Monday, 30 June 2014


Few people find their passion early in life. Fewer people embark in the journey of turning their passion into reality. Khushboo Rehani did just that.

A young girl aged 21 with a brand of her own. She forces me to question my accomplishments. While getting a degree specializing in Interior design from Raffles Design Institute, she decided to take a different route and launched her own shoe label in 2013 with the help of a fellow students Kush Shah and Harshita Mundhra. The brand ‘SOLE ART’ was born and has been in the news ever since.

Khushboo believes in putting your thoughts on your feet and this is the motto of her brand. Hand painted shoes catering to men, women and the little ones alike, where every shoe is customized according to the demands of the customer, is what makes SOLE ART so unique. The team is cool enough to even smarten up your old shoes with their brilliant and funky designs at a cost that varies according to the design you choose. The shoes are a statement piece on their own and a definite crowd puller. Intelligently priced with no question of fiddling with the quality, every pair provides comfort along with funk to your feet.

From the simple old Kolhapuri chappals to straight on Boots, SOLE ART believes in transforming every piece into a work of art. Viewing every boring shoe as a blank canvas, Khushboo goes freehand with the colours and the result is always a stunning piece of shoe art. It is then that you realize that the brand deserved the name ‘Sole Art’.

They say that an art reveals the personality of the artist behind it. Every shoe though customized to your needs still divulges much about the designer. The experiments with colour, designs and graphics all speak of the young, vivacious and easy going person who worked on it. Her humbleness makes you fall in love.

The SOLE ART  team recently launched ‘SOLE CRAFTS’ which is an extension of itself and features fun, quirky, handmade products including notebooks, lamps, coasters, wallets, etc. all designed exclusively according to your demands and preferences.

This is one brand that you definitely need to put your feet into!

Now there is something for you! Khushboo has decided to giveaway TWO PAIRS of hand painted BATMAN themed shoes, one for you and one for the one you love. ‘FIND YOUR SOLE MATE’ consists of a pair of canvas shoes for the guy and a pair of ballerina for the girl. It is priced at Rs 3000/-

Shop at –
You can even shoot a mail at-

The giveaway shall go live on the 3rd of July. To qualify for the same, you are requested to like her facebook page and leave a comment below. Simple! J

P.S- The three designers who are part of the grand giveaway are Tarini Nirula, Madhuri Mamgain and Khushboo Rehani. The giveaway shall go live on the 3rd of July and products worth Rs 6500/- are up for grabs!! Participate if your are awesome. :D

Friday, 27 June 2014


Shoes are my all time weakness. It is not that I have a closet like that of Carrie Bradshaw’s in ‘Sex and the city’ with a pair of $525  Manolo Blahnik blue shoes sitting pretty in it, but I do have my own affordable little collection. There is something about women and their perfect pair of shoes, a kind of love one cannot describe. Sometimes a pair of good stilettos is all you need as a confidence booster and for someone standing at 5’2 like me, good shoes are what I run behind!

Madhuri Mamgain understands a woman’s love for shoes. Born into a family that celebrates the beauty that is a fine pair of shoes, she grew up watching her father design for his portfolio season after season and a love story blossomed. It would be proper to say that her Father was her true inspiration.

Right after graduating from Footwear Design and Development Institute, she joined Carlton London in March 2011 as a Creative Designer but soon realized her true calling and quit it in July 2011 to start a label of her own. A brand, that took her name.

Her first collection called ‘Massif , hand painted ballerinas’ were an instant hit and rightfully so due to the delicate and intricate designs that she personally painted on them. Every ballerina had a story to tell and was designed according to the customer’s preference. Her first export order came soon in February 2012 all the way from Japan and her base slowly expanded to include clients worldwide

The latest collection is all about providing luxury to your feet and royalty to your look. Exquisite designs experimented on with Swarovski crystals, lace, intricate thread work and even velvet, the shoes have a regal allure attached to them. The designs are exclusive and every pair screams of the hardwork that went behind its making.

