Homemade hair masks always work wonder ! Isn’t it?
Not everyone’s blessed with healthy and thick hair. It takes a mountain to maintain and grow thick and beautiful hair. More like a stubborn little puppy, you constantly have to take care of your hair. Leave it unattended for a few days, and you can’t imagine the mess you will have to sort out later. Whether it is summer or winter, a happy or a stressful day at work, your hair needs constant care and attention.
Regardless of whether your hair has been damaged by the harsh weather, hair styling, cosmetic products, or stress, frizzy-dull hair and breakage is something that practically every one of us goes through.
Moreover, poor diet and inadequate intake of fluids garnish the otherwise grim condition of one’s hair. If you are someone struggling with hair loss or dry and rough hair, you might want to incorporate these organic, effortless, and effective hair mask ideas into your routine that will not just repair your dry and damaged hair but will also help to grow your hair.
Fenugreek Hair Mask
Mostly used in a variety of culinary, fenugreek is also known for its myriad health benefits. Fenugreek is a rich source of iron and protein, the two important nutrients responsible for hair growth.
Grind it to a fine paste the next morning. Add the 1/2 cup aloe vera extract and coconut oil and put it in the blender and mix well. I use Honey and Spice’s pure cold-pressed aloe vera gel.
Beat ½ cup yogurt until no lumps are there.
Now mix well with the fenugreek and aloe vera mixture until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. You can also beat the yogurt and pour it into the blender for a final mix.
Apply from your roots to tip. Make sure to apply sufficiently on the scalp.
Wash off with normal water after an hour.
Apply shampoo the next day.
Henna Hair Mask
Henna is known as an elixir for one’s hair. Even ancient Ayurveda has documented pages of the effectiveness of henna. Aside from providing a beautiful tint to one’s hair, henna also conditions one’s hair and makes them soft and smooth.
1 packet Henna (or as per the length of your hair)
1 cup Yogurt
2-3 tbsp Castor oil
Mix the required quantity of henna powder with warm water in a large bowl and leave it overnight. Don’t make the concoction too slurry as you will have to add the other ingredients.
Beat the yogurt until smooth. Beat 2-3 eggs and mix with the yogurt.
Add 2-3 tbsp of castor oil into the mixture and mix well.
Now pour all the ingredients into the henna mixture and mix well. Check that no lumps are formed.
Apply all over your hair and let it sit for 1-3 hours. If you want a rich brown tint, keep it for 3 hours, otherwise, an hour is enough.
Wash off with normal water.
You can either wash off your hair using a mild shampoo or wash off with normal water and go for an overnight oil massage and then shampoo, as usual, the next morning.
Fenugreek and Black Seed Mask
Black seed or nigella or black cumin is known for its multiple health benefits. It helps aid conditions ranging from asthma, inflammation, cholesterol, eczema, acne, psoriasis, and so forth. The active compound present in black seed called thymoquinone has shown potential results in protecting the body from inflammation and other related issues. An anti-oxidant, it also helps address problems of the scalp like dandruff and promotes hair growth.
½ cup Fenugreek seeds
½ cup Black or nigella seeds
1 tbsp Coconut oil
½ cup Fresh aloe vera gel
½ cup Yogurt
Grind fenugreek and nigella seeds to a fine powder. Now, transfer the powder into a large mixing bowl.
In another bowl, beat the yogurt to a smooth texture and add the extracted aloe vera gel and coconut oil and mix well.
Now, pour the mixture into the powder and mix until it is lump-free and smooth.
Apply this mixture onto your scalp and hair and leave it on for an hour or two.
Wash off and shampoo as usual.
For best results, stick to any of these for a few months. You can try this once a week to start noticing a difference. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, it is advisable to perform a patch test before use.
Try these and let me know if they worked wonders on you. Have a beautiful hair day!
Accessories within an accessory! Isn’t it just fascinating? Yes, Zouk’s bags are all about spacious compartments, elegance, and sturdiness.
Women, over time, have evolved with their possessions. They have become more precise and strident with their choices. Be it their life decisions or petty preferences, the color or quality of a particular product, they are much oriented than before.
You will hardly come across a woman who hasn’t matched her outfit with her accessories or paired her perfectly manicured nails with her jewelry. From their floral scrunchies to their motif handbags and plaid footwear, they cherish every belonging with pride.
Conversely, with several prominent brands rolling in the market, there’s a gamut of options to embrace. While some may prefer contemporary quirky designs and colors, some may find classic patterns and shapes intriguing. There’s a sea of choices to favor. In any case, it has become a challenge for brands to meet the expectations and demands of their target group.
However, Zouk’s timeless bags are unmatchable beauties. For the trendsetter woman, Zouk’s collection, ranging from pretty slings, backpacks, tote, office bags, laptop, and handbags are an absolute muse. Read on!
