August 9, 2015

Annual Sari Tradition

The As a child I grew up in a joint family set up and I saw my mother and aunts going about their daily chores elegantly in their six yards. As the time progressed they adapted to more convenient attires and the Saris got packed in their Godrej almirahs stored in the store rooms along with other family keepsakes. Taking out saris for family functions mostly. 

Sometimes few of these Saris got a makeover, stitched into tailor made forgettable suits. The new generation wore mostly westerns with easier suits or dresses for formal wear. There were no takers for the vintage heirlooms collecting colour and age in the folds of time.

When I got married I got my share of new saris from both my mother and mother in law. Selectively I bought a few expensive fashionable ones for my own wedding whoch would be also ideal for attending big family functions or celebrations later. Having worn once or twice they too lie in my storage cupboard waiting for a special occasion to come. Sadly this has been the sorry state of Sari for mostly all the woman I know from mine or earlier generations.

It's established that our generation does not follow tradition but creating our own. I for one, created a tradition of wearing the Sari with all saula shingaar to celebrate all the symbolic references if a Sari - the womanhood, marriage, traditions and Indianness. This day is the day of Karvachauth. 

Over the years I have salvaged old Saris from my mother and aunts to wear them on this special day. An old sari, matched with another vintage blouse, mixed with accessories creates the Parineeta look. Mehandi being essential, a simple round bindi, few traditional silver or glass bangles, the mangalsutra, vintage jhumkas and some Kajal and lipstick is all you need to create the look that begets the Sari. 

Each of these Saris have so many memories to it - images of a childhood, keepsakes from a special event, smell of my mother and a reflection of her, as the woman I have come to be. 

The four different Saris above are a tribute to my mother and mother in law for preserving and passing on the most gorgeous pieces of womanhood and heirlooms to me. 

Top left is Chamandi put silk in bright Pink floral print. This Sari is almost 35 years old, when me mother was a new bride and is still in perfect condition. 

Top right is Madras check multicolour retro style Sari. This is a gift from my Ma in law with broad colored check blocks. It fits both modern as well as ethnic occasions. A must have! 

Bottom left is the White and red Tatt from Calcutta. The beauty of Bengali saris and that too in the traditional red and white is unbeatable. Coupled with a sleeveless blouse, white shell and red bengals, large round red bindi and heavy ruby Jhumkas, it gives me 100% authentic Bengali look. Probably just the way my mother looked in it. 

Bottom right is a Chanderi cotton with beautiful thread work. Magenta is a color only women can identify, and this sari is as magenta as it gets. One of the most graceful dress I have ever worn, this sari adores and adorns the woman in me beautifully. 

Another of my fav is this blue chiffon Sari with golden Mukaish work. About 28 years old is a handover from my mother. She had bought it for her brothers wedding. It's delicate and breezy, perfect for both day and night wear. Well you must be wondering why the pose. The finger on cheek with a side look was the most popular pose during the 1960s-70s. Every woman or girl had a studio picture in this pose. It's 100% vintage just like the Saris! 

Thanks to this initiative of #100saripact that I read today in Times life, and it felt good to know that there are other woman also who feel the nostalgic urge to wear the ever graceful Sari. They are recording the past and redefining the future of Sari just by sharing their passion. Keepsakewala applauds and supports this initiative completely, after all nostalgia is the soul and heart of this blog! 

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