Frida From India

As soon as a huge flower band on the head comes before our eyes, the first name that comes to our head is, Frida Kahlo. We may not know much about who she was and what she did, her look is iconic. Frida was a Mexican painter who was famous for her self-portraits and showing through them, the female form in its raw form. She led a tragic life and was uncompromising and unapologetic.

The looks inspired by the lady have been done and overdone but I wanted to try my hand nonetheless. However, as most of you would know, I hate doing mainstream things. So to do this, I needed something that set it apart. Something, my Frida had that none of the other ones did. I wanted my Frida to be Indian, ethnic and rooted in my culture. That’s when I decided I wanted to do it with a saree and a hint of sindoor (vermillion), that my mom, for her own reason,  wears with pride every single day.

Deciding this was easy, the hard part was the execution. Even after watching seven ‘Frida Kahlo hair do’ tutorials, pushing those flowers in my hair was a task. I wrapped the sari, not wanting it look perfect, just everyday, an everyday sari. I wrapped a shawl around my shoulders and we were good to go.

And as I expected, the shoot wasn’t easy. I was a little embarrassed because of those flowers, the uni-brow, the made up hints of a moustache and the shabbily wrapped sari.  Thats when it hit me, like a big blow, how we take so much pain to look good. Everyday. Every single day, we try our best to appear ‘beautiful’. Not saying it is all vain but seldom do we forget that the person within us is more important.

Remember, it hurts the person when you and your friend talk about her and turn around to give her a glance, judging her from head to toe. And you may not realise it, but when you pass your, very idiotic and totally unnecessary, judgements about someone you don’t even know, that person knows. You know, you KNOW it,  if it has happened to you. From their eyes you can tell they are talking about you.

This is all that went through my head when I was going to the shoot location and people would peep into my car to look at me, they would whisper among themselves about me. But we reached the ghat and sat in a boat and the boat man, Ashok Yadav did not seem to care less about how I looked. He enjoyed the shoot and later I also met his aunt, boat wali aunty as they call her,  who had a beautiful conversation with me and kept asking me if I wanted to have some tea. To these people, my unibrow or the huge flowers did not matter. What mattered was if I was up for a cup of Chai.

I hope you will understand what I have tried to say through all this blabber. Don’t judge. Be appreciative. Give compliments. Present flowers. I swear the world will look so much better.

Take a look at the beautiful pictures captured by my partner in crime, Karanvir Singh Bajwa of Einsjordan.

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LOVE.

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