October 27, 2015

Brow Beating

cara delevingne strong eyebrows

Brow verdict: YES

In a cruel twist of fate, the mono brow that used to spread across our teenage faces now wakes up every morning in patches.

Brows have been big news for a while now and most women our age have over plucked at some stage so here is our opinion on some fillers out there at the moment: Continue reading

October 19, 2015

The Most Buzzing Saturday Night in Delhi!

jawane janeman

I’m going to Delhi for a couple of months soon and one of the things I look forward to is a Saturday night drink and a bit of dancing at my favourite bar, Buzz!  Buzz is the craziest and most amazing place not due to the decor, which is the average typical bar style, but due to the crowd it pulls and the music.

Buzz is in MGF Mall behind Select City Walk Mall and it will only get busy around 11pm. I’m quite lazy and lucky (a convenient Continue reading

October 19, 2015

Step This Way For Amazing Skin

Sex and the city Samantha chemical peel

Will I look like Samantha in that scene in Sex And The City? That was my only question when asked by the fantastic and patient clinician at the Sk:n Clinic during my consultation. No!

I don’t know quite what started my obsession reading about skin peels but the more I read the more I was convinced I needed one. Continue reading

October 18, 2015

The Chatterjis Nominated for Asian Media Award 2015

Asian Media Awards

Ooh fancy that, The Chatterjis Blog has been nominated Best Blog at this year’s Asian Media Awards! In its third year of recognising and rooting for Asian talent in the mainstream and online media, the awards are backed by some of the British media industry’s biggest players.

Other nominees for best blog include: Continue reading

October 18, 2015

House Swap Syria!

home swap

It seems as though almost every week a deluded Muslim family from the UK disappears to join Isis. They could at least add a note on Facebook or Gumtree that they’re looking for a home swap with a Continue reading

October 15, 2015

Amazon India Fashion Week Grand Finale SS16

5 Grand Finale 5

Grand Finale, AIFW SS16

The theme of the Grand Finale this season at Amazon India Fashion Week SS16 was textiles of Varanasi or Benaras as it is traditionally known. Continue reading

October 15, 2015

Day 4 & 5 AIFW: Romantic Ideas in Fashion

I wasn’t particularly wowed by the shows on the last 2 days at Amazon India Fashion Week in which one desperate designer even included a huge Lucky Strike cigarette packet on a T shirt. The best shows gave us romantic fashion in two very different yet beautiful ways.

4 Geisha Designs 1

Geisha Designs, AIFW SS16

4 Geisha Designs 2

Geisha Designs, AIFW SS16

Continue reading

October 15, 2015

Day 3 AIFW: The Best Looks

Holiday vibes were the predominant theme  on day 3 of Amazon India Fashion Week, however, a new fashion category emerged: ethnic sports luxe, Adidas stripes on a Sari and kaftan? We saw it here first!

Anamikaa Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2015

Anamikaa, AIFW SS16

Continue reading

October 11, 2015

The Edit: Day 2 Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Hemant Nandita3

Hemant & Nandita AIFW SS16

Hemant Nandita1

Hemant & Nandita AIFW SS16

I love the different inspiration each designer puts into clothes that we might wear in a given season.   Here is my pick of the best looks from Day 2 at AIFW SS16, a day that took us to the Summer of ’69, the 1950s and more! Continue reading

October 11, 2015

The Edit: Day 1 Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Key looks from Day 1 with an international appeal by Kavita Bhartia and Vineet Bahl:

Vineet Bahl Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Vineet Bahl AIFW SS16

Continue reading

October 11, 2015

Gl-Amazon India Fashion Week SS16 Opens!

Raw Mango Sanjay Garg Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Sanjay Garg, Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2016

Amazon India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 in association with Maybelline is well under way and as usual, you can take a peak at the best shows here at The Chatterjis Blog!

Opening proceedings this season was top designer, Sanjay Garg and his brand Raw Mango.  The show was dedicated to one fabric: mashru. Mashru was introduced to India by the Mughals it is a cotton and silk weave originally created to provide ‘halal’ fabric for menswear (silk for Muslim men is deemed haram, oh yes of course…).  Production stopped in India in the 1940s inspiring Sanjay Garg and his company to re-instate the skill in Benaras. Now his hugely successful brand helps to keep the textile alive.

Sanjay Garg Raw Mango Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Sanjay Garg, Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2016

The designer’s vibrant colour palette and elaborate designs demonstrate the beauty and drape of the fabric. Repeat motifs and stripes are in step with the traditional origins of Mashru.



October 5, 2015

Invisible Threads

Invisible Threads

Former investment banker turned psychiatrist, Lucy Beresford will be at Asia House on 6th October (evening) discussing her book, Invisible Threads a fictional book drawing on the author’s experiences in India.

