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Home / Brunch / HT Brunch Cover Story: Celebrating Women’s Day with grandmothers and granddaughters

HT Brunch Cover Story: Celebrating Women’s Day with grandmothers and granddaughters

Generation gap be damned! 6 set of grandmums and granddaughters swap wardrobes and trade life lessons

brunch Updated: Mar 07, 2020 23:22 IST
Veenu Singh and Drishti Vij
Veenu Singh and Drishti Vij
Hindustan Times
Art direction: Amit Malik; Make-up and hair: Artistry by Anjali Jain;  (clockwise from top left) Satya Dewan, 19, and Usha Trikha, 73; Uma Bahl, 81, and Avantika Sinha, 27, with Malibu, 4; Leewana Nanda, 16, Sudha Murgai, 72; Madhu Sabarwal, 72, and Akanksha Dean, 23; Sudesh Saihgal, 78, and Tanya, 23; Prabha Singh, 84, and Avshreya Rudy, 28
Art direction: Amit Malik; Make-up and hair: Artistry by Anjali Jain; (clockwise from top left) Satya Dewan, 19, and Usha Trikha, 73; Uma Bahl, 81, and Avantika Sinha, 27, with Malibu, 4; Leewana Nanda, 16, Sudha Murgai, 72; Madhu Sabarwal, 72, and Akanksha Dean, 23; Sudesh Saihgal, 78, and Tanya, 23; Prabha Singh, 84, and Avshreya Rudy, 28(Shivamm Paathak )

Queens of cool

A second year history honours student conspires with her maternal grandma, a former social worker, on all things mischievous

Starring: Usha Trikha, 73, and Satya Dewan, 19

On Satya: Lehenga, Fabindia; Gold stole, an antique piece from her great grandmother; silver jewellery, Amrapali and Jaipur shops; juttis, Agra; On Usha: Lehenga, from a designer in Mumbai; jewellery, Khanna jewellers; footwear from Bangkok
On Satya: Lehenga, Fabindia; Gold stole, an antique piece from her great grandmother; silver jewellery, Amrapali and Jaipur shops; juttis, Agra; On Usha: Lehenga, from a designer in Mumbai; jewellery, Khanna jewellers; footwear from Bangkok ( Shivamm Paathak )

What I’ve learnt from my grandmother: “Hearing how my grandmum made choices as an 18-year-old without thinking about what people would say makes the saying about following your heart so true. She did the cha-cha-cha, salsa, played the sitar and was a skater. How cool is that! She’s outgoing and modern in her outlook and encourages me to do what I want just like she did!”

What I’ve learnt from my granddaughter: “Satyu’s introduced me to the wonderful world of technology that instantly connects me to my near and dear ones. Courage and confidence at such a young age bewilders me and her artistic pursuits in theatre and photography have made me realise just how much a young girl can spread her wings.”

Wardrobe swap! Satya finally got her hands on Usha’s heirloom stole on the shoot day while Usha raided Satya’s wardrobe and agreed on a lehenga-kurta look. “Having worn saris since my early 20s, wearing a lehenga from my granddaughter’s wardrobe made me feel shy!” says Usha.

The art of living

A content editor says she learnt how to celebrate life from her paternal grandmother

Starring: Sudesh, 78, and Tanya Saihgal, 23

On Sudesh: Maxi dress, W For Woman; necklace, Anokhi; On Tany: Sari, Nalli; jewellery, Malabar Jewellers; Styling: Shamali Singh
On Sudesh: Maxi dress, W For Woman; necklace, Anokhi; On Tany: Sari, Nalli; jewellery, Malabar Jewellers; Styling: Shamali Singh ( Shivamm Paathak )

What I’ve learnt from my grandmother: “It’s easy and cool for us millennials to say that we are anxious, depressed, that our job sucks and life is so tough, but I realise how happy and content my daadi is despite old age and health issues like cancer. She taught me to be a fighter and how to live in the moment.”

What I’ve learnt from my granddaughter: “Tanya’s taught me to chill more and think less about traditions. These girls want to be independent and believe in gender equality. Now that’s a lesson to learn!”

Wardrobe swap! Tanya rarely wears saris but for our shoot, she draped her grandma’s silk sari while the latter tried on Tanya’s maxi dress! “I’ve seen daadi wearing this sari in pictures. Looking at myself in the same was like witnessing a legacy,” says Tanya.

Gender no bar

School-going Leewana aspires to be an achiever like her maternal grandmother, the President of Cancer Care India

Starring: Sudha Murgai, 72, and Leewana Nanda, 16

On Sudha: Jacket and dress, Paro ; On Leewana: Dress, Paro; necklace, Amrapali; belt, Myoho; sandals, Tresmode
On Sudha: Jacket and dress, Paro ; On Leewana: Dress, Paro; necklace, Amrapali; belt, Myoho; sandals, Tresmode ( Shivamm Paathak )

What I’ve learnt from my grandmother: “From naani ma I’ve learnt to stand strong and conquer everything in my way. She believes I’m capable of going as far as anyone else, regardless of gender.”

What I’ve learnt from my granddaughter: “Livu has taught me to be bold while making choices and the importance of being totally independent. She is my strength!”

Wardrobe swap! Leewana convinced her granny to give her saris a break and got a chance to wear her accessories for this shoot. “I was transported back to my youth!” says Sudha.

