Almost all of the surface area of the inky black foundation of this saree has been layered over with dense gold zari. Rows of paisley-within-a-paisley motifs, alternating with multi-petalled flowers and punctuated by delicate vine- and tendril-patterns, make for a sumptuous work in brocade. The endpiece features even denser embroidery, with sparse betel-leaf motifs which are considered auspicious in a home where a wedding is taking place. The solid gold of the thick border goes well with the jet black of the hem of the endpiece.
Then there is the pale silvery tone of the composition. While the Buddha is usually depicted with a complexion that is golden and radiant, this one has a more lunar influence. This makes a statement of samatvam or equanimity, the quintessence of Buddhahood. This quality of the composition is set off by the way the features have been engraved on that soft, round face - half-shut eyes, a brow the expanse of the open wings of an albatross, and a compassionate mouth.
Note the sheer proportion of inlay on this seated Buddha. Rich vibrant pastels such as aquamarine and Prussian blue and red, interspersed with deep yellow gold. Zoom in on those sections of the Buddha’s robe done with lifelike detail - the pleated end that goes over one shoulder, the way the edge twists outwards to the right of the waist, and the way it drapes over His gathered limbs.
The chaturbhujadhari (four-armed) Lord is clad in dhoti and angavastram, the hem of the former barely reaching below the knees as is the fashion with little boys in India. His hands, legs, and torso are clad in solid gold ornaments, which complement the glamorous crown on His princely head. The same is studded with precious stones and set off by an embossed halo behind the head. A bejewelled parasol forms the zenith of the composition.
The gaze of Lord Ganesha is one of solemnity and profound wisdom. As the son of Lord Shiva, He is omniscient and omnivolent. However, these aspects of His divinity does not lie in contrast with His love of laddoos, one of which sits in the palm of His anterior left hand, nuzzled by the tip of His trunk. Note the row of mice, His cosmic vahana, each holding up to their lord and master a delicious offering of a laddoo.
The Indian dusk colour palette of black and azure makes this a great evening saree. The black of the field is woven in with a plethora of warli-style figures, in tints of blue and white that match the colours of the endpiece. Warli is a style of folk art that belongs to the Southwest, but its minimalistic style and dynamism are replicated in regional fashion across the subcontinent, as could be seen here.
The endpiece alone is a head-turner. The rich, placid blue, which makes it so irresistible, is superimposed by luxuriant white weave. The same is set off by the thick, shimmering silver border, which adds to the glamour of this saree.
In fact, therein lies the beauty of pashmina. Such a wool is to be found nowhere else in the world, nor the skill required to work with it. Giant paisleys have been embroidered across the field of this shawl using the endemic sozni technique. Pale blues, pinks, and greens are thrown in with a deep, vivid red that dominates the colour palette. Against the creamy ivory base colour, it is the perfect mix of feminine and eclectic. This work of pashmina is sure to become a wardrobe heirloom in the family.
Garuda, as could be seen in this ornate wood sculpture, has the perfection of a man and the power of an eagle. Limbs that harbour unspeakable strength are arranged in the namaskaram samasthiti (straight-line position of the body). The large scapular wings are of great vigour, but are now in rest to match the devotional stance of the rest of Him. A coat of shringar and sashes has been strategically embossed against the raw musculature of the divine form, in basic but well-defined pastel shades. Together with the serrations along the wings and the halo, the same are highly characteristic of temple sculptures in the ancient South.
On the unassuming brow of Lord Garuda sits a tapering crown. The miniscule lotus petals engraved on the same are similar in style and proportion to those on the pedestal. The unconventional silhouette of the same befits the one-of-a-kind deity that stands thereon.
It is an understated number, the colour palette comprising of a few pastel basics. Slender red-bordered paisleys in all their elongated beauty, their pale blue bellies embroidered with miniscule flowers. The same are punctuated with yellow and light pink maple leaves with similar embroidery within their silhouettes. The sandy base colour brings out the beauty of the same. It is the density of the tribal sozni handiwork - which is, again, endemic to Kashmir - that makes this shawl a sumptuous buy.
The silken folds of His dhoti gather over the pedestal. At its gold-trim hems is His long-tailed vahana, the mouse, who is looking up to His Lord in veneration. The chaturbhujadhari (four-armed) deity looks on straight ahead with a gaze of invincibility. His elephant face is flanked by large ears which have been adorned with gold, in keeping with the rest of the shringar of His iconography. In fact, the raised-hooded snake that holds in His full belly is an integral part of that shringar.
An ornate crown sits on the boy-deity’s head. Zoom in on the same to appreciate the precision and symmetry with which it has been engraved. A circlet of miniscule paisleys constitutes His halo. A wide, gracious aureole frames the figure of Lord Ganesha. It comprises concentric discs of lotus petals and flowers and balls of flame (indicative of His father, Lord Shiva). A meticulously carved Kirtimukham is to be found at the zenith of the superfine aureole.
Lord Ganesha is one of the gentlest and sweetest deities of the Hindu pantheon. A boy-God by nature with the innocent head of an elephant that His mother, the Goddess Parvati, implanted there, He is famous for His childlike love of sweetmeats and the propensity to bless the beginning of auspicious ventures everywhere. This imposing brass sculpture of the Lord, luxuriantly bejewelled and mounted on an ornate pedestal, will fill your home or office with the essence of divine innocence.
It is the finish that makes the pashmina shawl worth it. Handpicked from the looms of Kashmir, this is a particularly youthful number. The singular kani weave is the weave of choice employed by artisans to work with pashmina. Each colour that you see on this shawl - from the foundation cream to the ultra-feminine pastels it is superimposed with - has been woven in separately with bobbins ('kani' is the Kashmiri word for 'tiny sticks'), leading to the meticulous designs on the foreground. Numerous tendrils in shades and tints of green fill up the spaces amidst the riot of coloured petals, making this an ideal accompaniment to brightly coloured bridal sarees and suits. A row of short, dense tassels graces each of the edges of this shawl, which would lend to your ensemble a hint of the fun and the flirtatious.
When you drape a Baluchari from our collection, you step out wearing a piece of itihasa. The border and endpiece of this saree are embroidered with scenes from the Mahabharata, arranged in templedoor-shaped panels. Luxuriant gold thread interspersed with black looks practically regal against the deep, fermented pink of the base colour. The field is superimposed with a coat of tiny paisleys; in fact, the style of booties on this number makes it a great one to wear to a wedding or a traditional evening do.
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