For some, "sindoor" signifies tradition and is a celebration of womanhood. For others, it's an outdated statement women make about their marital status. Designer Masaba Gupta, who has sought inspiration from vermillion to style the looks for her latest collection, says she doesn't find the use of sindoor old school.Known for quirky prints and out-of-box styling, Masaba's new line is called Burning Garden. It puts a contemporary, playful, and vibrant twist to sindoor."Since the clothes are so modern, sindoor provides a nice traditional touch to it. It is embracing the fact that sindoor is not a dated concept or old school," Masaba told IANS over e-mail from Mumbai."Today, the use of sindoor has become more of a choice," added the designer, who is married to film producer Madhu Mantena.Masaba has come up with variations of sindoor by making it look more urban and younger."We decided to play around with colours. White sindoor is a fashion statement, while the hot pink is a slight variation from the traditional sindoor. Hot pink also represents the modern Indian woman... If someone wants to wear sindoor with a quirky twist, this would be the perfect way to do it," she added.Women are often judged by whether or not they are wearing sindoor -- of being "traditional" or not being modern enough. Is that leading to the decline in sindoor usage?
"Yes, I do (think so). We, as a design house, have a voice; and being a woman, I have an opinion that other women can relate to... sindoor can be a fashion statement (and) also a part of your daily life. With this collection, we are emphasising the choice of the modern women," she said.The designer, who is the daughter of veteran actress Neena Gupta and cricket legend Vivian Richards, says she has come across women who have been perceived as too traditional, homely or not modern enough, for wearing sindoor heavily."It's up to the modern age woman to decide whether or not sindoor becomes a part of her daily look. This is why we have shown it in different avatars, such as with dressier outfits like the sari as well as lighter and everyday looks such as kurta sets," she said.Would she agree that choices made by most women are often based on what others think or say?"Yes, they are. Because even today women are constantly judged for what they do or don't do. More importantly, women are judged for what they don't do. Like, till today, if you are a working woman, you are told to spend more time at home," Masaba said.