The year 2020 tested us on many levels, yet it also taught us to value what mattered most. For Shivani Sharma, founder of Kharikajai, this meant preserving her Assamese heritage, by promoting the handmade jewellery made exclusively in her home state. Believing that the intricate and age-old art of Assamese jewellery deserved to be put on the global fashion stage, she launched her label to further that goal, in November last year. A few months on and many happy clients later, she speaks exclusively to The Daily Guardian about her plans for Kharikajai and the role of ancient crafts in modern times.
Q. How does Assamese jewellery stand apart from other Indian jewellery traditions?
Two aspects of Assamese jewellery have stayed true since the Ahom Dynasty ruled, becoming an indelible part of Assamese culture. The first is that our jewellery is made entirely by hand, and the second is that it is always crafted on pure gold or silver. No other base metal can take the intricate and traditional Karigari of Assam. Another interesting aspect of our jewellery is that every design has a pattern of nature carved on it such as peacocks, leaves, flower patterns, pigeons, and similar designs. Assamese jewellery is known for its delicate pieces and the beautiful shapes carved on them.
Q. Tell us about the Golden Era of Assam and how it has influenced your jewellery?
When I began my research I realised that our local jewellery markets in Assam were flooded with contemporary designs. It was rare to spot designs that were originally worn by Ahom Queens or even by our grandmothers. This is what made me want to focus on those timeless designs, dating back hundreds of years, which had begun to fade away under the influence of popular trends. I initially took inspiration from the jewellery pieces worn by my Nani and Dadi at their weddings, which were gifted to them by their mothers. This is what makes most of my designs timeless and from the Golden Era of Assam.
Q. Since you are based in Delhi, how do you establish connections with local craftsmen?
Currently, I am working with two units of Karigars — one in Nagaon and one in Barpeta — both located in Assam. Traditionally, Assamese craftsmen do not follow an industry setup, choosing to work in their rural households instead. I wanted to sustain this practice of Karigari by encouraging them to stay in their natural habitat. Though I am based in Delhi, I coordinate with the Karigars through a dedicated team. I connect with them virtually, and also visit every two to three months for a tour of my units.
Q. What have been the biggest challenges you have faced in establishing your business as well as the most rewarding moments?
Besides designing, I had to figure everything out myself as I am completely new to this industry and had no one to guide me. This presented many challenges along the way. Yet, just last month, my pieces were featured in an editorial shoot for Vogue Magazine. It was my dream to reach a global platform and to be able to do that in just eight months was hugely rewarding.
Q. Do you believe that the younger generation is readily accepting their craft traditions? How do you make your branding contemporary to appeal to them?
I believe the younger generation is more inclined towards contemporary designs as they are trendy and easy to style. Except for a limited number of people, our ancient crafts are not readily accepted by most young people. My goal is to have people recognise Kharikajai for its traditional vibe rather than make it contemporary to appeal to them. I want to sustain my beautiful and irreplaceable culture which means every aspect of my branding has to be vintage and authentic.
I do not believe in following trends without trying something out of the box. The modern jewellery industry does not have much exposure to traditional Assamese jewellery designs. Even though it was a risk to launch a brand exclusively dedicated to this dying craft, it has been totally worth it. We should always follow our hearts, and if we are ready to challenge ourselves, we should just go for it without playing safe all the time.
Q. What’s next on the cards for Kharikajai?
Currently, we are retailing only through social media and our website. Last month, we opened up international shipping and other expansion plans are also in the works. I want to have a flagship store in Delhi and then attempt to branch out to different cities. One day, I hope to take Kharikajai abroad to discerning customers around the world.
The interviewer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on email@example.com.
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EMRAAN HASHMI’S BICEPS FOR ‘TIGER 3’ LEAVE FANS STUNNED
MUMBAI: It seems actor Emraan Hashmi is preparing hard for his role in ‘Tiger 3’. On Sunday, the ‘Jannat’ star took to Instagram to share a picture, wherein he can be seen sweating it out in the gym. “Just another arms day,” he captioned the post. Emraan’s physical transformation has left netizens in awe of his fitness. “This is amazing. Can’t wait to see you in ‘Tiger 3’, “ a user commented. “Killer looks,” another one wrote.
A few days ago, he had even shared a picture of himself where he flaunted his chiselled abs, hinting he has been going through a lot of fitness routines to achieve a look for the antagonist in the Salman Khan-starrer ‘Tiger 3’.
NUPUR SANON PENS EMOTIONAL POST FOR SISTER KRITI
NEW DELHI: Kriti Sanon’s younger sister Nupur Sanon shared an emotional post praising her sister for her performance in the much-acclaimed movie ‘Mimi’. After watching the movie, Nupur posted a couple of still images of Kriti who is essaying the titular role of a surrogate in the movie. Nupur termed her sister as “phenomenal” and revealed that she was blown away by Kriti’s performance which also made her shed tears.
“I always knew your true potential. But I was blown away by what I saw!! You did it, Mimi!! You were phenomenal! My Words won’t be able to describe what I felt. I have laughed and laughed and then cried and cried. There wasn’t even a single scene when I felt you weren’t 100 per cent Mimi !!” she wrote. She added “a mother who fell in love with her child instantly. I could see her forgetting her own dreams in a split second for her child. I could see her world revolving around her child. I could see her being territorial for him! I saw so many subliminal emotions in you Kriti!”
SHAHID KAPOOR SPORTS UBER COOL LOOK AHEAD OF DEBUT IN DIGITAL SHOW
MUMBAI : Actor Shahid Kapoor on Sunday flaunted his tattoo look ahead of his digital debut, which is directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK. Taking to Instagram, he posted a short video clip in which he can been seen with temporary tattoos on his neck. He also expressed his excitement about sharing screen space with Vijay Sethupathi and Raashi Khanna.