Although a fictional book, Lucy did a sabbatical at a clinic in Delhi and was introduced to women coming from desperate, violent Continue reading

September 30, 2015

Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years

AS Dulat Kashmir The Vajpayee Years Launch LondonThe truth can be elastic as it sometimes depends upon the perspective and knowledge of the person making the claim, however, Mr A S Dulat, formerly the head of India’s intelligence agency (Research & Analysis Wing) can perhaps claim to know the truth more than most of us. Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years by A S Dulat was launched in London last week at a lovely event at the Taj St James’ Court with guest of honour, Dr Farooq Abdullah (former Chief Minister of Kashmir, the Indian side).

It was a packed event with people standing at the back of the room. I had encouraged Mr Dulat to launch his book in London and as adorably humble as ever, he said ‘who would want to come to that?’ Loads of people was my reply! A couple of months later and there we were celebrating.

Kashmir is a well known and forever difficult subject for Indians and Pakistanis and often the Continue reading

September 5, 2015

Do It Like A Woman

Do It Like A Woman Caroline Criado Perez

The last event I attended on the final day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival was an event centred around feminism: In Praise of Pioneering Women by Caroline Criado-Perez.  Caroline was catapulted into media attention after she started the campaign to put an inspirational woman on the £5 note.  Her campaign led to her being viciously trolled on social media and subsequently the Crown Continue reading

September 5, 2015

Meera Syal at The Edinburgh International Book Festival

Meera Syal House of Hidden Mothers

Poor Meera Syal, the expectations were so high from the audience around me and indeed myself that she would be incredibly sharp and witty and have us in stitches that once the discussion started and it became clear that it was all about surrogacy and motherhood (the main subjects her fictional book centres around) we were a little disappointed.

Of course Meera should want to promote her new book, The House of Hidden Mothers, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just not Continue reading

August 30, 2015

Understanding Islam and Muslims

Islam Carole Hillenbrand

Soft spoken, calm and a leading authority on Islam, Carole Hillenbrand is a Professor of Islamic History at both Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities. Her new book, Islam: A New Historical Introduction aims to allow readers to gain a sensitive understanding of the essential tenets of the religion and of the many ways in which the present is shaped by the past.

The author’s hour long event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was the perfect split between highlights from her book and questions from the eager audience.  I thought this event would be too much of a niche interest but interestingly it sold out. We can’t Continue reading

August 27, 2015

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Bidisha & Mohammed Osborne

Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Bidisha

For a few seconds, time stopped and the audience dropped a collective jaw as Yasmin Alibhai-Brown asked if we knew that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s brother was a Muslim convert, Mohammed Osborne. No we didn’t! But…but… how did that happen?

exotic_england_ Yasmin Alibhai Brown

It was a sell out session with the charismatic journalist and writer, Continue reading

August 23, 2015

The Challenge of Things, A C Grayling

AC Grayling The Challenge of Things

Professor of Philosophy, A C Grayling gave a wonderful presentation of essays yesterday afternoon at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. His new book is a collection of essays of a variety of subjects quite like in the ‘pre-novel’ era when essays were highly regarded.

An example of of one of his adapted essays: In the future would developing countries look to China as a model for development rather that the West and democracy? The Chinese model works well Continue reading

August 22, 2015

Forensic Science with the C.S.Aye Team

Val McDermid

Without the snazzy graphics and collagen-filled lips of the real C.S.I. the totally fabulous C.S.Aye team consisted of internationally acclaimed crime writer, Val McDermid and forensics expert extraordinaire, Niamh Nic Daeid who often appears on BBC Radio 4 to explain forensic science to the general public with ease and she was interviewed for the wonderful Life Scientific programme.

The hour in their company at the Edinburgh International Book Festival event flew by and it was full of fascinating information about a world that most of us are rarely touched by but nonetheless find Continue reading

August 20, 2015

Uphaar Cinema Tragedy

Uphaar cinema fire tragedy

It was just an ordinary evening one day in Delhi way back in 1997 when people went to their local cinema to catch the latest blockbuster. But ordinary soon turned into tragedy as a fire that started in the parking lot engulfed the cinema building itself.

Fire exits had been blocked and building safety norms were not followed by the owners of the cinema. As the fire struck, in the ensuing panic 59 men, women and children (some as young as 4 and 6 years old) lost their lives.

Eighteen years later and following an epic battle through the Indian legal system a verdict was passed by the Supreme Court that the Continue reading

August 20, 2015

Why Did Europe Conquer The World?

Why did Europe conquer the world

In 1914, 84% of the world was under colonial rule from a European nation. Quite an achievement considering that Europe makes approximately 8% of the world’s land mass. These were some of the attention-grabbing opening lines of economic historian, Philip T Hoffman’s event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

How did that happen? Continue reading

August 18, 2015

Mecca, The Sacred City?

