At the Buddhist conference in New Delhi, I came across some of the revered lamas who inspired me with their wisdom and knowledge. But there were a few who drew me into skepticism. An embodiment of divinity should not harbour hypocrisy and pride. I agree, it’s in our intrinsic nature to be self-centred. But when you find yourself to be surrounded by holy figures in robes, you least expect them to display any sort of superiority complex. I respect them from the bottom of my heart. But I wish if one could dedicate their whole life into practicing compassion and equality, one has to have better results in this department than us mere mortals. Or maybe I expected too much. All in all, it was a different experience.
At the Wills India Fashion Week, I was there to attend the show as an editor of a monthly fashion and lifestyle magazine. It was an eventful week, an exercise on vanity and all things superficial. I had to pick up my wide leg trouser, black tee and kitch neck piece to look decent enough. After all, there were many who were dressed to nines, each trying to outdo one another with their avant garde approach to fashion.
I sat on my designated seat across the ramp, taking notes of the collection, reading through the silhouette, the fabrics, and the embellishments. Every time a great piece on a great looking robot walked out of the entrance, the crowd hooted its admiration and flooded with applause. I did clap, a few times during Amit Aggarwal’s, Masaba Gupta’s and Aneeth Arora’s. And then it was time to socialize. I had to wander into the neon, sequin, and fluorescent clad army of stylists, make up artists, photographers and models for future projects. I was impressed with the number of business cards I shared, and received. Business cards. Aren’t they also an extended version of one’s ego? I think it is.
For one of the stories, I had to get hold of A-list fashion designers. So, there was Gaurav Jai Gupta (Vogue Fashion Fund finalist and an emerging designer) talking about how he admire the classic and detailed approach of the menswear designer, Rajesh Pratap Singh. I ran through each stalls and caught up with Krishna Mehta, Ruchika Sachdeva, Malini Ramani and Atsu Senkhose.
After scribbling all their quotes on my notepad, I hurried towards Tarun Tahiliani’s corner; his was wider, bustling with buyers and young employees with their eyes hooked on to their laptops. I gathered from Tarun’s assistant, that he was “very” busy with some exclusive buyers. Well, the next thing I know, the man in question was taking a casual stroll around the pop up restaurant.
So, I walked towards him, and introduced myself. He initially scanned my outfit, then nodded with a sense of acknowledgement or appreciation, and said, “sure, what do you want me to talk about?” Well, then for barely five minutes, I felt like a stack of autumn leaves floating on a river. He gestured how he adore Amit Aggarwal (Krishna Mehta went gaga over him too), his conceptual designs and his prowess in draping. It was a young-journalist-meeting-an–Indian-Karl Lagerfeld kind of a moment. When I shook my hands and thanked him, I saw his dumbfounded assistants waiting for their boss, undoubtedly the patriarch of the Indian fashion industry. And here was their boss, tiptoeing down the walkway with an infectious aura. And here was I, smiling, and padding myself for this minute accomplishment.
September played like a short film on ego. The need of every one of us to outdo one another, with looks, success, authority, money and status. There are wars, crime, bloodshed, unhappiness, discontentment and brawls which are partially stemmed out of different levels of ego. Things could have been way more easier, better and beautiful if we diminish this thing called ego. Well, I am working in that department.