Living for the day and holding it in my palms, is what I feel today, as I walk into the Levitate store on this rainy morning of damp Bangalore. If it takes as long as it does to browse through the soul of Meghna Khanna and her curated collection in the store on top of the stairs, so shall it be.
I put my phone on silent, touch the turquoise, the silver, the leather, the incense and the Bohemian beauty strewn all around me. Each asking to be loved and each asking to be possessed. As I hold them against my skin and catch my reflection in the mirror, subconsciously I sigh into submission. Just this moment I don’t want the rains to stop and the languid noon to continue into its sunset hour as the lights go off and on like the dream in my heart. It’s like a cello playing on the rainy street of my dreams.
I remember coming into Bangalore as a pregnant woman, all big and uncontrollably nostalgic of the past I left behind. The occasional walk into the roads of Bangalore just didn’t satisfy my gypsy soul. I was forever planning my exit. I knew I would soon return to familiarity. Meet myself in the tribal women of my city in Delhi, where they sold mirror work on tiny blouses and large skirts. The kohl in their hard, beautiful eyes were haunting my soul.
I missed those layers of a big city. And on one such day of nostalgia and grief, as I stared ahead into the nothingness, I came upon a restaurant with the promise of a store tucked inside. It had got the attention of my wild spirit and controlled motherhood. It was a slight deviation, a small step, a little running away into those left over recess of memories that I had left behind, back home but there was no return and I was forced to fit in.
During this fitting in, I mostly fitted out. My refuge was Levitate. As I walked into the store, I saw stories of travellers and their vintage, slow art and craft of tribes, nomads, settlers and tales of tradition mixed with bohemian sensibilities, just for the lost soul that I was. It is 19 years and whenever I feel beaten, I walk up, to the top of the stairs to the smiling young ladies of Levitate. They know me like I know them for years. As I pause to enter the store, I look at the posters of pop art, cinema posters and indie chic, kitschy artefacts.
Today, this time on this September noon, I found someone wanting me and saying I belong to the curve between your collarbones and the side of your neck, nestling like a known lover finding your weakness abound on that languid noon. Just as the birds rested on the branches, the Afghan tribal embroidered necklace held together with a black leather macrame string and attached with cowries at the end was mine. It was exquisite, vintage and über sexy. It shouted out to me. I belong to you.
I held it against my skin letting it touch my cleavage with the acknowledgment of my femininity. I held the strings together and tied it letting the cowries hang on the nape of my neck like the fertility and prosperity it represents in a woman.
I knew this was us together, the vintage hand crafted necklace and my poignant moods that the cowrie could hear and with its seasoned shell it said to me, “ be smooth and let all the ocean’s turmoil wash over you, till you are shiny as porcelain and also as strong as me, I too went from shore to shore to find you, and here we are together held by strings of love and art.”
I looked up to Meghna Khanna of Levitate and saw the goddess in her too, filled with passion and a madness like me to ride her bikes and feel the clear crisp mountain air & as she goes along her bike journeys and collects her pieces, just to put pieces of women like me together.
My cowrie is a drifter like me, going her way and I am going my way. As I put her in my little satin bag, I promise to wear this piece of craft every time I feel lost and languid like this September noon today, that promises me a rainbow waiting around the bend catching the nostalgia of a feeling similar to home.
The necklace is available at – Levitate India, Mezzanine floor, Bob’s Bar, 100 Ft. Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore.
Contact : 98453 17776 / 94481 45071