Presidents and Prime Ministers have their rankings. First ladies don’t. Neither do First sarees. They are always a notch above all kinds of favorites, as with #40 here. And while my pact is to wear 100 sarees in one year – not calendar year, meaning I have 8 months more – for the 100 saree pact for 2015 this is my last drape, and hence an extra special saree and a longish post this time.

This saree was my first official saree, purchased for me by my parents. Not my first drape, as I had tried my Mom’s sarees earlier, but the first I could call my own. Bought from Rangoli in Dadar, Mumbai, for Di’s wedding. Mom and Di had earlier picked another saree in tissue silk which I had liked and decided to keep for myself for the wedding. But all three later insisted that I pick my own, and a heavier and more expensive one 🙂 I remember still agonizing over the choice between this one and its sister in red and black, until finally I opted for this.

And no regrets! This mustard and black thick silk beauty with heavy antique zari work on the borders and palla looks simply gorgeous! Even though it is today over 26 years old, it still retains its shine and softness. In the picture, you can also see small kasuti embroidery on the saree and specially the palla, in black and green. This was not there originally. Some years ago I realized I had stopped wearing this saree as I had already worn it to most occasions. I thought I could dress up the plain mustard of the saree a bit to bring in some variety, and got kasuti embroidery done on it from a friend. The delicate embroidery blends in well without taking away the grace and grandeur of the saree itself, or so I think!

Everytime I drape this saree, I remember that day when I first wore it – Di’s wedding. Di was looking beautiful in all her bridal finery, and as for me, I felt even more special in this beautiful saree, gold jewelry, and 6 inch heels 🙂 The chaos of managing all the wedding arrangements, the love and compliments of all relatives and friends, and more than anything, the mixture of joy and sadness as we did the bidai for Di all come back to me whenever I drape these six yards of love.

Another lovely memory of this same saree is of draping this to my best friend’s wedding reception, a grad affair at Wakhede stadium. I tried some fusion wear then, with the saree draped in Gujarati style seedha palla but with the palla hanging folded in the front and not spread out. Instead of the regular blouse I had worn the saree with a full sleeved black top that had been hand embroidered by Di with a beautiful dancing couple doing the dandiya raas, in a combination of yellow, red and green. I remember this outfit standing out from all others that evening 🙂 Unfortunately I have neither the top, nor any pictures left of it, and hence so grateful to have this pact so I can document all my lovely sarees and memories therein.

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