“The LovePhool Drape”

By: Tanuja Desai Hidier

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My memories of India are nearly always intertwined with flowers. The bloom-bling of marigolds, the knockout intoxication of roses, the stealthy seduction of jasmine. Childhood walks with my grandfather, my Dadaji, in Powai, to pick fresh flowers for the kitchen temple. When my grandmother would place them there, in the flat in Bombay (not yet Mumbai), they left a brilliant powdery stain on her hands, as if a butterfly had been caught and clasped there. More recently, as I explored Bombay for my second novel, Bombay Blues, blooms abounded—in the city, and, eventually, on the pages. Phoolwallahs effacing every surface with blossom-burst, stringing garlands with the care and grace of violinists. Temple interiors aladdining in incense and oils, so flower-powered as to seem constructed of petals in parts.And flowers are a fragrant fragment of my memories of living in NYC too. Late-night rambles from the Lower East Side all the way to my last apartment on the Upper West, all along the way—whether through the jam-packed Village pitch of nightshade people, or the desolate parking lot heart-stopping 8th Ave parts: open-all-night delis glowed like beacons, selling dirt-cheap and cheery flowers under plastic rain-shield awnings. My favorites—like my protagonist Dimple Lala’s—were the voluptuous bouquets of swimming-pool-blue gerberas. I often kept flowers in my 86th Street room—whether given to me by me (often the case!) or someone else. For whether you’re a fool for love or a lover of phool, instant joy stems when they’re around.

How does your garden flow?: For this drape, I wrapped the fabric shawl-like over one arm, crisscrossing the border down across my midriff. Rather than tucking it in straight, I let the rest of the chiffon fall and rise in different-length dips around the waist and hips, gathering it at the navel. I gathered the shawl side around the navel as well, and secured it all there, in a bunch. And slid on a daisy ring for the final touch.

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LovePhool Drape soundtrack:

“LoveFool” by the Cardigans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUodwTf8JJw

 

October 15th, 2015 by