Indian by choice

Indian by choice, Shalini James' Mantra

A whole year has passed since my last post.  A tumultuous year that gave little time or respite for affairs of the heart. And for words to flow from the pen, the heart must comply.  With the launch of a new store, a new factory on the anvil and being a judge on a reality show, my life was bursting at its seams ( to use a profession- appropriate idiom). Did I enjoy running from pillar to post, juggling different hats? The answer is yes. I loved it all; the challenges faced, the lessons learnt, the distance traversed and the people encountered.

At times my heart ached, as did my feet, to kick off my shoes and curl up on a sofa with my weather beaten, fuchsia cushion. It ached to mull over life and its twisty turns while chewing the rear end off my pencil.  It ached to lean in and watch the images in my head as they whispered in hushed tones. Images which swept past quickly, barely acknowledging me with a passing nod. Only when the noise around died down, would they stop to begin their music. And only when the orchestra within rose to a deafening crescendo would the soul hum along and the words spill forth..

Spending time with my cushion has helped.  The new collection is proof enough.  ‘Indian by choice’ is far more than a repertoire of clothing to me. It is a mantra that has been consuming me from within. A seemingly innocuous mantra that nosed its way into a tiny crevice in my head, now occupies the entire household with a proprietary air, camel like;  a nondescript acorn of a mantra that has suddenly sprouted roots and branches and a million dangling thingies, banyan like; ‘Indian by choice’ has got me in its grip, alright! A tight, circumventive grip that shakes my insides out.  Writer’s block, designer’s block and any other block hoping to linger on for an extended stay are given the marching orders.

A chance reading of an article in The Hindu about Irish poet and critic, James Cousins started it all. He said, “The true artist is the true patriot speaking the language of eternity but in the vernacular of his own time and space…”  ‘Indian by choice’ is based on the premise of the civil disobedience movement of the 40’s. It is in the same breath, a tribute to the patriotism of those times and a lament on the apathy of the day. And hopefully, it is a call to be inspired and rise to the occasion. On that note, I’ll lay my writer’s topi down and let my collection speak for itself.

Shalini James

Sept 21, 2013

 

Indian by choice, Shalini James'Mantra

 

 

Indian by choice, Shalini James' Mantra

 

Indian by choice, Shalini James' Mantra

 

Indian by choice, Shalini James' Mantra

 

 

Indian by choice, Shalini James' Mantra

To see more photos from the ‘Indian by choice’ look book, click here.

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