Browsing Category

Clothing

Clothing

A Contemporary Batik Art On My Traditional Saree

June 7, 2019
MoodyMo

As I draped the grey, charcoal saree over my body, I felt the mixed sensuous fabric of soft linen, cotton and the sheen of silk drape over me like a poem. This poem I have given it a name, calling it Mahua from Label Zohra. The sari was woven in Chhattisgarh, the land of the unhindered Mahua wildflower.

Bordering Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, there lies this untouched little place in India, lost in time and a history that doesn’t reach our textbooks. Only recently the limelight it got was because of the Naxal movement there.

I travelled extensively as a child with my parents. Both argumentative, creative, quintessential Bengalis with an unending thirst of discovering places, cultures and history, which was part of my growing up years. I clearly recall the trip to Chhattisgarh and into the village of Bastar.

The dusty road was narrow and little homes surround this insignificant place in India. But Baba was keen I go and watch the Mahua flowers in bloom. After all, I was named after this flower. I couldn’t fathom why the Adivasis there worshipped this flower and danced on its nectar. Today, I understand the Adivasis perfect harmony in life with nature and the deep love for it. Nostalgia with things associated with memory is a strange kind of a love affair. And after so many years, the memories that were tucked away into some corner of the mind were awakened out of its deep slumber. Suddenly, the mention of names and places evoke memories that were long lost and buried in time.

Ruma Of Label Zohra is another wanderer like me. She lives her dreams with her art in her fabrics. I had never laid eyes on a contemporary Batik sari and I have often lamented that art and craft need to evolve with the passage of time, retaining its intrinsic identity. But at the same time, art and craft also need to be adaptable to the changing moods of fashion; Label Zohra just nailed this.

MoodyMo

Ruma told me that she wanted to do something different with her creations. She did the Batik printing in Sanganer in Rajasthan which is famous for the Sanganeri prints. In all my yearly visits to Rajasthan, I never found a Batik in the craft of the mighty Saraswati river dyes and prints. And Ruma decided to introduce the art of Batik with Label Zohra, to create this eclectic mix of upcycled yarn, which doesn’t shrink and stays looking mint fresh, even if draped from dusk to dawn.

Batik has been part of Indian clothing and culture for the last 2000 years. It’s origin is in Java and was introduced in India by the traders from the South East. Bengal has had a huge influence of the Batik tye and dye which was also introduced as part of the syllabus in the University of Shanti Niketan, Calcutta. It’s resurgence began among the artists there and over the years many different types of fabric were being used to create more of this art.

I am hopeful with artists like Ruma and her Label Zohra, she is bridging the gap between the lost voices of the weavers and their craft. Some arts and crafts truly need a reintroduction in our lives. This collection is a tribute to the earthy, subtle tones of warp and weft in the sarees. It is ironic that when an art form dies we lament its loss. Yet, when it is here we overlook the struggle it requires to upkeep a tradition.

I will wear this saree and dress myself up, like as though I would be meeting my worst enemy and I need to say aloud, that the wilder I grow, the more you miss me, a tamed woman is a boring creature. I find my elegance over the years with Indian arts and crafts and I know money can never buy sophistication and style. Either you own it or you don’t.

This endeavour towards the crafts of India is being taken forward at the curated show called the Shringar Of Sindh at the Le Meridien, on 13th May from 10 AM to 8 PM.

The exclusively curated Lifestyle and Fashion Exhibition – Deepanjali 2019 – will showcase designer wear, diamond jewellery, accessories, footwear, home decor and more. This endeavour is the latest in a series of initiatives taken up by Sindhi Youth Association Ladies Wing over the years, to help the marginalised sections of our society. The funds collected this year will be used to create an endowment for cancer care. The interest accrued from this will be primarily used to help in the early detection and prevention of cancer. The Sindhi Youth Association Ladies Wing endeavours to make a difference to the lives of the recipients, in their own small way.
So buy a product of love towards a cause and help light up the lives of the needy and deserving.

