Bored of the same old designs and pointless messages on T-shirts? Try this. A city organisation is now taking a new route to get the youth involved with the culture of Maharashtra — fashion. Except, instead of mundane messages, these T-shirts will have Marathi poetry, pictures of legendary revolutionaries from the state, writers, artists, musicians and many others.
“We were working on making calligraphy designs on T-shirts until we realised that people will not understand the art in its raw form. So if we use calligraphy in poems, and Marathi quotes, it just might work,” says Unmesh Joshi, one of the two directors of the Bhartiya Innovation who initially began working on T-shirts with international calligraphy artist Achyut Palav. “The youth don’t know much about famous Marathi poets, artistes, writers or revolutionaries. We thought this might help increase awareness and popularise the city’s culture.”
While the first batch of T-shirts started with quotes by famous people, the next set to be launched on December 15 will have works of poets and writers, and pictures of revolutionaries.
“These days, all we see are T-shirts with Michael Jackson or Che Guevara’s images on them. There are no T-shirts in the market with pictures of local revolutionaries. Marathi musical icons also deserve a place in popular culture,” says Joshi. He clarifies, “We started this before any language issues came up in our city. It has nothing to do with it.”
According to Joshi, language in the first place is not a political issue. “It is a social issue, which no political party can solve. Kids don’t know anything about Marathi poetry because they are not exposed to it. We thought this might help revive that culture. There is so much more in our culture that kids can be proud of and flaunt.” The T-shirts are available for Rs 330 to Rs 400 in numerous stores in Dadar and Shivaji Mandir. They will soon be followed by a new batch with messages in Kannada and Tamil.