#100sareepact #sareesin2016 There was a time when I would not be seen dead in an unstarched cotton saree. In fact never had I ever worn a cotton saree that wasn’t starched and ironed with its knife sharp creases falling and draping in such a manner that it braved the Bombay Local’s Harbour Line service like a trouper of the first order . Fisher women’s wet baskets and sharp tongue and all. And then the day’s drape , either a Bengal Cotton or an Orriya Ikkat or a Co Optex handloom or a Coimbatore Shungdi would last through the day that saw visits to Mills and Factories in ST buses and Autos and more long distance Locals . Oh how much in control I would feel as I addressed mill workers and factory workers and their welfare officers and sometimes, on a Saturday morning, their wives on Cancer Awareness and Tobacco habits and PAP Smears and Self Breast Examinations . I was known as the Cancer wali Bai. Mid 80s to mid 90s .
It had to be a saree and a starched one at that . Day in . Day out.
Today I wear my cottons , to work , to conferences , to meetings and then for an evening out afterwards : a movie with a friend and dinner and drink afterwards like I did this Sunday . After a long day of leading a stressful meeting. Felt awesome and knew I looked good , and I was in control. BUT the saree was not starched . It was cotton and oh Sacrilege !! Was NOT starched .
It’s been maybe 15 years since when I stopped starching my sarees . I wear them soft and pliant . Is it age ? Is it the confidence the years have given me or something else ? I am casual with my cottons now and yet I know they set me apart . Command attention. I choose bold and bright colours , stark ; vivid prints and patterns that make up for the creases and crushed End of Day look . It’s not what you wear but how you wear that’s my Mantra now .
This Baingan coloured Bengal handloom lasted all day and well into the night and made the Pact Post only because of the photos taken by Abhishek Patidar at work and then later in the evening by Vicky Vatnani at play that show how it took me through all those hours .
Pacters , tell me how you wear your cottons . Do you starch them ? Is INA Starch still available ?

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