The Joys of the Failed Pacter

I love the 100sareepact. I must be its most enthusiastic voyeur, silent observer and failed pacter 🙂 The saree pact fills my days with the most beautiful textiles, most beautiful women draped in lovely sarees – radiating love and kindness and cheer. I have made feeble attempts to join in – but have failed. Thanks mainly to my shyness of being photographed and reluctance to embrace Facebook fully.

As a designer who works from home, on her system for the major part of the day, the sarees and their wearers are just a click away – to be seen and admired whenever I need a quick, easy break from a project. Ilkals, sambalpuris, dabu prints, maheshwaris – my mind swirls with all the knowledge of the loveliness of textile treasures I never knew existed.

I haven’t failed entirely, having worn and posted maybe five photographs with suitably cropped out heads on Instagram – and buying about fifteen new sarees. Each town visited now includes a saree shopping routine. So from maybe the sum total of twenty unused sarees that I once owned, the year ends with thirty five unused sarees. Not complaining, though – love each and every one of them, dearly.

And it hasn’t been easy buying any of these fifteen. I have had to muster much courage, and answer many questions. And ignore many more. I’d like to share some.

1. You want to pay how many thousands for a cotton saree?
asked an elderly relative as I attempted to buy one at an exhibition she was accompanying me to. I hushed my heart, zipped my lip and purse, only to be accosted by visions of the said saree in my dream that night – rushing back to the exhibition to pick it up the next day/last day.

2. When are you going to wear this saree?
is the most difficult one to answer. I don’t know. Maybe now, maybe never. Doesn’t change my wanting it. This is the one I ask and torture myself with. The spouse is pretty indulgent, and will usually say “buy it” when he sees me pining for it.

3. “Not on my birthday – please Mama!!”
says the kid who seems to find his Mama most Mama-like in her jeans. This is a battle I don’t even fight. I read wistfully about childhoods like mine, where Mama’s soft sarees served as mattresses in trains, and as towels and handkerchiefs. Obviously not going to be this kid’s childhood comfort memory at all.

4. “A saree shop? No idea”.
says the lady whose house we drop into in a new town, where I had visions of picking up some handlooms. I am wearing a saree of course. “I don’t wear sarees any more. Never shopped for them in this town. I would know about some shops in my home town. How come you wear sarees – what kind of silk is this?”

5. You know these ladies you are meeting tomorrow?
Nobody knows me, but yes, these super attractive, super kind, super friendly and super active ladies. I know them.

I am so grateful that the 100sareepact fills my days with such beauty and wonder. I may be a failed pacter, but a very happy and fulfilled and grateful 100sareepact voyeur 🙂 Thank you so much.

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