Award-winning author joins the Dare2Drape Saree challenge
Triveni Sarees & Ethnics, a 30 year old design & manufacturing house of Indian ethnic wear based in Surat, India launched the Dare2Drape challenge to encourage women all over the world to explore different saree drapes & looks, and thus break new boundaries with this endlessly versatile piece of clothing. Dare2Drape is based on the 7 X 7 theme (7 drapes, 7 sarees, 7 nominations, 7 weeks, 7 winning drapes). The competition began this month with our 7 Leading Faces taking up the challenge of draping 7 sarees in 7 different manners over the coming 7 weeks. But that’s not it: These contestants will then challenge another round of 7 people to do the same, and this process will continue on for the next 7 weeks. At the end, 7 styles with 7 different drapes will be rewarded with exciting gifts.
Leading face Tanuja Desai Hidier is a recipient of the 2015 South Asia Book Award and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and her short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. Her pioneering novel, Born Confused, was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and became a landmark work, hailed by both Rolling Stone Magazine and Entertainment Weekly as one of the greatest YA novels of all time. When We Were Twins, her album of original songs based on Born Confused, was featured in Wired Magazine for being the first-ever “booktrack.” Tanuja’s new award-winning novel Bombay Blues (“teeming with energy and music…a chronicle of Bombay cool”, says the Hindustan Times) and her accompanying album of original songs Bombay Spleen are out in the USA/Canada, and launched in India at the 2015 Jaipur Literature Festival. The music video for Tanuja’s ode-to-the-Mumbai “Heptanesia”, is currently airing on Pepsi-MTV Indies.
The other Leading Faces of the challenge are Dr. Supriya Himanshu (Lifestyle Journalist), Vishakha Talreja (founder and editor, The Hotel Explorer), Diksha Gupta (assistant editor, EFY Enterprises Pvt Ltd), Garima Dutt (journalist, Zee Media Corporation Limited), Rasalila Dasi (founder/owner of blog ‘108 Ways to Wear a Saree’) and Kseniia Larovchyk (Ukrainian dancer).
Speaking of the association, Arvind Saraf, Director of Triveni said, “I first stumbled across Tanuja’s novel Born Confused back as a student, at the MIT library, and felt a strong association with it. I read the book as an Indian freshly moved to the US, and could identify with the themes of mixed-cultural confusion and the search for identity. Sarees are a strong part of this Indian identity – and ‘grace, dignity, identity’ are even Triveni’s very motto–so who better than Tanuja to represent this segment, having explored through her books and music not only the confusions but also the grace and dignity to be discovered in the search for identity as well?
Further on this association Tanuja added: “I was honored to be asked to be a leading face for Triveni’s challenge. I felt a connection to Arvind Saraf through his own bond with the protagonist of both my novels. As well, my father is from Gujarat , where Triveni is based (my mother is from Bombay). Boston-born me, I only lived in India a couple of years as a baby. In fact, both of my books and albums have been inspired in large part by my desire to know this motherland better, while exploring the many-layered experience of inhabiting a multi-cultural identity. And what more fitting fabric to explore this layering than a sari? The sari features numerous times in both of my novels (in fact, it even inspired me to write a song called “Sari” for my album of songs based on Born Confused!).
My first novel, Born Confused, takes its name from the term American Born Confused Desi. Through the journey of aspiring photographer heroine Dimple Lala during a summer where she’s trying to bring her cultures together without falling apart in the process—undergoing her own kind of ‘draping’ challenge, so to speak– I wanted to redefine the C for Confused to one for Creative, as this felt to me to more accurately reflect the desis that people my world. People who were in fact shaping fact shaping –draping!–and creating the culture as they went along. As we went along. And still are. And now these saris have become an extension of that redefining. I’d never tried to put on a sari before week one of the Dare2Drape challenge and began the process in utter confusion. Like my protagonist, I am working my way to turn that Confusion to Creativity.”