Traditionally inclined, Culturally connected

I have been living in America for almost ten years now. My daily wear staple has always been a pair of jeans and t-shirt not only because it is comfortable but because it rendered me hopefully inconspicuous in a country that has only now started to feel like home. Today my wardrobe has almost as many sarees and salwar kammez as there as are skirts and pants but I still do not venture forth in them unless I am at a social or Indian gig. Why? Well, for one, I still like being inconspicuous. Also the generally cool and cold climate here in Berkeley means that I have to wear layers which is almost an art by itself.

According to Sabyasachi, a celebrated Indian designer whose saree I picked up this time during a visit to Kolkata, “the slow death of Indian crafts is coming about only because of the lack of modernisation in techniques and the domination of middle-men who often take a lion’s share of the profits.””For the sustenance of Indian arts and crafts, designers need to educate themselves and create a good market which will result in people refraining from buying Chinese products. You just cannot preserve heritage without creating a market for it.”he says.

So even while I am still on the hunt for my identity, I define a part of myself by what I choose to buy and what I decide to wear. In the words of this designer, ” What a hand creates has a character of its own” and it is this character that I seek to create and define for myself in this venture.

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