With a dedication like hers, she was rightfully chosen to be the accessory designer in Anurag Kashyap’s next movie, set to release on  28th of November 2014. She has even designed the accessory wardrobe for Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Anita Kanwal, Shahnaz Husain and  Feng Shui expert, Gita Kapoor.

Her work cannot be confined to the term ‘fashion’ because it supersedes all that. It is what you get when pure art meets high end fashion.

Check out her exclusive collection at-

Shop at- POPPARAZI , Mumbai International Airport
              Vivacious in Vogue, Andheri Mumbai

You can personally contact her at-

Now there is something for you! Madhuri has decided to giveaway a pair of stunning golden sandals. The ‘Golden Pearls’ have a delicate pearl and crystal flower sitting pretty on top and have  ankle straps to make it even better! It is priced at Rs 1999/-

The giveaway shall go live on the 3rd of July. To qualify for the same, you are requested to like her facebook page and leave a comment below. Simple! J

P.S- The previous post was about the amazing Tarini Nirula. Next up, is one more amazing young woman, whom I absolutely adore!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


I am not a fashionista. To be quite frank, if you find me wearing anything remotely fashionable, it is probably an accident. Rarely do I look at an accessory or a bag and go ‘I need to have that in my life!’, but recently Tarini Nirula made me do just that!

Tarini is a young and vivacious Accessory Designer, an entrepreneur and the face behind the label that goes by the same name. Shortly after getting a degree specializing in Fashion & Lifestyle Accessories from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, she decided to be her own boss and launched her label in 2011 which has been creating waves ever since.

She believes that ‘simplicity is the best form of sophistication’ and her designs reflect just that. Never the one to go overboard, the bags are clean and classy with an aesthetic boldness attached to them. They are what fine craftsmanship is all about. She also keeps her artwork exclusive, which means that all her bags are limited edition. Simply put, every bag is a masterpiece.

Her love for experimenting with colours, techniques, hand-done ink artworks and her constant strive to be at par with the international trends without giving up on her roots, is why she is so sought after. She showcased her bags at the Wills India Fashion Week where she created exclusive designs for leading fashion designer Jenjum Gadi. Soon to follow was a collection commissioned by the acclaimed textile designer Bina Rao.

The bags are all limited edition pieces where every piece is synonymous to quality, finesse and timeless elegance. She was rightfully featured in leading magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Femina, Marie Claire, India Today and many others. To perk up the quotient even more, her designs were covered on NDTV Good Times in their popular show ‘I am too sexy for my shoes’. Her exclusive minaudière's are available at ‘Pernia’s Pop Up Shop’ which is curated by India’s leading stylist, Pernia Qureshi from Aisha fame.   

Tarini recently took a leap into weddings and home décor. She even carves out the perfect clutch that goes in sync with the outfit of the bride. Now you know where to get your dream clutch from!

Check out her exclusive collection at –
Shop at -
You can personally contact her at-

Now there is something for you! Tarini has decided to giveaway a satchel bag. ‘Fly High’ printed satchel bag is adorned with pretty sparrows and vibrant colours which makes it perfect for a fun day or an evening out with the girls! It comes with an optional silver chain and is priced at Rs 1500/-

The giveaway shall go live on the 3rd of July. To qualify for the same, you are requested to like her facebook page and leave a comment below. Simple! J


P.S- The next two posts will feature two more women with their brands. Let us talk about women who strive to be different. J

