Factory Findings.

Moving to a new factory and all the shifting can throw up some interesting montages. An isolated staircase, rolls of butter paper of hand traces for embroidery, an army of mannequins (some rather well endowed) and a lonesome one on her own.

Art exists everywhere ūüôā

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

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Weight or Watch. #WOW

WOW

Okay then…this is going to be a first, but I suppose it just needs to be done! Perhaps the most difficult obstacle that I‚Äôve ever faced in my life has been my¬†weight issue. All that excess has¬†been a constant companion of mine since many decades, and though I‚Äôve managed to get rid of some of it several¬†times, the kilograms lost seemed to (like the proverbial bad pennies) possess a¬†magical ability¬†of coming right back! I think I‚Äôve tried every possible diet in the world and can now write a thesis on how diets can never work unless there‚Äôs a radical shift in¬†one’s¬†own mindset for initiating and sustaining change. Not doing it for lack of motivation is an age old excuse… Worse, and God forbid, the onset of a medical condition¬†where you just have to lose weight is avoidable‚Ķ reaching out for seemingly easy and effective means such as Bariatric surgery are both un-natural and unsafe‚Ķso then where lies the answer?

As i said, it all begins with a shift in one’s¬†mind-space first, and eventually, that positive shift needs to regulate what goes into one‚Äôs mouth‚Ķessentially, its all about the number of calories consumed. Typically, diets push fatties onto radical paths‚Ķ. eat steamed¬†vegetables, don‚Äôt eat ice-cream, eat an apple, don‚Äôt eat fries, eat wheat, don‚Äôt eat rice‚Ķi think you understand what i mean. But this is exactly what does not work for most people who‚Äôve lived their life seemingly only to eat and have never¬†really eaten to live. Deprive yourself the goodies and failure is imminent! A couple of years back, I think I cracked the formula wherein, you could eat whatever you wanted and whenever you wanted with just 2 caveats: (a) You halve the portions and (b) you enter everything you eat into the nifty little app called ‚ÄėMy fitness pal‚Äô. What this app literally does is ask you some direct and basic questions and¬†then works out the exact number of calories you should consume to reach your target. Thereafter, you simply have to record everything you eat or drink, and it keeps deducting the calories consumed and keeps showing you how many you have left to feast on. There are many other¬†things it does but I‚Äôm going to let you discover those for yourself. Anyways, what you eventually end up with is a virtual dietician who lets you eat or drink anything under the planet without fear as along as you are honest about the quantities. I‚Äôve tried this in the past and successfully managed to knock off 14 big ones (but gained back 10) so the art is in going on and on till you reach your goal‚Ķjust don‚Äôt give up!

Every person with a weight issue has one favourite word: TOMORROW. This, in actuality is the tomorrow that never arrives. So I’ve decided that my word is going to be TODAY. Which also means that today is when it all begins for me and I decided that perhaps the best way for me to start this journey of honesty with myself is to put it out there in this public domain. Also, since putting their weight down can be downright embarrassing for most, I’m going to keep my tracker in percentages e.g. If today’s weight is a 100%, the posts that follow would be about how much % have I reduced it to, eventually reaching my target of weighing 70% of what I do today i.e. a drop of 30% of my body weight. Its not going to be easy, but if i’m disciplined enough and hang in there, i envisage between 14-16 months to achieve this healthily.

Lastly, you may be wondering as to why you should be subjected to this at all? Selfishly to be able to finally do something about my weight but also, this one is really for all those who have battled and lost to weight… I’m going to try and visually also show food art, which is delicious, healthy (not always) and looks pretty as well, and yet, helps you knock of the excess (a calorie count will be shared as well). I’ve always believed that Art exists everywhere, and this time around, I’m going to speak to you about my journey through visually appealing gourmet experiences (along with the % drop in my weight) which eventually and with time, i am hopeful may also inspire some others to join me in conquering their handicap and simply living a better and healthier life.

Wish me luck!

(BTW* Starting today also makes it really tough because I’ve just about sat down as the  host for an intimate dinner at this lovely new place in Delhi called PAPAYA and I’ve already consumed 50% of my calories allowed…Start tomorrow? Nah!)

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Dub-eye

 

I‚Äôm on a one day trip to Dubai today, and as luck would have it, the skies are dotted with pregnant¬†clouds with the sun‚Äôs rays trying to sneakingly break through here and there. It’s easily amongst¬†the most beautiful¬†days that I‚Äôve witnessed in my over 40 visits to Dubai in the past several years. The juxtaposition of modern man made structures rising from the desert sands trying desperately¬†to¬†embrace, and perhaps rival God created Prussians and teals against¬†the sky¬†make for surreal imagery and indeed, awe inspiring visuals.

