So I took up a lifestyle choice few months ago and totally fell in love with it. I switched my daily wear from Western to Indian. It was that simple, which completely transformed my personality and confidence.
But first, what exactly is a Kurta Pajama?
And not just Kurta Pajama, India has a long history of vivid traditional clothing. This post tries to promote them all with the same ideology discussed below.
A kurta (Hindi: कुर्ता) is an upper garment for men and women, originating in the Indian subcontinent, with regional variations of form.
Pajamas or pyjamas, often shortened to PJs, jimmies, jimjams, can refer to several related types of clothing originating from the Indian subcontinent. Pajamas are loose-fitting garments for both daywear and nightwear, derived from traditional pajamas and involving variations of style and material.
And not just Kurta Pajama, India has a long history of vivid traditional clothing. This post tries to promote them all with the same ideology discussed below.
...My heart sinks to see this “modern” generation loosing it’s sight of the Golden India and it's culture that it used to be.
Since past several months I have been wearing Kurta Pajama on my travels, parties, clubs and office. Everywhere, you can imagine being. After months into this amazing clothing transformation this is what I discovered:
In today’s modern and fast moving India, my heart sinks to see this “modern” generation loosing it’s sight of the Golden India and it's culture that it used to be. I see college students say they can’t properly read or write Hindi. The majority is fairly less but with a rise of English culture soaring in through films and media, the future does not seem bright until we the “modern” Indians change.
Before the beautiful culture fades away, I am doing my part to keep it alive and you will too once you read these 7 benefits of wearing a Kurta Pajam everyday.
First things first. When it comes to clothing, I am sure everyone loves comfort. As they say: Style is Comfort.
If you take a glance at a Kurta Pajama you can already see how comfy it looks, because... it is. It’s so comfortable I can go to sleep and still feel I am wearing nothing. (Trust me I have done that often, because it’s just so comfortable) I have backpacked dozens of places nationally and abroad and Kurta Pajama has transformed my definition for “Travel Clothes”. I love it and you can see how much.
Wearing a certain kind of clothing affects our cognition in its early stages, but when we look good we feel more in control...
Dressing Your Brain
We might not realise this but we are always dressing up our brain more than our bodies. Putting on a suit doesn't just change how you look, it can change the way you perceive the world and make you think more broadly (MACDONALD, 2015). Wearing a certain kind of clothing affects our cognition in its early stages, but when we look good, we feel more in control, and this sense of power has been linked to an increase in abstract thought (MACDONALD, 2015). It is very evident that Kurta Pajama obviously makes you look a lot smarter than a saggy t-shirt and sweat pants. So lets wear it everyday and feel the subconscious super powers.
You don’t just get a fabric stitched to your fit, you stitch your personality with it.
The process of getting a Kurta Pajama stitched from starch, makes you get involved in its making. This process makes your clothes define you as an individual and creates a unique bond with your clothes and yourself. You don’t just get a fabric stitched to your fit, you stitch your personality with it. It’s almost like getting a tattoo that you designed yourself according to your taste and needs.
Getting your own fabric and then getting it tailor made for everyday wear will be the cheapest and the coolest piece of clothing you will ever find in India. This Kurta Pajama that you see below was bought and stitched from scratch for just ₹ 1000 that’s like £11. I don’t think you can get a custom jeans and shirt for £11 and still look classy af!
The fabric and dyes used in most of these Indian clothes is pretty decent. Even after dozens of wash and being sun dried in harsh summer, almost none of my Kurtas have lost a single shade in them or have got torn apart, unless the fabric was too thin or fragile.
Formal and Informal
Connecting back to the custom abilities of a Kurta Pajama, you can always give the same fabric a formal look by adding cufflinks and collars or leave it casual and informal by adding round colors and open sleeve ends.
You might think wearing Kurta Pajama everyday is bizarre. Well I can say the same for wearing Jeans and T shirt every day. Infact a Kurta Pajama is almost always paired up which saves a ton lot of time and energy in “deciding what to wear?” We have famous examples of people who wear same outfits everyday which helps channelize there time in more significant decision making.
