“Mum wore a saree everywhere. Anywhere. To the beach in Paris, for a camel ride in Jaipur, a saree to Rishikesh. She was always in a saree.”
“When my parents shifted to London she decided she wasn’t going to sit at home and armed with her economics degree she interviewed with Midland Bank. She got the job and was known as the lady with a big bun in a saree. She wore the saree with pride and immense grace.”
“Even when we would come to India for our visits from London, she would wear a saree and in fact change in the plane from a travel saree into a nice Banarasi saree just before landing.”
“The saree was the way of life for her. She never bought one though, at least I don’t remember her ever buying one for herself. Her entire collection was gifted, by her mother, my dad and her relatives. On our return to India, the saree identity remained intact.”
“A generous and kind spirited woman, she wanted us to be happy, my brother and I. Happiness was the key to her being. She would take the effort to make everyone around her happy. Kids whose parents were busy, got taken on holiday with us. Relatives received gifts on time every year during Durga pooja with personal hand written notes.”
“After Dad passed away she began to favour the creams and the whites in her colour choices. For my wedding trousseau she enthusiastically collected sarees from every state. She bought my daughter’s first saree – a red Banarasi – for her rice eating ceremony when she was an infant.”
“By the time I adopted the ‪#‎100sareepact‬‬, she was already fading. Parkinson’s disease had claimed her. But there were days that she would tell me how nice I looked in a saree when my brother would show the photos I would send. On my visits to Delhi, she would urge me to wear her sarees. She loved it when I dressed up.”
“I wear her sarees now and I am happy. Comforted. They still smell of the perfume, ‘Charlie ‘ that she would favour, I don’t want to wash them.”
“We dressed her up in a printed silk saree on her last journey. There was no sign of the trauma she had been through on her face. She looked like she was in deep sleep, like Sleeping Beauty in her casket, as per her older grand daughter. She looked beautiful in her favourite colour. Blue.”
“I did not have the heart to give away all her sarees to charity. I kept some for myself and my sister-in-law and kept two each for my daughter and niece. One for their graduation and the other for their marriage.”
Ruby Aich
1947 – 2015

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