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Little India: An afternoon of Bollywood indulgence

Blaring music hits your ear drums from every corner of the street. Spices and burning incense fill the air.  Every sense awakens the moment you enter Little India in the heart of George Town.  Packed with delicious food and a buzz of activity, Little India is a place of living culture.

And for the ladies, Little India is the place to indulge in affordable beauty treats...Bollywood style.

Santhi's One Stop Bridal Centre

My first stop was Santhi’s One Stop Bridal Centre for a traditional eyebrow threading* session. Once I took my seat, the beautician ordered me to stretch my forehead and eyes in a slightly awkward position.  As I froze, she rolled out a double stranded thread and pulled it across her teeth.  With the two strands, she pulled out one row of hair at a time in quick succession, with her hands moving steadily with the cotton thread in her bite.  Like tiny pinches, the sensation is slightly unusual BUT enjoyable at the same time. Try it and you'll know what I mean.

In just a few minutes, my unruly eyebrows were perfectly formed and the skin around my eyes were smooth.  For only RM5 (US$1.5), I walked out feeling like a Bollywood actress.

Santhi, who acquired her skill from India, has been operating the beauty shop for 20 years.  Aside from bridal make-up, Santhi also offers herbal facial and waxing.

Address: 51 Penang Street, 10200 Penang.   Tel: 012-4635502, 016-4194049

*Eyebrow threading is an ancient beauty technique that originated from India.  It is the  preferred hair removal technique for it gives a precise shape to your eyebrow without harming the skin. The hair removal technique also can be used to remove other facial hair.

Ananda Sakthi Silk House

My next indulgence was of course shopping.  I browsed through all the colors and sparkles of a few Indian and Punjabi clothing shops, but the myriad of options made me dizzy.  Luckily, I spotted Ananda Sakthi, a little treasure next to Gallery 29.

What makes this shop unique is that you can watch Jamki, a beading expert from Bangalore, hand stitching embroidery onto a sari.  It takes him from one week to a month to complete one elaborate sari.  I asked him how he finds living and working in Penang - “Super!”

Bolly extravaganza - You will instantly fall in love with this hand-sewn glamourous
The sari prices range from RM300 to RM500 (appx. USD90 to USD160) depending on design and fabric types. You can also get a fitted matching blouse for only RM25! Yupe, only RM25.

Fabulous jewelry and complimenting accessories are also sold at the shop.  I couldn’t resist the glittering temptation, so I bought a set of bangles for my friend as her birthday gift.  As for the sari, I’m adding it to my wish list...

You can find Ananda Sakthi Silk House at No.31 China Street, 10200 George Town. Tel: 04-2613310

To top off my day of indulgence, I relaxed at one of the numerous restaurants in Little India.  I enjoyed a thosai with various chutneys, and a cup of masala tea.

For those of you in Penang, unsure of where to go on a Saturday afternoon, forget the malls and come to Little India!


Anita Vossen said...

I love that blue sari