“When I was 22… I was always hungry!” says David Abraham

Hello David… at age 22, where were you career-wise?

I was still completing my studies at the NID in Ahmedabad. My life was all about weaving and printing of textiles then. No career to speak of.

And your finances?

Probably zero. I received a regular allowance from my father, which would get exhausted by the end of the month.

Any romance in your life?

None. I was single.

What was your focus in life?

Study, work, eat. Not necessarily in that order. I think “eat” came first very often. I was always hungry.

And your mindset…?

Hopeful. At that stage of my life the future was an empty slate. So much seemed possible. I could dream.

Was your family supportive?

My family was my rock. They gave me a tremendous sense of security.

Tell us what your fashion sense was like in those days.

Very scattered. I transitioned through wide flares and pleated baggies. From polyester to khadi. From platform shoes to Bata-Quovadis sandals.

What did you do for fitness?

I didn’t even think about fitness. We walked everywhere. Miles sometimes. But that wasn’t for reasons of fitness. It was simply to get somewhere.

And your most prized possession at age 22?

Rotring Rapidographs were the drawing pens we couldn’t live without. We were the pre-computer generation of designers, when we drew everything by hand.

Your biggest dream then?

To become a good and successful designer. I didn’t realise then that these two objectives are far from compatible.

One thing you’d want to rewind and change about your 22-year-old self…?

I think I could have taken more risks. I was careful, staying within my comfort zone. There are huge opportunities in letting oneself go, in taking risks.

The biggest lesson in life from that phase?

That creativity and beauty lie everywhere. And that, in design, the simplest ideas can often be the best and the most effective.

From HT Brunch, October 18, 2020

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