Take The Culture for your kids to see
Finally, as part of our India culture, don’t you want your kids to see the beautiful culture we live in? I get asked upon and looked upon my everyday Kurta. And I always wonder why? when I am in my own F’**in country? I definitely don’t want the same reaction for my kids, so I try to sober out people now while I still can. Making those who raise eyebrows, rethink their position again. Because a country with no culture is a country with no soul.
When I wore kurta pajama everyday during my backpacking trip to Turkey, I felt a strong connection with my culture, my country and my self as an India. For me that’s the closest I have felt to “Proud to be an Indian” at a more personal level, have you?
While wandering in Turkey with my loud and clear Indian self was the best feeling ever. People smiled, looked twice and asked me if I was Indian, Arabic or Italian! Italian?? Some even stopped me, befriended me and took selfies. It was an informative meeting for those abroad while they met me. All because I was my country and my culture all in all.
I believe this attitude of Indians has a lot to do with the dress codes set down by colonial forces while they were around.... Anyone not wearing a suit was viewed as less important...
I still know people who find this funny, probably because they are not proud of their nationality and try to avoid being identified as an India. I just feel how sad and disgraceful such people can be. But its not there fault and this Quora question will answer why? Because with so many added benefits, why is Kurta Pajama still not our everyday attire?
I found this interesting question during my research to understand just why? And the question on this Quora post explains it all:
Why don't Indian men wear kurta pajamas or other traditional garments in daily life? I felt frowned upon while wearing my kurta pajama in posh areas of Delhi. When I traveled to Dubai, I noticed that Arabs wear their dishdasha & keffiyeh with pride.
“Places like India, wearing a full suit is just a few degrees away from self-imposed torture. The humidity levels of the tropics ups the discomfort levels by several notches. And yet we go for ‘corporate wear’, whether we like it or not.
I believe this attitude of Indians has a lot to do with the dress codes set down by colonial forces while they were around. If you see the attires of people back in the days, you’d see everyone in what were considered to be respectable clothes in their region.”
When the White Man descended on our lands wearing trousers and ruffled shirts and waistcoats and hats, people began to look up to them as sahibs…people worthy of respect and reverence. Anyone not wearing a suit was viewed as less important. This mental attitude has become a part of the mental make-up of almost all societies the world over. Arabs wear their traditional costumes when they are in societies that accept it. When they move outside to foreign lands, they too wear formal wear for official meetings and smart casuals at other times. Indians do the same thing in a much smaller circle, though. (Raakhee V. Menon, 2016).
You can read the entire thread here.
New Year is around the corner and maybe we can make a new year resolution of changing any of our habits for the good of others if not ourselves. Starting from our everyday outfits?
And here is me again in a Kurta Pajama at my very official Christmas House Party! Until next time.... Happy Holidays.
So, in the end it all comes down to our personal choices and I choose to stay in touch with my roots and take it forward for others to see, while doing everything that I would do regardless. If I can, you can too.
Thank you for reading.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The sprawling annual festivities of the 100 year old Pushkar Mela through its dramatic collage of diversified pictures, mirrors the vibrancy of the gracious state of Rajasthan. It is celebrated for five days from the Kartik ekadashi to Kartik Poornima, the full moon day of Kartik (October–November) in Hindu calendar.
Dates: 28th till 4th Nov 2017
Location: Pushkar, Rajasthan
Please download the daily event schedule PDF below so that you don't miss on anything.
See you all between camels and lost times in sand.
I am writing this to raise the standards which are oh too low right now. Some brands are sweeping away teens with thousands of followers and exploiting their user base. It's not their fault as there is no 101 guide for how to go about it. So here are some crystallised thoughts after a few years of Instagram and brand promotions.
The following blog is in relation to creating photographic and textual content to be published on Instagram.
Its simple, find the brand or organisation you like and send them your work over a simple e-mail...
So you have this amazing way to create content for yourself and believe that you could do it for someone else too, in return of some remuneration. Brilliant! But how do we really go about that?
