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Sonnalli Seygall shows how to look chic in gym wear

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yogaforlife, sonnalli seygall news, sonnalli seygall pics, fitness news bollywood, fitness news, pyaar ka punchnama, sonnalli seygall yoga, yoga health benefits, indianexpress.com, indianexpress,Sonnalli Seygall shares her love for yoga. (Source: Sonnalli Seygall/Instagram; designed by Abhishek Mitra)

Sonnalli Seygall is known to be a fitness freak. From diets, and exercises to acro yoga, the actor has done it all. But when it comes to looking fashionable at the gym, she does not fail us. In many of her posts on Instagram, the Pyaar Ka Punchnama actor would give not just fitness goals but also some amazing fashion inspo. She curated some comfortable yet classy gym wear one can wear while working out in one of her posts. “Keeping it classy, one gym OOTD at a time,” she captioned her post.

Also Read | | Deepika Padukone stuns in traditional attire at an event in California; see pics

 

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A post shared by Sonnalli Seygall (@sonnalliseygall) 

In the first picture, she wore a white black lined sports bra and paired it with a deep blue crop jacket. Black cycling shorts and for her hair, she tied them neatly in a tight braid – perfect for a gymming session. This outfit can be super comfortable and chic for all the fitness junkies out there.

Sonnalli The actor starred in Pyaar ka Punchnama (Souce: Sonnalli Seygall/ Instagram)

With a black sports bra along with a black and white striped long jacket, the combination appeals to the eyes. The actor paired it with simple green shorts and white shoes.

Sonnalli The actor has been a keen fitness enthusiast (Source: Sonnalli Seygall/ Instagram)

It is said when in confusion go for black and Sonnalli cannot agree more. The actor went for an all-black outfit in the following picture. She chose a simple black inner and paired it with black cycling shorts. What caught our eyes was a net crop top and a short skirt that the actor wore over it. The outfit looked super casual and classy.

sonnalii Sonnali Seygall in an all black outfit (Source: Sonnali Seygall/Instagram)

Also Read | | Dior takes a folksy turn at haute couture fashion week in Paris

If patterns are something you fall for, then this gym wear would be a perfect match for you. The actor chose an off-white leopard print backless crop top and leggings. With grey shoes and a tight braid, the actor, as well as the outfit, could not look chicer.

Printed Sonnalli dress The actor’s outfit looks chic and super comfortable (Source: Sonnalli Seygall/ Instagram)

Which of these stunning gym looks was your favourite?

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Essential things to keep in mind when choosing a suitable cooking oil

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cooking oilYou need to identify if you are cooking food at low, medium or high heat. All of these temperatures require different oils for your needs. (Source: Freepik)

While cooking can be a therapeutic activity, it comes with its own set of challenges. From choosing the right ingredients to measuring them accurately, and getting the perfect taste, many of us struggle with these nuances of cooking on a daily basis. But there is one more aspect that often leaves most cooks puzzled — how to choose the right cooking oil. This is because different cooking oils have distinct properties, making it tricky to pick the most suitable one.

As such, if you want clarity on which cooking oil is best suited for Indian cooking, then Anjali Mukerjee, a nutritionist, shared some pointers on Instagram that you must keep in mind while picking a cooking oil.

Stressing that the answer to this question is not really simple owing to several factors, she said, “One is that all of us cook different types of foods at different temperatures. So first, you need to identify if you are cooking food at low, medium, or high heat as all of these temperatures require different oils.”

 

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A post shared by Anjali Mukerjee (@anjalimukerjee) 

Secondly, she suggested using an oil with a high smoking point, which is also heat stable. “This is because you don’t want it to break down into its toxic compounds that will get into your food,” she informed, adding that one must also consider the fatty acid composition of the oil. “Oils have saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. So, you need to choose an oil that has a good monounsaturated fat content because that is considered healthy,” Mukerjee added.

And lastly, know that cold-pressed oils are better than their refined counterparts. “Cold-pressed oils, as the name suggests, have no addition of any chemicals or solvents, and is no heat applied. Therefore, they have a higher nutrient content, and are richer in omega-3. On the other hand, refined oils have a lot of bleaching agents, solvents, deodorising agents. In fact, during the refining process, a lot of harmful chemicals are used,” she continued.

So, how best can one identify a suitable cooking oil?

According to Karishma Shah, an integrative nutritionist and health coach, one must consider three important factors when choosing a suitable cooking oil. “First, make sure to identify its nutritional ingredients. Avoid using an oil that might give you an allergic reaction. Second, consider the season you are using it in. In summers, it is recommended to use lighter oils such as rice bran, olive, avocado or coconut oil which have cooling properties, whereas in winters, you can opt for heavier oils like sesame, mustard and peanut oils, which have heating properties. And finally, understand that different food items require different cooking oils, you cannot use one for all dishes,” she told indianexpress.com.

 

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A post shared by Anjali Mukerjee (@anjalimukerjee) 

According to Mukerjee, another thing to keep in mind is the temperature at which you cook the oil. “Generally, low temperature cooking means anything between 60-90°C; mMedium temperature cooking is done above 90°C up to 190°C; and high temperature cooking is done at 200°C or higher up to 300°C,” she informed, adding that low to moderate temperature cooking is better for health.

Concurring, Shah said that low temperature cooking helps retain the nutritional benefits of the food being cooked. “However, different food items need to be cooked at different temperatures. Moreover, it also depends on your taste. For instance, you will require high temperature to deep fry potatoes, while to sauté baby corns, you will need low temperature. Both will have a different crunchiness and palatability to them.”

