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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What Keeps Them Going


Happy Independence Day

From 15th August 1947 to 15th August 2018 it’s been a long journey for India. As a nation, we have accomplished many things and failed abundantly too. Today we commemorate the 72nd anniversary of our nation’s Independence and while I can list down a hundred and one things that are wrong in our country, I choose to salute those that are right.

When you fall in love with someone, it’s hard to see their flaws. The soldiers and officers of the Indian Armed Forces love their country and despite all the political power shift, the media portrayal and many other atrocities, they remain, united with a heart of gold and nerves of steel. So this Independence Day I wanted to understand what being a Defence officer means, and what keeps them going when the going gets tough. Their responses will not only inspire us to be stronger but also nudge us to do our bit for the country.

 

Brig Vivek Sharma, VSM (32 yrs of service)

Being an army officer is a matter of great pride for me and it always gives me a sense of achievement to b a part of an elite organization where honor, dignity, comradeship, commitment, dedication, and sacrifice is a way of life. Our organization represents the true essence of our great nation…. we are united in diversity. What keeps me going on in all situations is the sense of pride and the confidence of the men I command. The training in all my academies has taught me that – I CAN. I WILL AND I MUST.

 

Colonel Piyush Sharma (29 yrs of service)

Colonel Piyush Sharma
Being an Army Officer means the world to me. The privilege and pride of having passed out from the Quarter Deck of NDA (National Defence Academy, Pune) and taken the Oath in Chetwode Hall, the honour of having served in one of the finest regiments of our Army with troops who ask for so little and give it their all…what more can one ask for! It’s been a journey of a lifetime. The conditioning at NDA and credo of Commando School Belgaum “Tough time’s don’t last, tough people, do” is what has seen me through some of the darkest days that I have faced.

 

Lt. Col. Kush Kashyap (14 yrs of service)

Lt. Col. Kush Kashyap
Being an army officer inculcates a sense of pride and honor in me because from my childhood I wanted to join the Armed forces. So for me, it’s a dream come true. It also instills a sense of responsibility and comradeship towards my subordinates. I ensure me and my men (fellow soldiers) are a happy team and we work as a team! There is a phrase; when the going gets tough, the tough get going and that has kept me motivated in the toughest of the situation along with the responsibility of leading from the front.

 

Lt. Col Rajput Ravinder Singh (19 yrs of service)

Lt. Col Rajput Ravinder Singh
I feel uniquely blessed to be part of the highest institution of valor, sacrifice, and commitment – The Indian Army. Being a part of this makes me extraordinarily proud and fills me with a deep sense of responsibility and gratitude towards my fellow countrymen. There is no service bigger than being the belief of your loved nation. A sense of responsibility, confidence in training standards, a positive intuitive decision making, fearlessness in execution, an honest introspection, forthrightness in expression, virtuousness in conduct and social amenability is what kept me on my tows leaning forward in handling both professional and personal issues as being an officer. Also, encouragement from colleagues and subordinates provided a base for relentlessness despite some mistakes. As an officer, it gives me an immense pride to have faced some of the unique challenges of leading men through demanding circumstances. Hence it’s a way of life for me and in my every birth, if I may have after this life, I vow to be part of the same organization every time.

 

Col CS Handa (40 yrs of service)

Col CS Handa
Safety, security, and honor of my nation always come first. The honor and welfare of my men that I command comes next. My own comfort, own welfare, and own life will always come last to my ego.

 

Col Praveen Gangawani (20 yrs of service)

Col Praveen Gangawani
I feel very proud to have served in the Indian Army. The value system and discipline that it inculcates makes one a complete human being, a cut above the rest of the countrymen. That is the reason the country looks up to its defense forces for solutions when everything else fails. The capacity to endure acquired during my training in NDA (National Defence Academy, Pune) kept me going during the toughest of times and situations.

 

Brig Rakesh Sharma (33 yrs of service)

Brig Rakesh Sharma
Being an officer means being a custodian of this country, saving her from aggression by external enemies. Thwarting their nefarious designs and punishing them for misadventure. What has always kept me going is the belief that we the Armed Forces are the last option the country has to safeguard its territory. Today, I am the representative of the Indian Army and I am The Indian Army at this moment. The nation looks up to me. I will not allow a single enemy to go across.

