Obsessed with LOLcats and Em cartoons, thinks Donald Duck is human, loves ravioli and her recently acquired pink brogues. Grew up in Calcutta, wanted to be a teacher when she was 8…her childhood was about GI Joes, playing cricket, and watching cheesy videos on MTV. Post studying journalism at the University of Westminster and various writing errands involving fashion features, subbing news, celeb gossip, beauty, teen suicides, relationships..at Harper’s, Cosmo, Handbag.com…in London, now she writes for Vogue.in. Loves anything digital, her new Macbook air, Wearabout, and cupcakes. You may call her Shrutters or Shoe.
What were you like as a kid?
I pronounced R as L. So ruler would be lulel. It was very sad.
When I was about 8, in class 2, I used to have a teacher – Mrs. Ganguly, I wanted to be exactly like her. This was pre-middle school when teachers are actually nice. By middle school, I hated the whole concept of teaching…so I floated around a bit with ideas of designing till I realised I can’t sketch to save my life. At about 13, I applied for a short story contest just for the heck of it. Much to my surprise I won the first prize. That’s when I really started thinking about writing + my grand mom would always tell me I should be a storyteller.
I realized soon enough, story tellers don’t get paid a lot. So what combines writing and pays me decently? Journalism! That’s when I decided I was going to be a journalist…but not floozy ones like me. I wanted to do news journalism. I studied political science, took up a course of International Journalism at Westminster which was headed by an ex-war correspondent. I wrote essays about wars & media. Then I graduated, somehow joined Handbag.com, and that’s when life took a whole new direction.
Post Westminster, you were in London for two more years. Where all did you work?
My first pay job was at Metro. It’s a free newspaper in London and I worked on their subbing desk. I would get paid 100quid for a day. The shift timing was pretty cool too, from 2pm to 8pm. Then I worked with various publications like Cosmopolitan.co.uk, Daily Mail, Harper’s Bazaar, Handbag.com, Woman & Home, Halpern, CosmoGirl, Top of the Pops. Besides this I was also the news editor of my uni’s paper, and worked in some hospital radio for a little while which was kind of boring and scary.
Why did you come back to India?
I’m very close to my mom and her constantly asking me to come back for two years finally got to me.
What do you miss about London?
My friends..Stephanie, Jennifer, Meena, Poonam, Bima & Savi. Walking everywhere. Summer picnics. Da Paolo, Busaba Eathai, Wagamama, & Hakkasan. Brick Lane. Camden Town. Hampstead. Lavender cakes. Topshop. H&M…..
And about Calcutta?
Home and family. Also, food..particularly black daals. Being able to go out and eat at 4 a.m. Amazing corn on toast for breakfast, followed by assorted pastries, at Flurys. I used to go there for breakfast with my friends and was in love with its high ceilings, aging waiters, this entire old Calcutta feel..before it was refurbished and bastardised by commercialization.
Do you agree that fashion is much more evolved in London? How would you compare it to Bombay/Calcutta?
Yes. Fashion in London is very very accessible – you don’t necessary have to wear brands to be well dressed.You could shop from Primark and still be the most fashionable person in the room.
Since designer wear gets imitated by high street brands so much, I think people are more conscious of trends in general, and even if they aren’t, it’s perfectly okay for someone to wear their personality.
I also think people are less judgmental in London. Kind of live and let live attitude. It’s somewhat there in Bombay as well, but Calcutta is such a small city, everybody knows everything you do..they dissect everything you do…and that, in a way, restricts you.
Describe your work at vogue.in..
The sections I handle are Fashion, Blogs, Trends & Shopping, People and Parties. I love writing. I could write all the time. I think I’d be terribly depressed if I couldn’t write. And I love everything digital. Vogue.in combines the two and that’s what I like about my work.
Designers you like..
I like Anuj Sharma because he is one of the few people who designs what he believes in; Rahul Mishra for his complex processes and simple results; Sabyasachi Mukherjee for his magic with clothes; and Nachiket Barve because he makes happy clothes.
What are you reading these days?
Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami and my Twitter timeline.
It’s her birthday today. She’s turned 26. Happy Birthday to her.
Is dressed up in Zara. Brogues from Bugis street, Singapore. Post title stolen from her twitter description.