ALSO READ | FSSAI recommends four simple ways to reduce oil intake

 

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A post shared by Anjali Mukerjee (@anjalimukerjee) 

Lastly, Mukerjee explained that most chefs use the smoking point information to decide the cooking oil they would use for low temperature cooking like sautéing or pan-frying, or high temperature cooking like deep frying. “The smoking point of an oil is the temperature at which it begins to smoke. It is the maximum temperature beyond which you should not heat the oil because it will give rise to trans-fat formation –which is very harmful to health. Moreover, cold-pressed oils have low smoking points and can only be used in low heat cooking.”

Agreeing with this, Shah said that if your cooking oils begins to smoke, it means you have used too much heat. “This can release harmful compounds and toxic components in your food, which can lead to inflammation and heart conditions. So, use a high smoking point cooking oil, if you are doing high temperature cooking,” she concluded.

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Experts on whether it is possible to ‘overcome depression without medication’

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While medication can be helpful for some individuals, it is not the only option for managing depression. Medications are reserved for individuals with severe or clinical depressionWhile medication can be helpful for some individuals, it is not the only option for managing depression. Medications are reserved for individuals with severe or clinical depression (Pic source: Freepik)

Depression is a serious mental health disorder that requires a proper diagnosis and treatment by a professional psychiatrist or a psychologist. However, according to experts, not all depression patients require antidepressants for recovery, and there are various natural solutions that can prove to be extremely effective in managing depression. Shedding light on the same, Dr Daniel G Amen, a psychiatrist, took to Instagram to share some natural solutions for depression. “Can you overcome depression without medication? Absolutely,” said Dr Amen in a video.

“Head-to-head against antidepressants exercise was found to be equally effective. Head-to-head against antidepressants omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be equally effective. Learning how to kill ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) was found to be equally effective. Similarly, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has been found to be an effective treatment against depression,” he added.

While taking medication can be easier and helpful in the short run, Dr Amen stresses the importance of natural solutions for depression in the long run.

 

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A post shared by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. (@doc_amen)

Natural solutions for depression

Below are the nine common things Dr Amen advises patients before prescribing antidepressant medication. They are:

1. Check for and (if necessary) correct thyroid hormone abnormalities.
2. Work with a nutritionally informed physician to optimise your folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, homocysteine, and omega-3 fatty acids. “I’m convinced that without doing these nutritional fixes, patients are less likely to respond to the medications,” he said.
3. Try an elimination diet for three weeks.
4. Add colourful fruits and vegetables to your diet.
5. Eliminate the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts).
6. Exercise — walk like you are late, for 45 minutes four times a week. This has been found to be as effective as antidepressant medication.
7. Add one of the following supplements to your daily routine: Saffron 30 mg/day; curcumin, not as turmeric root but as longvida, which is much more efficiently absorbed; zinc as citrate or glycinate 30 mg (tolerable upper level is 40 mg/day for adults, 34 mg/day for adolescents, less for younger kids); or magnesium glycinate, citrate, or malate, 100–500 mg with 30 mg of vitamin B6.
8. Consume probiotics daily.
9. Try morning bright light therapy with a therapeutic therapy lamp of 10,000 lux for 20–30 minutes.

ALSO READ | Feeling constantly depressed, irritated, and having bad mood swings may indicate a deficiency of this hormone

Can you actually overcome depression without medication?

“Yes, it is possible to overcome depression without antidepressants,” Dr Mazher Ali, psychiatrist, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, CARE Hospitals told indianexpress.com. “While medication can be helpful for some individuals, it is not the only option for managing depression. Medications are reserved for individuals with severe or clinical depression,” he added.

He added that in mild to moderate depression, “only psychotherapy (ie talk therapy)” may be considered. “Lifestyle changes, such as dietary modifications, exercise, journaling, counseling, and therapy, can all play a role in overcoming depression,” he said.

What lifestyle changes can help in overcoming depression?

Lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on mental health. Speaking with indianexpress.com, Dr Amrita Roy, Assistant Professor, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences shared, “Many studies have shown that lifestyle changes, including a nutrient-rich diet, physical activity, meditation, sleep, recreation, and relaxation, are potential front-line management choices alongside medication and counseling.(1-4) In recent years, the effects of yoga on health have been vastly studied and have shown fruitful outcomes for various mental health conditions, including depression.(5,6)”.

What dietary changes are helpful in fighting depression?

Dietary changes, in particular, can support overall well-being and help manage depression. “Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds), saffron, curcumin (found in turmeric), fruits, and vegetables can provide important nutrients that support brain health,” shared Dr Ali.

Dr Roy added, “Diets low in carbohydrates and proteins can also precipitate depression, as they play an essential role in the functioning of neurotransmitters”.

Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is good for brain health. (Pic source: Pixabay) Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is good for brain health. (Pic source: Freepik)

On the other hand, dependence on alcohol and other substances may increase the risk for both depressive and anxiety disorders in addition to its socio-economic impact. “Processed foods must be avoided as they lack nutrients and do not contribute any good to our health,” said Dr Roy.

ALSO READ | Protein and mental health: Understanding the critical connection

Dietary supplements to help overcome depression

Nutritional deficiencies are known to be linked with several physical health conditions, such as deficiency of iron and vitamin B12 can cause anemia; deficiency of iodine can lead to thyroid disorder. “Similarly, nutritional factors are also intertwined with mental health, and deficiency of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals has been linked to depression (2),” shared Dr Roy.

