Searching for the stylish.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

The Delhi Walla finds this man standing beside a bus shelter in the central neighbourhood of Karol Bagh. He is wearing a light brown bandhgala suit. The matching light brown leather shoes are covered with dust. The judgmental eyes of insensitive fashion magazine editors will not favour him with a second look.

Yet.

A sincere style statement does not limit itself to a carefully considered dress scheme. Indeed, sometimes it transcends the cuts of the clothes and brings out the hidden beauty of the person who is wearing them.

The man’s ill-fitting outfit succeeds in highlighting the noble aspects of his character. Although the impersonal city is circling around him in many of its vulgarities, he glows with the serenity of a motionless dust particle that stubbornly refuses to be blown away by the afternoon wind.

To imagine the daily life of this suited man would be akin to reading a passage of partially-incomprehensible verses composed by some obscure inner-city poet of limited means and courtly grace.

The man turns — he has two pens in his jacket’s breast pocket. He must either be a writer or a clerk. Most likely he lives alone in a one-room apartment, and his single bed is claimed by unread novels. His clothes mark him out as a person whose life is colored by some lasting sadness. He obviously has a taste for cemeteries; he must also have a passion to study the fiery colors of the evening sky.

Perhaps this man is completely different from what we picture him to be. But we are only judging him by his clothes.

Loose and graceful

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