Last year, I got married with great pomp and ceremony. It was a magnificent and traditional Indian affair, our magnum opus that lasted all of six days. As a bride, I remember feeling special, emotional, ecstatic, overwhelmed, anxious, in-control and clueless all at once. Soon after, many of my friends and cousins got married, and I ended up attending almost ten Indian weddings over a one-year timespan. One particular group of wedding-goers at each of these weddings caught my eye: the non-Indian wedding-goers, the foreigners. Often a 1% minority in an alien setting with people they don’t know, music they don’t understand or food they’re not sure they can digest.
So this is for you if you’re new to Indian weddings. You’ve been handed the cream-and-red envelope, with a direct invitation from the Elephant God. You’re excited and keen to attend, but also terrified; there are just so many questions! What’s it going to be like, will I get diarrhoea, what am I expected to wear, where do I book a room…don’t worry. Consider this an Indian Weddings for Dummies, or an attempt thereof. Of course, every Indian wedding is different, with personal and cultural nuances. But this is a broad model that generally applies.
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I spent the month of March in a charming little town in the South of France: Gémenos. It was a work trip, a training that my company arranged. Quite honestly, I was looking forward to a month of relaxation and self-discovery. Exploring quaint French towns with a pain au chocolat in one hand and a piece of Brie in another, sun-kissed by the warm Spring Sun. But along the way, I started writing down my personal observations of things around me: the sights, the culture, the people – just about anything I found interesting. To confirm or correct my theories, I discussed them with local colleagues, expats, strangers I met on trains and even fellow visitors.
And then I compiled all my thoughts into this one article. So here it goes.
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Saloni Khanna is a fashion model who has walked the ramp for some of India’s leading fashion designers, including Manish Malhotra, Ritu Kumar and JJ Valaya. She has also shot for multiple print ads and music videos. But here’s an interesting fact – one year ago, none of this existed. As of February 2016, Saloni was an Assistant Systems Manager at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). How did she switch to something so counter-intuitive? And successfully so? How does it feel walking the ramp in those gorgeous designer outfits? And do you really have to eat half a peach for lunch?
Let’s find out.
Continue reading “Engineering A Fashion Model”
Renting caravans for road trips is popular in countries with scenic locations, like Australia, New Zealand or the USA. Unfortunately, the culture never really took off in India; a country known for its breathtaking sights and delectable flavours. For travel and adventure enthusiasts Neha and Rahul Soman, this was a problem worth solving. And that is how Wacation On Wheels was born.
In conversation with Neha Soman.
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