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.

A night’s play

“It was moonless that night. From the distant dark theatre, a play began to unravel. It began with a song from the stars— gentle and twinkling. Then, completely unexpected for a night so clear, came a flash of lightning. It danced wildly, yet silently, across the whole arena; A sign of looming April— the month of rainless summer lightning. The stars continued to twinkle their melody, and the lightning returned again and again, wilder and wilder yet. Soon, it became clear. A cosmic ballad between the stars and the lightning, arranged so beautifully in a pattern so perfect, that you have no choice but to credit it to the master composer of the universe herself.”

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Trust in blue

One of our favourite colours to wear to work is classic blue. It is the colour that dominates the universally loved sight of the deep ocean, in all its expansive honesty. It casts the wearer in a reassuring and trustworthy light. Classic blue brings out your strength and intelligence. Through our collective recollections of the delighting sight of a clear blue sky, this beautiful colour hints at a sense of alert wakefulness and intuition that never ceases.

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For the love of kurtas

So simple, that its genius is invisible; so ubiquitous in eastern histories, that its exact roots are impossible to pinpoint; so functional, that its beauty deserves its own definition; the kurta is undoubtedly one of South Asia’s most recognised sartorial symbols. With its basic silhouette constructed upon the shape of the human torso, kurtas carry a degree of androgyny that lends well to all work settings. Kurtas are probably the most widely worn work outfit across the subcontinent. But, it is also much more than a staunch work garment. Like the saree, the kurta too has its many manifestations adding to a complex history. Thickly starched in cottons, it is the strong, durable uniform of the working woman or man; made in fine silks and adorned with embroidery, the kurta is a stylish, and culturally appropriate garment admitted to any formal occasion. In breezy cottons or linens, it is an indispensable part of the preferred at-home ensemble for many. A clean, crisp and well-pressed kurta upon a political stage is a statement of cultural dignity and authority with a definite nod to the working classes. These many layered sensibilities of the kurta and its profoundly uncomplicated beauty is precisely what draws Rithihi to curate an evolving collection of these beloved tunics.

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When it’s March

If there is ever a time in the year that makes us appreciate textiles that ease the heat of the tropics, it is March— the torrid month when the northward equinox takes place, with the sun aligning with the equator directly above South Asia. So, we’re taking a moment to appreciate our favourite regional silk that makes even the most sweltering temperatures bearable— this is tussar.

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Unexpectedly beautiful

“Although the sun has scorched the woodland dry, it was still beautiful. The browns, the yellows and the last remaining streaks of green peeped in and out of the sunshine as the dry leaves rustled in the breeze. Into this picture of tropical tranquility, an unexpected red flash flew in— a winged fire. A startlingly red woodpecker sat on the grey tree bark, under the dry canopy of leaves. The alarming beauty of the red remained against the quiet grey of trees with surprising ease; It even played with humble browns, yellows and greens in the dry leaves. Isn’t it beautiful how, in nature, conflict often becomes an alien thing?”

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Woven from the wild

‘What is that?’ you would ask in astonishment as a thing that is clearly of magic flutters by. Its sheer size would be a spectacle of its own. Most likely, no one around you would know; and you would have to dig through Google to discover the name of this incredible creature. If you’re blessed with company that would recognise such an unusual insect, they would tell you that it is the tussar moth— the creature that makes the beautiful tussar silk fibres that lead to one of the most treasured textiles here at Rithihi.

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Slowly, but surely.

Image: Luxshman Nadaraja

When everything on the surface of life suddenly stopped last March, the storms moving inside us became more apparent. With the world ostensibly still, movement suddenly bore a strange mystique. We couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that everything is always moving. The universe, with the stars, the galaxies, blackholes, planets and us within it, is in eternal spinning. We are beings made in movement. Getting lost in motion is inherent to us. Perhaps this is why dance is so liberating—it’s a way we come home, even momentarily.

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