Clothing, Lifestyle

The Entwined Twins Of Kota At The Weave Anthologies

May 2, 2019
Moody Mo

The May summer has the brightest sun pouring into every nook and corner of my room. The leaves look parched and the cry of the thirsty bird engulfs my being. As I run amok into the unending insane search of familiarity of childhood memories. The terracotta earthen sweet water and the constant movement of the fan above my head. I am woken with the pitch of sounds, smell and the heat of summer, yet again I am awash in its poignant soft evening rays. The setting sun just falls lightly on my lilac Kota saree from The Registry Of Sarees. I feel all woman in it’s soft drape over my body.

This saree is benign in the summer months. The lilac is softer than the flowers soft bloomed petals and the yet to bloom ones of my garden. I wonder what took me so long to reach The Registry Of Sarees. Here I was in wonderment and divinity of the weavers love story with its muse. Here the Venus is the soft check woven Kota with block prints in gold.

We have the Jugalbandi in Indian Classical music. Jasrangi is the classic form of Jugalbandi. The two singers in this confluence of voice and raga gives prominence to the Ma note of the female voice and Sa of the male voice.  Weave Anthologies did just that in the curated exhibition, bringing together the Mysore prints into the Kota weave of Rajasthan. The perfect Jugalbandi of weave and print.

Kota saree

Kota Weaves

The artisans on behalf of The Registry Of Sarees went into the clusters of the Rajasthan Kota Doria weavers and created their confluence of South Indian prints with the chequered weave of the light Kota saree.

The Kota is called the Masuria. They were originally woven in Mysore. A general in the 17th and 18th century in the Mughal army by the name of Rao Kishore Singh brought the weavers to Shada a small town in Kota. These sarees were called Kota Masuria.

At this eclectic curated event by the Weave Anthropologies, history is being repeated and replayed again. I was staring shamelessly at the collection of Jamdanis, Kanjiveerams, Kota and more. The dyes are natural, earth-conscious and the sheen of the fabric is pristine.

If you love your weaves and the feel of natural dyes over your skin, please head to the curated show at The Registry Of Sarees, Research And Study Centre, Domlur on the 4th Of May, 2019, 11.00 am to 7.00 pm.

I gifted myself the light Lilac Kota. Haven’t fallen in love in long, with the sheer gauze like the softness of this fabric over my body.

It reminds me of the heritage of Indian arts and crafts and crusaders like The Registry Of Sarees. It makes me believe, the lost, sad sound of the clanking of weavers creating magic on yards of pure fabric won’t perish too soon. It shall continue its song of love, hope and beauty.

I believe there are many who will still uphold this tradition forever, of wearing handloom woven fabrics. Because as you buy a Saree you are continuing the dream of a weaver, who many times feels bereft without the constant use of his hands on his weaving wheel. This is their livelihood to create art on fabric. And I am an eternal optimist.

Clothing

The Defiant Devi

April 29, 2019
Moody Mo

As I walk out into the burning scorching sun of the summer Calcutta home, I leave my trail of the sari palla falling and failing behind me. I failed as a woman you put on a pedestal, I failed for all the conditions and the confidence you had in my acceptance of your rules. Every time you flexed your muscle, I cowered because I knew my strength lied in my mind and not in my body. I knew you didn’t want to see the naked me. The naked truth of not being a Devi but a mere human being fraught with failings and follies.

I was tired and exhausted playing nurse for your incompetence when you fell ill and you couldn’t hold your health and spirit, I was angry for your tenderness towards me when I towed your line. Your approval of my morality when you spoke about the woman next door, who met men at her free will. Like she was some sort of a crazy person who needs counselling. I was dejected every time you pulled the hand brake when I tried to learn to drive because you thought my free reins would thwart your incessant need to be in control.

But you failed in navigating my path ahead because I had silently charted my own path. I am the Devi.

The Devi Blouse

The Devi Blouse

This summer noon was different. I felt the spirit of the noir goddess envelope me in her fierce nature. She was the epitome of all that is dark and divine. She isn’t the Devi who is demure. She is Kali the goddess of wrath. She marches on nude with her hair let down and her breasts are covered with the skull necklace of Asuras. She fought each one of them and as each Asura arose from each drop of blood she finally drank his blood to stop the birth of one more Asura. Devi is noir, merciless with evil, loves her meat and her drink. She isn’t the domesticated Lakhshmi. She is the noir Devi.

