Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Varnanggall - An Inclusive Desi Design Brand!! (And a Giveaway!)

My Dear Aalayam family!

Hope you all had a fabulous Diwali and are continuing to bask in the afterglow of the festivities. At Aalayam, we are teeming with  colorful and inspirational posts for the remainder of the Holiday season. So hold your breath in anticipation!! we have a heartwarming Thanksgiving story coming up end of this month, and then we getaway for the holidays (tropical paradise!!), we come back to help you get ready for Christmas and the New Year!! 

But for now, it is my privilege to present to you a brand that is close to my heart. A brand that symbolizes everything that I believe in about art, culture and sustainable design. A brand that gives back. A brand that inspires. A brand that makes you fall in love!

So put your hands together for: 

Varnanggall – Where Colors, Design and Passion Unite!

“Varnanggall” is the beautiful South Indian vernacular for “colors". Not at all the jejune and inane kind of colors, but the glorious and stupendous kind of breathtaking and unprecedented color! And glorious and stupendous it is: Varnanggall -  the fledgling brand of Indian custom clothing, décor and accessories, the precocious brain child of design diva – Lavanyaa.

 Lavanyaa combines her never-miss aesthetic of color, texture and pattern into this intricately woven brand. Never before has one seen the multitude of textures and patterns combined in a harmonious way like Lavanyaa does for Varnanggall. If Ikat and Kalamkari joust playfully with each other in a saree laden with lambani mirrorwork, Block print and Zari vie for attention in a gorgeous handcrafted cushion cover. The possibilities are limitless, the joy to the designer and the customer is endless. 

This brand shows promise. Like a prodigy deserving to be nurtured. I call it "Inclusive" in the title of this post. Read on..and you will know why. The brand is invigorating, unique and refreshing. But it is for everyone. For its customers, for its artisans..and for its designer...for you and for me. 

Every Varnanggall brand extension works with the other. Lavanyaa custom creates sarees, stoles, blouses,  cholees, clutches, totes, dupattas, and ghagras as part of her repertoire of clothing. She has recently launched an earthy and organic line of cushion covers, table mats and napkins as part of  her home décor collection...these sure are flying off the shelf!

The product extensibility of Varnanggall is immense, due to the versatile and vibrant vibe of the brand. While Varnanggall has its signature design of combining variegated colors and patterns in a coherent chorus of stimulating design, the brand still works for most everyday uses.

Lavanyaa works  with  classical artists, theatre and movie personalities and the corporate 9-5ers who want to add a zing of vigor into their wardrobe, their living space or their work space! She gauges their personality, talks to them, and creates a Varnanggall piece just right for them! Like a beautiful extension of their personality.

 As trusted advisor and one of the strong advocates of this entrepreneurial venture, I often brainstorm with Lavanyaa on which market to get into and how to translate the vibe of Varnanggal to create customer delight!

And delighted they are, the customers of Varnanggall started off as being just close friends and family, but over the course of the last year, Varnanggall’s customer base has steadily grown. Homemakers, Teachers, Activists, Designers, Bloggers, Artists and Classical Dancers, have bought Varnanggall for themselves and their loved ones, never failing to compliment the quality, the attention to detail, the sheer harmony and the beauty of these “creations” Lavanyaa creates through Varnanggall. 

These Varnanggall enthusiasts have incorporated the brand into their everyday life in a profoundly intimate fashion. This is a much needed validation to any artist who burns the midnight oil creating…designing…and pouring imagination into a product that becomes part of somebody else’s life!

Ever the avid devotee of Indian Classical Temple Architecture, Lavanyaa amplifies her design impetus from the South Indian temples and the exquisite carvings that embellish the historical landscape, superbly blending in the divine sculptural beauty of the "shilabalikaas" and "devaalaya devadaasis" as ornamental motifs in her block prints and kalamkari heiroglyphics.

Lavanyaa is supported by her staunch follower and brand manager – her sister Shylaa. Loyal, hard working and creative, Shylaa brings her grounded perspectives to Lavanyaa’s dream design, acts as her eyes and ears stationed in India, while Lavanyaa grows the business internationally.

