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Women Of Almora

There are many ways to spin a yarn. Some do it with words. Some do it with looms. The women of Almora use the power of mountains.

To understand this phenomenon, we must first acquaint ourselves with the force of nature that is the Pahadi woman. Pahadi – a word that literally means “of the mountains” – symbolises two very different ideas: the mountain without, and the mountain within.

These Pahadi women – of the Kumaon hills in the Himalayas – live in picturesque but punishing topography, the mountains that sell postcards and tourism brochures halting the march of the urban comforts we have come to take for granted. It is a hard, laborious life.

To thrive in this land, you must embody the unassailable toughness of the great barrier that stands between you and the world beyond. You must channel the power of the Pahad.

When the women of Almora say “Pahadi aurat kuch bhi kar sakti hai” – the Pahadi woman can do anything – it is because they have learnt to harness the strength of the mountain within.

It is with this strength that they run their households with trickling resources and scant comfort. It is with this steely determination that they spin their colourful dreams into hardy tweed that is renowned the world over for its warmth.

The art of making tweed is part of Almora’s cultural inheritance, the Almora pattern passed down from one generation to the next. But time and circumstance eroded the practice till it had all but disappeared. The Pahadi women took it upon themselves to not just revive the skill, but to turn it into a thriving global enterprise.

It is a monumental achievement they wear lightly. As they sing songs of the summer and caress the sheep that sustain their looms, they are animated by a singular goal: to provide warmth.

The women who march to their looms in the morning spin shawls to find a special kind of sukoon (contentment): the knowledge that someone, somewhere will someday be swathed in the warm embrace of their creation, draped in their rainbow-coloured dreams.

Dressed in festive colours of the summer, these peerless entrepreneurs gather around, striking a bargain with the mountain in a cheerful chorus.

Oh mountain, they sing, bend for me, will you, let me send a message across the valley. Let me send, woven with dreams, yarns of warmth to the world beyond.


Director of Photography:
Amal Sudhakaran
Researcher & Assistant Director:
Aditi R.
Mukund Subramanian
Music Composition & Lyrics:
Santanu Ghatak
Ronkini Gupta, Santanu Ghatak
Music Production:
Anup Satam
Sound Design - Mix:
Anurag Jadhao
Abhijeet Deolekar
Sayan Debnath
Urvi Desale
Camera Crew:
Yash Khaire, Prakash Bamne
Executive Producer:
Lynette Dmello
For Studio Virtual Bharat
Jawahar Sharma
Abhijeet Deolekar
Soity Banerjee
Shreeppriya Gopalakrishnan
Sayan Debnath
Yash Khaire
Dilgrace Kaur
Anagha Acharekar
Rohit More
Prakash Bamne
Kiran Santra
Krishika Gandhi
Darshit Dalvi
Shamika Vedak
Trupti Amrite
Kannan Rajaram
A. Murugesan
Ghanshyam Patil
Produced By Studio Virtual Bharat

Behind The Scenes