 

Brig IJ Singh, SC, SM** (30 yrs of service)

Brig IJ Singh, SC, SM**
Being an Army Officer gives me a high which nothing else can or could have. It’s the love and loyalty of the troops we command which keeps us going in toughest of situations.

 

Maj Ashish Mehta (12 yrs of service)

Maj Ashish Mehta
Being an Army officer is an ethical & professional responsibility that brings me immense pride, self-satisfaction, camaraderie & quality to life among other things. When times have been tough, my team has kept me going. They have been like a family to me, notwithstanding that every few years I move to a new place and have a new team!

 

Commander MK Singh (23 yrs of service)

Commander MK Singh
Being a Fauji & a Naval officer means I am the most fortunate to have the military uniform as my second skin. 1.2 billion Indian hearts beating for us Fauji’s…keeps me going in worst of situations.

 

Capt Tribhuvan Jaiswal (32 yrs of service)

Capt Tribhuvan Jaiswal
It means the world, literally everything – pride, the spirit of do or die, teamwork and a great amount of satisfaction, in being part of a group of people who would not fail the nation come what may. The confidence to deal and face the toughest trials keeps me going. The confidence is the result of initial training, grooming, and camaraderie, that fosters among the uniformed men. The faith on the team and the push from your buddies keep you going come what may.

 

Lt Gen KK Khanna, PVSM, AVSM** (40 yrs of service)

Lt Gen KK Khanna
What does being an Army officer mean to me? It means everything.
Firstly I am proud to be found fit to be an army officer. Secondly, being an army officer I know I have contributed immensely to the Nation in plenty of disturbed areas. When I commanded men I have kept them happy and trained them to do their duty and carry on the high traditions of the services. I am proud to belong to an excellent battalion that is 16 Jat.

 

Col Sumit Rawat (20 yrs of service)

Col Sumit Rawat
Serving in the army means the world to me… It’s now a way of life. Fauj is one big extended family. It takes you places you would never imagine existed in our country, you make new friends some of whom last a lifetime and it takes care of you in the thickest of the problem the ‘Naam aur izzat’ of your paltan keeps you going, the unflinching loyalty of your men and their trust in you keeps you going.

 

Col Subhir Kumar (23 yrs of service)

Col Subhir Kumar
Being an army officer is the best choice I ever made. Training, the support of family, both in Uniform and otherwise always keeps me going in rough times.

 

Cmde N Anil Jose Joseph, VSM (32 yrs of service)

Cmde N Anil Jose Joseph, VSM
To me, the fauj is a calling. It’s my way of life. It’s commitment and dedication to the values of duty, and country enshrined as our values. In tough times the thought of God, Country and family – my near and dear ones keeps me going with one’s responsibilities and duty propping me up.

 

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Happy Independence Day!

JAI HIND.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cerulean Skies


Cerulean Skies

Cerulean Skies Cerulean Skies Cerulean Skies

Cerulean Skies

Cerulean Skies

Cerulean Skies

Jumper: Thrifted | Coat: Shillong | Bag: Hidesign | Juttis: Rajasthan | Photography: Saahil Taksh www.lensthing.com

 

The word ‘cerulean’ takes me back to the trickle-down theory as advocated by Meryl Streep a.k.a Miranda Priestly in the iconic fashion-flick, The Devil Wears Prada. She recited the journey of cerulean blue and how it percolated to the masses after being showcased by different designers on the runway. In her words:

“In 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns, and then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent — wasn’t it? — who showed cerulean military jackets, And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner, where you no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”

 

Meryl Streep GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

While Miranda spoke about the colour cerulean, I’m conversing about cerulean skies, under which —Anything goes! When it comes to fashion, anything goes; when it comes to social media, anything goes. We’re living in the era where The Kardashians are the role model of #FamilyGoals, and a girl whose wink goes viral on social media bringing her the status of influencer, with millions of followers overnight. Do we fear such a world or die trying to make a mark?

