Wednesday, November 7, 2012


She represents purity, prosperity, fortune, wealth, beauty, grace and generosity.
Her four arms, Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha are the four ends of life,
She is the bearer of this earth, she is "VASUDHARINI"

Sage&Slingback wishes all its readers a very happy & a prosperous Diwali.

Oh boy! believe me, putting this post together wasn't easy. Quite a few things like concept, styling, the weather, a Diwali giveaway and the schedules of my busy girlfriends had to all fall in place. I wanted something extraordinary and beautiful, something that was visually brilliant for this post. So, through my pictures, I decided to bring in the festive essence of Diwali by celebrating goddess Lakshmi in her most beautiful form, as "VASUDHARINI", a perfect embodiment of grace, charm & beauty.

Apart from the traditions and fun this festival offers, Diwali is also about dressing up in gorgeous Kanjeevarams and donning traditional Mangalorean jewelry. Remember the famous John Keats quote "A thing of beauty is a joy forever"? I completely believe that anything and everything beautiful has to be shown and seen. So, I decided to showcase the beauty of these timeless Kanjeevarams and traditional South Indian gold jewelry, in an artistic way through "Sage&Slingback". I chose our dear friend Mr. Shreeni Rao, an ace nature & event photographer for this special photo shoot and decided to use Kanjeevarams from "Sakhi", a store back home that carries traditional, one of a kind Kanchi sarees.

My association with Sakhi goes back a long way. In the year 2008, when I was in Bangalore for my infertility treatment, I was living in a service apartment on 100ft road, Indiranagar. The lovely balcony of my apartment faced the Sakhi store and I initially thought it was just another saree shop in Bangalore and resisted visiting it. But one evening, when things weren't going my way medically, I opted for retail therapy to cheer myself up. When I entered the store, I was dumbfounded. Their rich and elegant Kanjeevarams had designs ranging from the traditional motifs to concept weaving, from cut work to Kundan. I was impressed with their impeccable service and professional approach. Instantly, I became a Sakhi fan and soon, I was a regular at their store. By the end of my 4 month stay, I had 2 suitcases full of Sakhi sarees. Today, after almost five years, it's my privilege to present "Sakhi" by Chandras to my readers.

Before I begin, it's important that I mention my lovely girlfriends without whom "Vasudharini" would have been incomplete. One phone call, and they were all there for me, in their gorgeous Sakhi sarees, with their hair done and nails painted. Thank you ladies, that meant a lot to me. Also, heartfelt thanks to Mr. Shreeni Rao for these lovely pictures.


Sakhi is a niche boutique run by a mother-daughter duo Chandra & Neeta. 
Sakhi celebrates the new-age woman and is committed to unveil her real beauty and progressive personality. Sakhi has perfected the art of combining traditional fabrics, craftsmanship with contemporary themes, to create an ensemble that embodies the values of the modern Indian woman.
Their website was set up in 2009 and has been enabling clients all over the world get the quality designer wear. Sakhi has exclusive boutiques in Bangalore (Indiranagar, Jayanagar) and Hyderabad ( Banjara Hills).


Indiranagar- Bangalore # 305, 6th Main, Defense Colony, Indiranagar, Bangalore-560038 Ph: +91 80 6570 3388 Mail:

Jayanagar- Bangalore # 10/1 1st floor, Ashoka pillar, Mariyappa Road, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560011 Ph: +91 80 6570 3399 Mail:

Banjara hills- Hyderabad #1428, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad-500034. Ph: +91 40 40045550 Mail:


1.Tell us how you are going to make this Diwali  special?
Please enter your answers in the comment section of this post.

The best entry will win a gift voucher of Rs. 5000  from "Sakhi". The voucher holds good for all  FULL PRICED ITEMS from their website

The contest opens on NOV 7th and closes on NOV 17th.

2.LIKE Sakhi Fanpage on Facebook.

3.LIKE Sage&Slingback page on Facebook.