I MUST mention Lavanyaa’s best half! And a super supportive spouse – Guru, who has unwaveringly and tenaciously supported Lavanyaa in nurturing and breathing life into a brand that continues to bring excitement and joy to all of our lives! 

Stay tuned for a never before seen tour of Lavanyaa and Guru’s cozy home in London, UK...coming up in the next post of this two part series on Aalayam! This creative hearth is the couple’s headquarters where most of the magic behind Varnanggal happens!

Now, in case you still need reason why this brand is so close to my heart. It is because of the sustainable design model that Lavanyaa has embraced.  She works with the unsung heros of kalamkari, lambani and block print..the actual weavers and artisans, traveling to their home base, eliminating middle men, bringing never seen before quality, design and exquisite crafstmanship to our homes!

 Lavanyaa gives back a significant portion of her revenue to these artists, insisting that they get the credit, monetary recognition and accolade they deserve for their hard work. She has been able to employ many talented, but little known rural artisans of South India, who breathe earthy oomph and sentience into Varnanggall. 

Not only is Lavanyaa keeping the rich , precious heritage of Indian textiles alive through her brand, she is doing so with  aplomb, and through giving back to people who deserve it!

In all the rush of everyday life, we do not pause to see if we have made someone smile, if someone will remember us for making their day brighter. I deem Lavanyaa is doing that...making someone smile..making someone's day brighter.. not just to us with her brand, but also to these rural artists whose labor of love we adorn, embrace and enjoy. The brand value and goodwill Varnanggall is earning as a result of these smiles is ....PRICELESS!

By now, I am sure you want to meet the artist behind the brand...see who she really is..know what drives her and what keeps her up at night! Well, you will not be disappointed! In our next feature, we come BACK! With Lavanyaa's exclusive interview and her HOME TOUR!!!! You will not want to miss this cozy and creative space. Trust me. So do come back!

And, here's one more reason for you to come back!! Aalayam is hosting a Giveaway once again, and this time we are collaborating with Varnanggall. 
Here are the eligibility criteria to win the Colorful Aalayam Giveaway!!
Option 1: Click on "Join this site“ widget to be a member of Aalayam . Then leave a comment on our blog about your favorite Varnanggall  product!
Option 2:
If you already are a member of Aalayam , refer us to your friends, so they can become members. Then leave a comment on our blog about your favorite Varnanggall  product!

And here's a peek at the gorgeous giveaway!!! A splendid boho chic, two-sided Varnanggall occasional bag for your next desi or videsi get-together!!
Do not miss the next post - the exclusive home tour and interview of Lavanyaa, of the Varnanggall fame. And  of course the Giveaway winner announcement!! 

This lovely relationship with you dear reader is so exciting and fulfilling for me because it is a chance...to delight, to inspire and make you smile! And in the bargain, be left with a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart...I hope I made you smile today..coz I sure am feeling warm and fuzzy.

Love,
Supriya

All product inquiries to Varnanggall  - https://www.facebook.com/lavanyaakr

All pictures are subject to copyright. Do not copy without crediting the source! As my kids would say "That's not very nice!"

53 comments:

  1. Wow this sounds awesome :)

    Followed Aalayam :)

    Its difficult to choose one favourite from all the lovely colours, but if i have to, then it is this saree from the Aalapana collection:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=748828065133059&set=a.748811425134723.1073741836.530087173673817&type=3&theater

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  2. Thank you so much Swaram! Your feedback is priceless and we will be sure to pass it along to Varnanggall. Do be sure to "Join the Site" via the widget on the top right of the blog so we can keep track of the participants in the Giveaway! Email subscribers are hard to track as we don't get stats on who is following us via email posts!

    Love!
    Supriya

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    1. Awesome Swaram! (Love your name by the way!). More power to you! Pass the word to your friends and other people who you think may fall in love with Varnanggall and Aalayam! :)

      Love again,
      Supriya

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  3. Deepa and Supriya, lovely blogpost!!
    I discovered Varnanggall through my friend. I love the colors in her products and most lovely thing is that she works with kalamkari and uses beautiful motifs using block print. I am eagerly waiting for the saree( my first varnanggall) i ordered from the alapana collection!! Thanks Lavanya for encouraging our local artisans and creating beautiful work. best of luck! Chaitra.

