Sunday, January 24, 2010

Is it a Shenoy? Tell me it is.

Disclaimer: This is a fictitious story with imaginary characters and bears no relation with any real person living or dead. Especially fashion designers from Japan. Well I wish I could write this last sentence with a clear conscience. But I sincerely mean no disrespect. If any individual or business finds this account libelous, I'm sorry. I can even offer to withdraw the post. (Of course after the initial publicity.)

He looked up at the sky. The evening was hanging loose and closing in. Pretty unseasonal for this time of the year in Tokyo, it looked like it might rain. Not a pleasant prospect. He had an early flight to catch tomorrow. He was about to skip continents. The spring-summer show at Milan was getting under way over the weekend.
Under his perch overseeing the studio floor, a battle raged. An army of talented girls and young men were sweating it out to put the last stitches in place. Time ran out under their nimble fingers. Here a nip, there a tuck... everywhere a clippity cluck. The models wore bored expressions. These fitting sessions were always a drag. A faint smile played on his lips. He remembered the last time he hollered at one of his models. Seemed so long ago. The young girl was practising her walk while he stood nearby, trying to tinker with the lines on a sketch. The teen nervously approached him. "Mashter, zish line of yoursh... got no pockitsh...where would I put my handsh at ze turn?" He had lost it for that one moment. "Tell you what, young lady, you can take your hands and shove them. Don't you understand, this creation is called A-poc, sans a pocket. When people buy one of these, they won't need a pocket. None. They'd have nothing left to keep."
Ah, memories, memories. They have a habit of runnng in herds. His early childhood at Azamganj, their hutment near the railway tracks. His father, Miyan Yaqub Ansari, the impoverished schoolteacher, scraping pennies to buy him new books and uniforms every year. Abba would always say,"Beta Rafiq, I'm saving up to send you to Aligarh. Study hard, you can make a very good eye surgeon. You have a good pair of hands." His hands. The moment Abbu turned his back, his hands would grab Ammi's scissors and start swishing away at old newspapers, cutting shapes. Strange, flowing, fluid shapes on pieces of paper. And the fateful night he cut into the new pullover Abbu bought him for school. The cane stinging on his bare back. That was the only time he talked back to Abbu. "I don't want to be an eye surgeon, Abbu. I want to make clothes." More caning. That night he left home. The anger of youth.
Well he was much older now. Older and composed. And Abbu passed away last year. Till the end, Abbu would say, "But you could do better as an eye-surgeon, beta." He dabbed at the corner of his eyes.
Presently his favorite assistant ran up the stairs and approached him, babbling breathlessly, "Miya-san, the FTV people are on the phone. They want to know what we're calling our new collection. Have you decided on a name yet?" There was nary a furrow on his forehead. "Let's see, we already did Haat, and bazaar you say would be too cheap....how about we call it Mandi this time and leave it at that? Let the wiki contributors find out the dubious Sanskrit origin of the word once again, what?"
"Brilliant, miya-san! How do these names come to you just like that? In a flash, as it were?"
"Well I guess it's a gift, young Izumi. I always had this gift. Only once, back in 1970, when I flew in here from America, and started this studio, I was in a fix over a name. The name that would define my work. My own label. What would I call a line created by one Rafiq Ansari from a humble Ajamganj where people still consoled my parents, saying, "One day your son will come back, Miyan. He will make a living anywhere. He has a very good pair of hands." I slept over it. In the morning, I did my prayers and remembered Abbu. Then I went and named it 'Issi Miyan Ke'.

P.S : After eons on the blog. No explanation. No inspiration. Wasted plenty of net time watching p...er, deviant audiovisual entertainment.

4 comments:

narendra shenoy said...

Gahahaha! Super! Welcome to the club!

Spaz Kumari said...

has potential. definitely has potential. how did i know?

i wanted to kill myself at the end of it. :)

Partho said...

Thank uou Spaz! I was starting to think nobody else would read this. Your blog has been delightful reading! Me, a fan.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.