Project LooM
JamdaniPeople

The investment banker turned (woman) politician in West Bengal

When I ask Trinamool Congress MLA, Mahua Moitra, why she loves jamdani sarees, she sends me a poem, written by her college-mate’s uncle, Agha Shahid Ali.  In the poem, “The Dacca Gauzes,” jamdani weaves are described as “woven air, running water, evening dew.”

She recites the last line and says, “Isn’t it lovely?”

 

 

Clad always in a Bengali weave with her signature sunglasses, Mahua is a picture of glocal (global-local) elegance.  She is rooted and stylish.  But then, I am biased because Mahua went to my alma mater, Mount Holyoke.  And when you are a Mount Holyoke woman, you college-mates become sisters.

Today, Mahua is touted as part of a rising crop of women politicians.  She is a regular on television.  “I feel truly blessed to be part of Nadia– the land of the jamdani– the weave of life,” she says.  “The fabric lets you breathe, lets you move, hug, run, and jump with equal ease as gliding through a royal court.”

Not that Mahua glides through courts on a regular basis. Rather, she is part of the rough and ready world of Bengali politics

 

The changing ethos of Kolkata

Kolkata today is both changed and unchanged.  There are new flyovers being built everyday while political parties jostle over seats.  “We demand,” is a common slogan here, even if people disagree about what they are demanding.  And yet…..and yet, there is the other Bengal that is unchanging, even eternal. “Bengal truly accepts you for who you are,” says Mahua.  “There is no stereotype for what a woman or politician should be like. It is liberating.”

This is the vision that Sabyasachi loves and pays homage to in his flagship store with its dark corridors, candles and archival photos. Sabyasachi’s version of Bengali style is “women in cotton sarees and red lipsticks to match their bold bindi.”  His style icons were women like Rekha, who much like Audrey Hepburn, “had a look that didn’t change much.” The same can be applied to the culture that values continuity rather than change.

 

Three things that bind Bengalis…and now four

“Bengalis are known for three things: nostalgia, dyspepsia and inertia,” pronounces Iti Misra, a home chef who instagrams under the handle @cheffingtonpost.

They are also known for their kasundi (mustard), gondharaj lemons and the jamdani weave.  These have been exported out of Bengal to different parts of India and the world.

Mahua feels at home in her native state.  And when she travels abroad, or for that matter, anywhere, she simply packs a few Bengali weaves into her suitcase.  Lo and behold, she is at home everywhere.

Related posts

Portrait of a weaver’s family: Abdul Mubeen Ansari

Shoba Narayan

Patola: Part 3: Imagining the whole saree

Shoba Narayan

A few books and links

Shoba Narayan

5 comments

注册免费账户 March 16, 2024 at 1:08 pm

I don’t think the title of your article matches the content lol. Just kidding, mainly because I had some doubts after reading the article.

Reply
najtańszy sklep March 27, 2024 at 3:22 pm

You’re in point of fact a good webmaster. The site loading velocity is amazing.
It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick.
Also, the contents are masterwork. you have done a wonderful activity in this matter!
Similar here: ecommerce and
also here: Sklep internetowy

Reply
Rastrear teléfono March 29, 2024 at 11:02 pm

La mejor aplicación de control parental para proteger a sus hijos – monitoriza en secreto GPS, SMS, llamadas, WhatsApp, Facebook, ubicación. Puede monitorear de forma remota las actividades del teléfono móvil después de descargar e instalar apk en el teléfono de destino.

Reply
Rastrear Teléfono Celular March 31, 2024 at 12:19 pm

¿Cómo sé con quién está chateando mi esposo o esposa en WhatsApp? Entonces ya estás buscando la mejor solución. Escuchar a escondidas en un teléfono es mucho más fácil de lo que cree. Lo primero que debe instalar una aplicación espía en su teléfono es obtener el teléfono objetivo.

Reply
Backlink Portfolio April 6, 2024 at 7:19 am

Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my website to
rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good
results. If you know of any please share. Cheers! You can read similar
text here: Link Building

Reply

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. I Agree More Info