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  4. Chaitra! Lovely to have you on Aalayam! Do join the growing Aalayam family. We would love to have art aficionados like you as our patron! Plus, you get a chance to win the gorgeous bag showcased on the blog if you "Join The Site!"

    Love,
    Supriya

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  5. The best part about Varnanggall is the lady's decision to leave her job and pursue her colourful dreams and making sure that they did come true!
    Many lives just got brighter thanks to her decision. :)

    Lovely article, well described.

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  6. Divya - thank you! I read your write-up on Lavanyaa at Startaholics! A job well done. I admire Lavanyaa's gutsy temperament too. We have been friends for 20 years now and started our careers in IT based companies together. I think our ventures into creative spaces has brought us closer together!

    Thank you for commenting and Also WELCOME to Aalayam!!!

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  7. Very good article Supriya! Lovely pictures! you are looking good in your new saree..

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  8. So I get to meet another lady of substance here , eh ? Glad!! :)
    Wishing you both a lifetime of friendship and creative growth throughout. I will forever remain grateful to Startoholics for giving me an opportunity to come in touch with you people.

    Loving Aalayam's positive energy!

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  9. Thank you Divya! You got it! Positive energy and inspiration is something we harness through Aalayam! Loving all the learning we are making on the way and the relationships we are building. Touched by your warm words!

    Love,
    Supriya

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  10. Sangy!! Thank you AND You are sweet! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I can count on you!

    Love,
    Suppi

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  11. Dear Supriya and Deepa, Thank you for your artistic, creative blogs. For those of us living overseas, arts and crafts help keep us connected with our heritage. What better way to be reminded of our colorful culture than wearing a piece of art every day! I have been a fan of natural fabrics and block prints for many years now. I loved all the pieces by Varnanggall, but here is a sari that captured my attention (top row middle) : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=748021135213752&set=a.748017385214127.1073741835.530087173673817&type=1&theater

    Looking forward to further blogs from you,

    Roopa

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  12. Roopa! You hit the nail right on the head. That is exactly one of the drivers behind Aalayam, that motivated/inspired Deepa and me to launch it, and that drives us to keep it alive! Keeping our heritage alive, is the least we can do. Right?

    Please do join the growing Aalayam family and you could be the lucky winner of the gorgeous Aalayam giveaway (Yes! Its a Varnanggall!). Click on "Join The Site" widget on the top right of the blog and you are in!! This way you are close to the Aalayam posts so full of India inspired decor, culture, arts and cuisines.

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting!!

    Love,
    Supriya

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  13. Supriya. LOVE the way you have captured the essence of the brand. Varnanggall is gorgeous. Cannot seem to be able to pick a favorite product. Do I still qualify to be eligible for the Giveaway? The bag seems like a great gift option!

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  14. Amith! Thank you. And you bet!! You do qualify to win the grand prize! Do you have someone in mind you want to gift it to?

    Love,
    Supriya

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  15. Hi Supriya, Deepa & Lavanyaa,

    You three are doing a commendable job in making your family and friends' lives colorful and vibrant by showcasing Varnanggall and Aalayam in it's best possible way. Although it's hard to choose, but I will not shy away from saying the block print bags (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=748018731880659&set=a.748017385214127.1073741835.530087173673817&type=1&theater) and jewelry are my recent favorite from Varnanggall's beautiful and expansive collection of sarees, salwaar-kameez, dupattas, stoles, home decor stuff .

    Supriya, can't wait for your next post on Lavanyaa's interview and home tour!

    Lavanyaa, I am really excited to share and discuss my idea about my first purchase from Varnananggall, hope you'd be able to accommodate my request. Shall write to you soon!

    Best,
    Kanika

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  16. Kanika! I have a feeling I know what your request to Lavanyaa would be!! Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I can count on you guys for a show of support and an outpouring of love!!!

