Rithihi is always searching the depth of beauty as a quality that penetrates much more than what meets the eye. This means observing the idea of beauty through several lenses like purpose, inspiration, interaction and service to others. Our love for rhythm is rooted in seeing it as a sense of intuitive wisdom when it comes to identifying life’s patterns and understanding change. This space is a collection of musings from our personal search into rhythm and beauty, as well as of interesting ideas and inspirations sourced from our circles and collaborators around the world.

Pure moods

What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain’s brink.
What is red? a poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro’.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!

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Like the sun

No, it’s not a colour, but a liquid summer. It’s the sun caught in all the sunflowers… It’s that feeling shining through in a smile. It’s warmth. It’s hope. It’s the unbroken magnificence of gold. It’s a place where nothing ever dies.

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Colour feels

Colour is one of the most delightful aspects of how we sense the world around us. ‘Light of a particular wavelength’ is a simple enough way to explain colour. But, our experience of it is anything but simple. In the fraction of a second that it takes for our brain to identify light of seven hundred nanometers as the colour red, it would grow into a complex, many-layered idea. To some of us, it will become a symbol of love or desire; to another, it would come with associations of anger. One may find that their idea of the colour red is shaped by the memory of dear someone, immortalised within a treasured moment. It would translate as the heroic passion to one culture, while to another it will come uncomfortably close to a force of oppression.

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Cottons from Kanchi

The story of Kanchipuram, India’s treasured silk saree town, actually started with cotton. It is thought that weavers first started gravitating towards Kanchipuram because it had many rivers, and was rich in red-black loamy soil; this allowed them to process cotton, dye, and bleach textiles easily. It is also thought that weaving communities thrived in Kanchipuram because the town has hundreds of historic temples, which meant that there was a steady stream of royal commissions coming to Kanchi weavers to create exquisitely crafted cottons to be offered to the gods.

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Seeing self

Looking in the mirror just before stepping out, there’s a moment when you catch yourself. A moment where you measure the person in the mirror; where you estimate whether the image really reflects the soul within. Does it echo the things you believe in? Can those colours speak your strength? Do those patterns echo memories of the people and the places that you hold close to your heart?

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Forever season

Beauty is imperfection. It is capturing the loveliness of things that are mortal, with all of life’s intensity intact. It is seeing the quietness that makes the vibrancy; the dark that makes the light; It is the sensation of sweet and sour making your tongue curl when biting into a raw mango at the brink of being ripe.

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Not quite traditional, yet, wonderfully familiar. Not quite a stranger, but still, something inexplicably unacquainted… Age-old arrangements of beauty brought into contemporary sensibilities, but never into the mundane everyday…

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Step in, float away

A story of a woman engrossed in hand embroidery upon a West-Bengali riverbank will float in with the music, as you enjoy the sight of a particularly beautiful shawl. At one quiet corner, you will suddenly get pulled into a new tale through a musical portal, where Nandi— Shiva’s sacred bull and symbol of patience— will sit unhurriedly at the entrance of Banaras temple. As you walk past vibrantly coloured sarees neatly folded to make a beautiful geometry, the sounds ringing in your ears will paint images of hands moving across the loom in a lovely up-down and sideways dance…

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Let it bloom

Mindful creation leads to mindful consumption. This is the philosophy behind Anavila— the Mumbai-based designer brand responsible for some of the most beautiful sarees and other South Asian wearables that we house here at Rithihi. Being big fans of Anavila, we were excited about curating a selection from their new Spring 2021 collection ‘Bloom’ at our store here in Colombo.

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