In the summer of 2018, my sister introduced to me Ayush Kejriwal’s Instagram page. I do not follow fashion. I have never followed a fashion designer in my life. But when I saw Ayush Kejriwal’s work, I saw truthfulness and honesty. His work is bold and poetic. In my heart, I thought- perhaps, this is the person I would like to work with.
Come, Autumn of that year I was already following his page when I came across an advertisement by him stating a need of an Indian model. I was excited. I instantly sent him a couple of pictures in a sari and it was final! I was going to Glasgow, Scotland.
I was in Cardiff, Wales at that time and Ayush was a bit apprehensive about me. But I took an 11 hours coach to Glasgow, put up with family friends I had never met and the next day I met Ayush. I met the girls whom I had seen in his posts and always thought how radiant they looked. On meeting them I understood that it was not the way they looked, it was the way they felt. The whole team greeted me warmly and we set to work.
Ayush is a very down-to-earth person. I was modelling for the first time and I am a person who avoids the camera but Ayush respected my nervousness and guided me throughout. His award-winning make-up artist, Zazo beauty, did wonders. And his photographer, Aeysha is really a magician.
Saris are an indispensable part of Indian women’s identity and with changing times the use of the sari has also been affected. Our craftsmen have been affected. Ayush has worked with a lot of love to keep the tradition going and is very fair in his dealings with the craftsmen.
According to me, he has inspired women in a very different way. As a woman and as an Indian woman, I have come across people commenting on the colour of my skin many-a-time, “How did you get so dark?” I have also heard about my weight, “your mother was not so fat at your age…” Then there are people who feel that wearing traditional clothes like saris and salwar kameez is a sign of backwardness, “why have you dressed up like an aunty?”
Ayush has taken everything that was out of the society’s norms of beauty and glorified it.
Dear Ayush, thank you!!