    Hugs,
    Supriya

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  17. Congratulations Lavanyaa! Varnanggall is an absolute celebration of color. All the very best to you.
    Supriya, you bring out the best in everything so beautifully. Job well done again. Looking forward to your next post.

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  18. Divya!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. As I told you before, you ladies do all the work, I am just privileged to prosaically add a lil something to your body of work! ;)

    Love,
    Supriya

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  19. Dear Supriya and Deepa, I believe I am already in your group. Thanks, Roopa

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    1. Roopa! Thank you for providing your insights on your fave Varnanggall product! You are eligible for the grand giveaway!

      Love,
      Supriya

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  20. Oh wow! what a beautiful post. Simply can't wait for the next post. Varnangall, what a appropriate name. It is a visual feast. I had already fallen in love with the placemats you had as part of your Diwali décor. I love the cushion covers as well.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.669989503016916.1073741828.530087173673817&type=3

    Best of all, these are such a nice thing to give as tamboolam,
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=667349346614265&set=a.556654567683744.151992.530087173673817&type=3&theater

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    1. BTW, I have followed Aalayam.

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    2. Calindgirl! Thank you and trust me, you will not be disappointed with the next post. I can feel your excitement on Varnanggall and the visual treat it provides. I feel it!!! Thank you for providing your insights on your fave Varnanggall product! You are eligible for the grand giveaway!

      Love,
      Supriya

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  21. Supriya & Deepa,
    Thanks for this blogpost.. the stuff is beyond awesome.. Lavanyaa you have terrific taste; combining colours such as these to create a veritable platterful of textile delights is not easy... just beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sujatha! Your feedback is very meaningful and we will be sure to pass it along to Varnanggall. Do be sure to "Join the Site" via the widget on the top right of the blog so we can keep track of the participants in the Giveaway! We sure are rooting for our members to win!!!

      Love!
      Supriya

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  22. Hi Supriya...Great post and what exuberant colors! Love the concept of sustainability and rural artisan development.. I was lucky to have visited a non profit org with similar concept ecological sustainability with rural growth in Sagara, shimogga...ts called "charaka" a brainchild of theatre personailty Prasanna...they use all the dyes made of herbs ...and when you wear you really feel earthly...hope varnangall gets all the success it deserves...I love all...but big bags next to mannequin...they are gorgeous....keep them coming!

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    Replies
    1. Shreeprada!!!

      Thank you!! I love those bags too, my friend Sneha has purchased one of them and had brought it along as a travel tote when we vacationed in Vegas! The bag is sure going places trust me! :)

      I have heard of Charaka. I wish I can work with NGOs like that benefiting rural artists and social causes. India is a better playground for bloggers who want to write about a cause. But trust me, I am working on a few stories for Aalayam next which espouse a great cause. Stay tuned!

      Also - Do be sure to "Join the Site" via the widget on the top right of the blog so we can keep track of the participants in the Giveaway! We sure are rooting for our members to win!!!

      Love,
      Supriya

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    2. Great...love to see your posts....I have joined your blog and following from my Google account!

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    3. Thank you Shreeprada! And welcome to Aalayam!! You are eligible for the Colorful Aalayam Giveaway!!! Good Luck!!

      Love,
      Supriya

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  23. Hi! I loved the cushions and the tablemats in the previous post.I am already a follower of this blog and look forward to many more colourful posts.

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  24. Thank you Panchendriya for stopping by and commenting. We have been getting rave reviews about the tablemats and the decor line of Varnanggall! You are eligible (of course!) for the Colorful Aalayam Giveaway!! Good luck!

    Love,
    Supriya

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  25. Hi Supriya! As i wander the nooks and crannies of the internet, and facebook shop pages, some of them strike a cord and make me want to go back again and again. I am sure you have experienced the magnetism of some beautiful objects, which persuade you to go back to a certain page and simply stare at their beauty. Varnanngall is one such page. I truly love the ink blue color products they have. The past sale, was unfortunate for me, as I missed laying my hands on any of the blues! Soon,,,, very soon.... !

