I remember this from childhood that we Indians have been crazy about Brands. Well, for a long long time in life I thought it was just us Indians. Again, I was so so wrong. It is now clear that the 'brand' craziness exists in most of the world.
Whether you as an individual endorse it or not you are constantly surrounded by the brand favoritism that happens all around you.
I guess the first time I became conscious of the existence of brands was back in school and it all started with whether one owned a pair of 'branded jeans' - a Lee, Wrangler or Levis became the claim to fame for every tom, dick and harry. I remember those those who didn't own this covering the waist of the jeans just so they did not reveal the non-existence of a label.
The next obvious one to follow was a pair of branded shoes. A Nike, Adidas or a Puma was such a cool thing to have for the teens however the parents didn't understand why and how a pair of shoes would cost as much as it did.
The present world has taken the brand favour to a whole new level.
It took me a while to digest the fact that a 'mulberry' handbag that was gifted to a friend had to be serviced every 6-months. A handbag that had to be serviced. Right! And to top that it came at a cost more than a round trip to India.
As I sit to write this down on my couch in the living room I look all around me and see how little I possess things that have a label on it. I am NO Saint, I do pick things that are branded, but the reasons why I pick them are not because of the 'name tag' that came with it - it's more so because of the 'price tag' being it's worth.
I do own a few things with big names but if I come to think of it. How can I hide the fact that I am still very much in love with my 'iPad' and my 'Canon' DSLR and did I mention the extra lens kit I have with it. They were all gifts.
A recent conversation led us into talking about this friend's wedding gown that would take 6 months to be made and is shipped from abroad. What was that was a common cry from all of us. However one of the other friends had to say how not fussy she is about wedding wear/occasion wear and would pick anything straight from the shop -of course like a sabyasachi or a neeta lulla. I had nothing more to say after that.
Unfortunately, we seem to be judged by what we own, what we wear and what we are carrying. I look around me now, my photo frames are all collages made by me - some of our travels and the years gone by and the other a huge one of the wildlife pictures we clicked in Kenya. I have a painting made by Amma and all others are made by random street artists in different places. The handicrafts are made by local artisans and were picked from street markets.
Today, I don't have much to show, but I am content. Something about the source not having a 'label' makes me more happy and grounded.