A casual browsing session on Facebook on a boring work day had brought Pushpa and Jeanie together. Jeanie was zapped by that stunning tribal jewellery that was displayed by an ecommerce portal called classystreet.com.
A particular Khadi jacket riveted her attention. Sleekly cut, a slit for a pocket, a collar that highlighted the neckline of the garment or gave a touch of regality to clothes without a collar – cool and classic.
Jeanie sat upright. A couple of years back she had crafted an exclusive collection of garments made out of Khadi. Her clients had eagerly lapped up her entire range within a week. Most of them had even called up again to check out if she had any Khadi garments now. Unfortunately – she had not been able source any new material from her Indian friend.
She looked at the Khadi collection again. She was dumbfounded. The outfits were smart, trendy and oozed panache. She browsed through the comments section. A particular girl called Pushpa had taken the time to reply to all the comments made by her friends. She was a part of the classystreet.com. team.
Can I call you the flower girl? Jeanie asked Pushpa.
Pushpa sent Jeanie a smiley and a picture of a lotus along with a Namaste.
That is a nice name – you seem to know a bit of our national language. The flower girl is happy to have a new friend.
Can I call you Genie? The girl with magic in her hands?
Jeanie sent her a double smiley with a huge smile.
I would like to visit Odisha and learn more about the Khadi garments that classystreet.com is displaying on its website. Can you make the necessary arrangements for me? Asked Genie.
Would you like to stay in my house? Asked the flower girl.
I would truly appreciate that. I would love to see all the cultural trends that you follow. I believe all those designs that you are crafting into your clothes have an element of culture and tradition in it.
The flower girl took a long time to reply.
Did I offend you in some way? Asked Genie after waiting for a couple of days. Flower girls don’t simply vanish you know…..she pasted a picture of a girl crying.
Flower girl was busy making arrangements for her friend with a magic wand. Your trip is all mapped out. The details will follow. The prime focus will be on our Khadi collection. But you will get a glimpse of all the different crafts and weaves that we display too.
Classystreet.com welcomes you to Odisha.
Genie sat on the coir cot with trepidation.
It looked delicate but was pretty sturdy.
Her flower girl friend turned out to be a classic Indian beauty with long thick hair which was oiled and neatly braided.
She had worn a short Khadi Kurti along with a pair of loose pleated trousers.
They had become best friends overnight. Her flower girl had asked her to schedule her trip so that it coincided with the 10 day Durga Pooja festival.
A regional cultural dance festival was being hosted in Odisha at that time and that was the best time to understand the culture of all the different Indian states.
Yesterday they had all participated in the garba dance of Gujarat.
Genie had loved every minute of it.
She had bought an excellent Ghaghra choli set along with some stunning tribal jewellery.
Her flower girl friend had draped the dupatta around her Ghaghra and it was so trendily conveniently long. The skirt neither hindered her movements in anyway nor caused her any kind of discomfort. In fact despite the thickness and coarseness of the texture, the skirt was soft to touch and allowed her skin to breathe in the hot weather.
The music was superb. The dance movements were easy and quick and she was welcomed with warmth and treated as an equal by all the other flower girls.
Pushpa – you are the lotus eyed flower girl now. All these women are all my best friends now and I will call you all as my flower girl friends.
One bright spirited lovely damsel brought out her cone of mehndi and decorated both her hands with beautiful shankha chakra phoola motifs.
Other flower girls took Jeanie around their stalls and showed her their unique designs.
Most of the work was based on Khadi.
Khadi is in fashion now.
We have been wearing it for generations. Said the flower girls.
Young girls like Samaira and Pushpa understand and study the latest fashion designs in India and around the world and ask us to change our styles according to the latest trends.
It takes us a little time to mould our patterns and our weaves – but these girls are very patient. They show us how our clothes will finally be used on their smart phones. They bring their laptops along with them and tell us where our clothes will be displayed.
Last month, just before Navratri – we sold 1200 jackets made out of Khadi. Samaira and Pushpa analysed the market trends and told us that young girls buy these kinds of jackets during Navratri.
They first wear it with their Ghaghra cholis when they do the garba and dandiya dance.
They then mix and match them with their jeans and kurtis to give a touch of elegance to their casual wear.
Pushpa asked us to vary the size of these jackets. She also taught us to weave several brightly coloured threads into the Khadi garment so that it would match with any kind of casual wear. Pushpa also insisted that we weave in a touch of our culture and traditions into our borders.
See this jacket – it has an elephant motif at the back with an umbrella over it. See how well the elephant itself is decorated. Our kings used to ride on such elephants. See this palanquin – our queens used to travel in such palanquins. Look at this pallu on this Khadi saree – the weaver has woven in threads of yellow to depict the love of Radha and Krishna in it.
Just drape this over yourself – see Genie – look at that lovely shade of pale yellow – see how the border highlights the entire saree. Wear the same saree in the Gujarati style and see how the entire pallu of the saree is displayed.
Hours later, Genie was on an all-time fashion high. She was sitting cross legged on the floor with Pushpa.
Shukriya flower girl.
You know the answer to that question don’t you?
Yes. I do know that we are a rich country with a lot of specialized skills like this. I love all these tribal folks. They are simple people who do what they know best.
They do not even realize the worth of their own skills and talents. For them weaving and handicraft making is a means of livelihood. They have no exposure.
You – Genie – were speaking with them in English – using gestures. You hesitated and fumbled while speaking with them.
Did you notice – that they spoke to you in their native language – without the slightest hesitation – simply – plainly from their heart?
Yet – you understood every word of what they were trying to say.
These humble tribal people speak a language of love.
They speak through their work.
They emote through their work.
They empty their mind and their genius into their handiwork.
It is time that they get the recognition they deserve for the quality that they produce.
Classystreet.com is just one such lifeline for them. Their potential is immense. We need buyers for such skilled talent.
And I make it my business to advertise their stuff. Yes – my technical expertise has helped them to a great extent – but we still have a long way to go…
Genie – the girl with the magic touch – brought out her tablet.
Will you put together a collection of these designs for me flower girl?
The flower girl glanced through the pictures………impressed……..
These are great…….you are a fashion designer?
Let’s just say – I design organic clothes. I want you to weave in a touch of magic into them. Some floral patterns too.
An hour later – flower girl and the girl with magic were still giving some finishing touches to the designs.
Classystreet.com is happy that their entire tribe and team will be creating the latest trends globally on an ever green fabric called Khadi.
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