• India,  Orissa,  Travel

    Celebrating Indian Handloom Day

    The Amlan Store, of Orissa Cooperative Tasar and Silk Federation Ltd (SERIFED), has beautiful murals showcasing Orissa handloom. I have inherited my love of handlooms from an aunt, whom I have seen wearing absolutely gorgeous handloom sarees. Every trip home includes a shopping trip with my aunt and uncle to get something handloom. The best pampering! Nowadays, where ever I travel, I try to pick up something handloom as a souvenir. I feel so privileged to live in a country with an endless variety of handlooms. It’s the best cloth to wear. Draped as a saree, designed into a crisp skirt, a striking kurta or a shawl – it is…

  • Orissa,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal

    The INTACH Warrior of Orissa: Anil Dhir

    ‘Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’ – Ibn Battuta Orissa is often in the news for all the wrong reasons – a cyclone, famine, political issues. Living outside Orissa for many years, I have often found friends and colleagues clueless about the cultural and historical significance of this ancient land. So, this year I was planning to travel to Bhubaneswar for a longer duration and was keen to explore its cultural footprint. I wanted something beyond the touristy articles listing Khandagiri, Udaygiri, Puri, and Konark. I asked friends, family, and searched online for authentic travel books on Orissa.  This search led me to Mr. Anil Dhir; a…

  • Movies

    Commendable Absurdist Independent Cinema from Orissa

    Khyanikaa is all about moments, like snippets from a dream. It is set in coastal Orissa. The characters: Two men, a poet and an idler, in quest of the ever illusive idea. While fate acts judge and jury over their claims.  Glimpses of a skeptical society. Newspaper stories come alive and question the reader, quite literally. Boats become alternate realities and the postman a dream navigator. The setting: There are several scenes framed through a doorway or broken window … maybe to question ownership and reality itself. A man whiles his time away reading newspapers, immune to the rants of his irate wife. A poet consoles himself with alcohol and…