 

One sunny afternoon, underneath the cerulean skies, I realised that we cannot contain what is already exposed but make a conscious choice of standing our grounds and being the individuals that we are. Rather than measuring success in making others as a benchmark, try to set goals only keeping yourself in mind. Rather than dressing according to the trend or the ‘norm’, wear what makes you happy. Rather than having a different image on social media and different real-life personality, embrace who you are on all the pages of life and web! Chances are in the world where anything goes – your choice might just be a hit. The silver lining of today’s times is that the blurred lines of fashion will conjoin anyone’s style as long as it’s something unique.

 

So there I was standing in a printed jumper with a front open skirt, which looked pretty good in itself without the pink blazer but I added that anyway because that’s ME. There was no rule broken here, the little hipster jumper very well accommodated the little chic brought by the blazer and that’s what made me feel Hippieque and myself. Did this look break the internet? No. But did I get loads of compliments simply by being myself? Yes, and that felt pretty kick ass!

 

 

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wedding Dressing Without Any Stressing


Ethnic Co-ord with Cape | HippiequeXAnj

Makeup: Vanshika Chawla | Hair: Dhriti Chhabra | Photography: Saumya Sharma | Maatha Patti: Ritika Sachdeva

 

‘Tis the time to see everyone around you get married and bid goodbye to the singledom they shared with you! It comes with lavish invites to the even more lavish destinations and that’s where the fundamental question of ‘what will I wear?’ haunts us like the apocalypse.

After skimming the fashion markets for an ideal label which caters to your taste and pockets, I came across Anj Kreations—A stand-alone store in Bandra. It houses some great options for all the functions you’d have to attend including the wedding. From beautiful ethnic dresses you can wear for mehendi, exquisite lehengas for sangeet to sexy gowns for the black-tie dinner you know you’re going to get sloshed at, this store has you covered! The store with a big blue door is hard to miss if your heart yearns for some head-turning pieces you’d like to flaunt at your BFF’s wedding.

I had to go for a reception dinner and the wedding for which I chose two of their most unique pieces that instantly had my heart. A gorgeous darker-than-blood red gown for the reception dinner and an elegant crop-top skirt with a cape for the main wedding. It was a great choice for the winter chill as well! 😉

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hippieque Travels – Udaipur


#HippiequeTravels Udaipur

This is not the first time I visited the City Of Lakes—Udaipur and neither will it be the last time. From rich history to scenic locations, this beautiful city has so much to offer. Unlike a typical 2017 city, this one resplendent in history and oozes with hospitality. If you’re a person who can leave the gizmo bliss aside and be one with the Indian heritage and beauty, then this city should be on your list to explore over the next long weekend you get!

Here are all the things that made my travel the most amazing one in 2017 so far!

1. Throwback to the life of Rich and Royals at The City Palace

The City Palace was built by Maharana Udai Singh II and his successors over a period of 400 years. The Royals lived here and ruled their kingdom. This palace is said to be the largest of its kind in Rajasthan. No dearth of ‘Game Of Thrones’ plot stories here!

#ProTips:

      • Get a guide from the entry point to know exactly how the royals lived and get the inside scoop on all the interesting stories from their time.
      • There is a lot of walking, so make sure your footwear is comfy and not runway ready!
      • Must see the Crystal Gallery. It houses some of the most exquisite crystals in the form of decorations and ornaments. Basically, all the bling the Royals owned like a boss!
      • Instagram worthy level: 8/10

 

2. Detoxing mind and soul at the scenic Monsoon Palace

Monsoon Palace, Sajjangarh

Monsoon Palace, Sajangarh

This is another highly attractive tourist point based on the view that one gets from the top. In The Monsoon Palace you don’t have much to do except enjoy the view, so make sure you charge your devices because this place will need a lot of Instagram posts!

#ProTips:

  •  You need to arrange for your own vehicle to go to the top of the Monsoon Palace from the entry gate. Trust me that’s a long walk unless you’re lucky enough to hitch hike!
  • Only go for the view. The Palace structure is not maintained and looks highly unreliable.
  • Wear a cap because there’s almost 88% chance that the birds will poop on your head!
  • Instagram worthy level: 8.5/10

 

3. Strolling along the bylanes of Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola

There is nothing better than taking a walk by the calm lake Pichola. The smell of freshly baked breads from the bakeries on the street is heavenly, and shopping for irresistible nick-knacks from the petite street stores is a must. The area is also known for some highly recommended restaurants (read point number 5 for specifics).

