Devi is the protector
Devi is the provider
Devi is the nurturer
Devi is the harbinger of happiness
Devi is the annihilator of anarchy
Devi is omnipotent and yet down-to-earth
Devi is divine and yet she is humane
Devi is surreally beautiful and yet amazingly real
Devi is sublimely timeless and yet fascinatingly contemporary
Devi is unique and yet she is every-woman
Devi is indomitable and yet delicate
Devi is substance Devi is a phenomenon
Devi is Ummaira Diva
It was an unparalleled honour and a priceless pleasure to dress some of Kolkata’s venerable female leaders in silks from our exclusive Puja Collection. Each lady unravelled a unique aspect of our prized ensembles and lent a distinct character to each creation, at the same time reflecting their unmistakable spark, unflinching spirit and magnetic personality.
As we gear up to usher Devi Durga into our earthly abode soon, here’s a salute to the real-life Devis – doctor, lawyer, educationist, administrator and actor, whose power dwells in their ability to reach out to people organically, physically and emotionally, empowering them, inspiring them, helping them and supporting them to make their lives more fruitful and meaningful.
Dr. Agnimita Giri Sarkar
Dr. Agnimita Giri Sarkar is a Consultant Paediatrician attached to the Institute of Child Health, Kolkata. She pioneered the subspeciality of Lactation and breast health in India. Dr Giri Sarkar founded the “Disha” foundation comprising cancer winners. The foundation is internationally recognised for social awareness, survivorship and advocacy for female and paediatric cancers.
A pure mulberry silk Moirang Phee saree, this is a heritage from the Meitei women of Manipur. The weaving is delicate and intricate and showcases florals and twines.
While the Moirang Phee is now woven throughout the state of Manipur, it was originally woven in the Moirang village in Manipur, ‘Phee’ means cloth in Meitei. The weaving of the saree evolved from the ‘Innaphi’ wrap, which is paired with the traditional sarong ‘Phanek’. It takes two skilled artisans to simultaneously weave a saree with intricate extra weft motifs and distinct temple border designs.
Protected under GI registration, this saree, which is woven on indigenously produced pure mulberry silk, is a reflection of the rich weaving culture of North East Indian women.
Ghazala Yasmin is an assistant professor and the former head (officiating) of the Journalism and Mass Communication department at Aliah University, Kolkata. She holds a postgraduate degree from the prestigious A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the portrayal of Muslim women in partition-based literature and cinema to examine the complex intermediaries of sexuality, victimhood and agency.
An enviable Paat silk from Assam, this saree in a striking shade of lemon yellow and gold, exudes a sophistry that is both unmistakably gorgeous and subtly graceful at the same time.
Paat silk is procured from the sericulture of silkworm bombyx textor, which feeds on mulberry leaves and is an organic inhabitant of Assam.
This Paat silk saree is a celebration of the magnificence of silk infused with zari (Guna) embedded all over it, giving it a royal air. It is accentuated by the graceful way Mrs. Ghazala Yasmin has adorned it.
Sangeeta Tandon is the Principal of Shri Shikshayatan School. She did her schooling at St. Mary’s Convent Allahabad and pursued her post-graduation degree from Kanpur University. She was appointed Principal of Shri Shikshayatan School in 2016 after a lengthy and accomplished career in administration and teaching. Among the many accolades she has received, two of the most notable are the “Aparajita Award for Education” from Sanmarg and the “Exemplary Performance in the field of Education” award from Lions Club International.
A pure Chanderi silk in a dual tone with silver and copper zari borders, this saree is a rich specimen of the handcrafted artistry of our talented rural weavers.
Chanderi is a traditional ethnic fabric characterized by its lightweight, sheer texture and fine luxurious feel. Silk and Zari are woven into conventional cotton yarn to create Chanderi fabric, giving it its shimmering texture. The fabric borrowed its name from the small town of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, where traditional weavers practice the art of producing textured sarees in cotton and silk embellished with fine zari work.
The motifs of butis in gold and silver zari add a dose of playfulness to this traditional silk which is partly diaphanous. It allows light to play with its fabric to produce a unique sheen that lends the Chanderi silk its distinctive character.
Aditi Bhattacharyya, a first-generation, self-taught, self-made lawyer who specialises in corporate law and civil rights, has carved out a niche for herself by opening doors for her own growth. She is an animal advocate and animal rescuer.
The elegant Swarnachari silk saree of West Bengal is more often referred to as the ‘illustrious’ sister of the Baluchari silk saree. While the Baluchari silk saree merely has silk threads interwoven in the weave, the Swarnachari silk saree’s gold thread gives it its distinctive rich lustre.
Despite this difference, both are similar in weaving, design and conception. The Swarnachari silk saree is renowned all over the world for its intricate patterns and figurines. The intricate designs on the saree narrate an entire mythological story altogether. Apart from being woven in bright colours, the classic ‘Swarnachari’ colours in sarees are off-white and deep red with a strong hint of gold. Despite the intricate craftsmanship of the weavers to create these masterpieces, these sarees are now fast becoming a legacy on the verge of extinction. This is due to the limited weavers of Bishnupur who are still managing to continue their craft to create these marvels.
A Master’s degree holder in English, B.Ed and CELTA certified English trainer and a NABET certified soft skills trainer, Debaroopa Bhattacharya, is a role model for the ‘women of today’. With over years of experience as an educator in renowned institutions like South Point School, DPS Ruby Park and Birla High School for Boys, to name a few, Debaroopa has been associated with the Teach India project under the Government of Delhi in collaboration with Macmillan and the British Council Delhi. Since childhood, Debaroopa has had a keen interest in the world of fashion. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic, Debaroopa’s creative vision soared to great heights, and Ummaira – an expertly curated ethnic apparel line for the ‘woman of today’, was born.
An Assam silk in virgin tone, this saree sings the song of its native land Assam and echoes the ancient weaving culture of the state. White symbolises purity, a sliver of heaven, and tranquility.
Despite using only golden thread rather than zari, which gives it a more sublime disposition and softer texture, this saree in the virginal hue of Paat silk is nothing short of ethereal. This lovely masterpiece is given an additional edge by the attached borders, which are made from thread in a golden tint.
Tnusree Chakraborty is a model and actress in Bengali film and television. She was born in Kolkata and completed her schooling at Kamala Girls’ High School. Later, she pursued political science at Basanti Devi College, a University of Calcutta affiliate. Ms. Chakraborty started working as a model after completing her education. Her noteworthy performances in films and television, in addition to modelling, need no introduction. She is a self-made woman who has won numerous accolades and is one of the well-known faces in the Bengali film industry.
This stunning Khaddi Georgette saree in muga colour captures the soul and pure essence of Benaras. Unparalleled splendour is added to the saree by Mughal buttas that are woven throughout in gold zari.
This magnificent masterpiece is lent a royal feel by the antique borders done in gold zari. The crinkle of the georgette makes the fall of this saree amazingly smooth and enhances the effect of the large traditional motifs. This saree is a marvel that boasts of the unmatched craftsmanship of our Indian weavers.