“Supplements such as magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, and vitamin B6 have been studied for their potential benefits in managing depression,” added Dr Ali.

While some individuals may find them helpful, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements to ensure they are appropriate for your specific situation.

ALSO READ | Know the ‘top anxiety triggers’ and ways you can manage them

Can exercise help fight depression?

Exercise is an evidence-based modality in the management of clinical depression. “Many researchers have demonstrated that moderate-intensity and aerobic exercise regimens for 20 to 30 minutes, three to five times per week, are efficacious in treating depression.(3,4) Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, jogging, or running regularly can effectively fight depression,” said Dr Roy.

Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, jogging, or running regularly can effectively fight depression Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, jogging, or running regularly can effectively fight depression. (Pic source: Pixabay)

Dr Ali added, “Regular exercise has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression. Physical activity releases endorphins, improves mood, and promotes overall well-being. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise; even moderate activities like walking or yoga can be beneficial”.

ALSO READ | Exercise is even more effective than counselling or medication for depression. But how much do you need?

Can journaling also help depression patients?

Journaling can be a helpful tool for managing depression. “It allows individuals to express their thoughts and emotions, gain self-awareness, and track patterns or triggers that may contribute to their depressive symptoms. It can also serve as a cathartic and reflective practice,” explained Dr Ali.

Journaling can be a helpful tool for managing depression Journaling can be a helpful tool for managing depression. (Pic source: Freepik)

Things to keep in mind

It’s important to remember that depression is a complex condition, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s crucial to seek professional guidance from a mental health professional who can provide personalised advice and support tailored to your specific situation.

“Not all depression patients require antidepressant medication. The appropriateness of medication should be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with a mental health professional. Some individuals may find relief through non-pharmacological interventions alone, while others may benefit from a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes, and medication,” shared Dr Ali.

He concluded, “If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it’s crucial to reach out to a mental health provider for appropriate evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Depression is a treatable condition, and with the right support, it is possible to overcome it”.

ALSO READ | Change your life for the better by learning the art of eliminating ‘Automatic Negative Thoughts’

References:

1. Sarris, J., O’Neil, A., Coulson, C. E., Schweitzer, I., & Berk, M. (2014). Lifestyle medicine for depression. BMC psychiatry, 14(1), 1-13.
2. Rao, T. S., Asha, M. R., Ramesh, B. N., & Rao, K. J. (2008). Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses. Indian journal of psychiatry, 50(2), 77-82.
3. Heissel, A., Heinen, D., Brokmeier, L. L., Skarabis, N., Kangas, M., Vancampfort, D., … & Schuch, F. (2023). Exercise as medicine for depressive symptoms? A systematic review and meta-analysis with meta-regression. British Journal of Sports Medicine.
4. Roy, A., Govindan, R., & Muralidharan, K. (2018). The impact of an add-on video assisted structured aerobic exercise module on mood and somatic symptoms among women with depressive disorders: Study from a tertiary care centre in India. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 32, 118-122.
5. Gangadhar, B. N. (2023). Evidence-based integration of yoga in psychiatric practice. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 65(1), 5-11.

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Try this easy creamy prawn dish today!

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Easy to make, packed with natural flavour, and also quite simple to experiment with, Maria Goretti’s creamy prawn spaghetti soup can be your new favourite dish. Prepared in 10 minutes and cooked in 20, within half an hour this dish can be ready to be served and relished. 

Chef Goretti introduced this multi-purpose dish in an Instagram post for her series Cook the Book. She encourages her audience to experiment with it – make it soupy or make it as a main course – she said. 

 

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A post shared by TheMariaGorettiCorner (@mariagorettiz)

Chef Goretti’s said that the specialty of the dish is the lack of masala in it, which allows each ingredient to retain its original flavour. “This allows the creamy prawn soup to culminate into a masterful work of cooking that can be served in multiple ways. Keep the gravy thin, and add more soup than pasta for having it as soup,” she said. However, chef Goretti personally prefers the dish as a main course – thickening the gravy a bit and making it heavier for a main course.

Here’s how to make it

Ingredients

75gm – Spaghetti
2 tbsp – Oil
2 tbsp- Butter
A handful – Garlic
1 diced – Onion
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
12 no. – Jumbo Prawns
1 tbsp – All purpose flour
1 no. – Potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups – Vegetable stock
75l – Cream

Method

*Add butter, generous helpings of garlic, and onions to a pan and let it fry
*Add salt
*Add pepper, cherry tomatoes, and stir well
*Add prawns and cook them slightly till it changes colour
*Take out the prawns and leave them aside
*Add flour, plain vegetable stock gradually, and diced boiled potatoes. When the mix starts to boil, add the pasta, cream, fresh basil leaves, chopped parsley, and stir carefully
*Add the prepared prawns
*Top off with lemon juice, and enjoy!

ALSO READ | Try these simple 15-minute recipes for a healthy day ahead

Dietician N Lakhsmi says that prawns are very healthy when added to a balanced diet. “They are a low-fat protein source that aids in tissue building and repair, while also promoting satiety. Prawns are rich in vital nutrients like vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc. Vitamin B12 supports nerve function, while selenium and zinc contribute to immune system health. Furthermore, prawns are low in calories and carbohydrates.”

However, she also advises people to be alert of any allergies they might have. She said, “Shellfish allergies, including prawn allergies, are relatively common. If you experience symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, or digestive issues after consuming prawns, seek medical advice and avoid them.” In addition, dietician Lakshmi said that people with restricted diets or medical conditions like gout or kidney problems may need to keep their prawn or seafood intake in check.

