They say that food evokes memories, and I could not agree more, the aromas wafting through a kitchen, the sound of sputtering spices and the taste of love all have a way of transporting one into the past - refreshing memories and reliving the good times.
In my case though, I find that clothes, much more than food are the triggers that bring back memories – my mothers old sari’s take me back to school PTA meetings, little frocks with bows and pleates remind me of carefree summer days spent playing with friends and winter wear reminds me of the little sweaters my grandmother would lovingly knit all year for us so that a whole new set was ready by the time we descended upon her warm home for our winter breaks.
Even today, each time I pull out something to wear, I instantly go back in time and relive the emotions and the memories that piece of clothing holds for me…take this dress for example…
6 years ago, my sister, Aditi, and I took a trip to Jaipur. It was May or June and Jaipur was hot, really hot, we would brave the heat and sweat, armed with sunglasses, sunscreen and a steely determination to soak in all we could of Jaipur, to shop, see and eat all we could, and leave with stuffed tummies and bulging suitcases.
On one such 60 degree hot afternoon, we walked into a tiny, dingy, rusty shop, at the back of, possibly, the narrowest lane in Jaipur. The shop was grey and there was weak weary wiring hanging precariously low, but all I could see were the bundles and bundles of fabric that were surrounding me, singing a soft symphony, luring me, asking me to take them home, in that grey corner of Jaipur I found my heaven on Earth.
It is in this store that I fell instantly in love with this Dandelion print cotton fabric, of which I picked up many meters, I brought it home and kept it safe for 5 years, until, finally deciding to turn it into a summer dress for myself. Each time I lay my eyes on it, it brings back memories of our trip to Jaipur, the crazy heat and the crazier shopping we did, it takes me back to that little store and all my senses come alive, I can smell the sweet fragrance of freshly printed fabric, I can feel every grain of the fabrics between my fingers as the colours start to come alive before my eyes.
I love clothes, I love fashion, but what I love more is reliving the memories, listening to the stories and reading the history that stays crouching, hidden between every weave of the thread, waiting to be discovered…