And you worship her every morning as the demure Devi but refuse to see her your own Devi in her naked truth after you open your eyes from your daily prayer. I hope you realise you are failing your own devout delusion. The Devi is the reincarnation of the years of turmoil she has endured in your bloody hands.

And there are Devis everywhere, under the fading sunlight and the receding moon. She is tired of you putting her up on a pedestal and stopping her from being the mere human spirit that she is.

The Devi on my blouse is Satyajit Rays’s classic film where Sharmila is worshipped as the reincarnation of the noir goddess because her father-in-law had a dream. That his daughter in law was a reincarnation of the Goddess Kali. To the utter horror of her husband who watched his wife being worshipped as a deity and eventually she starts believing that she is truly the Devi.

My Devi is in you and in me, she is in the trains, buses and roads where she fights against this conditioned mindset of how celestial she ought to be.

Devi is divine, demure and destruction. She is in you and in me. As we pack the tiffin boxes for our families with one eye on the clock and also wear our grey on our parting, she is everywhere and yet nowhere.

Clothing, Lifestyle

Rare In Rareism

April 26, 2019
Moody Mo

It was a WhatsApp message from my friend Akshika and a missed call. After long I was excited, smiling and curious. I was returning from London after meeting my son and one such evening as we ate the truffles and the liver pate’, we spoke about his childhood friends. We laughed hard recalling how silly and adorable they were. In our conversations what kept coming up was Manish Uncle and Akshika aunty. Manish uncle who taught him to get rid of his polyester pants that I couldn’t. So a thank you to Manish there. There was no way in hell I would miss talking to Akshika aunty as stored by my son on my phone.

I landed back in Bangalore and called her. Akshika told me that she has finally begun what she has always dreamt of. She loved the art of dressing and wanted to extend her passion towards a more meaningful journey. I was elated and extremely happy for her. We decided to meet and she said she would pick me up to take me to her studio.  She wanted me to wear her designs. I was humbled to say the least and moved to tears with her candid appreciation of me.

Her brand is called Rareism. Which reiterates that “you are rare”. I was stunned and gobsmacked watching her collection in her aesthetic space. There was clothing for one and all. Her designs are trendy for a curvy woman and for a young lissome girl too. The colour palette was international with cuts that were flattering and comfortable.

Akshikha Poddar

Akshika Poddar

I just stared at the racks of design and the beautiful young mother Akshika, with eyes that shone of hope and success, a friendship that spans over a decade of being mothers to growing boys and our own personal emotional growth too. Her designs were eclectic and extremely wearable. There was Akshika in each and every design. Her honesty and love shone through it all.

I choose this Pintuck tunic to wear over my denims and sometimes my skirt. It was a pristine white with a cowl neck, it fits like a dream. I preened in the mirror and she said “you love white, don’t you? Just like me.” We smiled together and in unison said oh yeah!

She told me fashion is for each one of us. She chooses her cuts and designs with her fabulous all women team, because she knows a woman and her moods and her insecurities and her dreams.

As I get ready to go for my meeting, I can feel the softness of the fabric and the pride of watching my friend’s brand on me. I did feel rare in Rareism.

Tucks are as new as the 19th century. Small tucks and especially this multiple parallel tuck called the pintuck is the ornamentation on this pristine white cotton fabric. Minimalist and Stylish.

As I tuck my hair behind my ear and wear my pintuck tunic.  I know that we as women, all dream a common dream. And only the winners and leaders take their dream forward with resilience and many unshed tears.

I knew Rareism is raring to go and I will sit and watch Akshika march on, raring towards her destination and dreams. And watching her journey and her brand evolve is a heartfelt emotion.

If this isn’t happiness, what is?

