Purushu's award winning fashion blog was founded in 2009 while studying fashion design at NIFT New Delhi. At the age of 19, he wrote show reviews for FDCI's Designer Node dailies at India Fashion Week, New Delhi. Following a stint as menswear designer at Future Group (Lee Cooper), Mumbai in 2013, he relocated to Chennai where he continued freelancing and authored fashion columns for The Hindu newspaper. In 2017, Purush Arie blog evolved into India's first ungendered fashion label. Purushu spoke about gender neutral revolution through fashion at TEDxChennai in March 2018.

Moving On From Chennai Floods + IFB Links a la Mode

Homecoming of sunny, blue skies in Chennai

This is easily the most difficult article to write. It’s difficult since I am unsure of where to begin with. Neither can I skip writing this article for my conscience won’t forgive me if I do so. I am unsure if I have the nerve to recollect the trauma and inscribe a detailed memoir here. Nope. I won’t be digging into details. A lot has unravelled in the last one week. In past, like most of us, I had only studied about the cognitive effects of a natural disaster. Now, like most Chennaiites who have just survived from horrific floods, I have serious tales to recite, tales of destruction versus reconstruction, dejection versus hopes, helplessness versus strength, ineptness versus optimism and calamity versus humanity. Record rainfall in over hundred years left our city in shambles. Wish I could complain about how my own life was affected but seeing others who were worse affected only made my own woes seem insignificant. Chennai roads disguised as rivers carried dark waters with vehicles and debris afloat. People were forced out of homes submerged in harsh waters carrying hazardous garbage and even snakes. Helpless souls were weeping like the gloomy December skies. Thousands of homes and hundreds of lives were washed away in rough waters. From rich to poor, humans to animals, those living in ground floors to ones in 7th floor, the disaster affected everyone. Electricity and mobile network connectivity was down for more than five straight days cutting off communication through any medium. We all relied on word of mouth, often rumours. Most local MLAs and politicians went missing when people needed them the most. The national media failed to validate the disaster till death toll crossed 180. When life in Chennai city came to standstill, humanity rose to occasion. Common people turned real life heroes by supplying food, clothing and other medical assistance to the needy. Youngsters connected via social media to volunteer relief camps. Armed forces & fisher men carried out massive evacuation of people in anticipation with choppers and boats. Commoners came together in massive numbers to help people without waiting for government’s action. Chennai city made its people who they are and people came to rescue the city when in dire straits. The floods left us tired, angry, devastated and shaken. But the floods also taught us to survive by helping each other in most dangerous hours. We learnt serious lessons about life. We had ATM cards but no working machines. We had mobile phones but no network or battery backup. We had a house but couldn’t stay there. We had cars & bikes but couldn’t drive. These amenities failed to help when needed the most but many compassionate people did help. Life’s not all about earning money. It’s about living together and helping each other. Only people are there for people. I’ve never believed in god or prayers. However, I’ve always believed in people. The belief in people only got stronger after the floods. We the people learnt how to help each other and grow together. The city is slowly rising above the reparable tangible damage caused by the calamity. It’s more difficult to rise above the emotional impact of the floods. Hopefully, we’ll pick up the positive lessons and move on for what doesn’t stop you only makes you stronger. After seven days, the mobile internet connectivity has resumed in my locality. We have cleaned up the mold and mildew infected home. The roads are still waterlogged but the water level has reduced substantially. The return of Chennai’s warm blue skies signifies the shift to normalcy. May be that’s the last step in moving on – showing courage and resilience for recovery to normal life. After a week’s time, here I am writing a blog article as usual, expressing my gratitude and love to Chennai and its people.


As I thank Chennaiites, my heartfelt love goes out to Independent Fashion Bloggers community who pleasantly surprised me by shortlisting my blog article “Gender Identity Through Fashion and Clothing” among top articles of the week in links a la mode round up. Read all the top links of the week below:

Links à la Mode, December 3

SPONSOR: Shopbop RED Valentino, Ronny Kobo Dresses, Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry, Tanya Taylor, Georgia Perry, Luna Skye, Formal Dresses, Turtleneck Sweaters, Mini Backpacks, Men’s YUASA

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