ABOUT MR.SHREENI RAO ( Nature & Event photographer).

 Mr.Shreei Rao started his first photography stint accidentally at a wedding using an Agfa Click III in '84 and there was no looking back since then. He migrated to digital in 2000 and stuck to the Canon equipment. Event photography is his forte and he really excels in traditional Indian classical dances. He has covered several arangetrams, visharads and ranga praveshas here in Chicago land. In December 2011, he ventured out on his first Nature & Wildlife photo tour and have been consumed by it currently. With his lovely wife Veni, who also shoots, he spends endless time in the forest preserves observing and photographing birds and critters. An ardent foodie and a cook, he aspires to learn food styling someday.
You can view some of his amazing photography here:

Anu Gupta is wearing an exquisite kanchivaram silk woven as a concept saree with the pleats pallu and blouse in dual tone bluish hue and the rest of the body in contrast mustard colour- this concept is called Patli Pallu. The saree also features unique slant lines on the blue hue called "Leheryian lines" to add to a contemporary feel.  

 Chaitra Rao is  wearing an exclusive creation by designer Chandra, a mélange of colours of  lovely mustard, brilliant Pink contrasted by detailing in bottle Green. This Kanjeevaram saree is hand woven in a unique "Half n Half" concept where half  is mustard followed by brilliant Pink, featuring rising pattern of Paisley inspired motifs and ellaboarte hand embroided border in contrast green Kanjeevaram. 

 Nirmala Mohan is wearing a cut work Kanjeevaram.  In this form of embroidery, portions of the background fabric are cut away and the edges are worked over in buttonhole stitches. The pallu and the lower part of the saree has kundan embroidery.

 Veena Nayak is wearing a "Moombagam"( meaning 3 parts) saree where the upper part is mustardy yellow, the lower is red and  the middle is magenta with woven zari paisleys. The  paisley cutwork on the top and the bottom gives this traditional saree a very contemporary  look.

 Vandana Rao is wearing a kanchivaram silk, woven as a Patli Pallu concept saree featuring modern Zig Zag on pleats, Pallu and Blouse in pure gold zari. The trendy colour theme in golden mustard, shocking pink, sea green and aqua blue brings to life theheritage weave- "Payadi checks".

Jayashree Rao  wearing a pure kanjeevaram saree where o
ne half of the saree features eight unique designs in pure gold zari on deep violet base and the other half featuring modern zig zag on green base. This concept kanjeevaram saree can be worn either ways, with either the violet or the green on top.

With Mr. Shreeni Rao, man behind "VASUDHARINI" !!

Let this Diwali illuminate your life with endless love, joy, prosperity, health, wealth And happiness!!


  1. love love love the post- the styling- the location- the light and the jewelry is just breath taking- i love antique golds!!!! my personal fav is vandanas saree and its hard to pick one fav jewelry piece- you women look absolutely divine- LIKE INDIAN GODDESSES!!!! gosh!!! I WANT TO BE A PRT OF THIS SHOOT SOME TIME J!!!!

  2. wow - loved this post, the sarees and jewellery are nice to see you showcasing all these traditional indian arts in your blog.

  3. Not a great fan of sarees myself but loved the colors, textures, lighting, backdrop, the models and their enthusiasm for sharing our culture! Keep it up..

