On a recent morning, as I sat with my mother at her kitchen table, a woman wearing a white gown, a skirt and heels, and a flower necklace, I thought of the times when she would stop to gaze at me.
I was seven years old, a single mother in rural Bihar.
At a friend’s house, I would watch a television documentary on the rise of a new, radical movement.
I would read the stories of people who had been forced from their homes, their lives changed forever.
They were the ones who stood up for their rights.
For me, they were the kind of people I wanted to emulate.
The women of Bengaluru are the kind who I want to emulate and who I had to meet at a local designer store.
I started my journey at the shop, which was named after the village where I grew up.
Its owner, Sushil Kumar, a tailor who had moved to Bengaluru with his wife and daughter, was an outsider.
He used to sell his clothes at the local marketplace, but the shop now sells to him in a central market.
“The people of Bengalu, who grew up in a small village, used to wear these clothes for a long time,” he told me.
“Now, the market is crowded with brands and there is not a single shop selling these clothes.
People are being forced to buy them from abroad.
They are afraid of being labeled as unskilled workers.”
He went on to tell me about the shop’s founder, the late Sushila Devi.
She was a tailor and had helped her mother to sell clothes in the village for generations.
The women of the village would dress in her clothes and dance in front of her.
She sold her goods for Rs 100 a week, but her husband used to take money from his savings to support her family.
“So, Sivak and I decided to start our own business,” Sushal explained.
Sivak had been living in the rural district of Sankulam for several years.
He was a hard worker who worked two jobs to support his family.
He had no children and never saw his family once in more than two years.
In 2009, Srivak’s mother died.
“I decided to take a break from my life.
I got married and left my job to pursue my dreams,” he said.
Srivak moved to a new town, a suburb of Bengalur, and soon found himself back at the doorstep of the local tailor.
“We went to work, got married, and started our business,” he recalled.
In 2010, he launched a boutique shop in the same area.
“The customers were impressed.
They came from all over the state.
The store started selling high-end clothes.
It was like a brand.
I took it very seriously and sold the brand in other towns.
It went viral.
People started calling me Sivaka,” he added.
He was not the only one to make waves.
“Around the same time, I also started selling the clothes in Kota, where I used to live,” Srivaka said.
“People started coming to my shop for the first time.
There were more customers.
People wanted to buy clothes from the shop.
They didn’t have to do the work of finding a tailor.”
The brand was a hit, and by 2011, Sravak and his business were in business for a year.
“It was just another day in my life,” Sivarak said.
Soon after, he was contacted by the then Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, who asked him to set up a retail shop in Kolkata.
The shop opened in 2012 and it was renamed the “Courier Town”.
The name came from a famous book written by Indian author Bhagavad Gita, which describes how Lord Shiva, a powerful sage, visited a village and asked the villagers to help him destroy a demon.
Sivash, the shopkeeper, and Sivka, his daughter, were chosen to help with the task.
The two of them set out to help people in the town of Lakhimpur.
The story of Sivas Cougar Town has been told many times.
Its founder, Sivanand, is the only name that comes to mind when one recalls Sivaks work.
The story of the store is also told in the book of the same name, written by the writer Jyotiraditya Sen.
Sivanand’s family, who lived in a village in Bihar, came to Bengalur in the early 20th century and established a small shop called Pukkiyari.
When he died in 1921, the business was sold off.
“My father passed away before I was born,” Sivananda said.
Sivanandra, who was a member of the Shirakkal Kalyanamu Sankalanamu (The Kalyans are the