“I got a scholarship to study in New York,” says Ritu Kumar

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The place had been you career-wise?

I used to be given a scholarship to go to Briarcliff Faculty, New York, the place I used to be doing a course in historical past of artwork and dramatics.

What was your cash scenario like?

Nearly zero as I obtained a scholarship from the host school they usually paid for all the things. I took a job within the library to place again books individuals borrowed in the course of the day. Not many individuals got here to the library, so I did all my homework and assignments there. I used to be largely within the library when not at school.

Ritu with her parents, Puran and Lila Mehta, brothers Rajiv (on her left) and Raman at Studio Mall Road in Shimla
Ritu together with her mother and father, Puran and Lila Mehta, brothers Rajiv (on her left) and Raman at Studio Mall Street in Shimla

Any romance in life?

I had met my husband earlier than I went to New York. After ending my course, I got here again and we obtained married.

Was your loved ones supportive?

Very. My mother and father have all the time been very motivated in the direction of schooling. They had been thrilled after I obtained the scholarship, as in these days you had been allowed to solely spend 50 {dollars} a month by the federal government of India. So, only a few, if any, ladies went to varsity outdoors the nation.

Ritu in her bridal attire wearing bandhani on silk
Ritu in her bridal apparel carrying bandhani on silk

Inform us about your sense of vogue?

I went into an American school the place individuals had been prosperous and would change their wardrobe each second week. I had obtained one suitcase with kurtas, pyjamas and chunnis, and I had purchased a sweater, which I used all through school. I obtained three saris with me. They thought I used to be from a maharaja’s home as I used to be wearing six metres of silk!

Ritu on the day of her wedding with her husband, Shashi Kumar, and her parents wearing the sari she had designed herself
Ritu on the day of her wedding ceremony together with her husband, Shashi Kumar, and her mother and father carrying the sari she had designed herself

What did you do for health?

We had a course and needed to swim – there was an underground swimming pool in school. We swam couple of days in per week.

What’s your most prized possession?

I obtained a level known as summa cum laude in Historical past of Western Artwork, the very best marks for the self-discipline. It set my function for the subsequent years of my life.

With her first cousin and famed filmmaker Deepa Mehta in Amritsar
Along with her first cousin and famed filmmaker Deepa Mehta in Amritsar

What was your greatest dream?

Funnily sufficient, to come back again and perceive my nation as I felt fully ignoramus. I joined the Ashutosh Museum in Calcutta for a museology course, and that’s after I actually learnt about India.

One factor you’d wish to rewind and alter about your self could be?

I want I had 48 hours within the day!

Ritu with her dog Simmi
Ritu together with her canine Simmi

The most important life lesson you learnt then?

Individuals have many opinions on what the proper life is, however in case you have a conviction, stick with it. I stayed with my conviction of making an attempt to work with the craftspeople of this nation and I stayed with what I felt was wanted, and it has enriched my life tremendously.

From HT Brunch, June 20, 2021

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