Zouk’s bags- the perfect piece to adorn any occasion
Create that seamless statement with the varied flo motif, Mughal motif, or abstract patterned bags that are just perfect to dazzle any occasion. Stylish yet affordable, the handbags give an absolute experience to express yourself amid the crowd.
Moreover, the bags are designed keeping in mind one’s daily convenience. So, don’t worry if you have to carry your beauty essentials, sanitizer, extra masks, wipes, chocolates, and more to the parties or office meetings. Zouk holds it all.
What the modern women prefer vs what do Zouk offer
Accessories within an accessory! Isn’t it just fascinating?
Gone are those days when women looked out for just bags to carry their essentials. Now, they lookout for a number of aspects. Of course, everyone loves pockets in their dresses and a lot more pockets and compartments in their bags!
From being the trendy pick to incorporating all the key features like being spacious, lightweight, sturdy handles, pretty designs, and having generous pockets, Zouk is simply the best choice for anyone who is looking to invest in a good handbag.
And more for the office goers
Most women spend their time out of home or in the office. Accordingly, a bag that is functional, sturdy, as well as elegant is something women always hunt for. This flo motif laptop bag comes with a detachable strap which makes it versatile. The padded laptop compartment inside along with front, back, and inbuilt pockets make it an ideal laptop bag, office bag, messenger bag, and daily use bag.
More about Zouk’s bags
Talking about sturdiness, Zouk’s bags are made of 100% vegan leather. That is, they are PETA-approved, completely cruelty-free, and responsible. So, when you are grabbing affordable handbags online from Zouk, you are buying ethically manufactured products that hurt no one.
Luxury to fast fashion, the trend of chicest handbags is bucking up. And Zouk, with its high-end styles in vogue, is reveling in all the attention. After all, won’t you cheer for a bag that holds your big club sandwich, a laptop, your scribble notepads, all your skin essentials, and also that pair of extra sleepwear for your weekend sleepover plan with your bestie!?
Every woman dream of impeccable, glowing, and beautiful skin. But following a regular skincare routine might sound frantic for some. The eventful schedules and demanding lifestyle often push one to miss out on their skincare routine at times. And because of such improper cleansing, dust particles, dirt, and makeup that remain trapped, further lead to buildups, resulting in acne, dry, rough, and dull skin.
However, the problem becomes severe during summertime. With more accumulation of dirt and oil underneath our skin, acne breakouts and rashes are likely to crop up.
Subsequently, I tried intervening in why people tend to skip a skincare regime. And surprisingly, these are some of the reasons that I received:
They are too lazy for a skincare routine
They don’t have time
They never felt the need to invest time in one
Skincare products are expensive
Harmful chemicals present in the cosmetics may damage their skin more
Considering these facts here’s an easy and effective skincare routine that’s not just affordable but also effective for treating and healing skin damages:
Step 1: Clean the pores
Use a mild cleanser to clean up the pores. A gentle cream cleanser or oil-based cleanser works well, however, you can also use a chemical-free face wash. Splash some water on your face and take the required amount of face wash onto your palm. Apply on your face and neck and lather well. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
Step 2: Scrub those dead cells out
Exfoliation is essential to scrape those dead flaky cells, deeply penetrated dirt, dust, and other pollutants that cause skin damage. Being an ardent fan of organic skincare essentials, I always check for the ingredients before making a purchase. This Hawaiian Mud and Seaweed Scrub from Myra Veda is one such product I can totally rely on when it comes to skincare.
Appropriate for all types of skin, this mild scrub not just exfoliates those dead skin cells but also leaves a refreshing effect on the skin. All thanks to the ingredients! Aside from its mind-calming fragrance, the goodness of shea butter, cocoa butter, olives, and camellia leaf gives rich nourishment to your skin.
Direction to use: Dampen your face and squeeze out the required amount of scrub. Massage gently in a circular motion, using upward strokes at times. You can also leave it on for 2-15 minutes as a mask (this is entirely optional). Dab a soft cotton cloth in warm water and rinse off gradually.
Step 3: A clay pack to heal
I believe in clay masks more than any other masks (although I try all of them). Mainly because I was introduced to clay and sandalwood packs during my teenage years and those worked wonders on my acne issues then. However, it’s been a long I haven’t come across a good clay pack. But this Amazonian Clay from Egypt seemed like a good investment.
Sourced from the mouth of the Amazon River, it helps absorb excess oil, eliminate toxins, and reduces visible pores. The soft and fine texture of the clay will leave a radiant impression on to your skin.