Clothing

Saris Folded With An Unheard Prayer

April 10, 2019
MoodyMo

As I entered the dark dank space of my grandmother’s room, I opened the creaking window meshed and unmeshed with cobwebs shining in the soft supple sun rays. Those cobwebs seemed to smile whenever the light fell on them. It was like such a fine art of weaving by the spiders. That light at times gave the cobwebs such character that they shone with an inherent, incredible resilience that only my curious mind could fathom and unfathom its faithfulness or unfaithfulness towards this gift called life. That unlit room had a dark wood wardrobe. In that space of unheard prayers and heard cries was Dida’s grief and grit. I saw the saris kept unused for years now. I was guilty of not giving it the sun. Just like the greedy cobwebs who had taken it all, with its selfishness to live in the grind with grit calling it life. They were not independent and they grew with the love of the nurturing spider that was trying to create a home in the dark space around that home.  

A sari wardrobe meant the world to her. Her unspoken love drama that had separation, unrequited emotions that were wobbling like the sinking boat. Her boat needed to be moored. Her movements were at times shaky and sometimes firm. I saw her dreamboat when she touched the saris. They shook & also became still. Her saris were her refuge. She had matching blouses with her couture collection. Her fashion sensibility was like an ode to her vintage era. Blouses had puffed sleeves and lace. And her saris were worn with elan for her evening soirée with my Dadu, my grandfather and her much older husband. Her couture collection was a mix of Patolas, Jamdani, Benarasi and Tangail, Kantha and there were colours that were tasteful and elegant. When I opened that sari ki almirahs and its heavy wooden door, I could feel her presence around me. I remembered how I saw her change her wardrobe over the years. She wore subtle and bright weaves with the passage of time. Her weaves were a reflection of her mood for the day.

And then overnight, when grandfather passed away. She was just propelled to wear what tradition demanded of her. A frugal, bare white sari with a small border of black, blue or green. It couldn’t even dare to touch a pink, red was a crime. It would mean she was defying the entire identity of wearing her grief on her body. Her hands were shorn of the red & white bangles and all she allowed was thin gold bangles and no earrings or a necklace. My rebellions mind was restless. I told her I missed her red bindi and her beautiful saris draped around her happy hips. She told me her bountiful body was decaying. This is the cycle of nature. Now it was my turn to wear those colours and catch the rainbow on my flight to youth and abundance. She said to strive to be Poornima, Annapurna and Mohua all weaved together in one person. Poornima was the full moonlight teasing your lover, Annapurna was the bountiful paddy fields and Mohua had to grow unhindered and be intoxicated with life. I understood only in my later years.

Her words of wisdom. Her saris won’t be forlorn anymore. I will clean the debris away from the dark dank room and allow light into that wardrobe of life. As I celebrate another day of sun and shade into that space I call freedom. I wear her saris as a reminder of her life, happy, lonely and strikingly beautiful in her appearance. Like the full moon on a dark sky. The light shining and separating me from my past into my present. I hold Dida’s sari against my bosom & I know that a sari is a passing of the guard from one generation to another.  My pink Benarasi sari is one of them from her collections. The silk has become softer but it still holds its place in a crowd of branded svelte ladies. I can feel her essence all around me.

Clothing

The Sensual Sheen Of Velvet

April 3, 2019
Moody Mo

It was one of those days when I recalled the lost nostalgia of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk lane at that twilight hour. The regal remnants of the Jama Masjid juxtaposed against the large ugly black wires hanging precariously over rooftops. In that chaos of rickshaws, human beings all rushing towards destination unknown. I sit back quietly and admire the untouched beauty of the place. Sitting at the Kashmiri Wazwan restaurant which overlooks the Jama Masjid, I order for my nun cha and watch the handsome Kashmiri men and beautiful women, unaware of their natural abundance of beauty. I know this makes them even more beautiful. The beauty that is unhurried and without any effort.

I love this trip into nostalgia. I soak in the ambience and watch the stores that are full of Islamic clothing. There are hijab stores and more. I am transported into mini Pakistan. The shops selling kebabs, men with kohl-smeared eyes and their Pathani suits. I spot a green sharara kameez. I am lost in the sheen of the green and the minimalist zardosi work on the pockets.

