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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Puneri Voice

Delightenment by Either Or in Pune is a lovely store with decluttered chic. Till its owner alerts you that quietude can be chaotic too.

Written by Shefalee Vasudev |
June 12, 2012 5:00:22 pm

Either Or the twin stores by Ritika Tikoo in Pune’s Sohrab Hall area aren’t new but they did fire a new curiosity in me during a recent visit to the city. One of them,which is like a noisy adolescent is cluttered,filled-to-the brim place,hawking many dozen interpretations of freedom,alternative fashion,chaotic creativity,solace in kitsch (yes,I sound like I need a shrink). It has a wide variety of dresses,pyjamas,shirts and T-shirts in unusual block prints,décor items,accessories,knick knacks,this and that. Look at the pictures here—it has too much of too much. I was lost inside its overpowering kitsch. Yet,despite so many ideas colliding and almost negating each other,the store manages to retain a design voice.

Its other sibling,older by nature,not perhaps by the year it was founded is at length from this busy minded teen. It is titled Delightenment. Adult mature in style,thoughtful and restrained in its curating it attempts minimalism yet,again succeeds in softly telling its story. This too has décor pieces,simple clothes where simplicity has beautifully outlawed clutter,a roomy area where exhibitions/ events/ functions with a theme are held.

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When I was visiting,Ritika herself was in the store. She is its young,unabashed,democratic thinking designer-owner. She chats nineteen to the dozen and reiterated that Either Or was far from a snobbish label. Consciously,she said,they shied away from taking sole credit for the design ideology and insisted that it is all about extending choices to customers. She said she recognised that one applique cushion cover or a lovely-whacky bag is the end result of the creative work of a cluster of people,not one “great designer”. Ritika also pointed out that for some,quietude could be chaos just as clutter was for me. I buy that argument entirely. Design can’t be dictatorial. She took me inside the trial room which,from the outside,looks as if a wooden shutter has been pulled down and the inside has been created from philosophy,colour,mirrors and a bit of madness.

Ritika is Delhi-based but finds herself happier with Pune’s culture and its society where she feels a voice matters more than the number and value of acquisitions. The Puneri voice has a longer wavelength. Puneite,Punekar,Puneri? I asked again. Puneri she repeated,laughing to punctuate her emphatic conversation.

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