Direction to use: Scoop out 2-3 spoons of Myra Veda Amazonian Clay from Egypt on a glass bowl. Mix it with Myra Veda Pure Rose Water to form a smooth paste. You can also use it with yogurt, milk, honey, or other ingredients. Apply all over your neck and face. Let it dry for 5-10 minutes and rinse off. Pat dry using a soft towel.
Step 4: Tone up the pores
A toner is a must-have in a skincare routine. Wondering why? It is because once you wash your face or clean up the pores, the pH balance of the skin shudder. To restore the balance, it is imperative to use a good toner right after cleaning the face.
For toner, I always prefer rose water and Myra Veda’s Pure Rose Water has been my favorite. Unlike most commercial brand’s rose water/toner it is not mixed with any synthetic chemicals like propylene glycol and other preservatives but contains 100% pure and natural rose water. You can get visible results within days of using this product religiously.
Direction to use: Spray Myra Veda’s Pure Rose Water onto your face directly or spray on a cotton ball and apply all over your face and neck.
Step 5: Moisturize
The final step- moisturize. Yes, never ever leave out this step from the routine. Moisturizing helps nourish and protect your skin and prevent further breakouts and wrinkles. Invest in a light non-greasy moisturizer that best matches your skin.
I hope this skincare routine is effective in ensuring the overall health of your skin and make you glow.
Don’t forget to check out Myra Veda’s range of skin and hair care products at https://www.myravedaluxury.com
Don’t let summer skin rashes pull you down. This easy home remedy will help you glow once again!
The days of juicy mangoes and watermelon mojitos are here. Also, the days of acne breakouts, rashes, tan, and burns too are here. Summer and skin have always been in a constant cold war. No wonder how tough you hold on to a summer skincare routine, an inevitable ugly-looking pimple will pop out to smirk at you.
For the ones with oily skin, oh! I understand the pain completely. The hot and humid days with less clothes and least skincare products not just take a toll on our skin but also to our pockets. Investing on high SPF sunscreens to a range of cosmetic products, with a only to aggravate the conditions.
While summer has changed a bit since last year with frequent lockdowns, curfews, work from home, and limited exposure to outdoors, its impact on our skin too has altered. I never had so much issues with my summer skin. But after days of staying indoors and barely exposing myself to the sun and the open air, my skin began to sense the outside environment alien. Even for few hours if I am out in the heat these days, I develop rashes and acne breakouts on my face. And of course, how can I miss out those adamant prickly heat that refuses to go away!
Finally, after trying different summer skincare products and tested ways to handle distressing summer skin, I have come up with a remedy that might work wonders on your problems too.
Shoo those prickly problems with this summer rashes home remedy
Rashes that are prickly, itchy, and with a burning sensation are quite common during summer. A heat rash occurs mainly due to sweat pores that are blocked by dirt, creams, or other particles. However, for some, rashes don’t need an invitation from blocked pores. They can just arrive at any time. Sensitive skin however is more prone to catch rashes.
If you notice any prickly rashes on your skin, this easy-peasy home remedy will help soothe your skin from irritation and provide a cooling effect.
Things you will need:
Pure aloe vera gel – Fresh or store-bought (I use Honey and Spice’s Pure aloe vera gel for all my aloe vera requirements)
Peppermint essential oil
Lavender essential oil
If you are using store-bought aloe vera gel, scoop out the required portion of the gel in a glass bowl. Or you can scrape out the gel from a leaf.
Add 2-3 drops of peppermint and lavender essential oil.
Mix well and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Clean the affected areas and apply all over.
Massage gently for 1-2 minutes.
For best results, use this 3-4 times a day.
You can directly apply aloe vera gel but adding the essential oils provide a calming effect to the affected areas and help to heal faster. I have tried applying aloe gel from the plant directly on the skin after cooling for some time. It did help in minimizing the effect but took me a week time to repair my skin. On the other hand, applying with the essential oils did the job faster, within 2-3 days. However, this may vary from skin to skin.
You can use tea tree oil as an alternative. This essential oil also has skin calming properties.
As the mercury rises, we tend to deplete more electrolytes and water from our body. Thus, it becomes imperative to drink more water and keep ourselves hydrated and less fatigued. Eating nutrient-rich foods and juicy fruits like watermelon, oranges, berries, sweet lime, pomegranate, etc. during summer is another way to keep the skin healthy and glowing.
Don’t forget to let me know if this method works on your skin.
If you are looking for pretty hangings, vivid curtains, folk and tribal art pieces, aromatic fragrances to keep your home delightful, and with more options on your list, then ITOKRI is the place you should check out. Not just that this platform also embraces apparel, pieces of jewelry, footwear, stationaries, personal and body care, and an array of accessories.
ITOKRI celebrates the diversity of Indian trades. Artisans and entrepreneurs ranging from small to medium and emerging finds their place in this platform.