#ProTips:

  • Carry enough cash with you as there are limited ATMs in the vicinity (if they work!).
  • Must visit The Ambrai at Amet Haveli for the view and some delicious food. Also, please make sure you pre-book a table because it runs even more packed than Taj Lake Palace! (Not even joking!).
  • There are small boutique stores by the lake that offer you their services to stitch up any kind of outfit in just a couple of hours. All you need to do is show them a picture of it! I personally didn’t try it because for once, I was more focused on travel than fashion!
  • Instagram worthy level: 8/10

 

4. Shopping at the local market of Hathi Pole

Street shopping is one of the factors I always consider while choosing my travel destinations. My love for traditional shoes and bags makes Udaipur on the top of my splurge list! The Haathi Pole market is where the locals shop from but it also caters to a large number of tourists. The (if I may) iconic green skirt that I’m wearing for most of my Instagram pictures is from this market and you’ll see many designs and colours in the same!

#ProTips:

  • Do not pay anything more than Rs 350 for a pair of juttis. Even though, I bought mine for INR 150 since I have mastered the art of haggling (thanks to Sarojni and Colaba Causeway!).
  • Most of the shops are selling the same design, so do NOT give in to impulse buying!
  • Instagram worthy level: 5/10

There are also many jewellery and art stores near Sahelion ki Badi. One such store is The Silver Arts Palace, which houses some of the most creative jewellery, bags, and decor.

5. Foodies gone wild with these recommended eateries

The down side of ‘livin it up’ in Udaipur is that you’re sure to gain at least 3 kgs when you snap out of your trip! #TrueStory

There is some mesmerizing food to be tasted in this city. Here’s THE ONLY list you need to satisfy your tummy with beautiful food and dream about it for the rest of your life!

1. Hari Garh Restaurant 

  • Location: Overlooking Lake Pichola. Get a seat on the 1st floor of the restaurant for the best view.
  • What to order: Go for Indian food and must try the Mewari Chicken! I still dream about that dish TBH.

2. Tribute Restaurant

  • Location: Overlooking Fateh Sagar Lake. Pre-book a table by the lake, it’s truly divine!
  • What to order: Indian food all the way!

3. Upre by 1559 AD 

  • Location: Rooftop restaurant. Perfect for a romantic date. Better to go at night for the view!
  • What to order: Can go for Indian or Continental.

4. Ambrai by Amet Haveli

  • Location: Overlooking Lake Pichola. This place really has the best view of the area. Must pre-book at all cost!
  • What to order: Indian as well as continental. Must try laal maas!

5. 1559 AD

  • Location: Near Fateh Sagar Lake. Beautiful boutique restaurant.
  • What to order: Continental and Indian. Must try their desserts!

6. Cafe Edelweise

  • Location: Bylanes of Lake Pichola.
  • What to order: Bakery foods & breakfast.

6. Experiencing the luxury at The Oberoi Udaivilas

A high tea and a tour of this lavish fifty acres property, which includes twenty acres of wildlife sanctuary has got to be the highlight of my trip! The Oberoi Udaivilas is built on the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mewar and has both Mughal and Mewar architecture.

Fun fact: The domes that you see with a pumpkin design is a clear signature of Mewar architecture. While the plain domes are a representation of the Mughal architecture. That’s why Taj Mahal has a plain dome as it was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan! (Only getting you smarter by the minute!). You’re welcome!

Did I mention, that the private tour included the Presidential Suite that costs INR 9 Lakhs a night! (Future husband, are you reading this?).

The Oberoi Udaivilas

The Oberoi Udaivilas

It has an infinity pool right outside the bedrooms

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The lobby entrance of the room smells like you’re sitting next to fresh water springs

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The drawing room is worth drawing in the book titled – This is what lap of luxury feels like!

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

This hotel has been in countless Bollywood movies, the latest one being Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani. Remember Kalki’s wedding destination scenes?

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas has been awarded as the Best Hotel In The World, consecutively 3 times. The splendid property and the fine hospitality by the staff, makes this hotel perfect to create some memories for a lifetime!

