Feeling very grateful for gifts and support for everyone at shuktara!
Our friend Karuna Ezara Parikh and her husband Amitesh had a monsoon clear out of clothes that they no longer wear and one of our neighbours bought a water filter machine for the girls house.
Below are photos from Lula Bari with the girls modeling their new dresses and also Sunil, Bablu and Bappa are proudly showing off their new outfits. Lali is clearly excited about the new water filter at Lula Bari.
Thanks to our Kolkata friends for their generous and thoughtful support!
Kolkata International Women’s Club (KIWC) has been very supportive of the girls in Lula Bari. At the end of March they sponsored the painting of the ground floor of Lula Bari and chose a very shuktara colour – pink!
Members of KIWC Nikita and Caroline came to Lula Bari to see the finished job. We think it looks amazing and really highlights the handmade stitching samplers done by our girls. Thank you KIWC!
Sunnie Niklaus is visiting shuktara and that always means exciting activities for the girls. Last Sunday she went to Lula Bari for a "spa day" - let's just let Sunnie tell you about it in her own words...
"Home "spa days" are one of my favorite things. I do them with my young nieces, my roommate, my friends, etc. It’s basically relaxing and catching up with a little nail polish, face masks and probably some glitter mixed in.
A spa day with everyone at Lula Bari seemed like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
There were cleansing face wipes, aloe moisturizer and face massages, epic amounts of sparkly blush and lipstick.
After lunch it was manicures, pedicures, a lipstick color swap and crafting some floral hair accessories.
The afternoon ended as everything should, with pizza. 🙂 All in all, a fantastic girly afternoon at Lula Bari!"
Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights, celebrated in autumn. This is one of the most popular festivals in India which symbolizes the "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance."
This is a favorite night at the shuktara homes as everyone helps with lighting up the house and setting off fireworks.
This year our celebration was a bit more subdued as we all remembered Anna and lit candles not only for the festival, but also for him.
Diwali firework waterfall
Tamina with a sparkler
After the goddess Durga's five day sojourn (celebrated as Durga Puja) she returns with her four children (Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh) to her abode in Kailash. On this day, Bijoya, the clay images of the goddess are taken from the pandals and immersed in rivers, lakes and ponds throughout West Bengal.
Lali and Tamina accompanied David and Pappu to our local house Puja where the immersion of the goddess took place.
(all photos by Raegan Hodge)
If you follow shuktara you know that Durga Puja is the biggest festival of the year in Kolkata. All over the city elaborate handmade pandals are created to house clay statues of the goddess Durga and her family who come down once a year from their heavenly abode for a five day holiday.
This year the young people of shuktara visited the pandals on the 1st day of Pujas which was Shashti and 3rd day which was Ashtami. Everyone dressed up in their new clothes, piled in the cars and went pandal-hopping.
(thank you Raegan Hodge for all the fabulous photos!)
New clothes at Lula Bari continued...
The young women at Lula Bari had such fun dressing up and modeling their new outfits donated by Mustard Seeds that we couldn't resist posting a second batch of photos, of course) with a few more new-to-us clothes.
Thank you again Maura Hurley for picking out exactly the right outfits for everyone at Lula Bari!
Maura Hurley is a longtime friend of shuktara who runs Mustard Seeds, a wonderful Kolkata organisation dedicated to art, the environment and education. Every year they undertake a local used clothing drive and distribute the clothes to local organisations. This year shuktara was one of the fortunate beneficiaries!
Everyone loves new clothes and as you can see in the photos, our girls had a great time trying on and modelling their gifts. Thank you Maura Hurley for the fabulous new-to-us clothes, just in time for Pujas!