A small village called Katariyan, in the remote reaches of Buxar in Bihar. No electricity, no roads, lack of pucca buldings, hell – no schools for the children to go to.
Strange as it may sound – That is also INDIA or BHARAT as some prefer to call it. An alternative reality that is as true as the smoke spewing cities we dwell in.
And that is also the place where Badal grew up.
Now imagine this.
The child Badal, who used to walk 7 kms to school and another 7 back dreamt of being a fashion designer. In a place that had very little connection with the outside world, no telephones and one solitary black and white television blaring out Saas Bahu serials, Badal, not only discovered the world of patterns and stitches but was determined to reach the very top.
It was not easy. Fashion designing was not a profession known to the wise men of the village. To them it was ‘Ladies Tailoring’ – Something to be frowned upon, something to be looked down upon. There were 35 people, other than Badal in his agrarian joint family, and, 34 of them did not take his career decision seriously.
The one solitary person who did – Was his mother.
This inspirational lady, whom Badal fondly recalls to be strict but extremely loving, was the pillar of the household. In a misogynistic, parochial and chauvinistic society, she held the family together through thick and thin. Her days, Badal remembers, were a like a whirlwind from dawn to dusk….and yet ‘She always had time for my siblings and me’.
And she had time for one more thing. Stitching patterns on cloth and weaving dreams. Sitting in a corner of her rural abode, she found solace in stitching her own dreams into pieces of cloth. Her imagination meandered to fantastic patterns and limitless skies into worlds only her eyes could see..far beyond the small confines of Katariyan or Buxar or Bihar or any geographical boundary.
Her bursts of creativity acted as her solace…but turned into a life changing inspiration for Badal. He would gaze in wonder at the designs his mother weaved and create a fantasy world of his own. A world that dressed up the patterns, colors and cuts that he conjured from lustrous fabrics.
It was that inspiration that transported him from remote Katariyan to the hallowed halls of the National Instititute of fashion technology. Of course, his mother played a big role in convincing the wise old men.
Today as he dreams up designs to structure fashion, Badal admits that without his mother, his extraordinary journey wouldn’t have been possible. ‘I owe everything to her. She is not only my favorite person, but also will remain the center of my universe …sitting in with her patterns in far away Katariyan’.
Today, when his garments are available all over the world under his own brand name, lets join him and many others in wishing his mother and the other nameless inspirations all over the world – A Happy Mother’s day
We at Beyond Galleries are proud to be associated with the wonderfully gifted Badal and many others like him. Their mothers must have done something special.
You can check out Badal’s creations at https://beyondgallery.com/badal/