One of my Monsoon Sarees , a soft free flowing and crush proof georgette in a very typical print livened up by an unexpected crocheted border . Only thing is there is no sight of the monsoon except for a few showers every morning in Thane making one reach out for monsoon friendly garments !!!
My day began with an early morning tele conference with team members on the other side of the world and since I had said I would be late into work anyway decided to use a few more of those minutes and wear a saree .
I had also begged a bit of the morning off to go get that long over due hair cut and I am really happy to introduce to you, my Saree Pacters , Liz the magician who does wonders with my hair and has been doing so ever since I first cut my hair about 15 years ago . She is incredible , amazing and time after time gives me the best cut ever . She is not just a hair dresser . She is an artist . I have thin and very ordinary hair but she makes it look like silk . Sleek and satiny . But oh how tough it was to get her to pose for the pact picture !!!
I had long hair . Very long hair . One of the reasons my husband said Yes when he saw the photograph my parents sent his parents . Very typical Iyer Ponnu types . I loved my hair and was very vain about it too . I would love to wear the jasmine flowers that the Bombay flower market somehow made available all year round and my husband loved to buy me those . Then when I was maybe 45 or so I decided to cut it short . It was becoming really thin and tying it up in my trademark Jooda meant pulling it in the front which would give me headaches besides making me go bald . But the real reason for chopping those tresses off was something else . I think I was tired of carrying some kind of load on my shoulders and when I snipped all that hair off it was also the peeling away of one of the last layers of whatever you may want to call it that trapped my persona or held “me” captive . I laid down much more than a yard of hair in length. From within all those tresses a new , unburdened woman emerged . The persona around whom socio cultural familial obligations had wound many layers . The good, obedient daughter of this Iyer family layer came first then the good , obedient daughter in law of another South Indian Iyer family , then that of the good , obedient wife and then finally the mother who had to raise good , obedient children . I know somewhere at some point in time the layers peeled off . That of daughter first , when I became a mother myself and saw my mother as a peer ; then got comfortable in my relationship with this guy who was the father of my children and we became partners and then that tough one of daughter in law , forever petrified of invoking the wrath of the in laws also peeled off slowly . But actual liberation came only when the Mother layer came off . I love my children and will love them till kingdom come but it is the mother layer that had to come off to make me free . I was bound by these bonds to feed and nourish , in all manner of speaking these two precious lives I had brought into this world . And it is only when they no longer needed me and were capable of looking after themselves would I be able to be myself : that self I knew I was ; that self that had been cocooned under all those layers .
So when my boys became these wonderful , gorgeous young adults who were their own masters I found I could be my own too . In fact I could go back to being that young adult I could never be when I was actually one . Get it ?
Talking of my gorgeous sons , one of them makes an entrance today in my Saree Pact story . Vinay , our younger son , who by the way, said holding my hand the day I first cut my hair , reassuring me saying , “Ma ! Don’t worry . If it begins to look bad , I’ll tell her to stop! ”
And here he was today paying me a surprise visit at my office ! Vinay who works in Advertising and when he is not working is managing and singing with his band . Meet Vinay Venkatesh , Lead Singer of the most popular heavy death metal band this side of the Rhine – Bhayanak Maut . For more than eleven years this brilliant Band has held sway over their fan following and in me I swear they have their biggest and most adoring fan . Metal Mom they call me .