|Sabya and Me (NO - this is not a Photoshop job, this is the real deal !)|
Sabya, as he is popularly known in the fashion fraternity, was to raise the curtains on his flagship store, this rainy afternoon right here in CoolKata !
The address was 545 Lake Road in South Cal. A locality with an attitude no less than that of Southside of Boston.
Is it a mere coincidence that south of Mumbai, south of Delhi, and south of Calcutta are all defined as posh localities with people from these locales considering themselves holier than thou ! No offense meant - brothers and sisters of South Calcutta. It is the age old rivalry of South vs. North, that resurfaces every now and then ;-)
Moving on now. Below is the store captured from the outside.
Believe you me, when I say this is a store to be experienced in flesh and blood. No blog/post/article can do justice to it ! You are welcome by dimly lit environs, retro fittings, time pieces (old wall clocks) every where - some give you time, others give you goose bumps ! The store has a smooth aroma as you enter, it is almost as if soft rose petals were showered on you as you walk in.
A simple, innocuous - 'Store opens at 4 pm' sign welcome us just outside the store (you can see the sign just behind the security guard in the above picture). I wasn't sure if one needed an invitation pass, or had to be a Page 3 celeb to gain entrance to Sabya's launch vehicle in the city.
As they say, sometimes good old cockiness gets you ahead in life. I was cocky enough to walk up to the huge double doors of the store. With both hands in my pocket and looking straight ahead in order to give an impression of being some one real important, with a buddy of mine in tow - I walked right up to the entrance, the security guard did not challenge my authority and thundered - "Eyi Mondol daurja ta khol !" - I am assuming Mondol was the guy responsible for letting people in, and he promptly unlocked the double doors from inside !
The pictures on the wall will take you back in time, so will the numerous wall clocks. I really wonder where did he source all this retro collection from. Auction shops at Russell Street, may be ?
It was a sight to behold, he has created a theme, which is both old world and contemporary. The place exudes a lot of charm and says a lot about Sabya - his sense of style; his passion for all things old. Like my friend added - the store 'fed' all your senses - one has to smell, see, feel, hear and taste this store. Smell the fragrance; See through the diffused light and shadow, Feel the ambiance, feel the fabric and the walls, Hear the piped music, Taste the wine (only on inaugural day for a select lucky few ;-)
As if to remind you that you are still in the present day and age and have not traveled back in a time warp, there was Norah Jones playing in the background to keep us company.
Sabya comes across as an elegant young man, with his feet firmly on ground. Very unlike and uncharacteristic of a celeb. He gave a fine example of his simplicity and hospitality. The above picture was taken in a back-room of the store, which was converted to a party room for the afternoon - with wine glasses on the table, pistachio nuts, almonds, and cookies as accompaniments. While Sabya was talking to and surrounded by a group of giggling women. I was taking in the environs in the background, he noticed me and asked from a distance - "Would you care for some wine, back there ?" I am not really smitten by celebs in general, but this was an extraordinary moment, I replied - "Are you talking to me ?". Sabya said "Yes, would you care for some wine ?" Now being the smart Alec that I am - "Sure, do I look like the kind of person, who would say no to some free wine ?" - I quipped. Sabya smiled and the women around him giggled once more. Not sure because I had said something funny or simply at my smug comeback ! I got my wine all right, so all's well that ends well :))
Anyhow, I took the opportunity to walk up to Sabya, shook his hand and introduced myself as an independent blogger and grabbed the opportunity to click a picture with him, thus the large, self-promoting snap above !
The humility/grace/poise with which Sabya greeted and treated me and other guests in his store, it makes me admire, not just his creativity, but him as a person. I guess there is a certain thing about people who work their way up to success, as opposed to ones being born with it. Thank you Sabya, and may your venture in the city find success.
Best wishes and cheers !
Below are some more pictures, that were taken during my solitary Sabya experience.