February 2013: This was one proud moment for me. And I can easily say, that along with pride, (please note, the proud tilt of mommy’s head!) I felt a surge of a gamut of emotions. Happiness, love, gratitude, elation, fulfillment, aspirations, dreams, fears, and the excitement of untold possibilities yet to unfold. You see, when your beautiful, strong, grown up daughter graduates from a national law school, it’s understandable, and yet a little intangible, inexplicable, magical too. Other than being a huge milestone in a child and parents’ life, it also comes with the realization that she now truly is on her own, all set to spread her wings and fly away and build her own life. As someone rightly said, “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots, the other, wings.” How strongly I associated my own beliefs with this quote that day.
In addition to the other gifts we gave her to celebrate her ‘debut’ as a legal eagle, the inimitable Dr Seuss ‘ book, “Oh the places you’ll go!” played a significant part. One of my favorite parts from it, is the opening:
“Congratulations! Today is your day. 

You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! 

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. 

You can steer yourself 
any direction you choose. 

You’re on your own. And you know what you know. 

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
These words resonate with me to this day. On many occasions, every time I watch life’s celebrations, I’m keenly reminded of these words. Occasions on which my friends ‘send off’ their own young ones out into the world. Or when another ‘baby’ of our group takes their vows to spend the rest of their life with their chosen one. And these occasions keep recurring, as that is the turning of the wheel of existence.
But, getting back to February 2013. Now, all this was happening long before the saree pact had come into our lives. Sadly, sarees were largely a part only of my celebratory life then. My daughter had treated herself to a ‘hues of the peacock’ (as I love to call it) Bhagalpuri from Vastrabharana. And I donned a silk telia rumaal masterpiece from Shilpi Chennai teamed with good old dependable chunky silver jewellery. Ganga Jamuna borders et al. I was in ikkat and mommy mode heaven! (Both places are by now, favourite haunts of mother and daughter in their unquenchable thirst for beautiful classic weaves.)
So, yes, today our sarees are such an intrinsic part of our lives. By remaining silent, yet making strong and beautiful statements, they remain unmistakably ‘present’ in all our significant moments building memories that are a treasure trove for the future. Face it, love it and live it: sarees and us pacters are inextricably linked. Now every time I cast my eyes on this one, my mind mutters the words I’ve christened it with “Tanya’s convocation one!” That’s the power of the 6 yards in a saree pacter’s life.
So there you go! That’s my story with this Andhra stunner and the Bhagalpuri beauty.
As I leave you now, if you can, do take the time out to read the rest of Dr Seuss’ classic. It’s such a powerful piece, that even today, each time I read it, I discover something new to inspire myself with. I now find that most of the words also apply to what we aim to achieve through our beloved pact. A coming together of like minded women, who thanks to their love for sarees, have passionately generated so much love and hope for this unstitched, hitherto unsung, garment all across the globe. Amen! Thank you Anju and Ally.

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