This space also nurtures ancient art forms and traditional crafts that we seldom find in today’s times. From tribal, modern, heritage, to crafts from across the nation, one can find it all under one roof.
ITOKRI for all your home decor needs
This is my first experience with ITOKRI. What caught my attention is the newspaper-wrapped box that contained my ordered products. As I tear the wrapper, there was another surprise. A beautiful handmade paper box cuddled my products.
Tryst with personal care products
If you are someone who loves to enter a sweet-smelling bathroom, you won’t need any additional fragrances to make it more aromatic. The sweet floral scents from the soaps, shampoo, and body wash will seal your bathroom with pleasant vibes throughout. Ah! And also, you!
Prepared using ayurvedic techniques, these products are free from harsh chemicals and ingredients that deteriorate one’s skin. The products contain pure essential oils, almond oil, wheat germ oil, herbs and botanicals, papaya enzyme, and the highest quality organic aloe vera to give a refreshing bathing experience.
The aroma that fills your home with happy vibes
Conjure up the right atmosphere with incense sticks and cones. With a lingering aura of rose, musk, amber, and other fragrances, fill your home with pleasant notes without a hint of overpowering.
Light up your little spaces
Illuminate the cozy corners of your room with fragrant candles. These perfumed clay pots and floating candles are individually and carefully hand poured before pressing the dried florals.
Gift sets for all occasions
Check out https://www.itokri.com/ for more products.
Not confident with your bikini body? Don’t worry! LYRA got you covered.
With summer knocking on everyone’s doors, it’s time to prep up the wardrobe with adorable pairs of swimsuits, bikinis, shorts, tanks, and all the vibrant flowy dresses. But for someone who dresses modestly, it often becomes a tough task to opt for swimwear that visibly exposes parts of their body. The bathing suit anxiety often takes a toll on women, crushing them with low self-esteem.
As women we know how difficult it is to stay head high and confident when we are not comfortable in our own skin and dress. Feeling apprehensive about wearing a bikini or exposing swimwear is common for most women. Whilst some women overcome their summer body anxiety, for some, it remains a never-ending struggle. They tend to miss out all the fun, fretting over their beach bodies.
Here’s a collection of gorgeous and sexy yet modest collection of swimwear that will leave you celebrating every summer instead of hiding indoors with bewilderment.
Pretty in pastel:
This pastel collection is truly stunning. The soft hues of green, pink, coral, etc. makes the collection an irresistible pick to celebrate the summer blissfully outdoors.
Bright and bold with patterns:
With a keen eye on style, this collection is a muse. From feeling good to looking good, this collection of swimwear holds every attribute to make one stand out. The classic colors are an elegant match with its minimal design to enhance the summer glow. Pair it with a sleek high-bun and you are all set to scream glam.
For plus-size women:
Now feel beautiful without compromising on coverage! Express your body confidently with this plus-size collection that’s precisely crafted keeping in mind the style quotient. Keep aside your self-doubts and insecurities and get swim body-ready with this plus-size collection.
LYRA is created through a woman’s struggle to find swimwear that’s modest, makes her feel comfortable and confident, and matches her lifestyle. For someone who loves to dress modestly and also loves outdoor, swimming, and keeping herself fit, it becomes demanding to meet every expectation, ultimately ending up compromising with one thing or the other. This is how LYRA is born; out of Ikram Zein’s enthusiasm to incorporate modesty, style, elegance, and passion.
After a year of working on ideas, designs, and more, Ikram was finally confident to launch her collection in December 2016. LYRA has all the elegance of classic Hollywood, Moroccan beach cool, and minimalist design. The swimsuits are made from light weight, fast dry, premium quality Italian Carvico fabric with high UV protection and can be bought as a full set, or separates, including a chic turban style head covering leggings, and long line, long sleeve tops, that can create the fit and cover as per one’s wish.
The swimwear collection has also been showcased at London Modest Fashion Week. The LYRA brand appreciates that every woman is different, has a sense of what she feels comfortable in, but doesn’t want to compromise on look or feel good. Be it lounging by a poolside, kicking it on the beach, or going for a swim. LYRA looks to reflect the beliefs and values of women from all walks of life.
When choosing our apparel or ordering our bespoke garments, don’t we ensure the fabric and color that we have picked is pairing well and right with our body tone, the occasion, and the season?
Of course, nobody would like to wear a Banarasi silk saree to the beach (Or will you?). Choosing the right fabric and color for any occasion is as important as choosing the right food for your body.
Envisaged your dress? Now what?
The kind of fabric you choose determines your overall appearance. You must have visualized your dress- whether it is going to be layered, body-hugging, or loose fit; short, midi, or a flowing gown; whether it is going to be a floral, checked, or solid colored; a silk chiffon, organza, or a sequined one?