  4. Beautiful women, beautiful sarees, beautiful temple, and amazing jewelry pieces. i loved it all.

  5. Tell us how are you going to make this Diwali special?

    I plan to celebrate Diwali in its true essence as the awakening of the "inner light". The news of bearing a girl child was confirmed by my doctor 7 yrs ago on the auspicious day of Lakshmi Puja. Our bundle of joy arrived a few months later but with health afflictions of a rare and severe degree. We sacrificed societal affiliations, career prospects and embarked on a selfless lifestyle of staying safe and creating parameters of dos and dont's. Along the way, we focused on the external self and its relationship to the environment as is the American Way. However with the consequences and apparent ineptitude of the scientific community, I was motivated to explore within. I discovered that my daughter was gifted in many ways both socially and academically; yes I had bragging rights ! I embraced an ancient philosophy that rendered the MIND with the ability to cure its environment. Two years later my daughters afflictions started getting less frequent even though scientifically she tested positive. This weekend for the first time we attended a social gathering as a family after 7 yrs where my daughter and her father walked the ramp resplendent in their "inner light". As the crowd cheered and shutterbugs clicked I whispered to my Dad " Wish you could be here Baba, to see your grandchild. She has your forehead and your confidence. I miss sharing my daughter with you.". Our " inner light" had awakened.

  6. Love your posts - very creative and current. This one is apt to keep us in Diwali mood. Great theme, beautiful done pictures and of course all ladies - real life models.
    Looking forward to your next inspiration....
    Savithri Raman (Michigan)

  7. Awesome Ladies!!!....You guys rock.....Very inspiring and beautiful....Kudos Jayshree!!

  8. the sarees look too tempting - so my answer to the diwali celebrations-

    dear Jayshree- there is a small town near mumbai on say about 100 kms away- called “ GANESHPURI” - this is a town with lots of local , rural tribal children who a few years ago use dot work in brick factories and die at a young age due to all the chemicals etc. About 5 years back atul and i along with a few friends started a small school which today has become a full fledge organization- One of our dear friends NITIN - gave up his normal city life to live there and has dedicated his life to serve these children. We in turn help him get sponsors and try and aid funds.

    Today - LEARNING SPACE FOUNDATION - has become so popular that children from all the nearby villages INCLUDING GILRS HAVE started goingto school. 2 BRICK factories have shut down . and the children anre being exposed to education in a very FUN WAY.

    we have had international singers, dancers, artists coming to offer their services here. THE CHILDREN LOVE THEIR SCHOOL. AND this DIWALI we are planning on starting OUR WARLI ART PROJECT with the LOCAL ARTISTS THERE.

    we want to promote them and include them in our UDD FAMILY. its going to be a difficult task making them understand WHAT “ CONTEMPORARY “ FOLK ART MEANS- and what WE DO EXACTLY AT UDD- but we are looking forward to this challenge as much as them :)

    they feel their small village has suddenly “BRIGHTENED UP” and their life itself is a BIG HAPPY FESTIVAL. we just feel HAPPY- BRING A SPARK IN THEIR LIVES!!

  9. Chaitra... what an amazing showcase of 'beauty'.
    Not just what our eyes see externally, but something much beyond
    that is expressed in words!....the passion, boldness..OMG..!
    I donot know Jayshree personally, but I got to tell you I was very
    impressed by the way all these are articulated. An excellent job !
    Hats off to you all!

  10. They way you ended note is 'inner light' awakened.
    I see this as "Inner Beaurty awakended!"

  11. This fiesta of gold and zari is absolutely gorgeous. Each piece was beautifully traditional yet extremely fashionable! The sarees are to die for, each better than the other, each so beautifully unique! A well timed festive post from you has inspired me to do a little bit more this Diwali. I stopped burstin crackers and fireworks when I was a teenager, I didn't want kids to be employed and endangered in Sivakasi. This festival has always been about lights and lighting lamps for me and it was an activity I did with my mother and that I cherish completely. This year as well, I'll light lamps to celebrate the festival and the great times I've had with my family back home!

  12. Sudha Pai:
    I am wowed!! You ladies look very royal and beautiful, especially my baby sis Vandana!
    Great job Jayashree! Kudos to you for starting the Sage and Slingback!!

