Who says a saree has to be the finest cotton or silk, and cost half your salary to be pretty?
Don’t get me wrong. I am a kind of ambassador for natural fabrics. I hardly own any piece of apparel in synthetics in my burgeoning wardrobe, that three full closets and five large trunks are unable to hold. But, that is because I feel comfortable in cottons and silks and linen and I love their inherent grace, and not because I look down upon synthetics.
So, at the time of my wedding when we were buying sarees and we saw from afar this beauty in navy and gold, with beautiful roses hand embroidered all over, I couldn’t believe it costed less than one thousand! It really did, believe me! While the shopkeeper was reluctant to bring it over to our counter where we were looking at Kanjeevarams and Mysore silks upwards of ten thousand, we had our hearts set on it. At least we wanted to see it up close. The Nalli attendant seemed to find it unworthy of coming to his elite Kanjeevaram counter. We didn’t give up and made our way to the saree and upon seeing it, our suspicion was confirmed. This was indeed a beautiful saree, and we had to buy it.
I happily bought this synthetic 800 rupee saree with the rest of my multi-thousand pile, because I have never understood the concept of thinking of beauty in monetary terms. My aunts chided my mum for giving such a “cheap” saree to her only daughter for her trousseau. “What will the sasural walas say, they wear such cheep stuff?” But we didn’t budge. I have worn this one many times, and never once felt unequal to going in society with the heavily bedecked elite ladies. It can never equal the grace of a Kanjee or a Benarasi or a Kota or a Taant or a Muga or what have you; but maybe, I’m not looking for grace all the time. When I wear it, I feel beautiful. The colour suits my skin tone. The saree is light as a feather. It makes me feel light and carefree and young (well I AM young, but that’s another story :-P) It makes me feel pretty and attractive and like a newlywed all over again; and after one and a half years I still crave for that feeling (come on, I can’t be the only one who doesn’t want to relinquish that tag)
One thing is for sure – variety is the spice of life. Owning a few of the light and less expensive ones not only lets me be carefree about maintenance; but also gives me a break from all the “silk modelling”, as my husband calls it. Money cannot buy happiness, I always knew. But these sarees made me realise that money cannot buy beauty either. Something doesn’t have to be expensive in order to look good. Maybe this will prompt me to go for a street shopping or thrift store shopping spree as well, something I’ve always frowned upon.
Lesson learned – beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, not her wallet 🙂

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