Nonetheless, to settle with your desired design, choosing the right fabricstands first in the list of priorities. Another significant point to remember is to choose the color based on one’s skin tone. Your skin tone and the color you choose should complement each other and must in no way make you look bugged out.
Choosing your fabric and color scheme according to season
Now that you have envisioned your dress and the color, it’s time to stock up the fabric. Since summer is round the corner and is going put down its roots for a few more months, humidity, sweat, and exhaustion are likely to walk hand in hand. But then, summer is also the time to experiment with the myriad hues and palettes you had been storing in your mind. And attending parties with heaps of makeups and dresses sounds like a real tough play.
Oddly, for someone like me who has accepted a cotton or a viscose tee and baggy pair of pants as her soulmate for all seasons, it’s an insanely demanding load even to think of draping a saree or putting on a gown.
Oh! If you are like me, don’t sweat! Here is how you can choose your fabric and look ravishing, even in summers.
Slay with satin
Satin is a smooth sheen weave that is popularly used to make blouses, shirts, skirts, gowns, lingerie, jackets, scarves, ties, beddings, curtains, and ballet shoes.
And this bumblebee yellow and green patterned Japan satin fabric can be a great choice for a blouson top or a high low dress or for a kimono dress to take over your summer look. Thanks to it shimmery fabric!
The lustre and sheerness of this fabric, as you glide on, will undoubtedly make you catch eyes even with a blanched makeup. But hey, dab on some pretty bold colors to highlight your lips and steal the show.
Rise with rayon
This super soft rayon fabric with rich and elegant design is definitely going to be a win-win for shawls, scarves, sarees, lingerie, suits, trousers, dresses, tops, and bottoms.
With better absorbing power than cotton, this textile has all the attributes to run the show for your summer needs. You can go for wide-legged or flared pants, a box pleated, or a long wrap skirt and match with your favorite pair of sandals.
What I love about this lustrous fabric are its dainty floral patterns that is an ideal choice for summer parties. Be it a cocktail or a wedding party, the sheerness of the shades is pure gorgeous to admire. Regardless of a daytime or night celebration, this breathable fabric and design will catch eyeballs.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match with bold solid colors and some cool bling-tassel accessories.
What is Fabcurate
Fabcurate is a community of designers who believe in creating glorious art out of fabric. The community explores towns, streets, and villages to curate the best fabrics for their creation that never compromise on quality or the design of the fabric. The artisans are fully trained and empowered to create crafts like Kalamkari, Ikat, Ajrakh, Indigo, Tie & Dye, Dabu, Shibori, Banarasi, Bandhani, Batik, etc. which reflect the royal Indian culture.
Besides, one can spot a range of prints and designs ideally devised for kids, specific occasions, parties, or regular wear on their website. In fact, Fabcurate is the solution for all your fabric confusions- right from the choice of patterns to its reasonable rates.
Moreover, unlike other platforms where you have to stick to a minimum order value or quantity to place your order, here, you have the freedom to choose and pick your design and quantity according to your choice. Be it a thousand meters fabric or just one, you can fulfil your need without any terms and conditions.
Now upgrade your wardrobe without any hitch.
Check out www.fabcurate.com for an extensive collection of fabrics, textures, and designs.
“ExclusiveLane’s tribal jewelry pieces are a muse that you cannot refuse.”
Jewelry is a woman’s best friend. She may not be enticed by places, food, or even makeup among other things, but “I have enough jewelry,” said no women ever. Not just does a piece of jewelry represent femininity or social status, it also helps a woman feel confident. It is her prized possession.
A pretty dress and a matching pair of footwear may make one beautiful but doesn’t a piece of jewelry add instant magic to her overall look? Be it a wedding day, a cocktail dinner, or just a random day at the office, a pair of earrings or just a pretty little neckpiece always pep up the look.
Stumbling upon ExclusiveLane’s jewelry collection
Every woman has their own distinct preferences in jewelry. While some like to keep it simple and chic with minimal bling, some like to adorn heavy jewelry pieces studded with precious gemstones or traditional motifs and designs.
But for someone like me, there’s another branch of preference called “adorning based on mood.” Somedays I would accessorize myself like I am going to Cannes; other times, it is just a plain, dull look with no makeup or accessories, just an exhausted pigeon who jumped out of bed. But amid the several moods, there has never been one where I resisted myself from buying jewelry. I may not wear some of the accessories that I own in this lifetime. Nonetheless, adding them to my collection has always fancied me more than wearing them.
