77/100. Diwali night. Lights shining bright everywhere. And the sounds of children’s laughter ringing in the air. A whole day basking in the comfort of the parental home and hours with a dearly loved friend behind me, going back to an empty home did not seem a hardship – it was just another day being me leading my life.

This Diwali seemed the right day to bring out one of my oldest new-old sarees – a black and mustard Kanjeevaram – which had lain unworn for over ten years, waiting for that mythical ‘perfect’ occasion. The saree – picked up from Nalli by my father on one of his trips to Bangalore – was a basic, solid black Kanchi silk bordered in mustard/ochre border. A simple geometrical motif was spaced out along the border and of course there were those ubiquitous tiny temples where the border was attached to the main body of the saree. For some reason, when I first saw this saree, I immediately visualised this saree with mirrorwork on it. Though not a fan of embellishments in general, somehow, it seemed to me that mirror or would enhance this saree and so, I handed it over to my tailor. Who, much to my resigned disappointment, turned up with that apology of a substitute – reflective tiklis stitched on. And to compound my distress, he had also added golden sequins to the border of each tikli. There was no denying he had worked hard, so that was that.

So, the saree lay in storage, mutely reproachful of both the unnecessary additions to her elegant simplicity and my unjustified neglect. Sometimes when I did bring her out, the blouse was too loose or too tight or, just not right.

But she deserves better. She cannot be rejected forever and relegated to lie, forgotten for somebody else’s mistakes. So though the blouse was very, very loose, here I am, in my night-and-light saree. And how she glowed and gleamed once draped. Rivalled the lights that night, she did.

So, here’s to owning up to our mistakes. To owning them with pride. Belatedly though, may every day be Diwali for you and yours.

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