Tomorrow is the anniversary of the ‪#‎100sareepact‬‬.
It’s been a year since I posted the first post and I have to pinch myself to believe all that has happened since. You joined in, each pacter, and made the pact your own and brought with you, and your posts, stories that have defined you even as I continued to share the stories of my life through the sarees I wore.
One week into the pact and there was already a strong sense of magic building up. In the months that followed we jumped off social media and met on ‪#‎sareedates‬‬ thereby keeping it real.
My most gratifying takeaway ? The connections.
That while we each tried to answer the question “ Who am I ?”, we found a little bit of ourselves in the stories that others told.
‪#‎Weareallconnected‬‬ We just have to find our connections I had written sometime in June, and we each did. All across the world.
Waking up to messages from women who told me that they didn’t feel alone or lonely any longer, after joining the pact or reading the stories on it was humbling. Others would write in to say how much they were enjoying the “ me-time”, of getting ready and looking good for themselves. Still more wrote of the cathartic effect of telling their stories. Some were freed of their past, others were ready to embrace what the future would bring armed with strength drawn from stories on the pact.
To my mind, the #100sareepact worked for two reasons. One it was a simple idea. To wear our sarees and tell our stories. Simple to follow and simple to participate if one wanted to. Second, we, each of us, kept the pact pure. On my part, I was never interested in commercialising the pact and protected it from any commercial compulsions by politely refusing associations, advertising, digital marketing, sponsorships or partnerships.
The pact was sacred and I took my role as chief nurturer very seriously.
After December last, many well wishers asked the inevitable – “ what next ? “ Would I take the pact to the next level ?
I thought I’d address this question here. The #100sareepact is not a venture that needs to be taken to the next level. It is an idea, around which we, together, have successfully built a community. We have found a collective voice and expressed, in glimpses, what matters most to us. We have told the stories of the extra ordinary moments of our lives. And we will continue to.
Often I have been asked to promote the cause of the handloom sector, a weave going extinct, or a weaver cluster that needs guidance. I do what I can in my personal capacity fully cognizant that I am no expert. I’ve been told by saree sellers that the last year saw sales soar due to the pact.This is a happy fallout.
But the pact was about wearing the sarees we had. And the saree could be a simple nylon, but hold within its folds the richness and enormity of a lifetime. The #100sareepact will never promote any one kind of saree because the pact is not about the saree, it was always about the wearer’s story. Yours and mine.
There have been many endeavours that have sprouted from the pact, and I wish each of them the very best and hope they are backed by fair intentions.
The pact itself will only grow. As more get to hear of it, more join in. The fabric of story telling gets richer with the different textures of lives woven into those stories.
The official Facebook page of the #100sareepact will continue to tell curated stories and the blog will remain the archive of your story telling. Here are two records that will showcase the voice of the saree wearing women and everything that matters to them.
On the eve of the first anniversary of the pact, I invite you to share your special story tomorrow, on March 1st, and all through March, one year from when the magic began.
I promise to share mine.

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