I‚Äôve always called Dubai ‚ÄúIndia‚Äôs best kept city‚ÄĚ, simply because of the overwhelming number of Indians that have made it their home. Yet, it is also an evolving modern city and it is quite remarkable¬†how its¬†rulers have created something so modern and incredibly advanced in the middle of a barren desert. That said, Dubai has never quite fascinated me as a city simply because of its unfortunate lack of character… you know…the kind that one sees in abundance in¬†Europe and¬†Asia;¬†and what disappoints me¬†more is¬†because its not because¬†the UAE¬†does not have history to fall back on. However, although¬†stone tools have been found at many archaeological sites, little is known about the UAE’s early inhabitants.¬†Many ancient towns in the area were trading centres between the Eastern and Western worlds. The remnants of an ancient¬†mangrove swamp, dated at 7000¬†BC, were discovered during the construction of sewer lines near¬†Dubai Internet City. The area was covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coast retreated inland, becoming part of the city’s present coastline.¬†Pre-Islamic ceramics have also been found from the 3rd and 4th centuries. Still, this past is not celebrated as much as it should be in present day Dubai‚Ķ I‚Äôve always felt that its¬†culture could have been much better integrated into the mega city that Dubai is fast becoming.

But for now, I’d rather appreciate the effort that has been put in to create what has been created and revel in the fact that i could capture the images that i could today!

Man, in his throes of modern acceptance, may have chosen to neglect the past of this great region, but God, thankfully, never fails to complete the picture by blessing it with nature’s unlimited bounty.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

 

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The Motorcycle Diaries… India Style

No, this is not ‘Che’ Guevara and his friend, Alberto Granada and neither is that a single cylinder 1939 Norton 500 cc, nor is this image in any way reflective of the birth of a Marxist revolutionary.

But this is India!

A country which offers¬†an incredible potpourri of surprise and substance in almost everything … a country where chaos and culture intimately bond … a country which no one really figures out and yet yearns to come back to …

I took this image a few months back and for some reason, it reminded me of the legendary image from the Motorcycle Diaries ‚Ķ So the only reason for sharing this is¬†the basic fact that I absolutely loved the coexistence of the past and the present in a single frame, the very DNA of my country ūüėä

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media

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The Coloured Nomad

In my career as a fashion professional, I must admit that I have been significantly partial towards brown skins and frankly, it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m Indian and hence biased or that I dislike any other colour of skin. I suppose its the calling of the Nomad in me which embraces the affinity between the tones of the person and the ethos of the clothes that i create.

The larger issue that I’ve always wondered about though is this: Why does there exist disparity within the human race based on the colour of its people. Why does racism exist at all actually? When the creator put together his greatest masterpieces i.e. Man and Woman, and gave all of them exactly the same constitution, the differences he indulged in were not only in the colour of skin, but also in the shapes of various parts of the human anatomy and features, as well as in the dimensions of the human form itself. What then gives us the right to differentiate and divide the human race? Unfortunately, it has mostly to do with (a) geographical boundaries and (b) religion, and ironically, both are man made! Our planet, gifted to us in pristine condition and then we chose to fight battles and kill in the name of “our land’’ simply to create an illusionary boundary which would give us exclusive right to something which was meant for all… I often wonder why these boundaries and rules don’t apply to other species created by God, namely Animals and Plants…will one ever question a deer that wanders into another country or shoot down a dove that flies across the infinite blue skies, or net the fish that boundlessly swim across oceans, or burn the grass that spreads unabashedly, all clearly oblivious of these invisible demarkations? Would we ever ask for their passports and visas? And what about Religion? God is one and he was meant to be the answer to our prayers, the reason why faith was to exist…Then how has religion, meant primarily to spread the word of God and the principle of faith amongst mankind, become the very source of its destruction? Sadly, it seems, God’s greatest creation, mankind, may just have become its own nemesis!

The God i believe we should all follow is LOVE…everything and everyone…without prejudice, without a care about race, colour, sex, religion and without blindly believing in our own decisions, based on those imaginary divisive lines on the planet that we ourselves have created.

Finally, I‚Äôd like to quote something beautiful said by my spiritual master, Tarneivji: ¬† ‚ÄúWanting to fall in love is the greatest sin‚ĶSimply acknowledging it‚Äôs presence is the greatest virtue”

LOVE‚Ķ. It can‚Äôt be that difficult…

Note. The images above are from the RANAS OF KACHCHH collection 2016-17 of JJ Valaya.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media.

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The Art of Randomness. 1

A restless working Sunday afternoon and I throw back my head in mental exhaustion … I see the solitary light above stare back into my eyes‚Ķ A fan hangs from the ceiling … I pick up my phone and make an image. The light bounces off the lens and creates illusionary clouds… it¬†manifests itself as the Sun and the fan now hangs from the sky.

Smartphone image made just now…. the sharing of randomness is a must!

Art exists everywhere…

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