India of my Dreams

Dreams are illusions. They are the mercenaries against our own righteous self. But the moment they materialize, a frisson would blink an eye. I have a similar illusion that freaks my mind with the inception of exorbitant images. Images where I see craftsmen from Jaipur in conversation with the people at Nordstrom. Images where Anokhi debuts at Times Square, New York. Images where a comparison between Raghvendra Rathore and Tom Ford would become inevitable. This is the India of my illusion. This is the India of my dream. An India where embroidery of Phulkari from Punjab will share the space with Kalamkari from Srikalahasti at Atria Mall in Urban Mumbai. An India when Rajasthani Juti s will trade their ankles with Puma Tapper in an English Suburb. And as I deciphered all the stills into a single whole, they turned into words. And those words were brave, strong and arrogant. I want to see this myth grounded in dirt which calls the dream a mere trivial, a mere mortal. The abundant treasure of our traditional art and craft that has been under the shades over the ages now must see the sun. The Sun of organized work spaces, the Sun of equality and a future away from the dark. The dying arts must be restored to their previous glories. Craftsmen should be made to feel safe, insured sans fear. The bow of economic prosperity should now pierce the green fields of art in Kashmir, in the North-East, in the Southern Part of our mainland and other unknown areas. It s high time that we realize that a social concern should be shown by the big players of the arena. And they should join hands with the former. This will provide the Kantha, the Bandhej, the Madhubani a level platform to showcase themselves at the main event, main stage.

Now, let me just recite a story. It goes like this. There was a shoe named Excellent . It matched all the standards which were there to test his skills. He moved from place to place, leaving behind an amusing mass of people. Then he reached a land which mesmerized it. He got submersed in its random nature and sparkling colours. One fine day he met Tradition , an incredible beauty hailing from the same magical land while enjoying a soirée. And it was not long before a spark ignited between them. And then amidst the despair all around new dreams arose. Excellent wanted to join hands with Tradition now and Tradition too obliged. They both built a charming house and they started an Excellent Tradition which is meant to last for an aeon. Someone has rightly said, United we stand, Divided we fall.

This story laid the foundation of our mood board. We have tried to depict the amalgamation of our craft coming out of their inlaid shells from the far corners ranging from the North to the South and East to the West. The actor of transition is footwear from a big house, say Adidas. It is being overhauled with textures and patterns traditional yet soigné. And of course, not compromising in any way. Adidas still holds its own self but in a new way. It has turned into a spark which will undeniably light the flame of interest of our people who have still been untouched by the sporting giant s genius. And this has happened only because of the joint venture.

Our motifs and symbols have brought in a feel for the product. It now has an Indian face not denying its western roots. It now relates to the heart of our country. If a collection is to be designed out of it, that will showcase the cultural diversity and the quality of the crafts that have been there unnoticed. The mood board has a representation of the soul of the nation and thoughts we started with and it symbolizes a long awaited transient phase. Call it an illusion. Call it a dream.

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