PM Narendra Modi and Union minister Smriti Irani at an interaction with students for Teachers' Day (Press Trust of India photo)
The secret of the "Modi kurta" made famous by the Prime Minister was revealed today - and contrary to what is widely believed, there is no fashion consultant involved.
"It is just rumours that I have a fashion designer. I only dress sober and simple," PM Narendra Modi told a student who complimented him on his "unique sense of dressing" and described him as "brand ambassador for Indian clothing."
He went on to explain how his half-sleeve kurta-canvas shoe look evolved over the years.
"There is no winter in Gujarat, so I wore kurta-pajamas. I had to wash my own clothes and full sleeves took more time to clean. So I cut off the sleeves and made it the sleeveless kurta. It made my work easier so I started wearing short-sleeves," he smiled.
"I always made it a point to look tidy. I didn't have money to get my clothes ironed, so I ironed my kurta with charcoal in a lota (pot)."
The prime minister also revealed that to whiten his shoes, he took chalks from his school. "After class I collected chalks and whitened my canvas shoes with that," he said.
"This is all I did. I have no fashion designer. But yes, we should be tidy and dress according to occasion," said the prime minister.
PM Modi was interacting with students across India for Teachers' Day, which is celebrated on September 5 to mark the birth anniversary of India's second president Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.