Friday, June 18, 2010

Farewell Phyllis....

She changed her name from the rather uninspiring 'Phyllis' to the more exotique 'Anjali' when she decided to move from Mumbai to Paris more than forty years ago. Her aim? To become a model. She travelled there on a one way ticket, determined to make it - and make it she did. As a top mannequin in the House of Pierre Cardin, she swiftly became his muse, and for close to 15 years, he cut his couture collections on her lithe, 6' 1'' frame. Besides,as one of the first non-white models in Europe, she did face a great deal of prejudice, but eventually broke through the rigid colour barrier to become the toast of tout Paree. More than any of these achievements, I believe Phyllis ranked as one of India's best exports to France - proud of her origins and an excellent ambassador for the country.
We were friends. Good friends. Fun friends.
Anjali - 'Offering of the Gods' - she'd explain to a dumbstruck French press - died at her newly acquired chateau in the South of France this morning. Knowing her great taste and fastidious nature, I'm certain she had her funeral worked out to the minutest detail - from the flowers at the service to the dress she'd wear on her last journey. I hope she picked a vibrant pink suit from her collection of vintage couture. Pink was her colour - as vivid as Phyllis herself . And I hope she had her full make up on when the end came, and her hair impeccably coiffed , too. I am certain the angels sang as this very special 'Offering of the Gods' finally went home to God.
Phyllis, my darling. Au revoir, cherie....

14 comments:

Illkilya said...

May her soul rest in peace!

hAAthi said...

so sorry for your loss.

Ramachandran said...

your grief comes through...the article brought tears to my eyes.
may her soul rest in peace...

Divya Virmani said...

very well written!
RIP Anjali

gb said...

Is she the same Anjali whom u characterised in your novel "socialites". i share your emotions at this loss of dear life.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

The loss of a friend is a blow softened only by good memories. My condolences to you and all those who loved her.

Shantanu said...

so sorry to hear this.!

siddhartha said...

i donno who she is.but,hearing from u,i feel so sad about the demise.i am sure u r strong enough to recover from the loss and move on in life........

siddhartha said...

i donno who she is.but,hearing from u,i feel so sad about the demise.i am sure u r strong enough to recover from the loss and move on in life........

Pieces Of My Life said...

More thn her d color prejudices she suffered in her early days at France, the rejection at the hands of Indian Fashion Industry in her heydays is noteworthy and highly characteristic of Indians' lure for the fair color aka gori chamdi.
But People who can become muse for designers, specially in overseas, and in those days, are a rare asset. The story of the life of a lady who was rejected in her own homeland but nevertheless found the true connoisseurs of her beauty beyond the seven seas (as they say famously) deserves a grand salute. Salute to the endless courage of the human being of the likes of Anjali Mendes!

ameya said...

This shradhhanjali is so joyful !!!
I am sure she lead a wonderful life !!!

Eidothia said...

I just knew you are going to write up for her and landed here with full faith to see a toast to that Lady's life. What I would have appreciated further was atleast one decent picture if you had any of this lovely woman.

Quite inspirational her story is.

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