We saw this woman in Janpath’s flea market in central Delhi’s Connaught Place. Wearing a white jumpsuit, white sandals, dark sunglasses and no make-up, she had two shopping bags in her right hand. An off-white bag was hanging from one shoulder, and her long hair was cascading down the other. Her pendant — two silver coloured half-moons — was carelessly strung on her neck. Walking past a fruit vendor, who was in a brown sari with orange floral motifs, the young woman’s minimal look made a style statement.
The white colours sat smoothly on her caramelised skin tone. No one in Janpath was dressed like her. It is the season when winter is near. Many come to Janpath to begin their cold-weather shopping. The vendors start ordering cashmere pullovers, woollen mittens, stockings, sweatshirts, shawls, cardigans and jackets. This woman, however, seemed to belong to that category of people, who acclimatise to the elements at their own pace. The sheer fabric of her white crisp jumpsuit, the spaghetti straps on her otherwise bare shoulders and her unclothed arms challenged the nippiness in the air. Her feet were sans socks. The short length of her jumpsuit kept off the street’s dirt.
The chipped red-coloured polish on her toenails sharpened the edges of her defiance. Her attire clashed with the dressing code of Janpath, which is colourful kitsch. We sensed a civilised anarchy in her. But all this could also be an illusion. The next time we spot her, she could as well be in chunky knits.