Its simple, find the brand or organisation you like and send them your work over a simple email or contact form from official website. One message could land you a great deal with your favourite brand.
Mention some important information while sending these emails such as:
They are obviously interested in working with you but might actually not.
When Brands Approach You
"I just got an email from a brand for a collaboration, but how do I take the conversation further and make a deal?" Many of us have been here, including myself on a very regular basis and this is what one may do.
When a brand approaches you, it means they are obviously interested in working with you but might actually not. With brands and companies, its 90% of the time about what they want and how they will benefit from a social media promotion deal. So think wisely and work through the following two most important factors of all:
Promotions in Exchange of Products or Cash?
A standard email form a new brand looks something like this which I received about 2 weeks ago.
Now lets observe and evaluate the situation. Again this is my perspective and it will depend on person to person so be smart about it. As of now, here are some facts.
So in this case I decided I don't want to do it for product trade but I can still offer my services at a price. Which brings us to our next important factor:
Be very very clear about what you want and how it will help both the parties. Negotiate if necessary but at the end, know your value and what it's being priced at.
You should realise that your gallery is an asset.
Season your Gallery
By now, you should realise that your gallery is an asset. Not just in terms of branding but your own identify and messages you send as a creator. Save that gallery from death: If you have a seasoned gallery, with a specific genre, then don’t let a brand post ruin it for peanut payments or products. But if you really want to do it, then try to sync in with your style while delivering the message softly.
If they are a genuine company and value your work, they will never ask your time and energy for free.
The time and effort you put in your gallery was not free so don't let brands sweep you away with a product or payment worth $5.
Don’t get trapped by dodgy and fabricated promises new brands/apps/website make to you.
NEVER fall for “ we have 100000 of users and we will credit your name for using the content”. Instead get your images licensed, sell the copyright and be smart about it. If they are a genuine company and value your work, they will never ask your time and energy for free. Just don’t do it. Ignore such emails and spend time creating more unique stuff.
Start saying, NO! Always be clear of what you want in return, and be open for negotiations. Finally be creative upon what you deliver, here are some of my brand collaborations in the past and how I did them.
Simple and fun, just cut some fresh fruits, lay flat and snap. Best thing is that you can eat the setup later.
Here is another fun collaboration with Kingfisher. Again, super easy, call some friends get some food go on a ride and snap away.
You can see many more on my Instagram here. Thank you for reading and I hope it will help you in some way. Still have a question or a comment then please drop it below.
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After meeting hundreds of travellers from across the globe, I have found my own way of seeing the world. It is not something new or unique, its something that anyone can do and probably is doing.
Info: This post focuses on sharing my travel style, tips and how I manage to balance it all around with multiple jobs.
But before I dive in, here is a post with a thoughtful quote I made few days ago....
Work, Save, Travel...
It's that simple. I have been doing this for over 2 years now and it's all about prioritising. Whatever money I make, I save most of it for my future travelling and spend the rest on my daily life leisures, because hello I still have a life back home. My friends, family, dogs and massive art projects. I cant live without these for long, which brings us to the next point; How I travel?
I feel emotionally vulnerable and that shapes me in a permanent way, sometimes negatively.
I do not travel 24x7 because I cannot.
How I Travel and Earn?
I will answer two great question sent in by @madmash1999 who asked: How do I edit my pictures in spite of travelling 24x7. When do i get time? and @abhi.traveller07 who asked about How do I travel and earn?
Okay, so lets clear the main thing first. I do not travel 24x7 because I cannot. By 24x7 I mean not coming home for 4 or 6 months straight. When I took my first solo trip when I was 19 to Prague and then another one when I turned 20 to Cambodia I clearly realised that I cannot do this continuously for too long. Not because I get homesick but because I feel emotionally vulnerable and that shapes me in a permanent way, sometimes negatively. Although it is possible that I would not feel this way if I am traveling with a special someone and not alone. (I don't know this myself as I never found that "someone" yet!)
