Flying out for this trip to India and Delhi, I really felt like I had to focus on “living there” and running Naudic from my own space, actually feel what it would be like to be there, would I manage to pull everything together, create my space, it is very well saying I’m gonna to this and I’m gonna do that, but actually doing it is another thing and to be comfortable with my decisions and my surroundings.
The last few trips I’ve had company, done the juggle, the balancing act of making sure everyone was happy and having their needs met. I was also feeling like I had let the time between these visits run a bit too long, as all of the creative work is done in India. Raj and I had work to do. I needed to get the wheels turning again, faster and more responsive to the global markets, fashion is like that, always waiting for the next new thing to come out to make them feel good.
I arrive Monday morning into Delhi, I wanted to be like a local the minute I landed, I purposely travelled light, so I could manoeuvre my way around the Metro with my suitcase and the Naudic creative office on my back in my backpack, with lots of new ideas in my head, ready to go.
6am at the Delhi International airport, it’s buzzing, the minute you step out into the clouds of dust, it’s so wonderful, something about this gives me a humble wake up call. I wouldn’t swap this type of Monday morning “off to work feeling” for anything. It’s incredible. I get hassled by taxi drivers, and I can now politely decline, no thanks I’m fine (“I’m a local”, that’s what I keep saying to myself)
Before I venture off to hit the metro, I grab a cup of Chai at the kiosk, this is my regular thing when I land in India, it is like everything hits me at the same time, the smell, the noise, the sights, the language and the taste, then I switch over to the Indian way of life. I sip my tea, I watch, I listen, I take in my surroundings, I’m ready.
I made it to my hotel via the metro and walking, I had decided to stay in central Delhi, near my favourite market, Khan Market, I’m not sure if it’s my favourite market because I just know it well, or because one of my favourite shops, Good Earth is at Khan Market and I go there every trip and buy a few special things to remind me of my trips and to also create a little bit of a home vibe to help settle in. I always buy a special coffee cup, a special cushion, a diary to give to someone special, a candle for my room, and some nice body products to smell good, this is my routine. This time I did grocery shopping, behave and act like a local is the tagline for this trip.
Monday, Day 1 and I’ve checked into the hotel and now I’m off to work, via the metro, I message Raj, and he picks me up from the nearest metro station Janak Puri East. This is going well, it’s just a normal Monday off to work.
The first few days I struggling as I could see, I had been gone for too long, now I know how much they need me here, to drive it. It was all a bit of a whirlwind in my mind, new collection to pull together, new ideas to get down on paper, I really felt I needed some help, there was a lot of do, the momentum was lacking, it was lucky I came over when I did. But I was missing my routine a bit and my family, this always kicks in around 48 hours, until the jet lag passes, then I’m fine.
I think having the yoga really helped the focus and clear my mind. I had two yoga time slots, one was in the morning at 8am, and the other was in the afternoon at 6.30pm. The first night-time 6.30pm slot, there was a wedding at the hotel, and everything was getting set up around the pool, there were crowds, hanging, chatting, lying around the pool, swimming in the pool. So the instructor arrives and I’m not really sure where are we going to do yoga, the gym was to small.
Anyway, I’m looking for my yoga spot, ‘over there looks good”, I find a spot at the end of the pool, in the shade, oblivious to my surroundings, this is a private lesson, (there is nothing about this situation that is private)
We start, I haven’t done proper yoga for a while, so I’m really concentrating at my moves and breathing, It’s going ok, and then I hear someone calling out to me, “what sort of yoga are you doing? “ – (Isn’t it obvious I think), I can’t quite hear what she is saying so I walk over and ask her to repeat, what sort of yoga are you doing she says? – I don’t know, so I say, it’s a private lesson (hardly private, the crowd is probably thinking, I’m the comedy act for the pre-wedding drinks around the pool)
So I ask the instructor what sort of yoga are we doing, he says Astanga Yoga, so I go back over to tell her. I get back into it, and then I hear clapping and I look over and there is a bunch of people in the pool now clapping at me doing my poses. Oh thanks very much that’s kind! I should have been locked up at this stage, but no I continue, unaware.
This trip I took the plunge and found my own creative “India home base” space to rent, the final decision is yet to be made, as it is still being negotiated, it’s top floor, lots of light, big glass windows, front deck, 1 bedroom + studio apartment in an easy and old area of Delhi. I can run everything from there, design, inspiration and writing, plus the travel should be less intense. One leg to Europe, then from London to USA.
No furniture, I’ll decorate it as I choose and will have heaps of Naudic cushions and throws and have a completely relaxed vibe, it will be open house to all friends and family to come and crash. Coloured futon mattresses on the floor if there is more people.
What else happened on this trip? Payal and I made plans to do a 12 day trek to Basecamp next year, and I have round up my “Udaipur” gang to come along, so there will be 5 to 7 of us doing that in April 2020, it is confirmed. Will be incredible, I don’t think I will do it again in my lifetime or maybe once more if the opportunity arose. So we went hiking yesterday into the mountains around Brisbane to start our practise, 6am start, saw the sunrise, walked through nature, had coffee, brainstormed about our trip.
This trip Raj and I got so fired up, we were on fire, planning, working, making it happen. We also had the most laughs we have had for ages, we have been together for 12 years and Raj is sooo funny, the things he remembers it kills me, we were reminiscing about the good old days, when we had lots of extra fabric leftover we used to turn this into scarves and add coloured pompoms on the scarves to make each one different, like he said, would be great to sell 1000’s of scarves again, Emma.
When Raj and I go sourcing together, we always find a gem and he goes “Emma you are so lucky” I say Raj, how can that be, I didn’t do anything, I am just walking beside you. Then we laugh and he goes “Emma I know” and I say “What do you know Raj?” and then we laugh about nothing.
This trip was cut short but I wanted to be home with my kids on Mother’s Day.
So my Indian routine is good, I walk to work, I grab a coffee, I chat to the people around me, I decline transport help, I have direction of what I’m doing each day, I am comfortable with it all.
3-4 days per week I can focus on the collections, either in the factories, sourcing, creating or soon at my new creative pad, I’m done with having to constantly move my mood boards and concepts around with me, the rest of the days will be the real travel, the real writing, the real living.
Launching the Blog yesterday was like everything has come together at this amazing point in time, and I could only think of my own mother more yesterday, she would be so happy that I am on the move, she didn’t get to do this but wanted to, I will because I can and it is just the beginning. Reading and writing, watching the film from last year, it is amazing this happened with little planning.
Is that how we are meant to live our lives? Throw plans out the window and just let it be and all will unfold as it’s meant to? Yes, I think so.