I walked up to Ajmal Khan’s store, which had a board written in Urdu calligraphy. He welcomed me in. Showed me many Pakistani sets that blew my mind. Told me names of serials that he loved watching and his customers too. So he dressed them up like the women of the serials. He found me staring at the green velvet set. He called it Noori.

He held Noori against himself and said it was the colour for me. I told him I was a Bengali. He didn’t believe me and said my zubaan was clear. I couldn’t tell him about my first crush who spoke chaste Urdu. I had learnt the difference between Zalim and Jalim; jalim as a Bengali would say.

He negotiated the price of the velvet kurta over a cup of tea and a samosa. I couldn’t say no to him. I went into the trial room and put on the kurta. It fit me like a dream. The sharara length needed to be altered because my height was of a petite Bengali woman, not the Pakistani serial heroines. He said, “Give me 15 minutes and I will get this done”.

Velvet because of its softness has a high cost of production. Velvet was introduced in Baghdad during the rule of Harun Al Rashid by Kashmiri merchants. We also have Ibn Battuta who mentioned that royalty of Mali wore that fabric as a caftan on Eid. Here, I was feeling like royalty wearing the abundance of this regal fabric.

I recalled the days of my life in those lanes. My ride into the known lanes of Delhi 6 was always with my friend from school Shimonti Sinha. We, two Bengali women were high on romance and hunger of the past. We didn’t speak at times, we would just look at each other and know that it caught our senses unaware.

I pack my green velvet kurta and walk past the lane of Ballimaran, home of the great poet Mirza Ghalib. That large door still has the Mughal architecture. I see Kashmiri men in Pathani suits standing against the door. They have large bags of walnuts and kesar. They look tired from the unrelenting reality of restarting life outside their home. I understand that he too searches every day for a release from this hard life in the capital of our country.

I did wear the Green velvet kurta without any jewellery. The kurta spoke aloud that evening against the sequined black western outfits of other women. What Indian clothing does to me is incomparable to any western outfit. I guess style is when it’s in your skin, when it is forced it kills the inherent nature of dressing up like you own the space.

Clothing

A Classic Called The Angarakha

March 18, 2019
Moody Mo

When you feel vulnerable and think that you may lose your soul to this crazy thing called life. You protect yourself by listening to music that heals, or you indulge yourself till the thoughts are dimmed and what stays is the feeling that the universe is protecting you with compassion. As I listened to music, I tightened my Angarakha strings over my breasts, protecting my heart from more pain. The pain which I wish to forget and not go down that road again.  I have always been fascinated with the clothing from the Mughal era. It has the Ishq of a bygone era of opulence and craft. One such clothing is the Angaraksha also called the Angarakha, the other name is Jama.

The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “Angarakhsaka” which means protection of the body. It has over the years seen many variations on the ramp. The long and short of this shirt dates back to the 16th century Emperor Akbar. The first King who had the vision of uniting India on religion and culture. His clothes were a reflection of both the rich cultures, in the fusion of Indian dressing.

I recall falling in love with this garment since my school days. Watching Merchant Ivory’s Heat And Dust, and the white cotton unisex Angarakhas. It falls over your body, hugging the contours. You may loosen or tighten it based on the mood of the moment.

I recall the time I wore my first Chikankari Angarakha for my first date. I remember how he stared at my first flush of youth. Covered from prying eyes, yet revealed exactly what promise lay inside. A girl child blooming into a woman. He too was young, unsure of his ability to love and be confident of self.

An Angarakha to me is one of the sexiest garment created since time immemorial. It covers yet it reveals, exactly how style should be. It is an amalgamation of our experiences, of finding our own divinity among all the beautiful and ugly experiences we have gathered over the years. We are gatherers of stories, of our own lives and others experiences who visit this space in our lifetime.

Sonam Dubal captures my imagination of the fluidity of this garment in its totality.  I am drawn to his aesthetic as a designer. Drawing my experiences from the past to the present me. The little mirror work on the edges catches the light of the sun and reflects in my heart and soul.

