A Pitambari printed silk more than ten years old and again waiting for the perfect blouse to come alive after a brief hiatus .
It’s a printed silk with a difference . A simple yet elegant woven border in the Maheshwari style with a little bit of temple design in a white band that brings sweet relief to the over all black and the Pallu is the best part of the Saree …the weave and the lovely paisley patterns .
So I wait for the non existent Bombay Winter to take these silks out. Cannot wear them in any other month .
So today again was one long day which began with a Pit Stop at Foto Circle in Matunga in the morning to get those Visa / Passport sized photographs that everybody and their mothers keep asking three copies each of for anything and everything !
The Foto Circle family are old friends the charming ‘Uncle’ having gone to school with Venky ; old Bosco ites from Matunga and having printed my photographs for ever and ever . Yes I was a photo freak much before the digital age and spent all my money after books and sarees on photographs !!! So Foto Circle was a regular haunt .
The first time I heard of Foto Circle was not in very how do I put it happy circumstances . But today when I think of it , the memory brings a wise smile to my face.
As a newly married bride in her father in law’s house I was subjected to the usual stuff . Today in hindsight maybe I understand some of it ; why “in laws” constantly feel the need to intimidate the new entrant into the family and keep her in her place . Little things , criticisms about customs from “your” house , a little bit of sarcasm here and there , some taunts and some poking fun …well that’s how it was . So one such complaint was against the Wedding Album my parents had organized and sent to Bombay once it was ready . While I was eagerly waiting to look at it ( mainly to see pictures of my Maiji and Babuji who I was missing so much and my siblings ) my father in law took one look at it and thrust it aside with a contemptuous grunt saying Ha! Foto Circle would have done a much better job!
smile emoticon smile emoticon When after a few months my brother from Chicago who had taken many “color” photographs at the wedding ( remember this was 42 years ago when even B&W photography was a special item ) and painstakingly put them
together in a beautifully embossed leather album and sent it across , I was secretly so kicked that father in law had to grudgingly say Hmmm very nice , very nice ….
So back to today and the onerous job of posing for pictures you know are going to be terrible . But I had not bargained for the ever smiling Yadav ji who put me at ease chatting all the while and managed to take a few okay mug shots eventually !
I decided to push my luck and ask him to take a couple of pictures with my phone for the Saree Pact . He obliged of course and I found myself telling him all about the Pact . He loved the concept and shared how young ladies came to be photographed in lovely sarees looking really nice but the minute the picture was taken they would change out of them there and then ! He hoped we were making a difference with our pact .
There’s something to be said about the art of photography . Truly it is an art form . You see through the lens of the camera only what you can see and want to see ! I was so touched by the care and time Yadav spent on my Visa pictures telling me hesitantly , Sorry aapka stylish hair style I have to spoil for you have to show your ears for these pictures . And he went to work adjusting the reflectors so they wouldn’t hurt my eyes too much .
And then when he took my iPhone to humour my request for the Pact photographs he said OK now I will take happy pictures . Such a dear man and oh how we both laughed at the mandatory “Matrimony Ad” Leaning with Elbow on Pillar pose!!!
Tall, fair, no ; Tall , wheatish complexion , Iyer Brahmin BA Hons Pass girl from good family seeking taller , handsome Iyer boy who likes short hair and tattoos !!
Hai hai !! Hai Rabba what have today’s girls come to ? tattoos and all !!
This fun interlude in the morning kept me going all day in good cheer actually .
As I am writing this I am stuck in traffic returning from South Bombay where I just finished arranging a Committee Meeting of the Terry Fox India Chapter . Over tea and sandwiches I told my co committee members all about the pact and made them pose for a picture too !
Terry Fox was a young Canadian who ran across the breadth of his country raising money for cancer research . What made this effort incredible was that he did this on one leg , having lost the other to bone cancer . He died before he could complete the Run and in his memory all over the world the Terry Fox Run is conducted in his memory raising funds for cancer research .
In Bombay we have been organizing the Terry Fox Run every year for the last 16 years . I am proud to be a part of this initiative through which funds are raised for research and donated to Tata Memorial Hospital . The Run is held in February every year and hundreds of school children join us on Marine Drive full of enthusiasm .
We , the Committee are lucky to have the energetic Gul Kripalani lead our efforts and constantly motivating and inspiring us. All
of us do this voluntarily and try and take out as much time as possible from our work and contribute as much as we can . Research is the key to providing patients the best in care and offering them a chance of cure .
It’s worth all the effort. Even being stuck in crawling traffic between Nariman Point and Thane !