Mecca the Sacred City by Ziauddin Sardar

Ziauddin Sardar at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015

I arrived at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today for my first book event of this year’s packed programme, brolly in hand and wearing two layers of cashmere. Yes, it is August, welcome to Summer in Scotland.

Ziauddin Sardar’s new book, Mecca The Sacred City was the topic of discussion and the charismatic author was full of hilarious anecdotes and opinions of Saudi Arabia that mirror my own. Of course, unlike him, I’m not a respected scholar nor have I spent time living there.

It is in the direction of Mecca and the Ka’aba that all Muslims turn to when (or if) they pray. Mecca is the birth place of the Prophet and pilgrimage to the Ka’aba is one of the five pillars of Islam, a duty for all Muslims. So why do the guardians of the holiest sites in the Islamic behave like ‘cultural terrorrists’? Ziauddin Sardar is no fan of Continue reading

August 18, 2015

The Empress Story by Manish Malhotra

Manish Malhotra 7

Manish Malhotra, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

With this collection, Manish Malhotra celebrated 10 years of his couture house and 25 years as a costume designer for the Indian film industry. His Bollywood fan club was out in full support on the night, generations of stars and super stars sitting in front row, the paparazzi going wild.

Manish Malhotra 4

Manish Malhotra, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

As if these two fantastic milestones weren’t enough to celebrate, demonstrating that good things come in three’s, Manish Malhotra announced that two new flagship boutiques would open in 2016, one in London and the other in Dubai. Both world class shopping Continue reading

August 18, 2015

Rohit Bal’s Birds of Paradise

Rohit Bal 6 Rohit Bal 1

Rohit Bal, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

Continue reading

August 16, 2015

Through The Cinematic Lens with Debarun

Debraun 1

Debarun, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro

Debarun Mukherjee’s couture collection embarked on a journey through Indian cinematic costume through the decades from the black and white days of the 1930s to the present time. Of course, little has changed in hundreds of years of traditional Indian fashion let alone a few decades. Colours and trims come in and out of fashion Continue reading

August 16, 2015

The Beloved by Manav Gangwani

Manav Gangwani 2

Manav Gangwani, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro

Indian couturier, Manav Gangwani’s show was entitled ‘Le’amoureuse’ or the beloved in English. He really should have stuck with English as the French is grammatically incorrect and has, incidentally, been widely re-printed with the same error across other media. I know this is a fashion review not a French lesson but if you’re going to have pretensions, at least Google your French.

Back to the collection… The show was set in a floral garden with a long winding catwalk. An hour late, the audience had to wait longer Continue reading

August 6, 2015

Maharadja & Co

Rimple and Harpreet Narula 6Rimple and Harpreet Narula, AICW 2015, Photography: FDCI

‘Maharadja & Co’ was the title of the Preciosa (Czec crystals) sponsored glamorous couture show by Rimple and Harpreet Narula. Celebrating the days and glory of the Raj is the essence of Rimple and Harpreet Narula’s brand (although every Indian designer invariably cites the same inspiration).

Rimple and Harpreet have endeavored to capture the very beginnings of the concepts of bespoke and portraiture in India with Continue reading

August 6, 2015

Princesses of Persia

Anju Modi 3

Anju Modi, AICW 21015. Photography: FDCI

Anju Modi’s show notes included a poem by my favourite Sufi poet, Rumi so I was won over from the start:

I asked, “Where is your home, beautiful moon?”

She said, “In the wreck of your heart so stone.

I am the sun shining into your ruin.

Long may you call this wild wasteland your home”.

Inspired by Persia, the show was entitled Kashish: an Urdu word, reflects an attraction, a deep desire and yearning for something; something which maybe never was. Well English words don’t mean so much do they? Continue reading

August 6, 2015

Gaurav Gupta’s Nymphs & Goddesses

Gaurav Gupta AICW 3

Gaurav Gupta, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro

Amazon India Couture Week 2015 might be the show in which Gaurav Gupta got his mojo back after a pretty bad pret collection. The show was called ‘Silt and Cipher’ with models glamorously made up to resemble woodland nymphs and goddesses. The golden hair was amazing! Continue reading

July 31, 2015

Rahul Mishra’s Couture Debut





Rahul Mishra, AICW 2015, Photography: FDCI

International Woolmark prize winner, Rahul Mishra has his Indian couture debut yesterday. His collection was aimed at the contemporising the bridal trousseau for the busy, multi-tasking, modern woman/bride and was inspired by the tree of life. Continue reading

July 31, 2015

Sabyasachi Opens Amazon India Couture Week 2015

Calcutta based extraordinary couturier, Sabyasachi opened Amazon India Couture Week in glorious fashion. The designer’s trademark indulgent yet sophisticated designs and his meticulously details catwalk stage was inspired this season by India’s most common hunting bird, a ‘Bater’.