“Waiting on set call me soon @rajanddk … can’t wait to share the frame with @actorvijaysethupathi sorry @raashiikhanna I’ve got too used to having you around on set,” Shahid wrote on Instagram.
The yet-to-be-titled project is touted as a quirky drama thriller, which will release on Amazon Prime Video. Reacting to Shahid’s post, Raj and DK of ‘The Family Man’ fame commented: “Shot ready! Let’s roll.” Fans quite impressed by Shahid’s new look poured in their comments at Shahid’s post. “You look so hot,” a fan wrote. “Sexy look,” another social media user commented. Apart from Raj and Dk’s project, Shahid will also be seen in ‘Jersey’ — a Hindi remake of the 2019 Telugu hit of the same name.
KARTIK AARYAN TO STAR IN SHASHANKA GHOSH’S ‘FREDDY’
MUMBAI: Kartik Aaryan will star in an upcoming romantic thriller titled ‘Freddy’. The film, set to be directed by Shashanka Ghosh, will go on floors on August 1 in Mumbai this year. The movie will be produced by Ekta Kapoor and Jay Shewakramani. The romantic-triller is said to be packed with unpredictable twists and sharp turns. The characters in the movie are set to take the movie buffs on a dark and chilling roller-coaster ride, where the lines between love and obsession will blur. Speaking about the movie, an ecstatic Kartik said, “As an actor, I crave to explore different facades of entertainment and with ‘Freddy’, I’m venturing into an uncharted territory which is both exciting and intriguing in equal measures.”
The actor also said that he is looking forward to bringing the romantic thriller to life. He added, “I look forward to dwell in the world of Freddy and bring alive this dark romantic thriller. It also marks my first collaboration with a visionary like Ekta Kapoor and creatives forces like Jayu and Shahshanka. Couldn’t have asked for a better team on this new journey.”
Shashanka, who has helmed films like ‘Khoobsurat’ and ‘Veere Di Wedding’, also spoke about the upcoming project and said it is going to be one of the “best thrilling cinematic experiences” for the viewers. The director said, “As a filmmaker, there is a lot to play with the genre, like a thriller. I am more than excited to work with an incredible team on a project as inspiring as Freddy. I am sure that the film is going to be one of the best thrilling cinematic experiences for the audience across the nation.”
Ekta Kapoor said, “I’m thrilled to have Kartik on board. His choices of subject have always been unique and this one is no different. I’m excited to take the audience into this dark, delicious world. Collaborating with Jayu makes it even more special!”
Jay said, “It is the first time I am collaborating with Ekta and Kartik on a film and for it to be on a script like this, makes it all the more exciting! Freddy is a script we worked on incessantly and we can’t wait for Shashanka to bring to life these crazy characters.”‘Freddy’ marks Ekta and Shashanka second film after the hit flick ‘Veere Di Wedding’.
AYUSHMANN SHARES EXPERIENCE OF SINGING TRACK FOR WIFE TAHIRA’S FILM
MUMBAI: Actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who is also a singer, has once again swooned viewers with his voice in his wife and filmmaker Tahira Kashyap’s latest film ‘Quaranteen Crush’.
Taking to Instagram, Ayushmann shared the song’s video and revealed that he composed and wrote ‘Kinni Soni’ along with his college friends — Sameer Kaushal and Gurpreet Saini.
“Wrote and composed this butterflies inducing song with Sameer Kaushal and Gurpreet Saini for Tahira’s lovely short film #QurantineCrush which comes under #FeelsLikeIshq. Loved collaborating with my college friends after so long. Felt like we were back in college during our late night jam sessions in Chandigarh winters,” he posted.
Singer Jonita Gandhi has given English vocals to the song. “Thank you Jonita for the angrezi vocals,” Ayushmann added. For the unversed, ‘Quaranteen Crush’ is a part of the just-released Netflix anthology ‘Feels Like Ishq’. The short movie revolves around the concept of a teenage crush and friendship during the pandemic.
Tahira even posted a short note on Instagram thanking Ayushmann for giving her ‘Kinni Soni’ song. “The song we were waiting for #kinnisoni..An integral part of my short #quaranteencrush that is a part of #feelslikeishq. This song really inspired me to create some magical moments between nimmi and Maninder on their terrace! Thank you @ayushmannk for giving me the song, thank you @s_a_m_k28 and @ghuggss for creating magic with it and thank you @jonitamusic for the mesmerising vocals, and thank you @gazaldhaliwal for this sweet script,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, on the film front, Ayushmann is busy shooting for ‘Doctor G’ in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The movie also stars Rakul Preet Singh and Shefali Shah..
PRABHAS’ ‘RADHE SHYAM’ TO RELEASE ON 14 JANUARY
MUMBAI: Prabhas’ most anticipated film ‘Radhye Shyam’ has finally got a release date. It will arrive in theatres on January 14, 2022.
On Friday, Prabhas took to Instagram to share the update with his fans. “Can’t wait to watch my romantic saga, ‘Radhe Shyam’, which has a brand new release date — 14th January, 2022 worldwide,” he wrote.
Along with it, Prabhas shared a new poster of the film, wherein he can be seen all decked up while walking on the streets of Europe.
For the unversed, ‘Radhe Shyam’, a multi-lingual film, is helmed by Radha Krishna Kumar, and it features actor Pooja Hegde as well. Pooja, too, expressed her excitement about the film’s release date as it is debuting on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti. “Woke up to this surprise. Sakranti has been lucky for me..fingers crossed for this epic love story,” she wrote on Instagram Story. ‘Radhe Shyam’ is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Vamsi and Pramod.
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