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TikTok promotes vaping as a fun, safe and socially accepted pastime – and omits the harms

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vapingTraditional tobacco advertising has been banned in Australia for decades (Source: Pixabay)

Social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Facebook overwhelmingly show vaping in a positive light. This messaging makes it seem that e-cigarette use is common and socially accepted.

Traditional tobacco advertising has been banned in Australia for decades. However, e-cigarettes are widely promoted on social media, undoing some of the positive work of previous decades.

Most platforms have content policies that expressly prohibit the promotion of tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes. But our new research, published this week, shows these policies are routinely violated with little or no consequences.

Positive videos result in more vaping

E-cigarette use by young people, including in Australia, is rapidly growing. So is evidence of the harmful health effects of e-cigarettes.

Positive social media messages around vaping may particularly impact young people, who are the most frequent users of social media. In some cases, these messages have even been shown to blatantly target teens.

Research shows young people who view social media posts featuring e-cigarettes are more likely to vape and to view e-cigarettes positively. This is true of both e-cigarette advertising and user-generated content, with creators effectively doing the marketing job for e-cigarette companies.

TikTok emphasises tricks and downplays harms In our recently published study, we looked at the ways e-cigarettes are being advertised and promoted on TikTok. We analysed 264 English language user-generated e-cigarette videos and evaluated them against TikTok’s own content policy in February 2022.

vaping Most platforms have content policies that expressly prohibit the promotion of tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes. (Source: Pixabay)

We found most of the videos (98 per cent) portrayed e-cigarettes positively.

More than one-quarter of the videos clearly violated TikTok’s content policy and promoted vaping products for purchase.
Few videos contained health warnings. Only 2 per cent of posts referenced vape or nicotine addiction.

A small number of posts referred to public health professionals or commented on e-cigarette regulation. These posts were comparatively less popular, receiving a smaller proportion of views and likes.

Half the videos referred to a vaping community. These posts were slightly more popular than those that didn’t refer to a shared identity. This may act to shape norms around e-cigarette use and increase the perception that vaping is socially accepted.

Popular posts also included references to vape tricks (such as creating shapes from exhaled aerosol), with early research showing adolescents often identified vaping tricks as the reason they started using e-cigarettes. Posts also used humour, which is an effective tool to reach young social media users.

ALSO READ | Nightmare: Understanding the causes, impacts, dealing strategies, and when to seek professional help

Videos that violated content policy often provided details on how and where to purchase e-cigarette products. This included providing links to online retailers and to other social media accounts.

The promotion of offers such as giveaways and sale prices were common, in direct violation of content policy. Many posts also provided product reviews.

So what needs to happen?

We can’t rely on platforms to develop and enforce content policy. Social media policies are commonly violated and there are no major consequences – the platforms themselves decide the consequences for breaches.

This is a problem because social media platforms have a clear financial incentive not to punish people who breach their policies.

The federal government’s recent strong position to stamp out recreational vaping among young people through regulations, enforcement, education, plain packaging and a ban on flavourings is welcomed.

However, this did not include clamping down on e-cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship on social media, which is also clearly needed.

Emphasis needs to be placed on enforcement of policies. This must include requiring social media platforms to report on how they’re ensuring regulations are being upheld.

Current policies and moderation processes are insufficient in restricting the spread of pro e-cigarette content on TikTok. This is exposing young social media users to e-cigarette use. There needs to be greater regulation of e-cigarette content and its promotion, to prevent future uptake and harm to young people.

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Karachi-based artist Faizan Riedinger’s work impresses Lisa Ray; know more about the creation

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lisa ray faizanLisa Ray appreciates artist Faizan Riedinger's work (Source: Lisa Ray/Instagram; Faizan Riedinger)

In her quest to explore art from around the world and present it to the world at large, Lisa Ray, who recently launched an online platform to showcase traditional art from South Asia, took to Twitter to share an interesting artwork that aims to demystify the universe and the mysterious ways in which it works.

Take a look.

“Note: turn sound on to view this work. This work by artist #FaizanRiedinger is made with acrylic paint, and ink on acid-free paper, and digitised by the @TheUpsideSpace team. A tribute to the infinite mysteries of space and our human fascination with exploring the unknown. Its abstract yet evocative style invites us to contemplate our place in the vastness of the universe and the wonders that lie beyond our reach,” wrote the Kasoor actor, who is also the co-founder of The Upside Space.

faizan reindinger Take a look at this artwork (Source: Faizan Reidinger)

Intrigued by the work that showcases the transformative nature of the universe, we reached out to Karachi-based Riedinger.

Titled The Nebula, the work represents the artist’s fascination with rhythm and sequences. “It’s all about the senses — sight, and sound,” he said, adding. “I am particularly interested in the way colours, textures, and patterns complement each other and overlap.”

Also Read | ‘The pleasure of living with great works of art is incomparable to merely looking at them in galleries’

Riedinger’s art is rooted in his love for the Arabic alphabet and script, which he said, have been a passion since he discovered them as a young boy. The arist, whose works have featured in solo shows and collectives locally and internationally, uses architect’s pens on canvas to create calligraphic-inspired motifs that are minute and identical in size, and combine to form geometric shapes, such as circles and semi circles, or patterns in linear form.

“Sometimes monochrome and on other occasions created in a combination of contrasting colours, the pieces have a calming, understated and hypnotic quality about them that aligns with the artistic process,” he told indianexpress.com.

