My conversation with fashion designer Rehane for my ‘The Happiness Road’ Series that appears in DT Next every Sunday. Read the conversation on the DT Next page here. ‘The Happiness Road’ is also my next Book. Photo Credit: Vinodh Velayudhan
“This Life is just a pinprick. Bear it!”
She’s revered as the high priestess of fashion from Chennai. Her work showcases and sells globally and she’s been a regular at India Fashion Week shows. She’s styled many celebrities over the past two decades, fusing modern Indian sensibilities with European trends. But when we start talking about happiness, what’s strikes me most about her is a rare inner glow, her spirituality: “I am not one who pursues happiness. When I am happy, I am happy. When I am sad, I am sad. When I am in pain, I taste from the fountain of pain, I savor it. I don’t resist it. I become one with whatever I am experiencing.”
Although she has seen a lot of success, glitz and glamor in the fashion circuit, Rehane has also been through a lot of pain growing up. Her parents separated when she was in her teens. And her mother died under tragic circumstances a few years later. “I decided to go with my father to Rome when my parents divorced. And Rome embraced me like a mother would – she taught me about Life, she taught me Italian. The food, the people, the history, all of that made me feel warm and wanted. I never missed not having a mother. That’s how I realized that the Universe is very compassionate – you are always given what you need,” says Rehane.
Doesn’t she ever wish that her Life could have been different, without all that pain? Her reply is quick and profound: “This Life is just a pinprick. So, bear it. In the larger scheme of the Universe, your whole lifetime means nothing in the end. You never know when you have to depart. So, don’t ever fight Life. Flow with it. There’s no point moping and wishing things were different.”
Rehane advises that the key to equanimity is to accept whatever happens to you in Life as if you are the chosen one. “I feel I am blessed to have gone through terrible things. Something good has always come out of every traumatic phase. You can’t have a Life that is only about being happy, happier and happiest. This is the only Life you have. So you have to be ready and willing to experience everything,” she adds.
Embracing pain, I have known, makes you stronger. From the conversation I had with Rehane, I now know it can also make you glow from within!