A confluence of rivers, especially that of the Ganga and Jamuna at Allahabad.
The religious stories and parables we grew up hearing or watching in televised or theatrical enactments have always had characters that were noticeably gender fluid. However, the existence of such characters in real life has been enveloped by the moral distortion associated with the fluidity of gender and sexual orientation in a society that reveres itself as being progressive.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code - the colonial era law - did not change the gender and sexuality discourse in vacuum. The inherently hypocritical and flawed notions of morality propagated by the cis-het majority, and, policed by deeply patriarchal, misogynistic, casteist and classist attitudes of the society, were bolstered by self-serving religious extremists fuelling this transphobic and homophobic rhetoric.
‘Otherness’ is not a remnant left in the wake of the colonial era atrocities. The concept of ‘otherness’ has always been deeply embedded in the fabric of our society. The saddest part of this ‘otherness’ is that it has crept into the familial bonds that the South Asian diaspora purportedly holds sacred.
Majority of us are not privileged enough to be accepted by our own immediate family members. We are made to feel like an ‘other’ in a space that was once our safe haven. We venture out and find familiar in the unfamiliar. We find each other scrubbing off the shame and internalised homophobia and toxic masculinity. We help each other through the turbid restitution, often through the deafening cacophony of silence.
Through this ritual we find family outside of family.
The juxtaposition of fluid drapery of softer fabrics with the stiffer ones in various shades of pink represent the duality within the lives of Queer people of South Asian diaspora. The three Celestial Beings, wear our trans-seasonal wedding capsule collection which offers a ready to wear collection of five separates that can be worn interchangeably.
“I wanted to the play with both classic and traditional fabrics and introduce textures in a meaningful way. I have always experimented with fabrics that we don’t necessarily see paired together. For me, that is where the design symphony begins.”
Sangam is an attempt at a micro level to depict the union of cosmic proportions bound together by fate, fire and fury. It attempts to visualise the struggle for acceptance that many of us continue to face through the medium of fashion. This collection is an ode to all our South Asian Queer ancestors, elders and activists who have fought valiantly for our rights.
All the words in this document are part of the writer’s opinion based on his personal experiences.
‘Us’ and ‘we’ refers to the LGBTQIA+ community of the global South Asian diaspora.