Nothing Like an Indian Wakeup

Dawn Schuster

Posted on February 05 2018

Nothing Like an Indian Wakeup

You know that you have truly arrived in India when you are shocked awake at 8am by the thrashing of Punjabi wedding drums. After a near heart attack, I went outside to be welcomed by this amazing procession of happiness and love.

Punjabi wedding celebrations
Wake up Indian style

I then headed to the charity to start the day. I was welcomed with such love and warmth by the team who are working night and day to save women from sex trafficking. Two of the girls, Aruna and Nalini are working with me as tailors, and Deepka is training to be a hairdresser. I have promised her that I will let her cut my hair. This may be a terrible mistake which I have yet to find out. I thought that as I left India last time with accidentally dyed pink hair (which couldn’t be removed for a year), that surely it can’t be much worse.

I did some English teaching with the girls where they also taught me some Hindi. Then I had an incredibly spicy lunch with everyone (which I adamantly denied was’nt too hot for me despite tears running down my face), and then we got to work.

Making pants
Practicing some unicorn pants

With fabrics that we had bought in the Crawford Market, Aruna started on the styles for the new Coco Bombay collection. I got some vibrant Rajasthani trimmings and beautiful materials to start with. I am also thinking of doing some co-ord sets which I think will work amazingly with the tie dyed embroidered silks. We practiced and tested some styles today. Both girls are already excellent seamstresses and are sewing perfectly. Aruna’s determination and drive to succeed is just amazing! From what I have been told so far about her story, I know that she has suffered horrendous abuse and torture. The fact that she is smiling and joking really makes me think twice about the stupid things that bother me in my own life. Of course we are all the stars of our own movies and live in our own worlds with our own problems, but sometimes it is important to take a step back and realise what we have.

beautiful grandma
Just because I’m obsessed with photographing gorgeous Indian grannies

Now that I know that the girls can sew amazingly, my main focus is to find really special, handmade and hand dyed fabrics which is what makes Coco Bombay so unique. People are giving me so many connections that I don’t even know where to start or where to go. Also the overly used term ‘Sab Kuch Milega’ (anything is possible) is starting to wear pretty thin. I am being promised everything from everyone yet not seeing any of the kinds of fabric that I am looking for. Aaa India, how can one place bring about so many emotions in one day!


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