Seen mostly on street vendors.
Photographed in Laitumkhrah, Shillong.
“I was born and brought up in Shillong. Growing up as a child in Shillong was pretty adventurous. I remember my locality friends and I inventing our own games, going up to the mountains not so far away from the place we stayed at in search for crabs and tadpoles. As a child I was very notorious, I must say, not so girly too! I cared less about how I looked..was very well known for bullying all the kids in my locality!
Other than regular stuff I studied classical piano for 7 years. I’m a professional musician and a songwriter. I sing for the band 4th Element. I’ve been singing since I was ten, and have been with the band for 5 years now. I like all things original and I’m madly obsessed with ships and castles.
I like Shillong because it’s beautiful and has easy access to everything. Its people and its food make it very special. Although if given a choice to live in any other place, it’ll probably be Bombay, because I feel that’s where you can be who you are! “
Describe a day in your life here.
I wake up I eat if I have nothing to do I write. I write a lot actually if I don’t have rehearsals which are once or twice a week. I stay with my mom so I do some house chores like babysitting my niece…then listen to a lot of music & just laze around.
A secret you’re tired of keeping?
I’m secretly attracted to girls. (But I would never want it to come true.)
Photos from January 2011. Photographed near Beat house, Laitumkhrah, Shillong.
Annette. In her 40s. Is a Khasi housewife, runs a kindergarten school, and is interested in fashion.
I took this photo back in January 2011 in Shillong. My host Mary took me to her father’s house. Annette is her half-sister. I wanted to photograph Annette in the attire she was in, but she felt those clothes were dirty, only meant to be worn indoors, and wanted to change into her finer clothes(jeans+booties). First she wore this. Then she changed again because her husband suggested she wore something else.
I imagined this photograph to have some sort of an old-world charm to it. A woman standing on the front lawn of her English home, wearing vintage clothes, awkwardly posing. This was close but not quite it.
Looking at the photos from this day I realized that I’ve mostly photographed people who fall socio-economically below the middle class. It’s fairly easy to point out the poorest. Their clothes don’t fit them perfectly(mostly loose) & are usually layered. The way some working women tie their turbans is slightly different than what I have seen before. Suit+tie+white scarf is a common formal-wear for males. You don’t find yuppies at a festival like this. Plenty of people wear plaid shawls; I tried not to photograph many because I’ve done it before. I find it difficult not to photograph plaids.
My favourite photograph in this post(other than the first one) is of this man.
About this day: Seng Kut Snem is observed to mark the Seng Khasi Movement. This day is celebrated to mark the beginning of the renaissance and awakening of the Khasi community. Read more here.
Photos taken on November 23 2012 in Shillong, Meghalaya.
Looking for potential contributors.
If you have a story, illustration, photograph, selfies(hate that word), poem, map, or anything having to do with people, culture(way of living/social habits/fashion) from the Northeast, please get in touch. My email is: wearabout at gmail dot com. (The material should be your own and not published anywhere else.) Please use the subject line**: ezine/wearabout
These are a few photos from my trip for your reference.
Photos from Aizawl, some parts of Nagaland, and Shillong.
PS. If you have any questions, thoughts, or ideas, send me an email or write in the comment section below.
I’ve tried to put together the urban Indian crowd that attends fashion weeks(look at Bombay here). It’s a small filtered out crowd.
I’m sometimes asked about the trends I see in India. I can’t point at one thing and say this is happening. Can anybody? India is too vast and diverse. It looks like a lot is happening simultaneously within a small crowd. Colour blocking. Traditional/vintage mixed with new. Prints mixed with colours. Tailored. Structured. Asymmetry. Lot of customization and personalization.
You see a lot of people endorsing the designers they like. Borrowed for the day, gifted, or bought. (Lesly Lobeni in Varun Sardana. Karuna Laungani in Rahul Mishra. Sabina Halder in Abdul Halder. Ridhima Sud in Pia Pauro. Ruhi Sheikh in Bodice).
Designers wearing the clothes they make. (Arya John, Ruchika Sachdeva. Hiroko Takahashi.) There is Sarojini stuff combined with online stores. Old hand-me-downs(Carol Humtsoe). Vintage(Monica) Head to toe luxury(Pooja Khurana in Dior+Karen Miller). Models are usually in loose casual clothes and flat shoes. (A bit of generalization.)
Another thing you can’t help notice is the working class people at fashion weeks. You see them around on all days but start finding them in abundance on the last day as they start dismantling stages and stalls. It’s interesting to see how they mix with the fashion crowd. They move in lines. Mostly looking down. In & out of the same areas as everyone else – the smoking area, by the party lounges, the designers’ stalls, backstage. Through loud music, drunk happy people, media spotlight, celebrities. They don’t talk at all. Even when they are together they don’t seem to be talking much. Like they were told not to.
However, I didn’t photograph them just to show the contrast between the classes. Guess everybody knows it exists pretty much everywhere in India. I like their aesthetics.
All photos from 2011-2012 WIFW in Delhi.