As I was browsing to add a few new trinkets and bling to my treasure box, I happen to brush past some of ExclusiveLane’s tribal jewelry collection. Here are some classic pieces that bewitched me and I am pretty sure you too will love to adorn them for any of your occasions (or just add them to your collection):
“Tribal Queen Beaded” Bohemian Brass Necklace Handcrafted in Dhokra Art (Matinee):
This piece of necklace is a stunner. I love how the colors, the design, and the materials used here balance each other comely. This pretty piece depicts “The Tribal Queen Beaded,” from the collection “The Relics of Mohenjo-Daro.”
Alongside the tint of brown, the color blue is absorbing me more. Of course, I have a fondness for blue but there’s more than just the colors that this neckpiece holds; it’s the amalgamation of materials, the pattern, and the finest work of craftsmanship. What actually grabs one’s interest toward this exquisite tribal piece is its graceful Dhokra Art design that is crafted by precise hands. Besides, the subtleness of the combination of colors is truly enthralling.
Usage: If you want to add a dash of vibrancy or a bold mood to your peaky look, this neckpiece is sure to amaze you. It will go great with any minimally designed top or tunic, a neutral solid or pastel colored saree or salwar, and will even jazz up your “confused to wear which” accessories day.
Price: Rs. 1375
Tribal Beauties” Bohemain Brass Earrings Handcrafted in Dhokra Art:
There’s not a single reason to not fall in love with this timeless beauty. Adding an antique not just enhances the look but also makes the one wearing it stand out from the rest.
This “Tribal Beauties” from the collection “The Relics of Mohenjo-Daro” is another charming piece from ExclusiveLane. What blew me is its aesthetic and subtle work of art.
Usage: This muse is something that will pair perfectly with any look. Add it to your “everyday wear” collection or raise a subtle yet richness to define a heavily embellished saree or lehenga look.
Price: Rs. 595
A brief about ExclusiveLane
ExclusiveLane is born out of love for handicraft products. The company is desirous to handpicked the finest products from rural artisans from different parts of India. Exhibiting diversity, heritage, and authentic products to urban consumers thereby preserving traditional art has been their prime motive.
The company is headed up with the solemn goal to provide economic upliftment of the artisans that are involved in preserving the heritage of the handicrafts industry in India.
What’s more in store
Apart from their exquisite jewelries in focus, ExclusiveLane also houses a range of marvelous collections from dining, home décor, pots and planters, lamps, diffusers, to more. Check out their handcrafted designs at www.exclusivelane.com
One of the influential guitarists of Northeast India, Amborish Saikia, who comes from a family of musicians and artists, is known for his quirky taste in music. His deep connection with music and passion for his work, in due course, introduced him to success and fame in quite a short period.
Saikia, who began learning music since he was in class 5, now plays as a lead guitarist for the renowned pop band of India, Euphoria, besides teaming up with other popular bollywood names like KK, Ankit Tiwari, Divya Kumar, etc.
The musician travels to many places and learns new things every day. In fact, he describes each day of his life filled with adventures and stories.
While one can visualize a guitarist as an alpha male (or female), with an extrovert nature, and loud, Amborish is quite the opposite. He is an introvert who is also poised, thoughtful and is highly disciplined and punctual. And apart from music, he also takes an interest in driving and swimming.
Explore Saikia’s journey with music in this interview where he also discusses his personal life and interests:
How was your childhood like? Would you like to take us to those glorious days of yours? How did you get inclined toward music?
Well, my childhood was alike any other middle-class boy. I used to be quite an obedient child at school doing fairly well in my studies. I also had a penchant for outdoor activities. Besides the guitar, I learned swimming, karate, table tennis, etc. And like any guy of my age, cricket was of course a sport that I enjoyed playing with my friends, the whole day.
Music has always been an integral part of my life. Most of my family members are deeply into music. They either sing or play an instrument; or if that’s not the case, then an ardent follower of good music. This subsequently helped me to understand the concept of music and take it as a profession.
Do you have a musical background? How would you describe your family members’ musical interests and abilities?
Yes, I have a musical background. My father used to play the Tabla and the Mouth Organ, while my mother used to play the Mandolin and sing, and my Grandmother was an All India Radio artist. Most of my family members play an instrument or is a singer. Although everyone couldn’t take it up as a profession yet some who choose it, are well known in Assam.
Why did you choose this career? Do you have someone in particular who inspired you a lot in choosing your career?
I picked up the instrument when I was probably in my 5thstandard. So, I really can’t say who influenced me back then. (Haha). But yes, my mother was the main reason I started learning the guitar. She always insisted that I must learn it.
And apart from my mother, I have been inspired by many people in my musical journey till now. I must mention that one’s taste toward music changes with time, and you gradually start exploring new and different genres. Back then, I was influenced mostly by classic rock guitarists like Ritchie Blackmore and Van Halen. Gradually, I started developing an interest in Blues, Jazz, Funk, Country, Rock n Roll, and even Electronic. Music is such a vast and deep subject that there is no end to it. Even a lifetime is too little to understand a half of it. So, my list of influencers will go on and on with time.
