|(Struggling with the pleats, photo credits- SONAL SONAL SONAL.|
When I was a kid, I loved watching Ma while she wore her saree. She'd struggle with the pallu and rush off to straighten her pleats, then dad would hold the pleats near the edge, and they'd both struggle to sort the whole attire out. It was the most chaotic part of the morning- Ma wearing a saree. Over the years, though, she's perfected it. Yet, the occasional "Kittu, would you come here and help me with the pleats?" rings out some mornings when I'm asleep in the other room, and this request always somehow, permeates my slumber and gets etched in my memory. But when she emerges out of the room wearing it perfectly, it always makes me smile.
I remember when I was 3 or 4 years old, I'd hang onto her pallu and follow her around everywhere she went. If I'd just finished crying, instead of a tissue, her pallu would be the first thing I'd wipe my face with. And in utmost secrecy, I'd wipe my nose on it too which would piss her off to no extent. If there were strangers around, I'd hide within the pallu, shy in their presence.I'd tug at it angrily whenever Ma would turn a deaf ear to whatever I wanted. And when the time came to fold the saree, I remember my mother and my sister standing at two corners of the room with the saree between them, folding it and stretching it alternatively and finally- it'd be back in the almirah.
Returning to the present- the day before yesterday was my farewell party- when I wore a saree for the second time. While fumbling with my pallu, I found all these tiny bits and pieces floating back into my head from lost avenues. Ma..dad... Nil's story...
Though I hope I never have anyone hanging on to my pallu like that, or wiping their noses on it because I'm pretty sure they'd lose their limbs if they did so (God bless my mother for her tolerance).
Yet, I'm glad to be an Indian woman and the fact, that I get to wear it. Because if you ask me, saree is the sexiest attire out there. For me, it's a symbol of my childhood, independence, creativity, elegance, love, confidence and most importantly- my Ma's classiness.
Happy Saree to you too :)