I asked for many things from life which were not part of the original deal: to hide on the terrace with a book while my cousins played hiphop, to ask for equality and higher studies which were not expected of a girl, to fall in love with the Blue God even though I am a Jain, to travel overnight all by myself in a train when it was unheard of in the family, to buy my daughter a bicycle when her older cousin brothers still did not have permission for theirs, to be happy when she chose to marry for love, to start working outside home while my cousins were content housewives, and to speak of self-identity in an environment that believed in social conformity.
And yet there was one deal I never changed over the decades: I never asked to move away from the saree. While the others were seeking ways of getting permissions to shift to salwar kameez, I stayed with my sarees. I travelled in my sarees. I attended international forums in my sarees. I felt powerful and successful in my sarees. I felt comfortable and happy in my sarees. I felt good in my sarees.
I would have never realized this had it not been for the sudden saree awakening created by the ‪#‎60handloomsareepact‬ and ‪#‎100sareepact. ‬Suddenly, everyone is talking about sarees. There are women saying wearing a good saree is a feel good factor. Someone wrote the other day that it is the best cure for depression. Yet another said saree is shakti incarnate.
It made me ask myself – what does the saree represent for me? And then I realized how this fabric of six yards has brought its wonder and magic into my own life. Every event I have been a part of; be it a corporate event or a wedding stage, its memory is linked with the saree I wore. Thus it is a triggering factor in my visual memory.
And so today I present myself in a saree in beige – one my favourite colours. The other one is off-white. These two dominate my cupboard and my preferences. This saree is a handwoven soft Tussar from Padma Paaduka – plain body and silent circles on the pallu. I love this saree for its simple richness. I have teamed it with a printed blouse which is yet another favourite.
Looking forward to all those sarees I am yet to discover and wear. Such is the excitement and joy it brings to life.
May the saree prevail.

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