Women of steel

A lawyer-cum-polo player has learnt to say ‘no’ from her paternal grandmother

Starring: Prabha Singh, 84, and Avshreya Pratap Singh Rudy, 28

On Prabha: Sari, Kasim Collection, Varanasi; antique jewellery; footwear; Bata; On Avshreya: Sari, Kasim Collection, Varanasi; jewellery, antique family heirlooms
On Prabha: Sari, Kasim Collection, Varanasi; antique jewellery; footwear; Bata; On Avshreya: Sari, Kasim Collection, Varanasi; jewellery, antique family heirlooms ( Shivamm Paathak )

What I’ve learnt from my grandmother: “Resolve and resilience. Even after being widowed at 28, which is how old I am today, she raised five successful children. Also, the ability to say no and stick to it.”

What I’ve learnt from my granddaughter: “Avshreya has always been strong willed, even as a child. At the same time she is caring. I wish we had been allowed to be as strong and determined as girls are today.”

Wardrobe swap! Avshreya’s possessive grandma allowed her to wear one of her saris only for the shoot! “Wearing daadi’s sari gave me a strong connect with her and my roots,” says Avshreya.

Going scot-free

A restaurateur gets her helping of affection from her husband’s paternal grandma

Starring: Uma Bahl, 81 and Avantika Sinha Bahl, 27

On Avantika: Top, Shein; sari, boutique in South Extension; On Uma: Suit, boutique in South Extension; jewellery, Khanna Jewellers; clutch, Da Milano
On Avantika: Top, Shein; sari, boutique in South Extension; On Uma: Suit, boutique in South Extension; jewellery, Khanna Jewellers; clutch, Da Milano ( Shivamm Paathak )

What I’ve learnt from my grandmother: “Even at her age, daadi doesn’t ask for help. Women of her generation are natural multitaskers. I’ve learnt this from her!”

What I’ve learnt from my granddaughter: “I really admire Avantika’s fierce spirit and the freedom of her generation. Looking at her, I have realised that given the right opportunity, there is nothing a woman can’t achieve.”

Wardrobe swap! A dress-person, Avantika draped her daadi’s sari on a top while Uma junked her sari for Avantika’s suit. “Daadi liked her sari on me so much that she gave it to me!” chimes Avantika.

Partners in crime

A young chef has learnt the recipe for naughtiness from her maternal grandma, an ex-food taster

Starring: Madhu Sabarwal, 72, and Akanksha Dean, 23

On Madhu: Suit, Biba; footwear, Charles & Keith; On Akanksha: Suit, from a shop in Lucknow; watch, Fossil; sandals, Bata
On Madhu: Suit, Biba; footwear, Charles & Keith; On Akanksha: Suit, from a shop in Lucknow; watch, Fossil; sandals, Bata ( Shivamm Paathak )

What I’ve learnt from my grandmother: “My naanu often says: ‘Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them’ and that has been engraved in my mind. I’ve inherited her nose for news and love for cricket too.”

What I’ve learnt from my granddaughter: “Akanksha works as a chef, travels, writes and still manages to have fun and take care of me. Following in her footsteps, I’ve found joy in playing video games and getting connected on Facebook and Skype.”

Wardrobe swap! Madhu broke her dress code of baggy pyjamas and slipped into Akanksha’s churidar-kurta! “Taking on Akanksha’s style was like being in her world for a few minutes. What a fun idea!” says Madhu. for good measure...

A grandpa so cool!

A Delhi-based digital creator has an unusual model: his 87-year-old granddad! Both men participate in this HT Brunch Celebrating Women special by twinning and swapping wardrobes, then say the following about the women in their lives.

Starring: Satish, 87, and Siddharth Batra, 26

On Satish Shirt, Markham; jeans, Levi’s; On  Siddharth: Shirt, Cotton World; trousers, Raymonds; cap, Zara
On Satish Shirt, Markham; jeans, Levi’s; On Siddharth: Shirt, Cotton World; trousers, Raymonds; cap, Zara ( Shivamm Paathak )

What I’ve learnt from my mother: Says Siddharth, “She’s extremely patient; her tolerance levels reach palatial ceilings! It’s rubbed off on me over time. I’m a lot like my mother!”

What I’ve learnt from my mother and wife: Says Satish, “Growing up, I saw my mother work hard to ensure the house ran efficiently. She managed to instil these qualities in me too! My wife was very good at managing our finances and ensured we travelled the world.”

Wardrobe swap! Trouser-loving Satish fitted perfectly into Siddharth’s jeans and Siddharth got an excuse to whack off his grandpa’s cap and pants! “I steal grandpa’s clothes regularly. Unfortunately we don’t share shoe sizes,” says Siddharth.

Hindustantimes

Who wore what

On Satya: Dress tailored from Khan Market; anklet, from a shop in Jaipur; Kolhapuris from Agra; On Usha: Sari, Nalli

On Sudesh: Suit, Infinity Creations; pearl string, Caratlane, ring and bangle, Khanna jewellers; shoes, Dr Scholls; On Tanya: Dhoti sari; Infinity Creations; ring and cuff, Nimai; shoes, Charles & Keith

On Leewana: Cape, Paro; T-shirt and jeans, H&M; boots, Aldo; On Sudha: Shirt, Loft; skirt, Sholeh; necklace from a boutique in Thailand

On Prabha: Sari, Kasim Collection, Varanasi; jewellery, antique family heirlooms; On Avshreya: Suit, Madhu Jain, jewellery, antique family heirlooms; jutti from Agra

On Uma: Suit from a boutique in South Extension; jewellery, Khanna jewelers; On Avantika: Dress, Mars; earrings and bracelet, customised; shoes, Ash Amaira

On Madhu: Outfit, H&M; footwear, Charles & Keith; On Akanksha: Top, H&M; pants, Global Desi; shoes, Skechers

On Satish: Shirt, Allen Solly; Trousers, Raymonds; loafers; Louis Phillipe; On Siddharth: Shirt, Selected Homme; trousers, Massimo Dutti; tassel slip-ons, SKO

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From HT Brunch, March 8, 2020

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