12th October, Goa: “So, you sell only bikinis?” a young teenaged customer asked me in an excited tone.
I smiled back warmly at her, nodding my head. The girl seemed overjoyed and amazed looking at all the contents that filled every corner of my little shop.
“You ask for any kind and it is here. Different shapes, sizes, colours, patterns and prints. I offer customized designs too,” I said showing one brilliant piece of my work.
Tiger prints, beaded, multicoloured, backless, halter neck, strapless, printed and abstract prints. I had got the craziest of ideas. I knew the choice of the girls who came in this area. In a place like Goa, which attracted many foreigners and young bubbling girls, I started this venture as a small shop under a thatched roof beside Kempu beach.
Seeing one girl spending more than 15 minutes in my shop, her other friends followed. My happiness knew no bounds when they purchased in dozens. The same story repeated each day. I met new girls, spoke to them, took ideas from them and customized funky bikinis just the way they wanted.
I always roll into my past seeing the gleaming eyes of these girls.
I used to accompany my father when he went fishing. Afternoon school kept me occupied until I found time to play with the girls I grew up with. The only sport known to us was swimming and diving into the cool blue sea that always seemed to welcome us. My mother decked me up in beautiful swimming costumes that she stitched, only for me. Those bits and pieces of cloth that she had named as my swimming costume are now the so called ‘bikini’.
Things were not the same always. Later, I used to just sit by the beach and admire the girls who still went swimming without me. I sat on the warm sand at dusk noticing my friends who had grown up just like me. They played in the pool, enjoyed teasing other guys wearing the sarong or flaunting their sexy body with that beautiful piece of cloth which once used to be our swimming costume.
I was enveloped with fear then thinking I could never be one among them. My parents tried their best, but I could never get my confidence back. Negative energy seemed to have enveloped me. With time, the scars healed.
I just sat in one corner helping my mother with her stitching sessions each day. This fascination took over me and turned into public attraction in a short while. My thoughts had a new dimension. My dreams had wings now and I was ready to fly.
After years of struggle with my body, mind and soul, I took to something that became my passion and profession. Now, I can say that I am contented.
The article read – Sherin is a Breast Cancer survivor from the past 40 years who has dedicated her life to brighten up the lives of many young women.
I threw the last bit of the dry peanut skin, dusted the paper, folded it carefully and after putting it in my pocket I headed towards the shop that had a big board “BIKINIS ONLY” written in bold over it.