided conversations with his househelp ‘Roopali’ whom we never really see, and resident meetings of a society in NoBo. His capturing of the typical intonation and mish-mash language of the Parsi matchmaker, the lady at the Colaba market (“Chhee! Mera husband jaisa baas aata hain… kitna kharaab hain”), of a Parsi struggling to speak Marathi (“Mee tula laafun de ha”) or the community bereaved by the loss of “aapri raani Queen Elizabeth II”, makes Bunshah’s social media handle a laugh riot.
The guiding spirit
Historian, poet and storyteller Anushka Gupta has started an Instagram series called History of Spirits, where she deep dives into the world of liquor, unravelling origin stories and classic cocktails crafted from them. First in the series is gin, which she tells the reader, dates back to the 16th Century with William of Orange from the Netherlands ascending the Royal throne of Britain. Orange brought with him ‘Genever’, the Holland Gin, called ‘Gineva’ by the English, which eventually became Gin. She further explores its journey to present times. We like how Gupta gives the information in simple terms, covering all aspects of the alcohol, keeping us hooked.
Another lease of life
This jumpsuit by Renge, has a small coin-sized mending in the back of the dress
Rescue to Restore is an online platform that gives another lease of life to clothing items rejected for retail due to a minor defect but ones that can still be worn, saving it from piling up in a landfill. Expect an Okhai white kurta with a tiny pen mark, a Sparrow top with an unnoticeable design defect at the back, or a jumpsuit from Renge which has a small stain. What makes this a sweet deal is that they are available at a discount of as much as 40 per cent, and can be bought directly from the source seller.
Meet Modi, the poet
The world may now know him as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the veteran leader has always been a poet at heart. A thinker, both troubled and fuelled by the political, social and environmental upheavals around him, his diary became his listener and confidante. A just-published translation of his writings in Gujarati, titled Letters to Self (FingerPrint, R399) by journalist-writer Bhawana Somaaya, revisits his verse in English. He writes of gratitude, loss of friendship, and also sings a meditative verse to river Narmada (Narmada is not a line on the map/ She is the fate of Gujarat/ She is the destiny of people); and says a prayer for resilience (I will stand sturdy like the mountain/ and flow pristine like the river). This is a diverse collection, with no singular theme. Somaaya’s translation captures the rhythm of his verse, and even his vocabulary and tumult. Of his work, Somaaya says in the book: “his poems, prose… strike a chord, awaken an old wound.”
Available at all bookstores
Curated by Jane Borges, Nidhi Lodaya and Yusra Husain