Jaggery (Guṛ) is deeply rooted in our culture and evokes a distinctive Indian identity though its relevance in cooking, religious and auspicious rituals as well as its historical significance in our country.
Personally, I always think of it on a lazy winter afternoon with raw peanuts in one hand and a book in the other. My mom would peel off peanuts shells and I would shamelessly munch on them like a spoilt cat.
Made with love and through the taste of many such memories is Jaggery, a Delhi based fashion label with an eclectic aesthetic that merges traditional culture and contemporary styles. Jaggery works with lost and forgotten hand-loom textiles from all over India to create designs that are unique and enlivening. It takes inspiration from the artisan roots of indian design while finding fun ways to incorporate distinctive prints, embroideries and cuts.
My most favourite being the unstructured mashru jackets with geometric patterns in jewelled tones of aqua and ruby red with hand-quilted lining to keep one warm in the winters. Basically, just what I needed to pack in my small bag for a getaway to Rishikesh. However, over a cup of coffee we decided to make the size of the bag twice as big and experience the city like a local in these beautifully crafted garments.
In my head, I was sure that it had to be just friends; in the right setting, playing with shadows of whatever the city had to offer to us.
And, guess what? The trip turned out to be a wild, spiritual and enigmatic adventure. We discovered pristine river side beaches, roads that led to nowhere and sights that seemed to be out of the stories we read as children. On our last day we ended up in Haridwar where we were hosted by a wonderful family living in a humble ashram. It was quiet, raw and surreal. The whole place had a calming and spiritual vibe.
I woke up to the sound of chirping birds with a view of a straw hut in the middle of a garden.
Yes! I was transported to my happy place.
In the city, I experienced a tint of the seventies hippie influence interacting with the vibrant shades of saffron-orange at the ghats. The cultural fusion was so intriguing to observe and I absorbed every bit of it.
With the unconventional setting, I styled the garments in tune with the space that rhymes with the life of a local or a traveller who had found a home here. The designs endorsed a quality to transform and a comfort like second skin. Can say, though tradition is revived with the vision for the future, its soul is saved in the process.
Always escaping the unwanted, the delusional and uncalled bitter butter for some sunshine and to reflect.
Just, this time the escape was sweetened by Jaggery.