A call: on Mobile.

It has been long time since I blogged about anything. What was it means: nothing new happening or was I so busy that didn’t get time. No, nothing like that. It was just that when there was over information flow, one get lost what to talk.
Silence is golden at times. )

BTW I was quite active in my Flickr (earlier I was not), I even wrote a guest blog article for Ping Mag (one of the best design blog, from Japan).
In my work place, I am learning many new things. And try to understand much more.
Any way, what’s happening in World? Especially in Design sector, that too in India? Always make more sense to Indian Designers.The Digital design experience or people in User interface design would be happy to know about Nokia’s first satellite design studio in India, Bangalore...will explore a range of design trends and themes, including detailed research into colour and material trends in India. It will also study use of mobiles for Internet in India and its implications for design, and examine innovative new features and uses for mobiles.
[Source : Hindu]

I expect, soon I will get a handset for elderly. Last month only I was looking for a mobile for 60+ in not so urbanized area, which has basic functions and easy to navigate interface. Sorry to say I didn’t get a single mobile handset which fit the bill.

Talking about mobile:

I would like to say– few models are so sleek & smooth that it can look good only on an executive hands. While a field worker continuous sweating hand will make it uncomfortable to hold.

So many features- do we really need it? Few don’t even want to send & receive SMS.

Price range versus features. If it is a 2K mobile, is it really helpful in getting what one want? Don’t compromise quality by adding too much.

So many models, with little difference, so much of confusion. From Samsung to Nokia to new Bleu. A sliding cell phone with similar looks.

Total money expenditure- a 3G phone with cool features. But your current service provider gives you all that good service to operate those? If yes, how costly is it? Or you have to change your years old mobile number.

Even if you browse internet on your blackberry and check emails after every 10 min. Is it comfortable or just leave you more frustrated?

Your mobile is more of FM/ Camera to click pictures secretly or more to mobile blog?

Once you are comfortable with your current handset. It got stolen/broke, and you switched to new model of same company. Do you feel ease to operate it? If no, why so much complexity to understand all navigational system of a handset.

Why mobile buttons are so small? Why no models catering to those who don’t have such sleek fingers to press the right tab?

Regional language settings are there- but how many really needy use it?

There are many more concerned areas; these are many more simple questions other than styling & color of cell phone.

I am really disappointed when I visited Nokia exclusive showroom and did not get a cellphone which display text/numbers in good contrast on a reasonably good screen size along with basic features that work in a small town. Like FM. I hope, new Nokia design studio work in more user friendly way and come up with designs that really cater to the person who need it for basic functions not a gizmo. As number of mobile users in India are more than other parts. And these maximum numbers of users don’t work in corporate offices of a metro.

End of summers: Monsoon Calling.

When the canvas of life is becoming faded and dull and one is eagerly looking for a thrill; what could be better than adding few strokes of water with the long paddle brush and a palette called Kayak.
Go adventurous was the motto this weekend. And with our office team we went for River Rafting. Expedition was expended with rock climbing & trekking on the next day.

 Shivpuri, uttranchal.

White water rafting along the Ganges in Shivpuri near Rishikesh, Uttranchal was the agenda. We were supposed to cover 12 Km and do grade 3 & grade 4 rapids.
Through it was not a favorable season to do the rafting as water current was high and rapids could through you.
As I do not know swimming so I was among the afraid all group and was hesitated to do dip and being more adventurous. But when you are already inside the deep water, and paddle as a life line in your hand and you are just blindly following guide instructions than there is so much to have fun.

Preperation-river rafting Life jackets & helmets
We started from Silver sand beach and moved forwards in lush green when sun rays were perfectly accurate to brighten up the mountains in golden hues. The real adventure happened when at the 3 blind mice rapid 3 people from our 2nd boat fallen down! When boat went upside down and 3 persons were not found on right place on the right side. One of them was pulled back immediately, 2nd was saved by kayak and 3rd one who seemed to be panicked was also pulled by the life guard after few minutes.
2 pairs of slippers and 2 paddles were missed and other boat went back to get paddle while we rested on the side. Then our journey started again. I was asked to sit in front as we accommodated 1 more person from the other boat. Sitting in front of the boat, and when waves hit my face occasionally and I got thrilled with every up & down. It was a different experience.
Kayak RiderTents on silver sand beach

Next morning started with drizzling. And when I woke up and saw the awesome view of nature where the pure nature water accumulated on the balcony railing, and small white clouds were trying to push each other on the dark green mountains and translucent green Ganges was floating with little higher voice.
All that made me feel energetic to go out and capture some nature luxurious, soothing musical moments into 2-D, silent frames.
 What a wonderful morning! 
Rock climbing was not going to happen still we wore our comfortable foot wears and started journey towards the mountain peak. In that narrow round & round lanes I got tired number of times, feet slipped but there were will to climb. It the halfway like wanderers we all got dispersed and after certain period of time I realized lets go back and do some more clicks while getting mesmerized by nature beauty.

