Thursday, 24 December 2015

How to become a Leela

An important tip for content creation is to create content you, yourself would enjoy looking at and would get inspired by. Keeping this in mind, I am here to create content on one of my biggest obsessions-Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Indian film- Ram-leela.

A violent adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Ram-leela blew me away and had me thinking about it 24/7. The obsession still hasn’t died down though, like I expected it to. No, this movie captivates me with its breathtaking aesthetics to this day, even if the storyline starts slowly fading away. It has cultivated a desi girl in me, who can’t stop dreaming about Leela’s absolutely gorgeous lengha choli’s, for example the filmy white one she adorns whilst lounging about in her room or the beautiful, sequined, patchwork choli she wears during the festival of Holi and the song, ‘Lahu Munh Lag Gaya’. For those of you who don’t know what a lengha choli is, it is an outfit comprised of a long, floor length skirt and a short, fitted crop top. It’s not just the clothes that dazzle me-it’s everything, from the music, the makeup, the tribal tattoos, the heavy jewellery, the way the rooms are furnished, the sort of activities that take place, the famous set where Ram comes to secretly court Leela at her balcony. In short, the lifestyle depicted in this movie.

In my daydreams about Ram-leela I often find myself wondering what it would be like to adopt certain elements of this lifestyle that really appeal to me, and how I can add on to them and build on this lifestyle, getting into the smallest of details. For example, if Leela drinks tea, what kind of tea does she drink? Does she use tea bags? That doesn’t give much of an ethnic princess vibe now, does it? She must use proper tea leaves. Does she add honey, sugar, milk or lemon to her tea? Does she drink it out of a mug or does she drink it out of a gorgeous, hand painted cup?  I would also like to note that THIS is the sort of attention to detail that has probably contributed a lot into making Ram-leela an iconic film, because visuals stick in an individual’s mind for a long time, and that is what influences them(example, me).

Ever since I watched Ram-leela I have developed an interest and a taste for things such as vintage furniture, desi clothes, especially lengha choli’s (a girl can dream of living in nothing but those), ethnic jewelry and much more. I have been contemplating getting a small nose piercing and I have been looking for an ethnic looking cabinet/dresser for my room. My mother, being aware of my muse, recently bought me this beautiful silver mirror for my room that looks exactly like something an ethnic princess would possess. I put a little crystal bowl on my current vanity, with just a little bit of water and a rose shaped candle. The smallest details and layouts add up. One morning before an exam I went out into our balcony. The weather was chilly and the trees outside as well as the plants on the balcony were slightly swaying with the breeze. We have a small pond in which we keep our water plants such as the umbrella plant, and we have lined it with pots of bright yellow marigold. It was a lovely morning, and I stood above the pond and looked down at it and realized that there is so much beauty in the imperfect composition-it lies within the happy flowers beaming up at me, and even in the reflection of the umbrella plant and the sky upon the muddy pond water. It reminded me of Leela’s balcony and the trees and plants everywhere on that particular set, and the jade green water body just beneath her balcony. Another time, at a social dinner for my school’s business competition, I looked over at our school pond, which now, is inhabited by our two school turtles. The dinner was fancy and formal, with these blue and purple lights. That light hit the reflection on the pond, causing it to cast its own purple glow. I had to take a picture because it was such a magical sight- not to mention it again, reminded me of Ram-leela.

Mostly for my own satisfaction, I want to start visually documenting the sort of lifestyle an ethnic princess like Leela would have, by developing it for myself. It’s like living and fulfilling a fantasy that will be adapted for practicality. I mean, I can’t go out in a choli even if I can dress up for myself at home. However, I can opt for more shawls over hoodies, as a very basic example. I invite you to witness and perhaps, get inspired by my development and documentation of a Ram-leela lifestyle. I plan to put in a lot of effort and detail into as many aspects of life as I can (without hopefully, getting too carried away), such as beauty, fashion, health and wellness, food, activities, education, and culture. If you are anything like me, and have desperately scoured the internet for ANY article or even the smallest paragraph that will tell you how to become a Leela (ahem ahem, Muskaan), this article, and over a period of time, this blog, is for you. 


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