Made in India - Once We Were Cool

Magazine Cover

Made in India

Really relinquishing control is much harder than simply putting down the TV remote. However, to constantly seek growth, means constantly challenging one’s own givens.

In inviting Mohit Jayal and V Sunil to guest edit and design this edition for Design Indaba magazine, we have for the first time completely relinquished editorial and design control of our flagship publication. Taking up the baton of ultimate freedom, Jayal and Sunil responded with a distinct sense of responsibility.

The result will likely be as surprising to you as it has been for us. Surprise aside, we are thrilled with the result and raise our hats to our collaborators. Jayal, Sunil and the team at W+K Delhi have put together a considered, thorough representation of an India not often available to the foreign eye. Critical at times, jubilant at other times, here is the insider’s view, beyond the tourist eye candy, into the very soul of Indian creativity and culture.

Design Indaba takes no responsibility for any of the wide ranging opinions expressed in this edition. Nonetheless, there is always something to be learned from creative likenesses of oneself. In this, we have been reminded that Design Indaba magazines embodies a nuanced sense of creative pride and fearless challenges.

To our readers, supporters and collaborators, we say “Jai Hind!”

And we mean it. - Ravi Naidoo and Nadine Botha

Once We Were Cool

Since India’s economy and society started transforming at a crazy rate in the 1990s, there’s been a lot of chatter about the ‘New India’ – with chest thumping and cynicism in equal measure. What will India be like in 2020? Are there parallels with China or Brazil? Will India fulfill its much-debated destiny? Will it close its huge socio-economic divide? Is there a plan?

Today, the new Indian cultural sensibility is still work in progress.

Eventually a brave new world will emerge from the dusty fog of construction, but it’s not there yet.

As a placeholder for identity and in the absence of anything else, people have latched on to the most visible clichés: Bollywood, cricket, curry, miscellaneous kitsch. The usual suspects.

With all these changes we’ve not had a chance to stop, breathe and look around.

How far have we gone? Is it too late?

We don’t think so. In compiling an A to Z of what we believe represents the best of Indian identity, we’ve enlisted a unique mix of contributors to write about a wide range of subjects – from critical social issues to pop culture and aesthetics.

While we become a global superpower, we should not forget where we came from. Here are 26 reasons why once we were cool.

Because what made India great once, is going to make her great once again. - V Sunil + Mohit Jayal