He credits meditation as a huge influence on his work. “I was raised in a Sufi household, so meditation was part of our upbringing and culture. Once, I’m in the zone, the repetition involved in creating the visual formation of the words and the precision needed to carry out the process becomes almost automatic,” he expressed.

Also Read | ‘Prestigious moment for the community’: Artist expresses joy on creating Phad painting for the new Parliament building

Riedinger shares that music “adds the finishing touch”, reflecting the meditative beats reminiscent of the tasbeeh“, while also providing a “fluidity that contrasts with the constraints and precision of the art”.

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‘A spiritual tribute to soil’: Celebrating the ancient technique of Dabu, one block print at a time

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dabuAs for the process, it involves numerous steps and is done by hands. (Source: Pixabay)

At the last edition of the Lakmé Fashion Week x FDCI, fashion designer Anavila Misra showcased a collection — titled ‘Dabu’ — that celebrated the ancient mud-resist hand block printing technique from Rajasthan. On being asked why she chose the same for her latest creations, the designer said that she was intrigued and fascinated by the idea that “mud can help us create something so delicate and beautiful”.

“This craft is a deep act of reverence to nature, a spiritual tribute to the soil — the fountain of life itself. It plays a magical role in my repertoire of sari, the length of the serving as a perfect canvas for ancient storytelling,” Misra told indianexpress.com.

As such, to bring the collection to life, the fashion designer collaborated with Mahesh Dosaya, a local artisan from Rajasthan’s Bagru, and founder of Paramparik Craft. “My first visit to his workspace was magical. I saw dust and mud on the floor, beautiful, printed muslin fabrics on the tables, and the happy banter of women artisans. Inspired to work with the craft and touched by the enthusiasm of the artisans, we started working on our Spring-Summer collection,” she shared.

Further, talking about her experience of showcasing the craft on the runway, Anavila Misra said that to bring forth something so rooted and close to the values we hold was worth every effort that was put into building the collection. “We wanted to show the sari in its raw form and hence chose to work on pre-colonial drapes. The artistry of our presentation was in twisting, knotting, and layering of the drapes, which gave each garment its unique shape and silhouette.”

But it’s not just Anavila Misra, Dabu has caught the fancy of many other designers, including Alka Sharma who debuted her Dabu designs — as part of her collection, Miniature Moon — at the same event in 2019. Opening up about her experience of working with the age-old craft, she said, “After completing my education in the field of textile, I started working towards the upliftment of the Dabu printing cluster of the Chhippa community in the village of Akola, Chittorgarh, under Centre of the Study of Values, an NGO focused on the development of deprived tribal communities of southern Rajasthan. In 2009, I undertook a project with the Ministry of Textiles and established my brand to preserve the craft.”

dabu Dabu, which comes from the Hindi word dabana, involves several stages of printing and dyeing. (Express Photo by Saumya Rastogi)

The owner of the label Aavaran added that the collection was an ode to the heritage and artisans of India. “It’s an amalgamation of the East and the West that successfully embraces the mystical universe of Anne Vilsboll’s (a Danish painter) art while interpreting it through the mud-resist technique,” she added.

A similar goal inspired Avipsha Thakur to start Bunavat in 2019, who today, directly works with weavers and artisans to make traditional, sustainable and forgotten weaves and crafts of India, more accessible, aspirational and relevant for urban women. “We learnt about Dabu on one of our travels to Bagru, where we met artisans from the Chippa community who have been practicing the craft since generations. Our focus was to reimagine contemporary designs through age-old craft traditions,” she told this outlet.

But that’s not all, her brand also follows sustainable practices centred on reducing the carbon footprint and emphasising the importance of conscious consumption. “We use natural fibres and eco-friendly dyes to ensure our products are environmentally friendly. From responsible production to packaging, we believe that clothing should not be disposable, but rather cherished and passed down generations,” Thakur added.

ALSO READ | From Kalamkaris to hand block printing: Ritu Kumar’s new flagship store is a tribute to India’s rich textile history

What exactly is Dabu?

dabu A deeply sustainable practice, it honours local resources such as mud, gum, lime and wheat chaff. (Express Photo by Saumya Rastogi)

Explaining, Misra said, “Dabu is an ancient mud-resist hand block printing technique from Rajasthan, the origins of which can be traced to about 675 AD. It is a time-honoured village handicraft practiced in several rural areas in the state. Dabu, which comes from the Hindi word dabana, involves several stages of printing and dyeing. A deeply sustainable practice, it honours local resources such as mud, gum, lime, and wheat chaff. The motifs printed are derived from the natural surroundings of local floral and fauna.”

As for the process, it involves numerous steps and is done by hands, said Thakur who shared that the first step is to wash the fabric thoroughly to remove any impurities which may lead to irregular absorption of the dyes. “The fabric is then dried and clipped to a table on which the printing takes place. Then mud is sieved and made into a fine paste. Hand carved wooden blocks are dipped in the mud paste and gently applied to the fabric as per the design. Sawdust is sprinkled on the wet printed pattern to avoid smudging. The printed fabric is then dried in sunlight. After drying, it is dipped in the dye and dried again. The fabric is then washed and the resisted part does not take any dye, which results in different patterns,” she said.

Adding, she said that depending on the design and number of colours to be used, the process of mud printing is repeated. “It is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process, and the steps increase according to the intricacy of the design,” she continued.

