This is another Fab India Saree I asked to be taken down from the display rack and bought on an impulse . Maybe 5 years old . It is a cotton silk mix and the print done so cleverly it looks like a weave . The thin woven zari border is in Maheshwari style . I rarely wear green but this totally charmed me !
And this post is dedicated to one of the most gracious and lovely women I have ever known in my life and who has been my idol and mentor and along with her husband Saeed right up there on my list of most admired and adored couples . Meet Aruna Naqvi one of the leading educationalists in Delhi and herself legendary for her sartorial elegance and with her trademark bindi and handloom sarees my friend for the last 45 years .
I first met Aruna when I was interviewed by her for a job at her school in 1972 .. I had just graduated in English Literature and while my parents were trying to find a horoscope that matched mine so they could do their duty by me and marry me off to a good Iyer boy , this was the best and most acceptable job for the good Iyer girl as she waited in the wings . Aruna hired me and for the next two years my life was indeed charmed . I loved the little school in South Extension and it became the centre of my universe . Teaching little 3rd graders not just their lessons but working with them for the Annual Day shows and teaching them Art and songs and making posters for all the classrooms …I was truly happy . And I was bringing home money . A modest amount out of which all I would take was a little bit so u could indulge in shampoo for my long hair . The rest Ma was saving for my trousseau.
Saeed was then with The Statesman and a well known face on TV hosting the Mirror of the World show . And a star ! I don’t know who I began to adore more . Aruna or Saeed . Their home was an Adda of sorts for budding , hopeful journalists and always welcoming . Full of music and engaging discussions on art and politics and as a wide eyed 20 year old I was smitten . Oh what an achievement it used to be to get permission from Ma to stay back for those evenings in their home for a dinner .
Till today , no visit to Delhi is complete without a meal at Aruna and Saeed’s . Or with them , like last night’s one , at the Delhi Gymkhana ( where we had to quickly take the pact pictures before the rule of no pictures would be thrown at us)
In all the four decades we have known each other . Aruna and I spent only two years really together , meeting each other every day . Then my horoscope matched with that special good Iyer boy from Bombay and that was that ! Goodbye Delhi and all that my life had ever been . Good bye to my little school and the kids and to evenings and Sundays at Aruna Saeed’s and oh all those Rajesh Khanna films we would watch , Aruna and I . I don’t think Kaka had more loyal fans than she and I.
To Aruna and Saeed , even though I am a grandmother , I am still that 20 year old they welcomed into their family all those years ago.
Here’s to my dear Aruna !
And oh! To make up for the rather dark and hastily taken pictures , here are a few taken at a Asia Pacific meet in Beijing where advocates from everywhere showcased our local talents and I too shook a leg to a Bollywood ditty . Wearing what today is Saree No 84 !!!

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