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Parmesh's ViewFinder
Published: Volume 17, Issue 6, June, 2009

Letting go

I am typing this column after walking through the Christian Lacroix costume exhibit at Singapore’s National Museum. I remember being mesmerised by Lacroix’s couture fantasies as a child and having the chance to soak in his award winning stage costumes up close is a privilege. I like especially his mix of the historical and the contemporary, how he sources vintage theatre costumes and then makes them contemporary, either by re-cutting or re-dyeing them, or adding modern elements like streetwear hoodies. I don’t think the accompanying picture can do justice to the creativity I witnessed, but take a look, all the same.

Now, first things first: it gives me great pride to announce our exclusive tie up with IIFA. Verve is the official fashion magazine partner of the IIFA awards to be held this year in Macau. Watch out for some high-octane Bollywood glamour from the fabulous event within our pages.

Overall, the June issue has been a fun one to create. For seriously high-octane glamour, it doesn’t get bigger than Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Chasing Ms Padma Shri was a full-fledged project by itself, given her constant globetrotting and hyper-booked calendar. But we Verve vixens are well known for our tenacity. Over the course of a hot May week, our tireless quartet of Falguni, Shirin, Nisha and Lamya managed to pin Ash down between her Karjat film set and Mumbai office for this month’s exclusive interview and shoot. To my mind, her stunning cover image (shot by Atul Kasbekar) captures wonderfully the zeitgeist of all the women listed within. Sexy. Confident. Aware. Welcome to Verve’s power issue 2009.

I should let you know that discussions about this particular annual issue are always heated at the Verve headquarters. Each of us perceives power in such different ways. (Success? Impact? Control? Inspiration? Newness? Classicism?) Initially, we all tend to push our own perceptions and our list of candidates pretty forcefully and are perplexed when others don’t agree. In the true spirit of Indian democracy, we refuse to give up and try all kinds of approaches to succeed, including some gloriously understated horse-trading (you say yes to my candidate in an edit meeting and I’ll say yes to yours).

But once the debates are over and we assemble our first draft, we find ourselves veering towards consensus almost organically. Whatever our personal lens during the whetting process, the only thing that matters in the final count is excellence – and this is the overarching criteria we have used to separate those who are on our list from those who are not. Do write in and let us know what you think, especially if you strongly agree or disagree with some of the names on the list. Your feedback will be useful to us next year. We’d also like to know your reaction to the format of this year’s list, especially sections like the Power Moment, which highlight success in the immediate year gone by.

With so much power play going on, I hope that you don’t ignore some of the other wonderful features in this issue, such as the comprehensive dissection of the recent fashion weeks held in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Another story that is close to my heart is the Circle of Friends event held with a selection of expatriate women on the theme of global nomads. We discussed what it means to be a global citizen, to relocate from one place to another, to belong to more than one place at one time. I will soon be in this situation again in terms of my own life and the lunch enabled me to do some serious introspection.

It has been an introspective month in general. At the start of the month, I took part in a workshop called The Goddess Within, organised by Nandinii Sen, who was returning to Mumbai after several years in Bangalore. I was initially skeptical. Would it be New Age mumbo jumbo? Could a man seek the goddess within? Would my friends laugh at me, when they heard? But despite my apprehensions, something inexplicable propelled me towards Anupa Mehta’s loft at Lower Parel where I spent three days with a motley bunch of people all keen on exploring themselves a little deeper. It was cathartic. Using a combination of Jungian archetypes, meditation and art therapy, Sen enabled us to understand our lives and driving motives and create a blueprint for us to be more in control of our destinies…by simply letting go. It was a powerful realisation.

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