Meet the artisans behind the craft

dabu The motifs printed are derived from the natural surroundings of local floral and fauna. (Express Photo by Saumya Rastogi)

Dosaya, who collaborated with Misra to create her latest collection, learnt Dabu from his father in 1992, and perfected it after observing his mother practice the craft. Commenting on his ‘enriching’ association with the atelier, he said, “Anavila showed us how to make and see Dabu from a different point of view. For instance, she introduced us to likes of the current generation, and accordingly what changes we can make to the designs — while at the same time not forgetting our roots.”

Meanwhile, Shiv Raj Meena, a fabric dyer, has worked with Aavaran for the last seven years. “When I started working, I used to only wash the fabrics before and after dyeing and printing. However, the technique of Dabu caught my attention and I started learning on the job. With time and practice, I understood how to control the time and number of dips to to achieve a particular shade,” shared Meena, adding that today he is also adept at preparing natural dyes by extensively boiling fruit peels and branches of various trees, and deriving the desired shade by diluting the pigment with the right amount of water.

Vijendra Chippa, a native of Bagru, collaborated with Bunavat to create their textiles. “I learnt the hand-block printing technique from my father. The practice has been passed down generations. In 2011, I founded my own social entreprise, Bagru Textiles, to sample and produce the print. We also hold workshops to create awareness among the younger generation and give them hands on experience of printing,” he said.

Chippa believes the best part about Dabu is that anybody can practice the craft. “You can easily wash the fabric if you make any mistake, and experiment with limitless designs in different patterns and shades.”

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INDIAN (H)

Why the catwalk is coming to Cannes

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Written by Vanessa Friedman

The Cannes Film Festival, which began May 16 and runs through the 27th, has always turned the Croisette into something of a catwalk, ever since Elizabeth Taylor arrived in her tiara in 1957. The red carpet premieres and seaside photo ops offer such a bounty of style statements that it’s hard to believe the festival hasn’t been crowned an honorary fashion week.

This year, however, may be the one to right that wrong. If the Riviera won’t come to the runway, the runway will come to the Riviera.

First, the Yves Saint Laurent company will make its producing debut with Pedro Almodóvar’s 30-minute short, “A Strange Way of Life,” which is the first project of its new film division, Saint Laurent Productions. Then two major fashion premieres will take place May 23: the unveiling of a ballyhooed see-now-buy-now collaboration between Donatella Versace and Dua Lipa, and a new couture line from jewelry house Chopard, involving just over 50 looks designed by Caroline Scheufele, its artistic director.

Johnny Depp’s reemergence as the lead of “Jeanne du Barry,” the opening film, may have been the most news-making event of the week, but this phenomenon may have the more lasting impact.

Together, the three events blur the lines between film and fashion in a new way, reflecting the power of contemporary celebrity and the splintering of the show system in its ravenous maw. You meet your audience where its attention is, as Scheufele was happy to explain.

“It’s where these dresses belong,” she said when asked why she wanted to show her line at Cannes instead of during the regular couture season in Paris. “There are guests walking a red carpet every night. There are black-tie dinners every night. And it is when we already have our biggest night.”

That biggest night involves a black tie party at the Hotel Martinez, one of the gravitational poles of Cannes, at which Chopard shows its Red Carpet high jewelry collection, a special line of one-off mega-jewels it has created since 2007 specifically to be worn by stars “mounting the steps” of the Palais des Festivals. This year, for example, 16 attendees, including Uma Thurman and Naomi Campbell, wore pieces from the collection during the opening ceremony.

As it happens, the party is just one part of Chopard’s long history with Cannes, which stretches back to 1998, when Scheufele redesigned the Palme d’Or. This year the brand has created eight other awards, along with the Trophée Chopard, a prize for new talent inaugurated in 2001 that effectively gives Chopard first-out-of-the-gate access to stars in the making.

It also means that Scheufele has something of a captive audience, and market, for her new fashion line, which will be shown alongside the new Red Carpet collection. Indeed, it was designed with the jewels in mind: open necklines, bare shoulders, decoration concentrated below the waist so as not to compete with the stones. (An example of the sort of jewels involved: a ring featuring a 127-carat yellow sapphire.)

“Over the years I have worked with lots of good friends in fashion — Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli — and they make beautiful dresses,” Scheufele said. “But couture today involves so many sequins, so much Swarovski, the clothes end up taking attention from what is really the star — a $5 million necklace. They didn’t match the jewels.”

Her line, titled Caroline’s Couture and created with a design team and ateliers in Milan, Paris and India, is meant to address that issue rather than to make a major fashion statement. And it is a territory marker of sorts.

“All these fashion houses are trying to get into our space,” Scheufele said, a reference to brands like Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci that have moved into fine jewelry, as well as rumors that Alessandro Michele, the former Gucci designer, was about to sign on as creative director of Bulgari, with an eye to starting a clothing line for the house.

If that’s happening, Scheufele said, “Why shouldn’t I get into theirs?”

Especially given the potential guest models involved. Like the jewels, the dresses will be available not just to order, but also to borrow for events during the remainder of the festival. The result could be free advertising of the most glamorously insider sort.

That’s a strategy echoed by Versace, whose brand is a regular on the Cannes carpet (see Amal Clooney in 2016 and Bella Hadid in vintage in 2022) and who decided to bring her collaboration with Dua Lipa to Cannes because, she said, “it is a gathering place for the powerful, the creative and the great artists of the industry.”

After the decision to hold the last Versace ready-to-wear show in Los Angeles just before the Oscars, Cannes, Versace said, felt like a natural place to be. “Gianni used to say, ‘When a star wears a dress, a little of the stardust rubs off on us,’” she noted.