Friday, 20 June 2014


Balu was a runner. He always knew he was. Clutching his orange potli close to his chest, he ran past Sabal kaku’s tea stall. The jute rope tied around his waist fought a futile battle as the shorts threatened to slip down his frame inch by inch. But Balu had to run.
The Kamrup Express was leaving Jalpaiguri station when Balu dashed past the ticket counter and onto the platform. Constable Sahib and his assistant were on their rounds and Balu knew that he had to escape their screening eyes to get inside the train. He never understood why they would drag him out of the compartment till outside the station and threaten him with a cane beating if he ever repeated the incident. As far as Balu was concerned, he was not a beggar. He was a performer.
It was only when the last bogie swayed away from the station did Balu feel free. He smiled gleefully at the thought of him defying the sahibs once more and knew instantly that he needed to start with his routine. He dug his hands into his Potli and brought out a yellow tambourine that he had named ‘Chamki’. As Balu made his way from one compartment to another, singing the songs of Shyamal MitraPancham Da and countless others, Chamki would assist him with her chimes. She filled up the breaking in his voice whenever he lost breath and hid the errors he made with the lyrics. She was his companion through the journey, jingling with his every move and his every tap. Today like every other day in the past 4 years that he spent on the train, she was ready for him.
The train was a little less packed than usual and Balu could easily move past every compartment without getting reprimanded by the memsahibs for stepping on their saaris or by the babus who pressed their palms on the pant pocket everytime Balu moved past them. Balu sang as he spotted an old man with big black glasses sitting with a folding stick placed on his lap. ‘A stick is meant to be a stick. How is it a stick, if it can be folded?’ Balu thought as he continued to push ahead. The old man cocked his head towards the direction of his voice as Balu stood right in front of him and now was singing ‘Ye Sham Mastani’ for the 13th time. Counting made him feel intelligent. It made him feel like one of those school kids, who in their blue khakhi shorts and polished shoes made Balu upset.
Balu was a singer. He smiled as he sang to the old man with a crooked back, sitting beside a sleeping Mota bhai. The old man grinned as Balu started singing ‘Sheeter Hawaay’. Balu liked the grin. A smile that had unintentionally become a toothless grin making little hills on his cheeks. The old man continued to smile even when Balu stopped singing and clanked the loose change in his palm. No one gave him a paisa except the old man, who shifted a bit as he moved his scrawny palm into his chest pocket and brought out a five rupee coin. Balu took the money pinched between his fingers and moved to the next coach singing the song, now for the 14th time. 
It had become a routine. The race to catch Kamrup Express and singing to this old man for that guaranteed five rupees. Balu always smiled while singing to the old man and the old man was ready with a grin of his own. The little kid always wondered how the blind old man managed to board the train everyday and successfully find a vacant seat at a time when all the babus in their pressed shirts boarded the train, packing the coaches and debating on the superficial loktantra with those they had met during their daily commute. Maybe someone always took pity on him. Balu never spoke to the old man to know his destination and he never stayed back to find out since he had to get down at New Alipurduar and board the next train back to Jalpaiguri. But Balu met him every day with a new song, the same smile and received a 5 rupee coin at the end along with a toothless grin. The old man made Balu feel important. No words were ever spoken or needed.
Today had not started well. Ratan Kaki had declared that there was nothing for breakfast. Not even puffed rice. With a growling stomach Balu watched her wipe empty tins. Ratan Kaki was not related to him but she had taken him up and given him shelter on finding him sleeping below a traffic signal. She used to sell balloons in the signal, lightly tapping on one of the car windows and moving ahead after waiting a second for the window to roll down. She always looked for the ones with little kids on the back seat, because the mothers would make the babu buy a balloon for the little one. But right now she sat wiping the empty tins and couldn’t face Balu who was drinking water from the Matka to fill his empty stomach.
Today as he ran, Balu did not feel like a runner. He stood panting inside the last coach and slowly made his way towards the middle of the train, singing half heartedly, not bothering enough to wait for chillars. He now knew by just looking at the face if a person would give him money or ignore his voice. He saw the old man who was now alert and beaming as Balu’s voice drew closer. Today, for the 35th time, Balu stood before him and sang an old song that Ratan Kaki had taught him once while cooking Khichuri outside their hut. Balu couldn’t smile today as he sang, his mind forever reminding him of the empty tins and the growling stomach. He caught sight of a memsahib carrying a three storeyed tiffin box . She saw him looking at her and frowned as she covered the tiffin with her Saree . Balu continued singing to the old man, sad and forlorn. The old man too did not smile this time. No toothless grin and no familiar cheek hills. Balu wondered as to what made the old man sad. Was he hungry too? Did he too miss the rice puffs? The old man looked away dejected and allowed Balu to take the five rupee coin from his palm. Balu felt odd. He got down at New Alipurduar and left the five rupee coin on a bench at the station. The stomach growled yet he craved for the old man’s grin.
For a few days Balu did not sing. He went with Ratan Kaki to the signals to sell some balloons. She sold more this time. She said it was because society takes pity on seeing a little ten year old kid sell balloons that he cannot afford. But Balu was a runner and a singer, not a balloon seller. The next day he ran his familiar run tricking the constable sahibs and laughing at the thought of doing so. He sang his way from the last coach till the first scanning the crowd for the familiar old face. And he found it. The old man had found a window seat and was looking out. Balu wondered what his blind eyes could see. Was their light even in the darkness? Did colours find their way in somehow? Or did his mind paint a picture of its own on the vast dark sheet? The old man registered Balu’s voice as he came and stood in front of him. Today Balu smiled through the song and as he smiled, so did the old man. The little pink hills on the cheeks and an empty set of gums. Balu was happy at the sight of it. He felt connected, loved. That five rupees at the end of it, had value.
The passengers of Kamrup Express never knew their story. But they knew they had one. A story of an old man, a little singing boy and their connected smiles. A tale witnessed by only one spectator, the mute Yellow Chamki.

