“Delhi. Where I was born and brought up. I began wearing sarees fifty years ago. When I was 17. Cotton ones from Handloom Emporium and Cottage Industries. My mother helped me choose them and was my role model on how to wear them. She was always so well dressed and her cottons always starched.
I loved Bengal cottons and the Sanganeri prints. Till today these are my favourite weaves. And when I drape a cotton saree it is an ode to Maiji.
As for Delhi , my soul is there. Amidst the ruins of Lodhi Gardens, wrapped around the columns of Connaught Place.
A cotton saree, a Jamdani from Dhaka to match the ivory of this iconic landmark Delhi is famous for. Crisp and cool , teamed with a black crop top.
When I wear a saree I feel like a queen and remember my growing up years in Delhi.”
“45 years of my 67 in Bombay. The city that taught me I could do whatever I wanted to no matter what.
Where I found myself. The city that helped me peel off the many layers life wrapped around my persona. Daughter, daughter in law, wife, mother …and when they came off, there I was. Bombay gave me the confidence, courage and creativity to do my thing. To be whoever, however…wear my attitude on my sleeve, wear whatever I wanted to. The sea and the sweep of the city told me there are no boundaries and nothing wrong in dreaming. For its part the city has made my dreams come true.”
(Viji Venkatesh is Region Head (India & South Asia), The Max Foundation, Managing Trustee – Friends of Max, Trustee – Being Human, The Salman Khan Foundation. )