Versace and Chopard are not the first houses to hold fashion shows during the festival. In 2000, Victoria’s Secret brought its show (and its Angels) to the amfAR benefit, which still involves a charity catwalk presentation. And in 2017 Philipp Plein, a German designer known for his blingtastic showmanship, held his cruise show on the grounds of his 11-bedroom villa overlooking the Côte d’Azur.

Nor is Saint Laurent the first brand to try its hand at moviemaking. (That may have been Swarovski, which created Swarovski Entertainment in 2011.) But together they make a trend — one that may only grow in the coming years.

ALSO READ | Cannes 2023 Day 2: Sara Ali Khan, Vijay Varma, Mrunal Thakur take the French Riviera by storm

Indeed, while Scheufele said she would consider trying to be part of the couture show schedule in January, she said she would definitely return to Cannes in May 2024. “It’s a must, really, to show here,” she proclaimed.

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INDIAN (H)

Try this ‘best Ayurvedic coolant’ to relieve thirst, burning sensation, indigestion, and abdominal pain

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ayurvedic coolantDrink this cold infusion to relieve these common summer symptoms (Source: Freepik)

During summer, it is common to experience thirst, indigestion, abdominal pain, and often, a burning sensation. These symptoms can be attributed to various factors, including dehydration, heat, and changes in diet. As such, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Additionally, consuming light and easily digestible meals can help alleviate indigestion and abdominal discomfort. However, if these symptoms persist, you can also try an effective Ayurvedic coolant – dhanyak hima.

Wondering what it is? Dhanyak hima is actually a cold infusion of coriander seeds. “When had in the morning with a little rock sugar or just plain, it helps you relieve burning sensations in any part of your body (hot flushes, burning urination, burning in hands and feet, acidity, etc). It even relieves excessive thirst and makes you feel satiated,” Dr Dixa Bhavsar, an Ayurveda expert, wrote on Instagram, adding that this simple drink also cleanses and detoxes all bodily channels.

 

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A post shared by Dr Dixa Bhavsar Savaliya (@drdixa_healingsouls) 

Here’s how you can make this Ayurvedic cooling drink, as per Dr Dixa.

*Take one part of crushed coriander seeds. (25 gms)
*Add six parts of water. (150 ml)
*Keep it covered overnight or for 8 hours.
*Next morning, strain and mix with a little quantity of rock sugar and have it on an empty stomach.

The expert suggested drinking 40-50 ml of this concoction in the morning on an empty stomach along with half a teaspoon of rock sugar. “It can also be taken in a dosage of 10 to 30 ml, 2-3 times a day. It can be taken for a period of 6-8 weeks,” she said.

According to Dr Dixa, dhanyak hima is great for acidity, fever, thyroid, diabetes, pregnant women, nausea, burning sensation, migraine, detox, abdominal ache, headache, immunity, inflammation, excessive thirst, fatigue, menopause, hot flashes, excessive sweat, and worm infestation.

ALSO READ | For good gut health, you must avoid these six food items

Anjenay Agarwal, Ayurveda Expert and Director, Royal Bee Natural Products added that dhanyak hima is particularly beneficial during summer as it helps quench thirst and alleviates elevated pitta conditions and burning sensations. “Drinking dhanyak hima in the morning offers a range of benefits. It is beneficial for various lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, indigestion, hormonal imbalance, acidity, excessive bleeding, and excessive thirst. It acts as an excellent Ayurvedic detox drink. Regular consumption in the morning can also help boost immunity, improve brain health, enhance digestive health, and provide significant relief from skin ailments.”

The expert said that incorporating this drink into your daily diet can aid in weight loss, improve kidney function, and prevent urinary infections. “Additionally, dhanyak hima aids in detoxification by eliminating impurities from the body. Coriander leaves, which are a key ingredient, contain a high concentration of vitamins A, C, E, and carotenoids, promoting eye health,” Agarwal said.

However, individuals with low blood pressure or those taking medications to lower blood pressure should avoid consuming dhanyak hima. “Additionally, it is advisable to refrain from consuming it before undergoing any surgical procedures as it may interfere with blood sugar regulation during surgery,” the Ayurvedic expert said.

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INDIAN (H)

The companies trying to make live shopping a thing in the U.S.

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live shoppingPaige DeSorbo, a podcaster and influencer on the Bravo reality series “Summer House,” at her apartment in Manhattan. Amazon has enlisted celebrities and influencers like DeSorbo to sell products in highly produced live segments. (Gili Benita/The New York Times)

Written by Jordyn Holman and Kalley Huang

On a warm spring evening in New York, dozens of people gathered on a rooftop in midtown Manhattan to sip fruity cocktails and chat. Shortly after the happy hour began, a woman stepped away from the crowd and went to work.

Standing between a backdrop of fake greenery and an iPhone attached to a ring light, she put on an auctioneer’s voice and implored her audience to buy a used sweater.

“Let’s get this to $67, you guys,” Iva Lazovic said, smiling and stepping toward the camera. “This is so cute. It’s Lululemon. You are never getting it lower than this at the store. Let’s be real. Posh has the steals and deals.”

Lazovic was one of several women at the event who hopped in front of the phone to sell their wares on Posh Shows, Poshmark’s new livestreaming platform, the first significant business strategy the company has unveiled since the South Korean juggernaut Naver acquired it last fall.

Poshmark is one of many companies racing to break into the U.S.’ nascent live-shopping market, which is estimated to bring in $32 billion in sales this year, according to the retail consulting firm Coresight Research. Eying the live-shopping market in China, which, by comparison, is projected to bring in $647 billion this year, U.S. companies have for years poured money into the medium, where people buy and sell products in real time over video. But American consumers have yet to take to live shopping in the same way.

