Neela dupatta and Hermes Birkin

The girl with the blue dupatta was on the front page of every newspaper. The show stopper was not the girl but her over-sized black accessory. The word of the week was Birkin…Birkin…Birkin. The moment she laid foot on the soil of this country, the million plus population went gaga as if she was here to solve the age old conflicts once and for all.

Before we move on to the story of this girl with the blue dupatta, let us have a look at the main protagonist of this article- Hermes Birkin.
Yeh hai Berkin meri Jaan.

The Birkin bag is a handmade purse by Hermes and named after an actress and singer Jane Birkin. A symbol of wealth and pride, its prices range from $9000 to $150,000, the high end range being equivalent to the GDP of Pakistan. The oversized black Birkin has been trending ever since on twitter and is being googled by millions.

Khushrang Hina

The 34 year old Pakistan’s foreign minister took our breath away with her apparel, pearls, sunglasses (Roberto Cavalli) and Hermes Birkin. The twitter world was buzzed with trending topics such as Birkin, #hrk, Hina, #hinarabbanikhar. In the tweeterati world where some dedicated the song Khushrang heena to Hina rabbani others termed her as Behenji mixing Dupatta with Birkin. Some went as far as calling her a weapon of mass destruction.
It would be fair to rephrase the popular Winds of change speech as such. The Hina effect is blowing through this nation, whether we like it or not this is a political fact.

The three conspiracy theories.

Considering the cost of birkin it seems like Pakistan had unwittingly sent a clear message to United States that it won’t need the 800 million dollar US aid after all. Her visit has hatched three conspiracy theories. However these theories are my personal views only and do not represent the views of the Government of India.

Theory of Marketing: Due to the falling sales of Hermes Birkin, Hina Rabbani Khar’s visit was used as a marketing strategy to promote the brand among the Indian masses. Fortunately for them and unfortunately for me now even my girl friend who hasn’t heard of Birkin until now, want one on her birthday. All across India from tribal lands to the urban cities, from Shivaliks to Kanyakumari everyone is talking about Birkin like they have been carrying one since childhood.

A facade:
The Birkin was used as a weapon of mass destruction to deviate from important issues such as Indo-Pak talks. Fortunately for them the whole nation wanted to know about what she is wearing? What birkin is? From where can we get one? Does Nirupma Rao has a birkin? instead of the concrete issues such as Sir Creek, Siachin and banking system in bilateral trade. My whole was filled with what she is wearing and carrying rather than what she is saying!

The oversized Birkin:
Apart from the price what excites me was the size of the bag. Size matters in bed not in case of hand bags. I would give anything to have a look inside her bag. What was she carrying in her oversized birkin will me something only gossip girls can tell XOXO.
The blame is on us.

Unlike Rakhi Sawant and Baba Ramdev, Hina Rabbani never asked for such publicity. She was here for a purpose but all we noticed was an oversized overprized and sorry to say but ugly bag. While Barkha Dutt tweeted that she was embarrassed by the amount of attention lavished on hina rabbanis’ designer goodies and good looks and asked all the people to get over it. But we react to things, the way they are hyped by media. Had media paid more attention to what she is to say, things would have been different.

Where does it leave us?

One thing is for sure, S.M Krishna’s next visit to Pakistan must be accompanied by Berluti shoes and to save the face, Indian Government should buy Nirupama Rao a Birkin.

Bhanuj Saharan

Winner – 29th July 2011 – The Viewspaper Express Yourself Week