73/100. Remember those famous lines? “Water, water everywhere/ But not a drop to drink”? This particular day, for me it was “Photographers, photographs everywhere/ But not a one to click”. That, too, on a day when we were at one of the most pic-worthy venues in Kolkata, I was all dressed up in a lovely saree and my hair was behaving beautifully as well!
It was the Kolkata chapter of the annual Blenders’ Pride Fashion Tour which I was covering for a publication. Given my pact state of mind, I ignored one of the cardinal rules of style – dressing apropos of the occasion. I did not have a single ‘fashion show’-esque saree at home (my sarees rotate between my wardrobe at home and the one at my parents’ place) and I couldn’t care less. I was thinking of the pact and which saree I wanted a proper picture of – fashion show be damned. And it was this cafe au lait with a tinge of rose crepe saree with hand-drawn kalamkari on the border and palla that I chose.
This saree was actually my aunt’s – she has the most gorgeous sarees. She maintains two separate sets like me – one at home and one at her parent’s place. The only difference is that these places are in the US and India respectively. Truth to tell, when I saw her wearing this saree about 14 years ago, the art of Kalamkari had not really seen its second coming. In fact, most people could not identify Kalamkari work as such – all we knew was the kalamkari block print kurtas that Fabindia used to stock. A day when I chanced upon an exhibition at Central Cottage Industries in Delhi was what made me able to identify Kalamkari when I saw it. And this particular saree was a gem of a piece – with two peacocks facing each other and interestingly with only the colours used – black, a mossy green and a rosy maroon. My jaw actually dropped when Mejoma walked into our house wearing this saree and I have no idea what she saw in my eyes but when she left Kolkata, she also left me this saree. And I have no shame in saying I didn’t protest much. ?
So, anyway, I wore this saree with a fresh blow-dry, silver bangles and silver and garnet earrings. I got more than a few compliments as well. Many of them from photographer friends. But, sadly, not one proper photograph happened. In fact, I did not manage a single ‘single’ shot either – it just never happened. What was even more ironic was that practically everyone I met knew about the pact and asked me about it as well.
The only event pic is a ‘groupfie’. The rest were all selfies I took, something I am horribly bad at. I tried my hardest to show the pallu. And with every horrendous selfie, I chafed at my luck. And all the selfie tricks that a young photographer friend had been coaching me on just did not work! Seriously, I am in awe of all those who can make selfies work.
Well, all that this means is that I will wear this saree again, soonest. And will ensure that a ‘proper’ photograph that does it justice… I know, horribly old-fashioned of me. What to do?