More than a decade ago, one of my professors at college asked our weary class of 20 weary girls what we’d do if we were handed Rs.25,000 apart from jumping around with joy of course. It was by no means of a small amount of money and amidst all the conversations about spending half the money & donating the rest, all I could think of was how that sum of money could help my female relatives get their woven products to the larger domestic market if not the global market. That was when this idea first got incepted in my head & it has stuck.
I graduated. Worked in the booming telecom industry briefly before being egged back into the world of weaves & patterns in a leading fashion institute. After an amazing 30 months at design college, my batch-mates and I were thrown into the cruel world of the indian furnishings exports industry. It was a rough start filled with disillusionment to say the least and it did seem like this was the end of my career as a textile designer as I moved continents with my husband right after getting married.
Years have passed since we moved but somehow that dream lived on albeit a bit suppressed and sometimes gnawing at the edges of my thoughts till I fell asleep. Few months ago, I read a quote that brought my dream back nudging it into reality. It said: “The trouble is you think you have time”! Of course there’s no better time than now and I had to get to work. The choice of following my dream was clear but taking the decision of leaving the comfortable means of life in pursuit of my dream was a hard one.
I hope to bring Manipuri textiles – hand woven home linen to be precise, to the global market; to show the world the beautiful designs lovingly woven by amazing women who have kept this culture alive for centuries. The textiles of this region I belong to has been either long forgotten or undiscovered even by the mainstream and of course taken for granted by the locals who don’t see it as anything special. I of course don’t agree as in my time studying textile design, I’ve realised how special the textiles of Manipur really are.
Feeling enthused and hoping to be able to do justice to this long awaited dream project of mine.