My daughter learns Kuchipudi with Gurus Raja and Radha and Kaushalya Reddy. Every year, there is a performance at Kamani auditorium wherein all the kids perform various pieces. The performance involves some pretty hard work both from the kids and the mothers. The rehearsals take place daily, including weekends for about 2-3 weeks, at the center in town, so for those of us from the suburbs, it involves a commute of easily 1-2 hours each way. The kids come home, quickly do their homework and get ready for the rehearsals. We have a car pool going as per the various sets of kids, so each parent does duty about 2-3 times a week and not every day.

The rehearsal sessions can take 1-3 hours, depending on how well the kids are performing and the timeliness of completion of previous rehearsal sessions. During this time, the mostly mothers ( in our case we share the burden as equally as possible) hang out outside the center, drink chai from a thela walla, gossip or catch up on office work.

On one such session last year, one of the other kids’ mothers, a friend of mine, and I, had to go to Nalli’s to shop for material for costumes for the kids. We went ostensibly to shop for dhoti cloth. Of course, it being Nalli’s, we couldn’t help but look at the lovely sarees on display. My friend, who had long coveted a Paithani, managed to snag one in delicate lavender hues. Meanwhile I spotted one in a beautiful mango shade with fuchsia and green accents and lotus prints in these colours and gold. Somehow I had been dreaming of/ imagining a saree with lotuses in pale gold for a while and when I saw this saree it seemed like my dreams had come true. I instantly bought it but hadn’t had occasion to wear it.

Then this year when my daughter’s annual Kuchipudi performance came around, I pulled it out as the ideal choice, linking the past two years. I wore it with French ‘fleur-de-lys’ earrings to continue the lotus theme.

It is such a joy to see your children perform and excel and this year was no different. This saree will always bring back the excitement and stress of the rehearsals and the backstage journey to a piece that takes maybe 5 minutes onstage, and looks so effortless.

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