30

Nov2015

A Sareeal Bond, story of the drape

Photo credit; www.paperboatwordpress.com

She is wooing a generation that is so non-saree loving. She is hell bent on casting a spell on them. The saree in a new avatar. No longer demure, she is sassy and confident. On women who are juggernauts. Of confident souls.Of redefining their identity and being at ease in a cultural context.Throwing away some myths out of the window.   There is something magical happening in those nine yards of  preciousness. You want to hold on to them for dear life and nurture them.

Kanchipuram in all it's glory Credit www.indiamart.com

Like they are flesh and bone.Like they have a soul.And a heart. Saris have been known to be passed on from one generation to the next. Like heirlooms. Like traditions. Like rituals. Like reverence. Like tenets. Like a hushed whisper. Oh yes, in every fold, in every drape, and in every crease lurks a story that is interwoven with every minutest of the stitches.

Saris have survived the passage of time and have been reinvented by the master designers to suit varied palates in every generation. The lover of sari can come from any walk of life and be a homemaker, a techy, a scientist, an entrepreneur, an artiste, or someone who works in the field are all united in their love for this unique unstitched fabric.

 A little trivia about the saree

There are more than a whopping eighty established styles to drape a sari. The most commonly known are ofcourse the thepallu in the front Gujarati style, the traditional Bengali style, the tucked and nipped Coorgi style, and the tried and tested “normal” way of wearing it. And you thought you knew all about them.

Weaving techniques and materials vary quite a bit depending on the region and the kind of saree. Support the weavers’ from losing their livelihood. Support hand-crafted versus machine churned.

Traditional woven sarees sport motifs that tell a story of their own. These unique motifs lend a certain identity to each saree. This proves my point that every sari has a story to be told.

Most woven sarees carry a story by way of motifs. Typically these motifs represent the unique characteristic of the weave that sets it apart. While a Baluchari is characterized by stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Benarasi would have Mughal inspired  floral and foliate motifs. The famous Kanchipuram saree (known to the world as Kanjivaram)  would have floral motifs strewn all over, and my favorite Kalamkari sari would have motifs ranging  from flowers, peacocks and paisleys to characters from the Hindu epics, while the Patola motifs consist  of stylized flowers, foliage, creepers, birds, animals, human figures and geometrical designs. One thing is for sure, there is no dearth of creativity surrounding this magical garb worn by women from all walks of life.

Sareeal bonding, author with her friends

And the sari is not merely a sari. It is a way of passing the baton from one generation to the other. And changing its course with every  generation that embraces her. It symbolizes much more than merely an object to be possessed. In many ways, it is a symbol of our longing for the mysterious and the unattainable. The era of bygone.

And entwined with the sari is the livelihood of the weavers. The right to lead their lives with dignity. The nurturing of our ancient heritage and making a solemn promise to never let go. And supporting the burgeoning cottage industry at the grassroots in this era of globalization.

To all the Sari-estas, hoot hoot!  Look what I found on Instagram!  The sari has a scientific angle too apart from giving us the adrenaline rush at the sight of its lush gloriousness.

So without much ado, jump in the bandwagon. Move your skirts and pants! Time to don a new uniform. Strut around proudly in them. To meetings, to parent teachers conferences, to parties, to pubs, to sightseeing…wear it and wear it as often as you can! And you will see the raconteur in you peeping from every crease and beckon you to spill the beans.

  • Written byKakoli Roy

    Content Writer, Technical Writer, Entrepreneur, Designer, Travel junkie, Avid reader, Innovator, and Dreamer ! My work has perks because I meet a wide array of people who make my life multi dimensional. And unshackle me in many ways! Writing is my calling and I live and breathe to write.

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