After a quick lunch we proceeded for Haridwar, from where we had train to Delhi. And we reached with an exhilarating experience to kill the Mondays blues and show more of creative and adventurous side.

Check more pics.

Wear it naturally

Crafty Story -II (A series on Indian Crafts)

Have you ever noticed what are the colors used for your favorite blue shirt? Are they natural or synthetic and artifically made? How much are they harmful to the enviroment or our body? Yes, I am talking about the colors and its impact on health and environment.
Dry colors, vegetable colors or natural dye colors are more skin friendly, and good. Its more like a family, region based business for making colors and implementing the same on products like-carpet, toys and printing etc.
The color that you are wearing, using will not only have colors to soothe your eyes but fragnance of the ingredients will also smells nicely. Colors derived from nature have some depth which chemical dyes lack.

China, Rome, Brazil, East Indies, France and many more countries are coloring the world in natural way. In history, India is painting naturally approximately since 327BC and has been a metaphor of excellance.

Natural colored dyed and handspun Carpet.
Natural colored dyed and handspun Carpet from nomadrugs.com

These natural, hand made, eco-friendly dyes are biodegradable and non-carcinogenic. They are obtained from dried flowers, leaves, seeds & barks and from stones at times from insects also! These are soft and low toxic colors generally non-allergic.
And use for dyeing of Textile like fibre, wool, yarns or garments etc. Paper coloring, on Toys and other Wooden products, making handmade Soaps, Candles; possible areas are unlimited.
From Indigo dye used in ‘Ikat’ (textile from Orissa, India) and food colors added in the form of Indian spices like Turmeric.
Nature colors.
Natural colors and dyes are extracted by the process of fermentation, boiling, and treatment with chemicals. Colors can be obtained from a single dye by the use of different mordents with which the fabrics to be dyed are treated.

 Indigo Dye and wool dyed
Indigo Dye and wool dyed in same. Pictures taken from http://www.aurorasilk.com/

Naturally Printed.
Fiber has cellulose and it will easily absorb natural dyes. Indian textiles are famous for naturally dyed cotton cloths. Gujarat, one of the major center for dyed and block printed textile. Rajasthan tie & dye (Bandhini) is worldwide famous so are Kasmir carpets that have interesting patterns by using vegetable dyes colors and Bihar Madhubani paintings painted delicately in natural colors.
Both western & eastern coast of India have beautifully printed cotton but technique is bit different. If south indian artists uses brush to paint then Gujarat uses wooden blocks for printing nice patterns.

Techniques
Printing blocks are made of teak wood, on one side design is etched. Other side has a wooden handle for holding and drilled cylindrical holes to pass the air and allowing the release of excess colors. New blocks are soaked in oil for 2 weeks or so to soften the wood grains.
In south a bamboo pen is used. That’s how Kalamkari- kalam (pen) and kari (means Work) method of painting on cotton or silk happen. Andhra Pradesh in India is famous for Kalamkari work.
Natural Dyes are supposed to use but gradually artificial and chemical colors are replacing the Indigo blue and Turmeric yellows.

Fabrics
Images courtesy- http://www.fabindia.com/craftsProfile.asp

Dyes making
Most of natural dyes are produced in situ means the coloring substance is extracted form the raw material and used. Which has disadvantage of non-reproduction, mass production, storing is also limited and it’s not standardized.
If techniques are used to produce in powder form than these drawbacks can be remove. Power would be available for long period of time, easy to carry & use and can be standardized by following the guidelines. Color variations in different lot can be also minimized.

Chemical Connection.
One side Natural dyes are organic, eco friendly, bio degradable and much more alive other side synthetics or chemically composed colors are inorganic, flat, and dead. A quick difference can be seen by checking the tonality, depth of naturally dye fabric to flat and unchanged artificial colors used textile.

But natural colors are now fading towards artificially made commercialized colors as it’s easy to get, ready to use. It is impractical to restore all our age-old practices with the versatility of man-made products still it s more about making a right choice and going nature way. To create a good and healthy and more alive work, natural dyes made work is better any day. It is not about saving time and producing quantity its more about retaining the craftsmen identities and making a greener and eco friendly choice.

Tags: Natural dyes, Vegetable colors, Indigo, Indian natural dyes, eco-friendly colors, handicraft, craft, Textile