Clothing

Desires Cut Into The Fabric Of Love

March 14, 2019
Moody Mo

My love for good things began very early on. To the utter horror of my middle-class parents, they were worried I wouldn’t ever settle for the mediocre. A factory outfit never made me feel my best, it had to be a bespoke outfit. After much thought and pondering would my tailor add the Kutch mirror work patch or the lace to give my mundane outfit its edge, and make it my statement. The aim was always adding an Indian sensibility over my denim or the check-patterned Kilt.

With this undying need to be always surrounded by beautiful things, it surely was a constant struggle with my limited income. I had that discerning eye for all good things, including my male friends. I wasn’t exactly generous at that choice, but he needed to have more than just good looks to keep my interest going. Most times, I was disappointed so I decided to put my energy into clothing that saluted an art form of India. As usual, most things had to be a cut above the rest. Being raised as a Bengali in Delhi, you are forever struggling between the two identities that you can’t fathom when which one takes over. The constant struggle of being a quintessential Bengali with the cacophony of the Peacock Punjabi. It surely was a sure shot path to schizophrenia. But my love for Rajasthan and it’s arts and crafts is a constant. Till date, it remains a passion that needs regular acknowledgement. Every week four times at least, I wear a Bandhini or a Sanganer print over my jeans, that size hasn’t remained constant. I recall the small store in the early days of fashion-hungry Bangalore at Commercial Street which had RJP, Rohit Bal, Anita Dongre and few more well-known designers. RJP always stole my heart with his fine cotton and minimalist design sensibility.

RJP is famous for his pintuck kurtas and remarkable indigos. I had to attend an elite function at Bombay; a very important second wedding of a friend. I had to look the part, so I choose this black cutwork kurta over a white crinkled skirt to wear for one of the evenings. It was my first Rajesh Pratap Singh ensemble. Cutwork is typically a technique where you cut the fabric, resulting in holes, which is reinforced with embroidery or needle lace. It originates in Italy and is called Punto Tagliato. Renaissance was the period of new things and cutwork began in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. And even in the fashion world of today, cutwork is very much prevalent and is also called lace. The hand cutwork is one of the most traditional forms of this art.

As a child, I still recall the sari petticoats that were dried in the sun with cutwork on its edges. Our home linen had cutwork on them. So cutwork was a natural draw to my senses. Senses that were carved from nostalgia and memory. RJP cutwork kurta makes me feel sensual without baring much. The arms on one side have the cutwork that reaches up to my shoulder blades. It fits like a dream and black makes me feel sexy, desirable and shapely. In spite of the PMS bingeing, black is so forgiving. Just like how a gentleman should be. Most women over time stop listening to the voice of their bodies and the need to be cherished. Just as we are flawed or perfect. Because beauty is a factory idea, created by the advertising lobby. Real women have fat and bad moods.

Like great love stories where there is passion, romance and my favourite word called Ishq.RJP with his signature pintuck kurtas and this cutwork design makes me crave for the moonlight on my shoulder blades and my lover finding spaces to kiss away my loneliness between the neatly cut fabric. Exposing just that much and more.

 

 

 

Clothing, Lifestyle

Frida Kahlo And Her Refusal To Accept The Rules

February 20, 2019
”I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope to never return” 

Frida Kahlo was an iconic artist from Mexico who painted portraits, of pain and passion. Women all over will remember her till time to come, for her unashamed rebellion against the norm. She had polio as a child and nearly died in a tram accident. During that time, with a broken rib and multiple fractures, she painted her anguish on to the canvas. She took Mexican folk art to a world platform with her attitude on her sleeves. Feminists world over lauded her for her unconventional choices.

Her view on sexuality wasn’t restricted with what society deemed right and wrong. She loved deeply and was hurt deeply, in her multiple relationships with men and women. She grew as a person to become a better lover, artist and celebrated every moment of her failing and falling. When we say beauty is skin deep, which holds true for her because she is known for flaunting her facial hair, her uni-brow and carried her limp with style. She chooses to wear Mexican weaves and art on her clothing. She met the much married Riviera Diego, an artist par excellence, who taught her to paint. She later married Diego and became great friends with his wife. While in the relationship that was tumultuous and full of passion, she found her art. They were both artists who loved Mexico and while being married to each other were not scared to experience love and life with others. Diego was her anchor and she was his.

 Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida’s flowers on her head were like a crown that she wore. They were symbolic of her free nature, her free style. She truly embodies that style is not restricted to trends in fashion. It is what you make out of your choice in clothing that becomes your statement. A statement, which you eventually choose as your external identity. She wore Mexico all over the world with pride.

I recall one chilly nippy winter month on my visit to Paris; I read that there was a museum displaying Diego and Frida’s art. I wasted no time in booking the tickets for the show. Crossed over the river Sienna, the bridge which was filled with locks that lovers had put on the bridge and threw away the keys into the river with a promise to be forever together.

My little boy asked me if I too wanted a lock and I replied “no”. I held his grubby little hand in mine, feeling the wind on my face and in my heart I knew we all break promises. Relationships that do not celebrate the evolution of one another remain stunted like the stale odour of a dead horse being flogged to ride and move.

I picked my tickets, grabbed my black coffee and croissant and walked inside the gallery. Diego’s art was sublime, whereas Frida’s art had her anguish all over the canvas. Her aborted children, her bedridden state of wanting to break free yet confined. Her art was full of pain and also a celebration of that growth which comes out of that pain. I am drawn to anything that has Frida Kahlo on its cover. I feel her energy embody my rebellious mind.

Obedience to society and its conditioning. I know, it’s a long battle for women to be sexually free. But I have hope…

Clothing, Lifestyle

Unstructured Structure With Khushnuma

January 18, 2019
KHUSHNUMA KHAMBATTA

Yet, again and again, I am drawn into the colours that just beckons me. It’s a rack full of clothes and I find myself feeling the fabric and staring at this particular grey-blue layered shirt. I look into the label and the name is equally intriguing. It says Khushnuma Khambatta and I roll the name in my mouth with a deep nostalgia for Arabic names. Khushhhnuma!!

I know I am a hoarder and I have read so many stories on decluttering, emotional baggage and the rest of the Zen philosophy. I know I have no more space in my overcrowded cupboard. Clothes are like a blast from the past, some I put away. And every time I open that secret door, I question my growth. I still love clothes, fabrics, art and craft. I promise you that I try to control my excessive buying habits. But can you resist a colour that you love? Well, I just love the colour blue. It’s the colour of the sky and the ocean, both are calming and unfathomable. The conversation in my head is dimmed with the blue hue encompassing me. I felt the layering of the garment which gives fluidity to this structured shirt. This fluidity was like dance moves on the otherwise structured garment. The colour was bright without being loud and was perfect for my current conflicted brain. What should I say and what shouldn’t?

I realised that the more of “me” would always love a good garment, a good song, a poignant film and anything that sets my spirit free.

Despite my growth as a person, the gnawing doesn’t end. An internal conversation to no avail, to reduce the clutter. I have not been successful in this mission. Maybe, I just need to resign to my love for life where it is manifested best with music, good designs, beautiful clothing, honest conversations and a lot of sunshine. This ability to acknowledge that I do love the “more”. I am struck with vivid memories when I sit opposite my overstuffed cupboard, touch and feel the fabric. It reminds me of stories, invariably most of them have been rooted in my days of being unable to get out of bed with a debilitating autoimmune disorder. So I shall hoard, wear and buy all the material things that give me joy as it’s a celebration of life. I don’t feel vulnerable when I look nice. Maybe it’s not too deep but who cares!

Right now it’s the “Khushi” with Khushnuma Khambatta and I ain’t complaining. We want more & more of it. Keep the fluidity flowing, not just in the clothing, but also in your thoughts. Like you draw paintings on water, the fluidity cannot be reined and this makKhushnumaKhushnumaes it more desirable. Also, the truth is that no woman ever complained when she felt pretty or desired. I feel sensual in blue, sexy in black, pristine in white and passionate in red. And we haven’t even touched all the colours yet.