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Mausumi: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go After Her Dreams!

Mausumi

Barsha was my first child. Gulzar was my second. 

A bond between a mother and child is the most precious in this whole world. A mother can do anything for her child, even stand against the entire world for her child. Rarely does a mother think of her own dreams, her ambitions and her own life other than her kids and family.  

But with a little encouragement and her willpower, she can do everything, and create a new role, a new identity for herself.  

This is Mausumi, it is her story

This is Mausumi, it is her story

After graduation, I joined a kindergarten school. Then in 1990, I got my BA. After my BA, I completed my master’s in history. I was working in a small kindergarten school. I didn’t have any satisfaction with my work. Also, I didn’t know what to do. I left my job. I left my job and started giving tuition at home. Also, I used to give tuition to a lot of children. And have helped them pass many exams. But I didn’t like it, I was not my calling, I didn’t find the satisfaction in life that I was looking for. 

The Birth of My First Child – Barsha 

The Birth of My First Child - Barsha

 At the same time, I was going through depression since I was not able to conceive, that was the time when I was thinking by myself, “Will I not be able to become a mother?” 

After seven long years of marriage, I became a mother in 1997, it was a wonderful experience. I will never be able to share these feelings with anyone. It is a wonderful experience, that I can never explain to anyone. I am enjoying my life with my daughter, Barsha. 

Then after a few months, I was going through postpartum depression, while I was folding Barsha’s baby blankets it hit me, “Was I only going to fold baby blankets my entire life?” That is when I just wanted to talk to my mother. I cried in front of her and asked her, “I completed my master’s, but is folding blankets going to be my entire life? Ultimately, is this my entire life?” My mother hugged me and said to me, “Give yourself some time. You will do everything again.”  

At that time, I used to create beautiful embroidery on Barsha’s baby blankets and make them designer. I used to create beautiful outfits for her and add my designs to them. I used to make beautiful woolen caps and sweaters for her as well.  

It is to point out that everything I know about my craft, whether it’s embroidery or sewing, I have learned everything from my mother. My mother used to sew very well. I never used to wear clothes that were bought, all my clothes were made by her.  

It Was Always Me & Her 

It Was Always Me & Her

After that, carrying Barsha in my arms, I joined a batik embroidery class. There was a batik class near my house. I joined the class. I learned hand batik. It was a lot of fun. I used to play with colors. Gradually, I started having courage in my mind. The thought of an exhibition made my eyes sparkle all the time. 

I used to go to the batik class, after putting my daughter for her nap, with a bottle of milk by her head and used to say to my mother-in-law, “Mom, you just take care of her for a while. By then I will be back.” But when I used to come back, I used to see that my daughter was so naughty. She used to keep something or the other dirty every day. I used to hear a lot about her.  

But I never left her alone. Then I started to take her with me to the classes. She used to sit next to me, while I drew on the sarees. I used to give her paint, paper, and a pencil, saying both you and I are going to paint together. Many a times, she used to run on my sarees, spilling all the colors on them, the sarees used to get stained with paint. But I used to manage it and design it again.  

Gradually, I started seeing in front of my eyes, everything that was made by my two hands would be worn by everyone. And this vision of my stayed. First, I used my pocket money to make three dupattas. I bought 2.5 meters of clothes. I bought it and did a hand painting on it. Also, I told my cousin to sell it. Let’s see if people say anything. Her son went to school at that time. She sold it to her school friends. From there, I earned money. I sold my creation. That was such a happy moment for me.  

Then gradually, I started buying clothes from the market. Sari, Dhanekhali Tate Sari to be exact. I used to make small designs on it. Hand painting, acrylic, katha stitch, batik, tie and dye. I used to do smaller designs.  

At the same time, I got a lot of support from my husband. He used to tell me, “You do whatever you like I am here for you.” I used to leave everything in the world and do this. And whenever I couldn’t do it, handling both my daughter and my craft. I used to take her and go to my mother in the evening. I used to tell my mother to look after her while I made my clothes. My mother gave me a lot of ideas.  

And at that time, in 1997-98, there were only a few good boutiques in the city of Kolkata. But these boutiques belonged to the Upper class and were outside the reach of ordinary people. 

The Birth of My Second Child – Gulzar 

The Birth of My Second Child – Gulzar

This is how I used to spend my days. I conceived for the second time suddenly. Everything was fine. Then suddenly I had a miscarriage. I was very depressed and upset. But still, I knew I had to move on. That is when I gave birth to Gulzar. “Barsha was my first child. Gulzar was my second child.” I started my journey with these two children. Whatever I am today, Is because of my mother.  

My first exhibition was Salt Lake. I took with me quite a few kurtas for men, sarees, jewelry, and bags. It was my first solo exhibition. After seeing the success of my exhibition, I got permission from my in-law’s house, that I would be able to do this work by myself. 

Everyone understood by then that it was not a typical saree sale, it was a creation sale. I will create my art and display it in front of everyone. So, I started this exhibition on the first floor of my house.  

One day, I got an offer from Shangbad Pratidin, they told me they were giving me a space on their Saturday edition, where I would be able to display my handmade products for everyone to see. I will be able to send pictures and display them. I worked with them from 2008 to 2019. Regularly, my products were displayed in Shangbad Pratidin on Saturdays. This is how my career started.  

Making Dreams Come True 

Making Dreams Come True

I have done so many exhibitions in different parts of the city. I have tried so many crafts as well. I have done patchwork, scarf, bag, tie-and-dye dupattas, handmade shirts, kurtas, skirts. Gradually, people in my house, my relatives, my friends, and people around me started buying my products.  

My products went out of India. First, they went to Ireland. I don’t know how to react that my products, My Gulzar Boutique products are sold, Saat Samudro Tero Nodi Par (Across the seven seas and rivers)”. Since then, I have had customers in Canada, Nigeria, Cambridge, and Ireland. I am very happy. 

I would like to share some of my experiences with you. Now, when I go to exhibitions, I don’t call them customers, I call them my friends. They come to me and ask me, what new things are you showing us this season? Last year, during the exhibition, I made a handmade table runner, handmade notebook, bookmark, coaster, etc. They were very happy. There were a lot of sales. I was very happy. 

I feel that I will make something new every day.  Since we only have one life, I must make a mark for myself. Yes, many people ask, why did I never make an outlet? I don’t want to make an outlet. There are discipline, rules, and regulations. If that is the case, I will only do business. I won’t be able to save any art from the business. Because I plant small plants in pots and decorate those plants beautifully. Yes, I can’t do these things. I live by myself a lot. I have known how to live on my own since childhood. I love being alone. 

What does My Daughter think of Me?  

What My Daughter Thinks of Me

Growing up, my mother has been my biggest source of strength – she taught me to never give up on my dreams. I think she is one strong, independent woman who has always shown me how to be brave in the face of difficulties. Being alone is not necessarily a bad thing – it teaches you to be there for yourself when you are at your lowest. And if you can make a comeback from that, then you can do anything.

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