Ethnic Heart

Posted by Channel 6
July 3, 2012

A well known personality in the world of designer blouses, hand woven sarees and ethnic wear, Sarvamangala Chavali has set up a unique store –Anagha — which means beautiful in Sanskrit.  Established four years ago it provides employment opportunities to women and for Sarvamangala’s clients, saree blouses that make a statement.

My personal style signifier:
My personal style of dressing is simple, yet elegant. Being in the business of promoting Indian handlooms, you’ll find me dressed in sarees most times…either cotton, silk-cotton or tussar ….teamed with a blouse with either hand embroidery or block printed. The two pieces of jewellery that I have been wearing for a few years now are ruby and emerald rings set in silver.
Another favourite piece of jewellery that I own is an armlet in the shape of a snake coiled around the arm! I sat with my jeweller in Chennai, designed it and had it made in the mid 80s.
Though I don’t own any in my wardrobe, I like the style of designing of Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Sashikant Naidu because they work mainly with Indian handlooms.

An unforgettable place I have travelled to: I loved the trip I took to Malaysia last year. I spent a couple of days in Langkawi. It is a quieter and cleaner version of Goa. I fell in love with it. The streets are quiet and you can rent bicycles and set off on your own. I enjoyed riding in the cable car and going island hopping. 

If I didn’t live in Hyderabad, I’d love to live in: Kodaikanal. I absolutely love the greenery there, apart from the climate. 

The best souvenir I have brought home: A pair of handmade papier mâché masks from the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur.
The books on my bedside table:
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.
A book I can read over and over again is Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. They have impacted me deeply.
I have read all of Sidney Sheldon’s novels till now. Bloodline remains a favourite. So does Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer. 

The last thing you I bought and loved: I bought a hookah recently and I love it. It sits prettily in my living room. I have no intention of ever using it — it is more of an impulse buy.

In my fridge you will always find:  Amul cheese slices and butter, Tropicana 100% Juices (mostly grape and apple), Cadbury’s Silk chocolate (plain and fruit ‘n nut) apart from plenty of fresh vegetables. You’ll also find Baileys Irish Cream and plenty of mangoes as it is the season now. My midnight snack is usually Parle’s Hide n Seek biscuits!

The  music I am listening to:
I have an ecletic mix of songs on my iPhone…from Kishore Kumar (Pal pal dil  ke paas) to Mohit Chauhan (Kitne dafe dil ne kaha) to Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars and We are young by Janelle Monae. My all time favourite band is Air Supply. I love all their songs and know most of them by rote!

The  best gift I’ve given recently:
I bought an iTouch last year for my son who is a music buff. It was my first major purchase for him. He is not a phone person so my daughter Shivani and I thought an iTouch would be ideal for him.

The  best gift you  have received recently: A Samsung digital camera that a friend gifted me in March this year as I love taking pictures and carry my camera with me where I go. Last week my brother who lives in the US gifted me a beautiful charm bracelet. He bought it online on

An indulgence I would never forego: I’m not addicted to any food in particular. But the one thing I cannot give up are mangoes in summer. My diet (which does not include rice) goes for a toss during the months of April to June every year when the mango season is on as I binge on curd rice with mangoes. I can eat up to a dozen mangoes a day.  And happily put on weight!

One heritage site/place of worship that inspires me the most: The one place that awes me every time is the Kamakshi Temple in Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu. Whenever I go to visit my weavers there, I make a trip to the temple first. The sight of Goddess Kamakshi stirs something deep in me and I draw a lot of strength and peace from her. 

The  last item I added to my wardrobe: A beautiful Kanchi pure silk saree in three colours (red-yellow-green) with a coordinated blouse in brocade that I picked up from my store, Anagha. 

The one filmmaker whose movies I love: Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar. I look forward to watching their movies. I feel they have a very sensible approach to movie making, the stories and characters very real and never over the top.

The  place I go to for my haircuts and facials: Haircuts is usually Chandrakant of CK Studio on Road no. 12, Banjara Hills or Manek of Sage Salon on PG Road
Facials and stuff are usually at Women’s World Beauty Parlour run by Christina Chen near Diamond Point in Secunderabad.
The make up brands I love:  MAC, Maybelline and Lakme
My favourite perfume:  Jovan Musk for Women and Jessica Mcclintok’s Jasmine Perfume.
My 3 favourite restaurants in Hyderabad: Ohri’s  Jiva at Begumpet, Mainland China and Angeethi on Road No. 1 Banjara Hills.

 Artists I admire:  Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy and Fawad Tamkanat.

As told to Minal Khona

Photographs by Sharath Reddy

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