Memories of Shantiniketan - A Well-Spent Day with my Rural Artisans, Designers, and Local People
Trust me, I just dont curate sarees! I connect with my people from whom I get the ultimate fashion creations for all my lovely patrons. I am been quite inquisitive in the past, but with time when I hailed into the business - I think I have gripped on to the abilities to have that chatty face!
The operations of IndyVogue which runs from Austin to Kolkata is indeed tedious but I have the strength and support which drives me all the time - and that constant life support is my FAMILY and my ARTISANS.
Well this short trip to Kolkata, my home land - I was able to connect with my weavers and artisans in the distant places had a heart to heart chat, tried the local cuisines which I missed since a long time and just mingled with the atmosphere and rural culture around me.
I thought to take this way of my blog to retell the story of my journey to the hub of Tagore (Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore) in Bolpur, Shantiniketan.
A Visit to the abode of Tagore, Poush Mela, Sonajhuri & Nakshi Kantha
IndyVogue has its root deep in the culture and history of West Bengal - and to stay connected I always make an effort to reach out to my artisans personally and stay humble.Shantiniketan is one of the UNESCO Heritage sites, thanks to our Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath, and his ample artistic and scholarly blessings.
Apart from Tagore, Shantiniketan has been the humble replica of the rural innocence of Bengal - with its local people from Sonajhuri (where the cluster of artisans actually resides), - the silence of Kopai river - the hustle which is world-popular, made by one and only Poush Mela, held in the month of December and much more.
This time of the year, I have not witnessed the other essence of Bolpur, but I connected with locals like I never did before.Took a part in the tribal dance, and felt how simple the people are in and out of Bengal. The deep culture embedded in these locals is also so fresh in the creation they make for the world!
Kantha Stitch, one of the popular embroidery forms lay at the crossroads of art, craft, fashion & design, combining meticulous artistry, storytelling & thrift. I have been resourcing all my Kantha stitch sarees from this hub in Bengal and they are deeply rooted in this rural hub and carry a rich history and meaning in each weaving I bring for my patrons.
In my Kantha collection, every patron new and existing can enjoy and cherish the beauty, and the imperfection of the handmade, and believe in the power of cloth to tell stories and connect worlds.
This is a humble art form as it has been for centuries in small, unassuming village homes of rural West Bengal. This ancient folk tradition has a timeless appeal. Our collection is an ode to the artisans, designed to showcase their finest Kantha on exquisite fabrics & in relaxed silhouettes.
You will find each of the pieces laboriously hand embroidered over many months by the artisans and this visit to Shantiniketan was to celebrate our survival during the Covid hardships and to extend my arm of support!
A Day that will Remain So Close to the Heart of Every IndyVoguians!
Meeting with the artisans, mingling with the local people and assimilating their culture - it was also more than that!
There was a strange connection I made on this journey and I will be cherishing the same for quite some time - till I get to make new memories with these humble people once again.
It is important that you stay connected and indebted to the people who forms the backbone of something great and exponential in your life. To me Sumana, Bhattacharya I am proud that even during the hard time of Pandemic I was able to support a number of artisans who were connected to UndyVogue and was happy to receive the love they showered!
Sumana Bhattacharya completed her Masters in Economics from the University of Calcutta & was working with the Department of Education, Govt. of West Bengal to provide training to the teachers in Government Schools. She moved to USA in 2005 after getting married & is the mother of 2 kids. She is the one that drives IndyVogue every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Salute to her and her undying spirit.