Sabyasachi, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro


Continue reading

May 20, 2015

My White Wrists


My White Wrists (Chitiyan Kalayan) is  the translation of a chorus of a Bollywood song that has been in the top ten in the BBC Asian Radio Charts and on radio loops in India non-stop.

Songs like this make me want to scream: is there no hope of evolution in the South Asian community’s mentality about skin Continue reading

May 18, 2015

Dispatches from the Kabul Cafe with Heidi Kingstone


As the Asia House Lit Festival draws to an end, A personal highlight for me was to hear Heidi Kingstone in conversation with Jemima Steinfeld. Both women have written accounts of working abroad and in this conversation we were treated to Heidi’s memories of being a war correspondent in Afghanistan and a reading from her new book, Dispatches from the Kabul Cafe.

Heidi began by explaining the phenomenon, Kabubble, which arose Continue reading

May 9, 2015

An Evening With Xue Xinran

xue xinran

The opening night of the Asia House Literature Festival started off tonight with a wonderful conversation with the acclaimed author and journalist, Xue Xinran, who has a new book, Buy Me the Sky, out now.

Xinran has an incredible talent of explaining Chinese culture through her many books and she spoke very frankly in conversation with Continue reading

May 5, 2015

The Ninth Asia House Lit Festival

UK writer Hanif Kureishi in conversation with Razia Iqbal about new book 'The Last Word'Razia Iqbal is BBC Special Correspondent and presenter of Talking Books. Headline event for opening night of Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival @ Asia Ho

Hanif Kureishi in conversation with Razia Iqbal from last year’s festival.

London’s incredible Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival begins this week – don’t worry, you still have time to get a ticket as it runs from 7 – 18 May.

The line up is as impressive and diverse as ever and launches on 7 May with the acclaimed author Xue Xinran who will be celebrating the release of her new book, Buy Me the Sky. Xinran will be discussing the new generation of China which is such a fascinating topic, we can’t wait to attend. Continue reading

April 12, 2015

Hey Pretty Eyes!

thandie-in-violet make up

We all have a tried and tested ‘face’ that we can slap on to trundle through a regular day. Of course ‘regular day’ is an elastic phrase if, like me, you’re of South Asian origin.  Once upon a time my regular day face consisted of what most women would consider full bridal makeup. As I’ve gotten older my makeup has become significantly lighter and more sparing yet I still haven’t often been quite daring.

nars guy bourdin

About a month went to the amaaaazing Guy Bourdin exhibition at Somerset House just before its final curtain call. The gift shop had an amazing Nars makeup range commissioned especially Continue reading

April 12, 2015

Indian Summers Addiction

Indian-Summers 1

There a few ingredients on TV that rock my boat: period drama, excellent fashion and style, architecture and politics. Mix all of these ingredients together and the outcome is INDIAN SUMMERS on Channel 4.

From the opening scenes of a sprawling villa in the Indian hills with indulgent hanging flowers and vines, you could almost inhale the heat and fragrance from the screen. After making me sickeningly envious of this property, we are slowing introduced to the characters who will keep us company at 9pm on Sunday evenings.  Continue reading

April 11, 2015

Jihadi Brides

jihadi brides

BBC2 ran a programme rather late on Thursday night called Jihadi Brides. I happened to see it after reaching saturation point with Question Time on BBC1 so it was an accidental yet intriguing insight into these young girls and women as well as their ideology. I’m a Muslim woman (selectively practicing), too old/wild to be groomed but quite bemused by these holier than thou Muslims. These are some of the opinions raised from the programme:

1. Professional: These young women are not stupid, they are intelligent and educated.

2. Professional: The young women may lack an ability for critical thinking. Continue reading

March 29, 2015

A Military March and A Risky Affair

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Pero by Aneeth Arora, AIFW AW 2015

This season péro by Aneeth Arora lent her attention to military uniforms and the clothing and accessory items that have become staples over the decades, such as aviator sunglasses and khakis. She continued her exploration of Scottish checks (hand woven in the Himalaya region) and block printed textiles from Gujurat. Continue reading

March 29, 2015

A Voyage of Discovery and The Goddess of The Night

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Sanchita, AIFW AW 2015

This season Sanchita showcased a collection inspired by ‘A Voyage of Discovery’ influenced by multiple stimuli, from gentle contemplation to upbeat, vivid experience. It wasn’t in the show notes but clearly there was a hint of Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty in the moulded feather headwear. Continue reading


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