This sari story is about the dreamy cream and gold heavy Benarasi sari gifted to me by my daughter Yashasvini’s Godmother, Nikol.
Nikol has been a great inspiration. She started her career as an importer of antique Indian textiles and homelinen, after she retired from her job as a Hospital Administrator in Crete, Greece. She had fallen in love with India during one of her vacations and kept coming back again and again, learnt in detail about the Indian textiles and crafts. Slowly she began working with the craftsmen in Jaipur and Varanasi to create exquisite high end home-linen, and built up a great customer base in Greece. She gradually ended up being one of the topmost importers of her country, before the economic crisis brought Greece down. She has changed her strategy now, moving along with the times, and I have always admired her for her ‘never-say-die’ spirit. I often quote her as a living example of how to switch careers and make a success out of it at any age..
She entered our lives as a buyer. Though we did business together for a while, our relationship soon metamorphosed into a strong and deep rooted friendship. Greeks and Indians have a lot in common with regard to family values and relationships. When she learnt that I was pregnant, she immediately informed us that she will be the Godmother of the child. And she also told us that back in Greece, the Godmother is more important than the mother herself!
So when Yasho was born, she gifted me this antique Benarasi sari.. An unusual one, so exquisite and delicate that I have worn it only once, for my brother-in-law’s wedding reception, five years ago.. Felt so royal in it, and loved the way it enveloped me with warmth and happiness on that cold winter evening..
Yasho becomes Nikki whenever her Nona (Godmother in Greek) visits… Nikki and Nikol named after saint St.Nicholas! This image sprang up among Facebook memories and I thought it was the right time to share our story of friendship… because December 6 was Nikki and Nikol’s Name Day in Greece, which is more important than one’s own birthday.. It was St.Nicholas’ Day! And my brother-in-law’s wedding reception was on December 14th, five years ago!