When did you realize that you wanted to opt for music as your career?
I was unsure whether to take up music as my profession until I got the major break to join the band Euphoria in 2010. I shifted to New Delhi and from then onward, my life has changed tremendously.
When did you start playing music professionally?
I have always been involved in cultural events during my school days and also formed my first rock band in school. Since then, I went on to form my first professional band when I was in class 10 by the name Voodoo Child. During my graduation time I formed a funk rock band called Casino Blue and joined an all India rock competition where we won the contest. This was the moment when we got the opportunity to perform as opening artists for International bands like Megadeth and Machinehead.
And talking about International bands, Smokie was also a band that we have opened for when they came to India. This was with my band Mo & The Shooting Stars, which is more of a Rock Fusion band from Guwahati.
Oftentimes, like poetry, music, too is embedded with untold emotions and interpretations. Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Every song has a message attached to it and till now I have played and arranged many as such. One song I can recall was about a girl and her friend who was molested in their childhood and how her friend ends up taking her own life. The song is called “Someone You Know” by Late Too Soon.
Another song I have been involved is “Kabootar” by Euphoria which is about how our minds can be our best friend and worst enemy at the same time. Being alone and stuck inside the game of life only to realize that life is playing with us.
Another Assamese song by the name “Jajabori” with Rishi Bora which was featured in the much reclaimed Assamese movie Aamis, talks about time and how it is vagabond. So, there are many such songs which has a deep hidden meaning in itself.
Which instruments do you play? Do you remember the first tune that you learned?
I am a guitar player but I also play the keyboards for recording and arrangement purposes. I really can’t recall that (laughs), I am sorry. Though “Holiday” by Scorpions comes to my mind as I remember playing it a lot during my early days.
How many hours do you practice? Do you collaborate with other musicians?
Well, I can’t really say that as I have not set any timings for that. I sometimes play the guitar as long as I feel like or the keyboards a little or get busy making or creating music.
As a freelancer I get the opportunity to perform and interact with different musicians. So, besides playing with Euphoria, I also play with Bollywood singer KK and have performed with other singers from the industry like Papon, Divya Kumar, Ankit Tiwari, Asees Kaur, Payal dev and Aditya Dev, Meghna Mishra, Ritu Pathak, Abhijeet Sawant, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Kshitij Tarey, and so forth.
I am always open to collaborate and learn from different musicians. I believe, we need to grow and absorb whatever comes in our way with a good spirit.
What is your favorite part of this line of work? Or probably your least favorite?
Haha. The favorite part of my work is I am doing what I love to do in my life, i.e., music. To get love and respect in abundance from people, travel around the world, and meet new faces every day, is something that I always wanted in my life. And who would not want that?
Like any other artist, I am sure you too deal with performance anxiety? How do you deal with it?
The fear of getting my task wrong has always been there with me many times. When you are working on a National level there is little or no room for mistakes and I would have to admit that I do have a rush just before getting on stage.
Who’s your favorite musician or name a musician you admire the most and why.
While the list is really long, I would like to name a few artists who have really influenced me in my musical career. These include JJ Cale, Lee Ritenour, Frank Gambale, John Mayer, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Jason Mraz, Yanni, Jeff Golub, Allen Hinds, Jeff Beck, and Scott Henderson.
How were your struggle like? I am sure you must have had a long one?
I was quite fortunate enough to take up music as a profession because of my parents and my family. They always encouraged me. I even remember doing live shows in between my final exams.
There are continuous struggles in this profession. Following the passion and earning through it is the biggest struggle. Moreover, our society is always curious to know what do you do besides music and that’s a question I am sure every artist or musician faces at least once in their lifetime
My real struggle started after getting into the national band Euphoria which taught me the real professionalism, punctuality, and showmanship (since I am quite an introvert). However, Polly da (Palash Sen) and the band taught me a lot of things just like their brother and contributed to what I am today.
A big struggle began when I moved to Mumbai recently. There is no dearth of talent there and the competition level is unimaginable. There are high levels of insecurity among artists and for a new entrant, it is arduous to get assimilated. To integrate is a task and a constant struggle. However, I am fortunate enough that within a short span, I have performed with various popular artists of the industry. What kept me going during this struggle is perseverance, patience and belief in myself, faith in God, and the support of my wife Tasha and my friends and family.
What are the three good qualities you have in you?
I am calm, judicious, and hardworking. Also, the fact that I believed in myself and took up the challenge and completed my MBA from IMT Ghaziabad. I still remember touring with a book and studying at hotels and aircraft’s and going for shows and recording sessions during my examination breaks. So, I think I have another good quality of completing what I take up with immense determination.
