#Sareedate 01, Bengaluru, 28th March 2015

It felt so wonderful to be in a room full of family and friends.

In the last months, through the #100sareepact we have met wonderful people, learnt new things, experienced joy, kindness, humour and formed new bonds. It seems really that the world is our family.
Our first #sareedate in Bangalore was special.  We wanted to celebrate by thanking everyone with us on this journey – thank you for sharing your stories and the beautiful images. Thank you for your memories and hopes, your extraordinary inclusiveness and for making #100sareepact your own.
We also wanted to share the launch of the blog at the first #sareedate. Our tribute to the amazing stories that will be archived here. Your platform for legacy building. To ring in the website we shared and listened to amazing stories that emerged from different sarees :
Vipra Muddaya spoke of her grandmothers legacy. Her own childhood spent discovering sarees in a special cupboard that she folded and unfolded. So much so that she can now do this blindfolded! She wore a beautiful Kanjeevaram saree that had been cut up by her mother to make bell bottoms but still stood the test of time 150 years later.
Shilpa Colluru narrated the story of courage. Of a woman who would have loved to come show us the perfect drape. Her mother. Shilpa has inherited all of her Amma’s sarees and wears them with pride and élan pinned together with a safety pin that used to be her own diaper pin !
Sudha Shekar kept us in splits with her repartee which ranged from tidbits of information on her sister-n-law and her agony at floral prints on sarees. She spoke of her beautiful geometric handlooms and how much joy they brought her. And brought the conversation full circle by telling us how her mother and sister in law are working at their new relationship.
Aparna Ponappa told us how she embraced the Coorg saree style and the respect she commanded as a result of wearing it. She wore her mother’s wedding saree and told the story of the Rani Pink saree bought by her mother for the ceremony. A woman of a faith that could have worn a white gown to get married in, chose a Rani Pink saree instead. Aparna went on to speak about her mother fondly remembering how she was accepted into the new home with love.
Sensitive and romantic Nagarjuna brought tears to our eyes when he spoke of the legacy of the saree in the lives of his daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. He spoke of his dreams for his daughters future  and prevailed upon us the importance of choice in a person’s life. This was his wish for his child.
As we enjoyed a session on draping the saree in different styles we exchanged stories among ourselves. We were privy to Arthi Anand’s “Sputnik” saree story . Manjari Mukherjee sportingly inverted her Nivi saree and turned it into the Coorg drape. Monika Manchanda told us she was wearing a saree that was “almost” her engagement saree until her mother shocked that she hadn’t chosen a silk saree  (because she was marrying a south Indian) got her one. Renu Ram proudly explained the saree she was wearing was her husband’s first gift, to her, after marriage. Alex told us how empowered he feels dressed as a woman, Mayamma, when he takes centerstage to sing at concerts. And the hours of practice he has put in to learn to drape the saree just right.
The champagne and stories flowed. As did conversations about cherished memories, shared rituals, common threads in the stories that tie us together through the medium of the saree.
Cheers to that !
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