Last weekend I was at the Bombay Zine Fest to promote my first book, “The Fluid Sari Zine”. The Fluid Zine is a learning guide that teaches how to drape a Sari in five different, functional ways. The drapes are suited for a variety of occasions both formal and informal. The instructions are in the form of illustrations assisted by minimal text. The book is simple to follow, offers styling options and also doubles up as a colouring book! The book is available for online purchase at https://bit.ly/TheFluidZine.
Bombay Underground defines a zine as a small-circulation of self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced using a photocopier, printing press or just paper and pen. Bombay Zine Fest is a celebration of self-published and DIY comics and literature. The Bombay Zine Fest is organized annually by Bombay Underground, a Zine collective founded by Aqui Thami and Himanshu. The fest showcases independently published literature, comic books, poetry, journalism, and drawings.
More than 30 Zine makers showcased their work at The Bombay Zine Fest. Some, as me, had independent stalls where we could meet and interact with people. For three days, artists came together to share their passions, stories and expertise with a like-minded community.
My mini suitcase was filled with printed Zines and stall decor. I had space for one Sari apart from my running gear. I wore the same Sari on all the three days in drapes selected from my book. The idea of achieving minimalism through creativity caught everyone’s imagination at the fest.
The first day I wore the Skirt drape paired with a t-shirt and jacket. The second day I wore the dress drape and a belt from Baggit. On day three, I wore the Madhubani drape with a scarf pallu. I paired the Sari with a custom-made bankers’ shirt blouse. I donned my Brooks GTS 19 all three days for added comfort.
The Fest gave me a chance to connect with fellow artists from different walks of life. Multiple philosophies existed in the same room with some Zine-makers focussing on mental health while some talking about sustainability and feminism. There was inspiration all around us. Ashwini Hiremath (Instagram: boldstroke.pdf) even captured this ephemeral search for inspiration in her Zines (below). Also checkout the travelling salesperson Illesha in her Zine jacket (Instagram: Illesha).
The Zine fest gave me an opportunity to connect with my virtual Sari friends from Bombay. It was lovely meeting you Koshy, Pritha, Sangeeta and Kajal! Thank you so much for stopping by. Sangeeta and Pritha both adorned in Saris made my day 😀
While in Bombay, I stayed at Co-hostels, Bandra. I love hostels as they give me a chance to connect with people who I otherwise wouldn’t have met. This time I was super lucky to share my room with the talented and unstoppable MMA athletes. Zeba Bano, Priya Saini and Suchitra (coach) represented Delhi Martial Arts Academy. The trio were in Bombay to compete for the Women’s Fight Night at Lord of the Drinks. I am so excited to share that both Zeba and Priya won their respective featherweight MAA Bout and 65kgs Grappling bout!!! Here’s us celebrating the win.
The Zine Fest, a first for me, was a great experience and allowed me step away from the virtual world and meet the ever-growing Sari and artist community in person. It was a fantastic experience to get feedback on the book. Thank you Bombay Underground for organizing and hosting us. Looking forward to many such collaborations together.