City Style – A Slender Woman in White, Harish Chander Mathur Lane
Searching for the stylish.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
She is wearing a cotton silk white vintage dress with black piping stripes and pearl buttons. Her nose ring is barely perceptible.
The Delhi Walla meets this slender woman one warm evening on Central Delhi’s Harish Chander Mathur Lane. The woman says her dog died. She went to Goa to recover and returned only a day or two ago. “I did paragliding and went fishing with a fisherman,” she says. “Had lots of fresh juices and also read some (Arthur) Schopenhauer on the beach.”
The woman’s left arm shows a tattoo – Vesta dans mon coeur.
“It means ‘Vesta in my heart’ in French,” she says. “Vesta is my dog’s name.”
Smiling sadly, the woman immediately corrects herself, saying, “I mean ‘was’.”
The right wrist is also tattooed – Pour toujours.
“Forever…” she says almost in a whisper.
A red Delhi Transport Corporation bus goes past.
Indifferent to her surroundings, the woman walks towards the pavement and stands beside a garbage bin. Playing with the buttons of her Bershka denim waist holder, she says, “I got this dress from Janpath (flea market) for a mere hundred rupees.” Looking down at her mustard-green strap sandals, she says, “They too came for a hundred.”
The woman suddenly lifts her white vintage, briefly exposing her ankles. Smoothening down the dress, she again starts to walk, slowly, dreamily, mournfully, as if she doesn’t wish the aged summer to die too.