Which means that I do as many edits as I can while I'm travelling during night time, after seeing all the amazing places or maybe early mornings. Because 90% chance is that, I will be out, on foot, somewhere random, with a stranger in a place I know nothing about, during the entire 12 hours of the day. Then edit the rest when I'm back home.
Which brings me to the next question which is most crucial. Work and Travel?
I have 6 jobs running simultaneously every month.
And travelling squeezes somewhere in between. But it definitely does!
I have 6 jobs running simultaneously every month. Yes 6! None of them are 9-5 because duh!
I will just name my jobs below and then you can do the math as they are super simple but mostly creative!
1. Part Time at a Hotel
2. Teacher at a School
3 and 4. Working for 2 different Travel Companies
5. Content Creation for Brands
6. Professional Photographer
And travelling squeezes somewhere in between. But it definitely does! It has to, because its like an itch that happens at the back, every now and then for no reason!
So, because I don't travel 24x7, I am working when I am home, making as much money as I can. Although some jobs like, content creation can be done even while Im travelling. I just need my laptop and a phone.
It took me a while to carve out my life, travelling and making money. But if I can, you can too and I'm sure someone is already doing it better than me. So if you are reading this please lend me some tips. (I say this and it instantly makes me down to earth, ha-ha!).
Clicked on iPhone 5s and editing only using Snapseed
What apps do I use to edit my images?
Another very frequently asked question, sent in recently by Bharath Varma: Which apps I use for editing?
I wish I could go back to my early days of Phone Photography when my world was my iPhone 4 and a hand full of editing apps. After 2 years of merry making with my phone I bought my first camera, Nikon D3200 which I use till date. With large files and my infinite imaginations, I switched to hardcore softwares like Photoshop or Lightroom and minimised using those cute apps.
As of today I use, Photoshop CS6 on my Mac and Snapseed editing app on my iPhone before posting any image online. I test new apps every now and then but so far I have never found anything better and free like Snapseed. The image of the dog above, is only edited with Snapseed and clicked on my iPhone 5s. Although if you want to go even further, another amazing but a little complex app that I love is Filter Storm which works amazing while editing phone images.
Last but not the least, Picsart. I have not used this app a lot, but things that it can do, such as masking, is a pretty decent tool that can come very handy for manipulation or fine art imagery. But then again its good for phone images not for DSLR files. Which means for budding photo artists without heavy softwares, its the app to be.
So how do I work and travel year round? I am sure you have a glimpse of the scenario by now, but to simply the equation here it is:
I plan my trip in advance > then calculate a rough budget > then work and make money to reach my target just in time to book my tickets and accommodation and voila > Happy Travelling > then plan next trip > .......
This way I have a perfect balance of life with experiencing new places and then spending just enough time back home. Although there are cases when I get to travel because of my work, such as photography assignments elsewhere. But if you are not a photographer then simply follow the above recipe and you will live a happier life. If you still have questions, send me a message.
Until then enjoy some of my storytelling with surreal images on my Instagram and Facebook
Thanks and I love you all, a little too much hence, some free wallpapers for you.
So the iPhone 7 just came out at a whopping ₹63,000. I have been there, when I think I need an upgrade to my phone which never gives up on me but sometimes your life needs an upgrade by buying experiences and not things. You could either make calls or fly to an exotic location, offering you priceless memories. Here is a list of places to fly to instead of a shiny new Apple.
Compiled by: Priyanka Dodia
Delhi–Sydney: Rs29,252 (AirAsia X; stopover in Kuala Lumpur; 12–19 October).
Mumbai–Sydney: Rs49,480 (Malaysia Airlines; stopover in Kuala Kumpur; 12–19 October).
Bengaluru–Sydney: Rs49,851 (AirAsia; stopover in Kuala Lumpur; 12–19 October)
Delhi–Toronto: Rs51,343 (Saudia; stopover in Jeddah; 12–22 October).
Mumbai–Toronto:Rs53,101 (Air Canada; stopover in Newark; 12–19 October).
