Day 100 #100sareepact. The curtain comes down today, it was exactly a year ago that I first posted my saree photo. This was suuposed to be the 99th but for some reason was fated to bring the journey to the end. And so I narrate L’affaire Paithani.
The first saree that I saw being woven was a Paithani, it was when i was around 11-12 years old. We were visiting Mama(maternal uncle) at Aurangabad and he had taken us to Paithan. It was, the weaver, told us priced at a princely sum of Rs. 1000/- . An avid fan of the magazine Femina, my next encounter with the Paithani was this magazine , it had published articles on the same being revived in Mumbai by Naina Zaveri and Saroj Dhananjay Purandare. I liked the sarees and added the artilcle to my collection of cuttings( I have huge files of cuttings about anything I liked )and I forgot about the same.
For my trousseau , we were going to Mumbai and Maa was discussing with me how many and what sarees we should buy. I suddenly remembered the cutting and showed the same to both my parents. Both were delighted with the choice. And off we went to Mumbai during the Navratras. It was Sunilmaushi who found out about the exhibition held every year by Mrs. Saroj Dhnanajay at Shivaji Park. She dealt with handloom sarees and was a short distance from her house. Maa always a little careful gave me a budget for all my sarees and told me don’t go overboard. I agreed.
My father however never believed in budgeting, told me in confidence, use all the amount Maa has told you to buy one good Paithani, you can get the other sarees later or not, but a good Paithani is heirloom and can be passed for generations if taken care of.
Saroj Dhananjay , was a statuesque lady, and had a great personality. She was draped in a beautiful Paithani. We explained what we wanted and she asked us the range of the sarees to be shown. I with my father’s advice in mind but knowing Maa would be shocked said around Rs. 8000/- to 10,000/-. Both my parents glared at me for different reasons -Maa as she was thinking of the other sarees I needed and Bee as he wanted the best and felt that I had compromised. Saroj Dhananjay happily displayed the sarees to us.
I wanted peacocks on the Pallu and was searching for the same. The peacock was on a larger pallu and a different colour, but for some reason I wanted this pink colour and liked the paisley(Kairi design) on the top of the Pallu. So went for the parrots on the pallu.
We came back satisfied and happy, except perhaps my father, though he did not a word. I wore it for my wedding 22 years ago and many other weddings too I still remember Saroj Dhananjay advice on hoe to maintain the same and follow it.
A few months after my mother passed away, Bee asked me to get a certain ( quiet hefty) amountof cash from the bank. He couldn’t go out and would only come to eat lunch with me as I had blackmailed him saying I can’t eat alone and needed his company. He divided the amount equally into two parts- and then gave me one and asked me to keep the other amount for my sister,who was in Mumbai. His instruction buy a good Paithani of this amount as my gift both of you and specifically told us it is only for Paithani, not anything else. I argued that there was no function or was going to Mambai, so he could give us the money later too. He did not agree -buy whenever you want but a good paithani should be in your wardrobe was his wish. Even though nineteen years had passed, he had remembered….he passed away in March that year. I still have to buy another Paithani to fulfill his wish- I am waiting for a good opportunity, till then this saree is the Kohi-i-noor of my sarees- it is neither the costliest nor unique, but it is the saree that taught me sarees are also heirlooms to be passed through generations.
Should this saree be my swan song? Or should it be only the finale to the pact? I will continue to wear sarees but will I continue to post is a question that I now face.
I have enjoyed t