“If there was only one saree store left in the world, which one would you want it to be?”, asked my son today morning. The #100sareepact being a pretty big part of our lives nowadays, conversations about sarees and memories are also commonplace. My answer was spontaneous and instantaneous. Instinctive, almost.
My cousins and I – whether we spent our childhood in Kolkata or in Connecticut – have vibrant, collage -like memories of our mothers and aunts draped in cloud-soft mulmuls with endlessly fascinating prints in vibrant colours. All bought from this store. Scripts, faces, owls, birds, butterflies, tomatoes – everything that today qualifies as ‘quirk’ was beautifully done by them. And, that too, 30 years ago.
And it’s not just the prints. The handloom sarees they stock are nothing short of rare gems.
I knew at the age of eight that the first saree I bought for myself with my own money would be from this store. As would be my first gifts to my grand mom, mom and aunts. And so it was.
This is a new-old saree that was supposed to have been worn for the first time on a special day. I guess the day I managed to answer such an important question – one that flooded me with beautiful memories – does qualify as special. So, here it is. My parrot-printed mul. And the name of the my one-and-only? Kanishka.