In 2016, e-commerce giant Alibaba launched Taobao Live, popularizing live shopping in China. The livestream landscape is much more fragmented in the United States, but even as shoppers return to stores, retailers and large tech firms are betting that consumers will continue searching for and purchasing items on their phones. For platforms, live shopping promises more engagement, with consumers sometimes spending hours watching hosts sell items. For retailers, it’s another channel to sell their goods.

live shopping Paige DeSorbo, a podcaster and influencer on the Bravo reality series “Summer House,” at her apartment in Manhattan. Amazon has enlisted celebrities and influencers like DeSorbo to sell products in highly produced live segments. (Gili Benita/The New York Times)

Alongside Poshmark, QVC’s parent company Qurate recently started Sune, a live-shopping app targeting Gen Z. Last year, Walmart, YouTube and eBay added or expanded their live-shopping features. For Prime Day, Amazon recruited celebrities like Kevin Hart to promote its Amazon Live platform. Shein was an early adopter when it began Shein Live in 2016 for U.S. shoppers. It started with just a few hundred viewers per episode and now averages “hundreds of thousands of viewers per episode,” said George Chiao, Shein’s U.S. president, in a statement.

“There’s just an insane level of excitement that we have seen,” said Manish Chandra, the CEO of Poshmark, at the rooftop event. “In a very few short months, they’re proving that this form of live shopping works,” he added, referring to Posh Shows sellers like Lazovic.

As Big Tech and major retailers work to gain a foothold in live shopping, startups like Whatnot and Ntwrk are touting their tight-knit customer communities as a blueprint for live shopping in the United States. Investors poured more than $380 million into livestream e-commerce companies in the United States last year, up from $36 million in 2020, according to PitchBook.

“We believe shopping is not just about transaction. It’s about experience,” said Liyia Wu, CEO and founder of the live-shopping startup ShopShops. Live shopping can simulate “an offline shopping experience online,” she added.

ShopShops in 2021 began focusing on American consumers instead of Chinese ones because it saw more opportunity in the U.S. retail market, Wu said. Because big players haven’t yet defined live shopping in the United States, ShopShops and other newcomers could “build the overall behavior,” she added.

For some viewers, live shopping has taken the place of malls and morning cable shows. AJ Johnson, a lifestyle blogger in Scottsdale, Arizona, watches livestreams on ShopShops most days of the week, but her favorite show streams at 6 a.m. on Wednesdays.

The app is more than a place to shop for clothing and jewelry, she said. Johnson, 36, has found entertainment and community on ShopShops through talking to hosts and other shoppers about their lives.

“Some people play video games. I just watch livestream shopping,” Johnson said. “It’s like an escape.”

But live shopping faces stiff competition in the United States, where linear TV, streaming channels and social media also vie for consumers’ attention and money. Last year, 78% of American adults said they had never participated in a live-shopping event, according to a survey by Morning Consult.

Some U.S. companies have already backed out of live shopping. Meta made a major push into e-commerce at the beginning of the pandemic but shut down Instagram’s live-shopping feature this March and Facebook’s in October.

Other companies are making much slower entrances into live shopping. Since November, TikTok has been testing its live-shopping tool, TikTok Shop, in the United States. It is betting that users will stay on TikTok to watch merchants — both big brands like the beauty line e.l.f. and the California apparel company PacSun, as well as small business owners — share their products and then purchase the goods through the app.

But the rollout of TikTok Shop has dragged in the United States. The feature has been available in parts of Southeast Asia for more than a year, and Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, has offered live shopping since 2018.

In the United States, TikTok is facing intense criticism from lawmakers and regulators. More than two dozens states have banned the app on government devices. And in April, Montana legislators approved a bill to block TikTok in the state, a first-of-its-kind prohibition.

TikTok declined to say when TikTok Shop would become widely available in the United States.

 

live shopping Manish Chandra, the chief executive of Poshmark in Redwood Shores, Calif. The market for selling goods in real time online is relatively small, but a number of start-ups and big tech names are betting American consumers will catch on. (Jason Henry/The New York Times)

Companies have taken different approaches to working with hosts. On Poshmark, anyone with an account can sell items from their closets. Other platforms work directly with the merchants, as is the case with Amazon, which uses celebrities and influencers to sell a variety of products, like printers and kitchenware.

Companies will need to teach hosts how to clinch sales and speak directly to shoppers — a worthwhile investment, especially for the hosts, said Deborah Weinswig, founder of Coresight Research. In China, companies originally hired sellers to boost particular brands. Those sellers then went on to build their own audiences, drawing shoppers and eventually gaining enough agency to choose their own products and brands.

“The biggest misunderstanding was that celebrities were who were going to be driving this industry,” Weinswig said. “That’s why I think we in the U.S. got derailed, because you being a celebrity or you being a creator — you are not necessarily going to be a good host.”

Posh Shows isn’t focused on celebrity hosts. Instead, anyone with a Poshmark account can go live — including Alex Mahl, who works full time at an attorney’s office and streams live on Posh Shows for hours after work.

ALSO READ | This festive season, let your digital avatar do live shopping for you

Mahl, 26, spends about 40 hours a week on her side hustle, including hours of prepping mostly Lululemon clothes to sell and uploading photos of them to the Poshmark app, where viewers can see the items throughout the show. She had sold more than $50,000 worth of inventory by early May and estimates that she will earn $200,000 in sales by the end of the year.

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