Friday, August 22, 2008


Divia, our lovely cousin from Mumbai, stayed with us in New York for a week earlier this year. As a Features Editor at Vogue India, she was excitedly working on one of her biggest stories yet: an Interview with Jhumpa Lahiri. YES, I know!

On a snowy day, Divia recalls in her writing, she took the trek out to Brooklyn to the charming and quaint neighborhood of Park Slope, which also happens to my old neighborhood before my marriage and my move to Manhattan.

Featured in the April '08 issue, Ms. Lahiri speaks with Divia of about how some writers (many who have long since passed on) speak to and inspire her about humanity and border crossings, both literally and methaphorically. Ms. Lahiri expresses, "It's amazing to have such a powerful recognition with a writer who has been dead for centuries. That's the amazing thing about reading. You can feel these intense connections to another writer, another time, another reality. It doesn't matter what divides us." I also feel this special connection when I read Ms. Lahiri's wonderful works. It is a beautiful bonding experience that harbors such an appreciation for life, which is what makes her writing so deeply intimate.

Through Divia's eyes: "There is a moment when, standing in her cosy living room in a plaid skirt and black sweater, gold bangles on her wrists, surrounded by books and cookies, teas and toys, Octavio and Noor clutching at her legs, Jhumpa Lahiri is not the famous, reclusive, prize-winning writer: She is not thinking about the long journeys her parents made across the oceans decades ago, about whether or not her children will ever speak Bengali or live in a country where a woman is president. For that brief minutes, Jhumpa looks incredibly happy to be living in the moment, forgetful of the next border she has to cross."

Now about Divia: her energy is like sunshine on a rainy day - she is such a pleasure to be around and has such an excitement for life and living in the moment. After she completed her article, we played and talked and ate. And then of course we went shopping - something that Divia is a true professional at. =D

I can't resist. Here are a few of my favorite spreads found elsewhere in this issue.

The contrasting colors and life in this photo take my breath away.

An ad for the prestigious Taj Hotel reads: "Of course the Maharaja's car will be there to receive you. You're staying with him, aren't you?" What a memorable experience we had when we were lucky enough to stay even for a few nights at a heritage property converted palace. I love the history - you can feel it in the air.

But of course we must have an Austrian crystal-encrusted Ganesha clutch! After all, this is Vogue. It's yours for only $5,585.00!

This is definitely going on my shopping list. My husband thinks I need another Indian outfit like the world needed another 4 years of George Bush.

Now for some interior design in the Vogue Living section:

To all of you designers, I think you'll appreciate this hallway in my uhh...future home ... why yes, thank you, the intricately carved woodwork is fantastic, if I do say so myself. Let's check out the outside, shall we?

Some more outfits I can drool over...

This lengha is one of the prettiest and most unique I've ever seen.

It is ridiculous how beautiful you are, Aishwarya.


I eagerly await my next issue...and the next visit from my sweet Divia!


jenny said...

mmmm, i have to check this out! i admit i never look at vogue, but india vogue....that is intriguing! one of my favorite things in India and Nepal was watching India Idol!!! so hilarious and fun.

megha punater said...

you really love all things indian dont you?its sweet.i pick up many of these in india because we dont get them in antwerp.

Arch at Rang said...

After seeing your post, I think I shd go pick my copy;-) Infact I have to pick up loads of magazines for the weekend:-))

indian yarn said...

" my husband thinks...." - i like how you put it.

Shireena said...

Hi Jenny, yes, I never really look at any Vogue magazine either but when Divia gave me this one, I was so loving the different and the exotic of India featured in the pictures and stories. So refreshing. Thanks! I still can't get over how much I love reading/hearing/viewing your stories as well.

Hi Megha, thanks for your comments and may you enjoy your next stock-up session in India :)

Hello Arch! Nice to hear from you as always. Hope you are enjoying your weekend reading.

Hi India Yarn, - thanks for stopping by!

Take care, all!

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Wow, what a beautiful post...
Such elegance and understated chic - I love your photos too..:)

shuma.rani said...

Glad you enjoyed Vogue India. I too love getting my monthly copy and in fact looking forward to picking up the next edition tomorrow.

I have a set on flickr devoted to Vogue India

Happy reading :))

Anil P said...

It must be such a privilege to be able to interview Ms. Lahiri. I particularly like her style of writing.

Elisa Day said...

What a wondeful post! Many beutiful images. I have to found Indian Vogue somewhere! :)

Shireena said...

Hello HTE, thanks! I do tend to be more attracted to understated chic - it's all about finding a balance.

Hi Shuma, thanks for telling me about your flickr. I can't wait to check it out!

Hi Anil, yes, I too like her style. She exudes much grace in her writing and is pleasantly articulate.

Hi Elisa, thank you for your sweet words. See you...

Take care,

SloganMurugan said...

Just finished Jhumpa's latest book. She is good. Highly recommended read.

Shireena said...

Hi Sloganmurugan,
Can't wait to read it. I love her works.
Take care,

bhumika said...

Hi Shireena, lovely showcase of all things indian - it's such a riot of colours, this post in particular.

Lahiri is an writer i absolutely adore. Just bought her latest book :) Is there anyway i can get a link to her article in vogue? Do let me know...Tk cr

Anonymous said...

love your blog!!!!!thanks for Vogue India interior n clothing pictures.. please post more if you get time. (thank you again)

Anonymous said...

You have great taste in indian clothes but the lengha u were referring to was a saree hunny. Nevertheless beautiful outfits, I want them all