P.S- This is my first ever fiction write-up and I wouldn't have done so if I was not smitten by Sid Balachandran's blog . He writes fiction so beautifully that I was forced to churn out a story of my own. I wrote this and decided to get his valuable comments before publishing it, and boy! those were some serious comments that he gave. What you see here is a short story made better because of his assistance. For that I am thankful. :)

Monday, 9 June 2014


Many have asked me how a Malayalee family ended up getting settled in Bhopal. Yes, it was work that brought my grandfather here and subsequently settle, but why would he search for work in a land far away and live with people whose language was Hindi to him?

It all started with a slap. A slap in the courtroom where my grandfather had filed a case against his neighbour for stealing an important stuff. The stuff here is irrelevant. What matters here is the stealing. My grandfather filed a case before the magistrate and when the accused was brought before him, he bluntly denied stealing the stuff. Since all the evidence  produced was to his benefit, the magistrate declared him as not guilty and just then, my grandfather lost what they call self restraint and reasoning . He sprinted towards the accused and gave him a thunderous slap, which my grandfather once told me was right below his right ear. And then he ran the race of his life.

People those days didn't have the macho attitude that men these days pretend to have. My grandfather at 22 was like a scared Pomeranian and so was his family. Anticipating arrest for contempt of court, his mother packed his bags and asked him to run away and never look back. And he did run away. All the way till Kashmir, were he worked as a Hotel waiter.

But Kashmir is Kashmir and he was already a scared boy. A sight of police would cause temporary paralysis. So he ran some more. Ok took the rail! Bhopal happened and he became a hospital ward assistant. From washing soiled bed sheets, to dumping used diapers and bandages, he did it all. A whole year passed since the slapping incident and yet he anticipated arrest. I shouldn’t call my grandfather lame, but yeah.

And then Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, wanted clerks. Anyone and everyone could join with no requirement of a background check. If only those people tasted recession.  My Grandfather joined BHEL and now could converse in Hindi with the help of sign language. Now he was leading a secured life and like every mother whose son has finally found a decent job, his mother too found him a bride. My grandmother. They got married and he recommended her to his department. Just like that she too became a part of BHEL. Jobs were seriously growing on trees.
A house was built. A home was made. Three kids happened who too eventually got married and had kids. One of them being me.

And what did I become? A lawyer. My grandfather ran away from the law, and I joined forces with law.

IRONY. Maybe Destiny?

P.S- Last week was tiring!!!!!! This week shall be good. Little brother and grandmother coming down. :)