She Shall Bloom
"हज़ार बर्क़ गिरे लाख आँधियाँ उट्ठें
वो फूल खिल के रहेंगे जो खिलने वाले हैं"
The radio recites Sahir ludhiyanvi as a couple of ladies work with deft fingers dancing rhythmically on hundreds of flowers. There's a riot of voices and yet the words hang in the air for a moment before they fall and embrace the heap of raat rani blooms as if toasting the very resilient feminine energy. Flowers made by flower like women who bloom every day together, balancing the universe with their superpower of adding life to everything they touch.
For us everyday is Women's day, we are lives in eternal celebration. Creating, making, nurturing, stretching boundaries, like a river always making our way through life. Taking this further, we want to talk about one dream we had, wove and brought to life together. Of creating something made up entirely of flowers, glorifying their will to blossom in the wild, the nurtured gardens and the cracks on the walls.
A dream that has been in the making since the blooming of the very first nomad flower, and realised now with the collective spirit of women who made and stitched an infinite number of flowers for the Bagula blouse.
It's true, a woman's mind is a place for a million stories at a time. They are omniscient, present everywhere and absent nowhere.
Just as Surekha decided the saree her daughter would wear when she met the ladkewale while neatly tucking raat-rani onto the fabric and Pavitri offered to lend her jhoomer to go with that saree as she rolled petals for more flowers. Everyone giggled as Babita made a not so subtle joke on the excitement of a newly met couple in the spring of their youth.
Eveyday Halima and Laado took metres of white fabric home and brought back hundreds of pristine blooms back. Who made these back there nobody knew but it was evident that there were more hands to it than what met the eye. It was amusing how they multiplied these blooms too just as everything else in their lives.
The constant reimagining of parallel lives for all was always in motion as they planned how each flower should be made, and what color beads would look best and how the hemming should be done and more. It is magic how everything unfolded, a vast narrative formed by the stories of our everyday lives. There was Renu waiting for calls that would give her a chance to elaborately talk about how Bagula wasn't a garment but the very soul of our craft and Ayesha was overwhelmed with the very thought of having it delivered safe and secure (She literally won't breathe till it reached the hands of the woman who it finally belongs to!). And finally when the first order came through Rinku and Nazneen literally danced as Varsha got bread pakoras for everyone and we had our very own celebration with a lip smacking chutney and tales over chai.
The making of Bagula or 'Tajmahal' as everyone here lovingly named it for the so many days and hands it took to make;
Is the very reflection of our individual and yet collective sense of growing together, slow and beautifully blooming into one big dream.
The journey of a woman is the journey of every woman and we made it an eventful one with this creation of ours that speaks the language of a thousand flowers. While I pack my daughter's bags for boarding all I can imagine is which flower will we pick as our next muse? For the flower story never ends, just as our continually active conscious it goes on...