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Down the street from a row of funeral parlours in Bandra’s Chimbai village is Payal Khandwala’s new two-storey shop, shrouded in black, standing pensive by the sea. Inside though, there is life: rustling silk, bristling fabrics and colours so vital they’ll help Rodrigues Undertaker’s most ashen client look alive.

In a set up similar to Payal’s Colaba store, two long racks run parallel on the ground floor, with silkkhadi and cotton separates for women, organised by colour. Here are wide pants; kurtas with asymmetrical sleeves; long shirts with buttons that lurch sideways; jumpsuitsghagras and dresses in haldishikakaimehendikum kum and jamun hues.

Upstairs is where the more brazen skirts and brocade jackets live.

See-through shirts in solid colours are especially useful to pair with weighty skirts; waist coats (look for a candy striped silk number) can be paired with jeans; and some garments swing both ways, working as dinner dresses but also kurtas for your friend’s wedding. Shaadi shoppers will find that the store is top heavy; upstairs is where the more brazen skirts and brocade jackets live. We’ve never looked kindly at kaftan-silhouettes and capes so giving them the time of day is really up to you. 

For those familiar with Payal’s primary coloured clothes, poke into an almari on the ground floor to find little surprises: earrings made of beaten metal in round, square and triangle shapes, floral rings and red leather bag – it can be carried as a tote and folded up into a clutch – with a dual existence.

Having two lives must be great, we think, red bag on our arm, passing Chimbai’s undertakers and fish mongers where fat cats with nine lives sit smug. 

Getting there: Payal Khandwala6, Chimbai Road, Bandra (W), call 26406243, approximately Rs 10,000 for leather tote, Rs 6,000 for a silk shirt.  

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