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THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE 

A feature of love that gives it its gravitas is the promise of commitment. You promise to be present in another person’s life through their ups and downs. It involves that risk of love that Alain Badiou talks about. “inasmuch as love is a pleasure almost everyone is looking for, the thing that gives meaning and intensity to almost everyone’s life, I am convinced that love cannot be a gift given on the basis of a complete lack of risk.’ (Badiou 2012, 6-7). In religion, love and commitment involves sacrificing simple pleasures and taking risks. A monk would have to sacrifice a life of socialising and creating a family for a life of solitude. Every monk commits their lives to the...

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LETTERS FROM CHIKANKARI

    Figure 1 - Chikankari Garment  Ganjefa: The Game of Cards is a story written by Naiyer Masud and Deepa Zafir. The story traces the narrator’s (a man) interactions  with his mother and  the people of Lucknow. With the passing of his father, the protagonist makes his way homeward to settle in with his mother. Set in the midst of riots and hardship, the protagonist narrates his mother’s plight and ailing health. Being the breadwinner of the family she struggles day and night, squinting her eyes as she works the needle and thread doing chikankari. Realising that her health is deteriorating she asks her son to call a woman named Husna to come to her aid. He runs through...

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LOVE FIGURES EVERYWHERE

Today we live in a world where we are surrounded by dating apps that ensure that nobody will get hurt while dating. Alain Badiou in In Praise of Love, quotes from a few of these apps and shares his thoughts about 21st century love. ‘“Get love without chance!” And then another says: “Be in love without falling in love!” No raptures, right? Then: “Get perfect love without suffering!” …I believe this hype reflects a safety-first concept of “love”. It is love comprehensively insured against all risks: you will have love, but will have assessed the prospective relationship so thoroughly, will have selected your partner so carefully by searching online - by obtaining, of course, a photo, details of his or her tastes, date...

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Emotional Textiles

    When you see a piece of fabric, you take a few glances at it and instinctively your hand reaches out to touch and feel it. While textile is a ‘text’ that can be seen and read it also carries an embodied meaning that takes shape when it is worn or placed within the setting of a home. Mark Johnson says, ‘Meaning is embodied. It arises through embodied organism-environment interactions in which significant patterns are marked within the flow of experience. Meaning emerges as we engage the pervasive qualities of situations and note distinctions that make sense of our experience and carry it forward. The meaning of something is its connections to the past, present, and future experiences, actual...

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Thorthu, Kerala Thorthu

Thorthu, Kerala Thorthu The ‘u’ not to be pronounced as thor-thoo, but like ‘ue’ of Prague. Thorth.   For someone from a tropical land, cotton is undoubtedly a part and parcel of one's daily life. And for someone especially from Kerala, from a textile perspective, our most prized possessions - the most ordinary and extraordinary is cotton and with 'kara' (bands) - both revered greatly - the saree or mundu and the 'thorthu'. While the Kerala saree and mundu and mundum neriyathum get everyone's attention as Kerala’s main textiles, the thorthu humbly takes a backseat, enjoying it all hanging on the clothesline, under the sun; slowly swaying in the wind with no complaints. The thorthu, in reality, is perhaps bought...

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