One of the best things about this time of year is creating memories and spending time with close friends and family. As most who work in fashion, I was pretty much off for December so I went for a curry at a local pub in North West London with close friend and fellow model, Saffron Vadher.
After the death of her grandmother, Saffron and her family travelled to India to scatter her ashes along side her late husband in the village where she was from that leads to the Ganges. She was a very sweet woman with a warm smile.
JADE: What was the whole ceremony like?
SAFFRON: We had a big ceremony in the river, with my close family from England and my family in India. It was really heart warming to see how many people were there for my grandma and to see how many people loved and cared for her. The ceremony itself was really beautiful and once it was over we all went to this gorgeous temple to say our final prayers to her to help her on her next journey.
JADE: What is like being with your family there?
SAFFRON: Well this was the first time that I met my family and close family friends. They were so lovely and cared for you so much. My family out there did not have any materialistic items and lived very simple lives.
JADE: That’s something I noticed went I travelled to certain parts of Africa. Although there are those that are genuinely poor, there are others that just live different than we do in the western world. There are a lot of people who’ll think that because people in the country may not have all the latest tech or superficial belongings that they are “poor”. But that’s not the case, they just live differently.
SAFFRON: Exactly, they didn’t have materialistic things but they were a very happy family and spent most of their time together. The whole trip was life changing. It was so heart warming to see people that had nothing but still living a very happy life. I realised that I need to spend more time focusing on all the good that I have in my life and not worry about the little things.
JADE: You are lucky enough to be close to both the Indian side of your family and the English side too. You seem to know a lot about both cultures but do you you think you learned more about your culture while being there?
SAFFRON: I had never been to a proper traditional Indian wedding before. It was really fun to attend all of the different events before the wedding. I really enjoyed getting henna done and also really loved gerber!
JADE: I feel a bit embarrassed eating my pub grub curry infront of you right now, this must be absolute rubbish compared to the food out there.
SAF: The food was amazing! My family out there are vegetarian so we didn’t eat meat for the two weeks we were out there, but the food was so delicious we didn’t even notice until the end of the trip!
JADE: Did you bring anything cool back?
SAF: My family gave us some of their sari’s which were lovely. They gave us them originally to wear them to a wedding and then ended up giving them to us a present! They also gave us some lovely beauty products which they said were really natural and would be really good for our hair and skin.
JADE: What was it like being there as a mixed girl?
SAF: Most people were very shocked when they realised that me and my sister were mixed. Most people thought we were English. Some people in the villages had never actually seen English people before. Families would come out from their balconies and houses to come see us and even take photos with us. They were always telling us to have a good time there and welcoming us to India.
JADE: My cousin is half English, half Congolese. When he went to Congo he said he got the same kind of thing. He wasn’t a fan of the special attention, people kept calling him “white”.
SAF: They just seemed very excited to meet us. They loved feeding us and also giving us chai
JADE: How did it feel to be out in India when your editorial for Vogue India got published?
SAF: Well unfortunately I wasn’t! I originally thought I was going to be there but it came out a couple of days after I landed back in England. Luckily my dad and sister stayed out a week longer than I did so was able to bring back a couple of magazines for us! They were also able to show my family out there and they were so incredibly proud of me and messaged me immediately to say congratulations!
JADE: So amazing! Your pictures were gorgeous. You’re representing and your family must be so proud.
I found the death of Saffron’s grandmother deeply saddening. She was a lovely sweet woman who smiled and loved to knit. Although I had only met her once, Saffron always talked about her.
Saffron: My grandma loved cooking. She loved to teach me and my sister all of her recipes. I could never cook them as nice as her but at least we both tried. She used to knit all the time in spare time. She once knitted me the nicest light green jumper!
I have always admired Saffron’s closeness to both sides of her grandparents. My father was orphaned before he came to Britain as a teenage refugee, however I have always grown up with my mother’s mother. Despite the fact that she only lives a couple streets down from me, as I got older I stopped making an effort with her.
Seeing Saffron’s close relationship with her grandparents inspired me to put more effort into spending time with my grandmother and I see how happy it makes her. I thank Saffron for that.
Rest in Peace to the very lovely and very loved, Ganga Sadher
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