I still remember the day I met her- 8th March 2012, Women’s Day Celebrations @ work. We were both struggling to drape our sarees as was mandated by the HR. We bonded over pinning the pallu and stuffing the pleats and swapping stories as to how alien we were to wearing it. We weren’t proud of the fact that it took us more than 30 mins to drape one when we had grown up watching our Moms doing a better job of it in less than one-third the time. I heard her making a resolution that day- to try to wear the saree to office more often and almost immediately afterwards noticed her keeping the promise. She would wear a saree to office at least 3 or 4 days in the week, at first to the awe of most of us (“how did you find the time?”) and then slowly inspiring people around ( including me) to take up wearing the garment more often.
We soon vied with each other in wearing it to work and the first thing we would check out each morning was if the other was wearing one! Because of the saree I had found a friend in Rupali. WE came to be known as the saree wearing ladies to many @ work. Thanks to her, the saree ceased to be the dreaded “when will it unravel itself” piece of clothing for me and instead became a well loved and looked forward to style. Over the past three years, a lot because of her, I have re-discovered a garment to turn to when my confidence is the low and I needed inspiration. And also, because of her, even today at a different workplace, I am known as the “lady who wears a saree” .
We no longer work at the same place, yet, almost everyday, I check out her profile picture on WhatApp which she updates regularly to see if she has worn one and message “Are you wearing it today? ”
She is the first person I thought about when I read about the #100sareepact- she is my inspiration to wear one regularly, my saree muse- Rupali. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photograph with her except this one- seen here with another friend. (left to right- Priyanka, Rupali, Tushara, At a friend’s wedding)

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