Bengaluru–Toronto: Rs50,379 (Saudia; stopover in Jeddah; 9–22 October).
Delhi–Vancouver:Rs58,319 (Asiana Airlines; stopover in Seoul; 12–19 October)
Delhi–London: Rs38,825 (Air India; 11–21 October).
Mumbai–London: Rs36,850 (Air India; 10–18 October).
Bengaluru–London:Rs43,295 (British Airways; 12–19 October) and Rs34,153 (Qatar Airways; stopover in Doha; 12–19 October)
Mumbai–New York: Rs56,367 (United; 12–19 October).
Delhi–San Francisco: Rs59,632 (China Eastern; stopover in Shanghai; 12–19 October).
Delhi–Honolulu:Rs62,229 (China Eastern; stopover in Shanghai; 11–17 October).
6. New Zealand
Delhi–Auckland: Rs56,797 (China Southern; stopover in Guangzhou; 12–19 October).
Mumbai–Auckland: Rs62,206 (Malaysia Airlines; stopover in Kuala Lumpur; 12–20 October)
Delhi–Tokyo: Rs35,329 (ANA; 12–19 October).
Mumbai–Tokyo:Rs36,503 (ANA; 12–19 October).
Bengaluru–Tokyo: Rs29,216 (Malaysia Airlines; stopover in Kuala Lumpur; 10–21 October)
Delhi–Moscow: Rs23,078 (Aeroflot; 12–19 October).
Mumbai–Moscow: Rs32,259 (flyDubai; stopover in Dubai; 10–18 October).
Bengaluru–Moscow:Rs34,058 (Qatar Airways; stopover in Doha; 12–19 October)
Delhi–Shanghai: Rs33,349 (Air India; 14–21 October).
Delhi–Beijing: Rs27,633 (Air China; 11–17 October)
10. South Africa
Delhi–Cape Town: Rs61,613 (Ethiopian Air; stopover in Addis Ababa; return by Emirates; stopover in Dubai; 14–20 October).
Mumbai–Johannesburg: Rs23,485 (Ethiopian Air; stopover in Addis Ababa; 11–17 October)
Delhi–Copenhagen: Rs33,034 (Aeroflot; stopover in Moscow; 11 – 21 October).
Mumbai–Copenhagen: Rs38,324 (Turkish Airlines; stopover in Istanbul; 12–19 October).
Bengaluru–Copenhagen: Rs40,080 (British Airways; stopover in London; 12–19 October)
Delhi–Zurich: Rs48,489 (SWISS; 12–19 October) and Rs33,628 (Aeroflot; stopover in Moscow; 14–21 October).
Mumbai–Zurich:Rs42,804 (SWISS; 12–19 October).
Bengaluru–Zurich:Rs40,665 (British Airways; stopover in London; 12–19 October)
Delhi–Zagreb: Rs36,710 (Aeroflot; stopover in Moscow; 12–19 October).
Mumbai–Zagreb: Rs38,602 (flyDubai; stopover in Dubai; 9 – 18 October).
Bengaluru–Zagreb:Rs51,490 (Lufthansa; stopover in Frankfurt; 11–18 October)
(If we include the cost of the new wireless AirPods, roughly around Rs15,000)
Mumbai–Reykjavik:Rs73,448 (British Airways; stopover in London; 9–16 October)
Note: Prices may vary depending on what date, air line or class you travel.
All Flights calculated from India to x location.
Via Conde Nast Traveller
The National Geographic has always been crucial for the world's most revolutionary photography, and its special annual contests always attract the most talented photographers worldwide.The 2016 Travel Photographer Of The Year Competition is no exception. This year's judges faced real tough time picking a winner from these fantastic entries. The Grand Prize on offer was a 7-day Polar Bear Safari for two (including airfare) at Churchill Wild-Seal River Heritage Lodge in Manitoba, Canada. But the real prize of course is simply being named National Geographic's Travel Photographer of the Year. The competition ended May 27th.
Here are some of the most beautiful entries of the contest, including one of the winning entries:
Mystic Shed, Finland