Have you worked for any labels?
Yes, I have worked with Universal and Times Music.
How do you perform in public? In particular, can you tell us how do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I have performed a lot of public shows with crowds ranging from 30,000 to a lakh. The stage is the place where I deliver my best, no matter how many spectators I have. The moment I get on stage, I could think of nothing but just do my job.
We are all humans and error at times is inevitable. Of course, I too jump into mistakes at times. But it is imperative to move on. Because if you keep on reflecting and regretting the past mistakes, there is a high probability of ruining the entire show.
How do you balance your music with other obligations such as your job, family time, or other things?
Music is my full-time job. Because we do not have fixed working hours, it becomes a little taxing to manage normal routine life, but then life itself is all about balance. If you wish then you can always take out time for yourself and your family. One should not be so selfish thinking just about himself or herself all the time.
What’s your favorite genre of music?
There is no such favorite genre of mine. I love to explore and listen to all kinds of music starting from Blues to Jazz to Country to Rock n Roll as well as from Techno to Pop.
What is that one song you can listen to all day long and still not get bored?
It is Texas Sun by Khruangbin and Leon Bridges.
What do you believe are some of the main attributes to become a good musician?
There are many factors involved. Practice, determination, honesty, and intelligence to name a few. One must forego his or her ego to be successful in life. Practically, you need to be smart enough to know what to implement and when.
Musicians or music are often associated or said to have a connection with drugs. What do you have to say about this?
Honestly, I really do not believe in that. Till now, I have not met any such musician who is really into drugs to create music. As a matter of fact, many people consume it who belongs to different professions but only musicians are being blamed which is really sad. This attitude must change.
What would you like to say someone wanting to follow your footsteps?
All that I can say is if you really want to achieve something in life, you need to give full dedication and be honest with yourself. Talent cannot be hidden for long and therefore one has to be patient, hardworking, and believe in their credibility in order to achieve success.
What are your future plans like?
To tell you the truth I don’t have any plans for the future yet. To live at the moment and take things the way they come is all I want to do and to rather stay focused on learning and creating music. But I really hope to make a music album of my own someday and also do charity work for the animals and birds.
How do you plan to revive yourself post lockdown (or the Corona crisis)?
The pandemic has brought certain positive changes in our lives alongside the negative ones. People have started staying at home and spend time with their families and also survive with the bare minimum necessities of life, rediscover themselves, etc. One such good thing I have learned during this time is yoga and meditation.
To be frank, I haven’t decided anything. I just hope and pray things get back to normalcy and we get back to our work. The music industry is one of the worst affected ones and since we as musicians are mainly dependent on live shows, things are really tough and trying for us now. Even after the lockdown ends, we must always be careful and maintain proper safety measures as this virus is not going to leave anytime soon.
You can catch up with Amborish Saikia’s work here:
I can never get enough of cakes. Indeed, baking has proved as the most therapeutic means to manage my anxious mind. Amid all others, baking a date cake and a banana cake seemed stress-free for me; given the fact that I am left with minimal utensils to wash and the cakes turn delectable and fluffy. However, the road to baking a moist and soft old-fashioned healthy date cake consist of not much hard work. Just some great quality dates and brown sugar and the win is all yours.
Ever since I developed this cherished bond with baking aromatic cakes, there’s no stopping. In fact, all the eggs and fruits that my husband brings would go into my cakes or tarts. I love how my fervent desire for cooking (or baking) is molding so perfectly each day. From blazing a cake to ashes to baking that perfectly soft and spongy cake, I have got my hands on precision.
How temperature or material of the vessel affect while baking
And this date cake is the result of weeks of experimenting with temperatures, ingredients, vessels, and techniques. In case of baking, it is imperative to know that every oven has different features and the baking differs from an aluminum to a silicon vessel. So, you need to experiment with your vessels and temperatures of your oven before settling for a perfect spongy cake.
Unlike my other gooey or sticky date cakes, I decided to keep this a bit light, fluffy, and moist at the same time.
Date cake baking temperature may vary depending upon factors like vessels used, materials or size of the cake, etc. For this date cake, I used a rectangular silicon mold and an OTG to bake. I kept the temperature at 185 degrees Celsius for less than 20 minutes.
Here’s the recipe on how to make a perfect date cake, or a date and coffee cake:
Pick a fistful of good quality dates and remove the seeds.
Boil half a glass of water.
Put the dates in the boiling water, stir in between intervals.
Once the water soaks to half, leaving a mushy bottom, add a tablespoon of instant coffee powder.
Stir for about two minutes and remove the pan.
Once cooled, transfer to a food processor and reduce it to a smooth paste. You can also use a few tablespoons of milk if the blend seems too dry.