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'Use Waterproof Kajal'

By PATCY N
September 27, 2022 09:40 IST
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'In trying to dress up, girls forget to dress comfortably.'
'At the end of the day, you should be able to dance and enjoy.'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Aahana Kumra/Instagram

What is Aahana Kumra's fashion mantra for Navratri?

"I don't dress up, I dress smart," says the OTT star, who came to Mumbai from Lucknow at age 13.

She gives some style tips to Patcy N/Rediff.com, and says, "After years of wearing mojris and sandals, and people stamping my feet... also, my feet getting dirty because it rains at least one night out of the nine...now, I wear sneakers. It's easy, your feet are clean, nobody stamps on your foot, and no one can see what you are wearing under your ghagra."

 

Navratri in Lucknow was very different from the one in Mumbai. Here, it is garba and dandiya and dancing.

In Lucknow, it was all about doing Mata ki Chowki, bheej bona aur kheti ugana (to farm) and Kanjak puja (worship of nine girls, representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga).

We would go house to house to collect money after Kanjak Puja. It was around Rs 10, but a big amount for us.

Navratri was a time when we could make a lot of money.

I had no idea about this world of dandiya and garba, or how they dress up...

We did not have too many Gujaratis in Lucknow at that time.

There is such a huge Gujarati influence in Mumbai because this city has a mixed culture, you have people from all communities.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Aahana Kumra/Instagram

In Mumbai, we lived in Borivali (north west Mumbai), and there were a lot of Gujaratis there. My exams would coincide with Navratri and I would hear loud garba music and get very confused as to why people are playing loud music during exam time.

Later, my friends told me about the festival.

We used to wait for the exams to get over and then everybody would wear ghagra-choli... Borivali had huge Navratri programmes...

Falguni Pathak would perform in Borivali every year.

This was all new to me, and very exciting.

When we were in UP, it was not safe, and so we were not allowed to go out after 5 pm. In Mumbai, there were no restrictions.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Aahana Kumra/Instagram

When I was in college, my friends and I would go to Colaba (south Mumbai) and pick up ghagras. Then, we would exchange each other's outfits and wear them for nine days.

I would wear it with mostly with tops and ganjees.

I would accessorise it with oxidized jewellery. We borrowed each other's jewellery too.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Aahana Kumra/Instagram

I like to wear fusion, like a fitted black top with a ghagra.

I keep make-up really simple, just kajal and a bindi.

There are a lot of people who do full make-up, and I admire them. They have a lot of patience.

As actors, we are so used to having make-up all the time that I am not so big on it.

I keep my hair tied because with Mumbai's humidity, you will start sweating in five minutes, and your hair will look bad.

After years of wearing mojriS and sandals, and people stamping my feet... also, my feet getting dirty because it rains at least one night out of the nine...now, I wear sneakers.

It's easy, your feet are clean, nobody stamps on your foot, and no one can see what you are wearing under your ghagra.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Aahana Kumra/Instagram

What you shouldn't do is wear uncomfortable clothes.

I think in trying to dress up, girls forget to dress comfortably.

At the end of the day, you should be able to dance and enjoy.

Five minutes to any place and your make-up will start melting.

So don't wear mascara that is not water-proof.

Use waterproof kajal or gel liner.

Wear a matte lipstick.

Basically, your make-up should not move.

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PATCY N / Rediff.com