  13. Ladies,
    You all look elegante and like godesses! I did'nt know Kanjeevaram's exists in so many variety may be because I own just one. Back in 1996,It was not a tradition in North India to must buy Kanjeevarams in weddings but I was so impressed with the Bollywood beauties like Jaya Prada and Rekha that I was the first one in my family to go for One!!! You provoked, me to wear mine again:)

  14. There is an inner light that every man/woman possess and is often hidden by the lot of
    external factors - work pressure, family responsabilities,etc..
    I feel Diwali is the time we should be reminded to look back, take a deep breath
    and try to find that 'Inner light' within us.
    The light that shows the path for us for our future journey, provides the right
    solution to problems, helps other ppl around us to re-kindle the light in their life.

    Happy Diwali e-one!

  15. Ravi Verma, the greatest painter in the history of Indian art parachuted to earth from the sky in search of color and grace, then ended up hiding in the lens of Srini Rao and seamlessly painted the beauties with grace!


  16. I love the pictures and the ladies look so elegant. Love Sakhi sarees and would love to win that voucher for my mom.

    Diwali is a time for happiness and I eagerly wait for the foggy mornings, chilly evenings, diyas all over the house, little kids giggling away and lighting sparklers, creating new arts and crafts, decorating the house, oil baths, wearing new clothes, cooking with family and the early morning raagas. It's when you get together with your loved ones and share your happiness. It's about the small things that makes it special and I still wear the same saree every year that my mom gave me. Not about shopping or spending, just remembering..


  17. Absolutely love the pictures and the sarees,and all you ladies are looking gorgeous/elegant.
    Your blog,Jayashree, is always so informative,it's such an interesting read, clearly shows off your passion for fashion and your artistic flair.Kudos to you for all the hard work you put in!

    A couple of sarees stood out for me ,Jayashree's is soo Beautiful...loved it. Loved the cut work and the color combination in Nimmis, very different.
    Definitely want to compliment Anu as she is looking absolutely stunning in her solo is such a natural pic, could be out of a magazine advertisement!:)

    Happy Diwali !

    Nidhi Kapoor

  18. Got a little peek at the Sakhi website and fell in love with a saree so wil try to win part of goes:)

    Diwali as I know it is the "Festival of Lights",
    Makes me a little homesick and reminiscence the sights,
    Want to try this year to inculcate the excitement and the message,
    In my two darling babies ,one of them is definitely underage!!!
    But try I will ,as we all know 'tis better to early start,
    Raghav is definitely old enough,but my tiny TOT is Smart!
    They both should understand Diwali and why we celebrate it,
    Diyas,fireworks and mithai but the deeper meaning behind it,
    To know our culture, heritage,Ramayan and the most important part,
    Come what may,look ahead ,there is always a fresh start!!

    Happy Diwali Everyone!!
    Nidhi Kapoor

  19. Chaitra, I was left speechless reading the blog and looking at the pictures. You girls look beautiful and the sarees are mesmerizing. Looking at the saree I knew you would look lovely but this is definitely beyond my imagination. Absolutely love the colors of all the sarees. I have never had a kanjeevaram but after seeing this post, I am inclined to go shop for one for myself.

    Kudos to Shreeni for such beautiful pictures and I look forward to Jayshree's next blog.

    Happy Deepawali to all of you!

    -- Piya

  20. Yet an other Ace presentation!! Absolutely fell in love with the empowering caption 'Vasudharini',
    A lovely showcase of colors, weave and design aesthetics, traditional but yet with a contemporary flair.
    For me...the hand made jewelry took the centre stage and stole the lime light ;)

    And Oh.. you'll look lovely! Happy Deepavali!!


  21. Absolutely stunning! Certainly a visual treat - be it the brilliant handmade jewelry, vibrant and colorful sarees, all you beautiful ladies, ace photography and above all the ardent passion which oozes thought this creation. Hats off to all you who contributed to bring out such a captivating presentation. The title itself sealed it for me - it could not have been more apt and all you elegant ladies truly do justice to the title. Especially Chaitra knowing you personally your inner beauty exudes through your beautiful eyes!

    Jayashree I am really looking forward to your next blog and truly admire you - not just because of your passion but even more for the courage you have to follow your passion!


