10/100 #100sareepact #sareefromthepast

Cut to scene 20 years back: A total tomboy in college transformed by her amma’s gorgeous fushcia pink and yellow kanjivaram saree. Yes this is the first and last time I wore amma’s wedding kanjivaram at my friend Sheetal’s wedding in Nagpur, first time I wore lipstick and first time but certainly not the last time I wore huge zhumkas (they have just become bigger and bolder) The gold chain is a borrowed one as one of the aunties said, ‘galyat kahitari ghal ga’ and immediately put this one around my neck. You can also see the obvious influence of the actress Rekha in the way my (then waist long) hair is tied back with lots of rajnigandha. Oh how she sizzled the screen in the song ‘Qatra qatra milti hai… qatra qatra jeene do… zindagi hai… behne do… pyaasi hoon main pyaasi rehne do… rehne do na’ from Izzazat. Yes she was amma’s as well as my favourite actress. Her cotton saris, high neck blouses and her hair tied back either in a juda or plait influenced my amma’s wardrobe and style. Notice that in the other pic I have posted with my Amma in a red saree or the one in the background where she is wearing a black and white patola (now that I think of it, she had as many patolas as kanjivarams in her wardrobe).

I remember those were the years when amma was the happiest. I in my typical art student khadi kurtas n big bindi and amma in her beautifully starched cotton saries would spend hours together talking about history and art whenever I was at home. Those days sleep was an alien concept. At night I would paint and do my college assignments and amma would be up designing or stitching dresses for me (she always wanted to be a fashion designer but settled for a job at the bank). We would listen to gulzar the whole night and amma would make yummy snacks at 2 am when I would get grubby. The days when my college friends would come over for a night cap, she would reluctantly go to sleep in the bedroom (I remember she slept in her soft mulmul sarees at that time. Its only now in the past recent years that she has started wearing salwar kameez). My friends would gorge on the alu parathas, bondas, dosas and payasam that she would painstakingly prepare and keep for our 2 am snack time. There were times I would wake up in the morning when I would see my friends chatting away happily with Amma over filter coffee.

Its sad that I don’t have any pictures of us together during those times (you see I bought my first camera only in year 2000) but those happy times are etched in my memory forever. Those were the years when our mother daughter relationship blossomed into one of everlasting friendship.

In the first picture (Left to right) Padma​ Atthai, Me, Sujata Kaki
In the one below (Left to right) Padma Atthai, Appa, Karthik (my bro) Me, Sucheta (cousin sis) and Amma

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