#Protips:

  • If you’re not staying at the hotel, it will be still amazing to have a meal at one of their restaurants and request the front desk to give you a tour of the place.
  • Pre-book your rooms as they are very packed throughout the year.
  • If you do happen to stay there book yourself for an afternoon of enjoying the nature and chasing peacocks in the gardens!
  • Instagram worthy level: 100/10!!!

And finally, here’s my travel movie that says it all…

A BIG SHOUT OUT TO:

1.  @MyPixelPantry a.k.a my cousin who gave me company in all the madness I had! (What’s travel without having someone amazing to share it with?).

2. Udaipur’s most exciting Instagram – @InstaUdaipur for making my trip rather interactive with The Hippieque take over!

3. And lastly, my travel partner – @PeeSafe without which I do not even dare to step out of my house let alone escaping to a travel fantasy. The toilet seat sanitizer is a must for every woman out there so that you are free from any infections like UTI. Buy it HERE.

Hope you liked my Udaipur adventure. It’s time you live your own!

Comment below with a travel destination you’re most excited to explore, and I might just go there as a recce team and give you all the details!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Not Your Basic Desi


Not Your Basic Desi Not Your Basic Desi Not Your Basic Desi

Not Your Basic Desi

Not Your Basic Desi

Photography: Harshit Sohu || Styling – Mirror- work Top: Mom’s jacket made into a cut out top! | Shorts: Forever21 | Bag: Collaba Causeway | Stacked Bracelets: Thrifted | Flipflops: West Side

 

Raiding my mother’s closet has a charm of its own. No amount of shopping from a designer label will give me as much happiness as re-inventing something from my twin’s (my genes have taken the phrase—Like mother like daughter, very literally) vintage collection.

 

One fine day, a long long time ago, a Rajasthani sleeveless jacket from my mom’s closet, featuring intricate mirror work and embroidery, met my eyes and I knew exactly what needs to be done with it. I snipped out the back of it completely and cut the neckline according to its mirror work and—Voila! Another vintage jacket bites the new age dust! In my defense, at least I made a good use of it. I packed this top for a great adventure in Gokarna (travel blog soon to follow). A pair of sturdy, ripped shorts and a big desi tote bag made this look just right for the new form of my mom’s vintage top.

 

Not Your Basic Desi

Have you ever done some experiment with your mom’s closet? I can’t wait to hear it. Go on, inspire me!

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Chic End


The Chic End

The Chic End The Chic End

The Chic End

The Chic End The Chic End

The Chic End

The Chic End feat. Eashwar

The Chic End

Shot by Vincent King | Hair&Makeup: Eashwar Log | Outfit deets -Cape: Kashmir | Golden jacket: Hippieque | Denim cami: Forever 21 | White Shorts: Thrifted | Ring: Shahapurjat, Delhi | Mustard kitten heels: West Side

 

Layering is love. It sure is a tricky trend to master because you can either hit the spot or go a little too wrong. It doesn’t matter what your body shape is but how you layer it, is what makes all the difference. Allow me to take you back to a beautiful day where my team and I shot this editorial consisting of an exquisite Kasmiri work cape and a short brocade jacket.

A simple trick to layering: If you are bottom heavy then a long cape will only complement your curves and if you are bottom skinny then you can flaunt a short jacket that ends at your waist.

And if you’re more like me; make-your-own-fashion-rules kinda gal, then just go creative with all the jackets and cape in your wardrobe. You can make an outfit casual or formal, sexy or covering with just the right kinda layering element.

Want more inspiration in layering? See how other fashionistas are rocking this age old trend.

1. Layer with a skimpy crop-top over a plain white shirt.

BOWS ON BOWS – a full look at this outfit! All outfit details will be up on the blog soooon ? #samiahhannan

A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀FASHION | INSPIRATION (@samiah.hannan) on

2. Loosely hang your leather jacket over your shoulder for a chicer look.

3. Mount a loose cardigan over a denim shirt to complete your OOTD.

4. Or an XL sweater over a printed shirt to add some uniformity to the look.

So hope these tips inspired you to go forth and layer away that outfit. Comment below and tell me if you need some inspiration to rock any particular trend and I’ll have a great excuse to shoot soon!