  22. I always wanted to visit Sakhi but never got down to it since it was too far from my place in Bangalore. I have now moved to the US but am glad to know they have a branch in Jayanagar which is closer. I have already asked my mom to pop in and check it out!
    How I would celebrate Diwali? Well, my first Diwali in the US (the previous year does not count because I landed here just a day earlier and was too jet-lagged to even remember) so I can either mope that I am missing India in all its lit up glory or embrace my new home and brighten it up :)
    Brighten up cold California it is for this year! Though it is a challenge lighting diyas in a carpeted space, what with curious toddler hands always ready to explore. I plan to use fairy lights, loads of flowers, silk stoles and perfumed candles in all nooks and corners. And not to forget- the taash party accompanied by loads of finger food and drink, that I am planning to host for my new-found and old friends!
    nidhi14jan (at) yahoo (dot) com

  23. Beautiful post, Jayashree, a visual treat indeed. beautiful colours and really brings out the festive mood. All set for Diwali:)

  24. Congratulations Jayashree! Another exemplary presentation! Loved the hair and makeup
    Fantastic collection of sarees and neck pieces. Loved every one of them. The backdrop is befitting and all you
    Ladies look very classy!!

    Indeed... Women are from Venus!!

  25. Chaitra, beautiful pictures, sarees, jewellery, diyas, colors. Love the colors of sarees and the way they have been showcased on the blog. Enjoyed every bit of it, added colors to my travel on CTA:) Great work by the photographer and your friend Jayshree and three cheers to all the pretty ladies including you. Happy Diwali to everyone!

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  27. Jayashree, Nicely written, eye catching pictures and beautiful ladies !! Where is this location ? Aurora temple ? Beautiful backgrounds too !

  28. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous post!!
    I almost didn't read about the give-away, but give-away or not, nothing could have stopped me from commenting. I love your love for your blog which made you create such gorgeousness. Please compliment each gorgeous woman who modelled for you. And thank you for sharing all that exquisite jewellery with all of us. Such serious eyecandy this :) :) Awesome work Jayashree! I'm SO inspired!

  29. LOVE your blog and the gorgeous sarees and accompanying jewelry!! This year for Deepawali, I will light lamps (tea light candles, so to speak!), as a symbol of our "inner light", make savories that my 2 children love to eat, wear my new 'Pochampalli' and celebrate being a family together! We will also do firecrackers (like we do every year) over the weekend.

  30. What I experience in your creation Jay is purity and simplicity! What I felt is the serenity, the beauty, the magnanimous and the soft 'hriday' of a mother, the strength and stability of her soul and the flutter and joy of a soaring, hopeful, confident spirit! Now, how do you capture all of the above in a few pictures. Sheer beauty! As I was telling someone today Jay, I am so very impressed with your talent. You do not know how very gifted you are.
    Superb! Wishing you the warmest and most precious Diwali! Soar new heights Jay....

  31. Delicious, yummy- thats how u all look!! Jugmug jugmug deep jale hain....

    For me I have had a great start to my Diwali by celebrating with all the people who hold special place in my heart- You all are my "vasundhari's" in my eyes and I love the creativity, passion, madness, love for life and dosti each one of you have!!
    Cheers to the lovely feast to the eye - the Diwali special blog!!!
    I will end with delicious, yummy......

  32. Hi ! Jayashree,

    The blog is absolutely FANTABULOUS !

    Just looking at the blog I had so many things running on my mind. Something like this requires so much effort. The styling is fab and all you BEAUTIFUL women do full justice !

    The insight into so many minute details, the kanjeeverams and the gold jewellery will make anyone just drop their jaw in awe. Every woman who has read this blog wanted to be a part of the shoot and this is where lies the success of the post on your blog :)

    Diwali is the festival of lights and the best way to make it special is by igniting that light in someone who forgot how special he/she is. A gentle reminder by lighting a diya outside my neighbor's house who is away from home, or by bursting crackers with the kids in the little shanty near my place who want to but can't afford all the diwali crackers or simply by making sure that my pup's first diwali is not so traumatic thanks to the insane loud chocolate bombs. Just doing these little things will make my diwali special.

