Entering the ‪#‎100sareepact‬ although not sure if I can keep up the regular posting! smile emoticon I wear sarees quite often-for work and just like that. Don’t have a very large collection but some pieces have anecdotes worth sharing. This is one such.

I’m wearing my grandmother Padma Vasoo‘s saree. She’s 85 and the saree is about 35, bought around the time my mother got married. A rich purple Kanjeevaram with a mustard and crimson checked border and pallu. I’ve loved this one since I was a little girl. As someone who was born and raised in Madras, sarees were a part of my environment everyday. I don’t recall the women in my family-grannies, mom, aunts-wearing anything other than sarees on a daily basis, regardless of what they did or where they went. I have accompanied my grandmother to katcheris with her wearing this saree, to temples and functions. Sometimes she would wear it on a pooja day at home. The interesting thing is that many of her sarees, including this one, don’t have the ‘fall’ stitched because she says in those days nobody bothered to get it done! And that doesn’t seem to affect the drape of the saree one bit.

So, this saree without the fall was worn by her to the Niagara Falls! On the way back home as she sat in the car and adjusted her seat forwards and backwards, the edges of the pleats got caught in the channel and were slightly ripped. Despite the tear, she continued to wear it for a long time.

My grandmother’s sarees have a certain smell. Of naphthalene balls, Pond’s powder, Charlie perfume and the smell of steel from the almirah they were kept in neatly folded and stacked, with their blouses inside. Despite the numerous washes they’ve been through they retain the same smell.

One day as she was clearing her almirah, I decided to take this saree for myself. I got some embroidery done on it, made a blouse and started using it. Have worn it a few times since. Whenever I pick up this saree, it takes me to the house I grew up in. Going to raid that wardrobe again and bring back more 6 yard stories.

 

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