41st saree of the #100sareepact is a gift of love, a blessing, a saree that transcended man-made borders of a nation to reach me. Gargi, my sister in law’s extended family resides in Bangladesh, and are based in Chittagong. Recently she visited her family when her cousin got married, and came back with truckloads of gifts ! Such is the nature of the people of Bangladesh and their warmth, love and affection that when Gargi’s grandma opened her wardrobe for Gargi to choose some of her sarees, to get it back home , Dida insisted she gets one for me as well!
My off White Bangladeshi Kota saree, with block prints on its border speaks of the love that was bestowed upon me by not just Dida, but Gargi’s entire family. That is why I said that you saree transcended borders that are so sartorial….that cannot keep feelings of a grandmother from reaching her granddaughter….
I draped the saree for the valedictory programme of the summer school that I was attending. She was teamed with a whistle-worthy green blouse from Aranya Kolkata, a hugish green wooden bangle and my signature smile! I turned master of ceremonies for a bit and facilitated an impromptu performance by the academics. All of us sitting there was mesmerised by the mellifluous rendition of Tagore’s “ey ki labanye purno praan…Pran esho hey ” by Sutapa Di, battling against blood cancer yet singing a song that celebrates the beauty of life…. It was a sublime moment…. We were all misty eyed as she ended… But in keeping with her positivity we sang songs that spoke of love, life and laughter. It’s been a while since I danced… But I felt like dancing as my friends from summer school sang on!