    Its in giving others that we gain. Always. Wishing you a very happy and prosperous Diwali !


  33. Hi Jayashree!

    Love the kanjeevarams, jewelry and the location which you've chosen for the photography. Only you could have an eye for detail and all your blogs are just FABULOUS!!!
    Here's how we will celebrate Diwali 2012. First of all when we come to a foreign land you miss home, loved ones and all the special moments that you shared with them. Again with a heavy heart and mind filled with nostalgic moments one has to move on with life......
    This Diwali, we the family of three will be sharing our "lights" and Happiness by volunteering in an Indian non-profit organization in Houston, TX. We will celebrate with cultural events, food and recognizing students for their outstanding achievements and awarding scholarships to them.


  34. Hi Jayshree,
    Every one in the picture are looking gorgeous. Job well done!
    I wish you all a very Happy Deepavali!!

  35. Hi Vandana and Jayshree,
    Never could imagine the traditional Kanjeevarams going modern! very very interesting...changing times:) personally loved Vandana's saree the most with all the geometric designs!
    The location reminded me of a famous kannada song ' Jenina Holeyu Haalina Maleyu'!was that intentional??:)

  36. As always it's a very beautiful and informative the sarees and the jewellery....
    The Diwali of 2012 is going to be different for this time it's a real life battle against evil(cancer) for me.I am determined not only go destroy it totally but also prevent it from coming back and to ensure that I do not lose a single day of my life to this evil.Even though it's just 10 days post surgery and I still have a drain attached to me,I have cleaned my house, plan to decorate my house with diyas and flowers, dress up,have friends over and celebrate like any other year,proving that nothing can stop me from living and celebrating life.I plan to celebrate each day enlightening myself and those around me against this evil.

  37. As always,your posts are presented very well. Every time u come up with a different concept. Loved the variety of kanjeevaram sarees, variety of traditional jewelleries, jumkas and of course the beautiful ladies. Jumkas and the neck piece captured my eyes the most. I loved the saree, which Veena Nayak was wearing. Keep up your good work. Wish you all a vey happy deepavali.

    1. Jayashree, Great Job as usual! Beautiful saees,Rich Jewelry and Gorgeous models!
      During Diwali we are all advised to clean the clutter in the house and welcome Godess Lakshmi home.Along with this I will try my Best to unclutter my heart and make space to hold love and care for all the ones I come in contact.

  38. Jayashree, Loved the post. All of you look gorgeous! The unique sarees and traditional jewelry were of exceptional beauty. Diwali to me is about lights - outwards and inwards; sharing and caring. Happy Diwali!

  39. How wierd can this be - I admired ur Head band on Sabyasachi and clicked on ur page ! Looks like u And I have something in common - Love for all things Indian and Antique ! I just got a saree from Sakhi and already raring to buy some from the new collection ! My hubby and I live in london with my 3 year old . I have this teeny weeny story about this diwali I wanted to share you have given me the prefect Oppurtunity .

    Diwali came and I was sad being unable to share the happiness with anyone .The few Indians who reside on teh same building carried on as if it wasa regular day . Then It struck me that I can share my happiness with anyone . So I packed to boxes of yummy rasgullas that we made with nods of approval from my daughter who was the quality control on the shape . And off we went to meet the two Grannies we meet at the bus stand everyday on the way to school . These two nanas are best friends their whole life who actually wait to greet my daughter everyday. The way their face lit up made my heart glow. I know that we have made their day - they didnt know that they have made mine too .I found my Diwali in their smiles .

  40. I am in Love with those antique parrot jhumkas . could you tell me where I can find them ?
    Thank you !

  41. I really love the saree Nirmala Mohan is wearing, a cut work Kanjeevaram(blue,yellow,green). How much does this cost??

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