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  26. Ramya - great to have you as part of Aalayam. You reflect the exact sentiment I have lady! We are saturated with over exposure to brands and media are we not? And jaded. I certainly am. Sometimes it takes a lot to impress me - which is not necessarily a bad thing! And with brands such as Varnanggall, you just find that there is so much more depth than what is seen on the surface, I feel the pictures do not even do justice to the actual feel of the product.. the touch, the smell, the earthy textures. Its divine!!

    I like your parting shot - soon...very soon!!! Good luck! and you are eligible for the Colorful Aalayam Giveaway!!

    Love,
    Supriya

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  27. Dr. Pratibha Koratagere, thank you for your comments! You are eligible for the Colorful Aalayam Giveaway!!

    Lots of love,
    Supriya

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  28. I think colors are the essence of alayam and what a beautiful way to celebrate it by this colorful giveaway. I love everything on their page but most I loved is the blue saree..omg how gorgeous it is. I see that it's sold but once again gosh how gorgeous it is :)

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  29. Nayana! Was waiting for your comments! Blue is Lavanyaa's favorite color! So I am sure we will see lot of blue in the upcoming collection!! (hear all about it and more in the next series!!)

    Stay tuned!

    Love,
    Supriya

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  30. Wow!! what an awesome collection. I fell in love with the sari in the background (Black sari with yellow muggu print on it Third picture from the top). Simply Vibrant colors. All the items are superb, one of a kind and feels like buying them all.

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    1. Vijaya!! I second your feelings. The colors appear magnified and more rich when you actually touch and feel the product! Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Also - Do be sure to "Join the Site" via the widget on the top right of the blog so we can keep track of the participants in the Giveaway! We sure are rooting for our members to win!!!

      Love,
      Supriya

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    2. Thanks Supriya, I did "Join the Site" and it is showing in my profile under "Sites you have joined." Can you please let me know if you can see me in the members list?

      Thanks,
      Vijaya

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    3. Vijaya. Thank you!! Strangely, I am unable to locate your name..maybe you could try again? We have Google Friend Connect (Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter) and Networked Blogs that allow our readers to follow us!

      Let me know if you have any further issues!

      Love,
      Supriya

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  31. Hello S & D, Thank you both for showcasing such stupendous art & work! I love 'em all though I should admit I am drawn to all things orange and yellow. Absolutely love the cushion covers and dupatta/stoles.
    Waiting to hear more stories and enjoy the visuals :)
    - Prathibha

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  32. Hi Pratibha! I am an orangeaholic too. That's why I was so pleased when my Varnanggall saree had liberal sprinklings of Orange and Yellow. I appear in the blog post above. Can you guess which one? ;)

    Also - Do be sure to "Join the Site" via the widget on the top right of the blog so we can keep track of the participants in the Giveaway! We sure are rooting for our members to win!!!

    Love,
    Supriya

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  33. I am already a member of your family :)

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  34. That is wonderful Pratibha!! Consider yourself eligible for the Colorful Aalayam Giveaway!!

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  35. Supriya! I’m stunned looking at the responses :-) and the credence definitely goes to you! I call you an “evolved blogger”, you know your content is evolved beyond the cliched and typical! :-)

    What you have written is very emotive; you have gotten into the depth in featuring Varnanggall. An artist’s real triumph is when the world gets to know and appreciates the realities in his/her creative odyssey, and you have been instrumental in doing so, your work is truly commendable!

    I greatly appreciate everyone’s time and effort in stopping by Aalayam & Varnanggall and providing your feedback/comments, this will really help Varnanggall propel into much greater heights. I have been provided with many more avenues after you have paraded me and my work so beautifully in Aalayam! Looking forward for the second post of the series :-) and winner of the Aalayam giveaway. GOOD LUCK ladies!!

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  36. Lavanyaa - thank you! Truly touched by your comments!

    Love,
    Supriya

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  37. Great Blog !!!
    I like the the way you writing the post..
    Thanks for sharing such a great information of Brand identity design

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  38. This much gorgeousness! Wow. Thanks for this intro to Varnangal. Great brand Lavanya

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  39. Hi Unable to see varnangal page in fb. Can u provide me with their webpage address.

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