Rekindling my love for Sarees!
Posted on By Krishnapriya Sathambakam
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As a young girl who was too young to drape sarees, marveled at my mom’s assemblage of dazzling Kanjivaram silks, cotton, Banarasi and embroidered sarees and yearned I could dress to the nines in a saree. I too remember reveling the morning saree-draping routine, where my grandma would summon me or my cousin to hold the pleats as she gathered them one by one, after which she would run through them with her fingers, and tuck them in :).
Today, Sarees aren’t a part of everyone’s usual wardrobe - solely special occasions mandate it. Despite, the charm of Sarees has continued to withstand the tests of time.
From childhood playact draping sarees to cherishing nostalgic moments, my friend Lavanya shares her Saree story!
What does a Saree mean to me?
With the festive season in full swing, I was browsing through the gorgeous collections at The Weaves Art, and mesmerized by the colours and textures displayed in the Sarees Collection, my mind wandered away to my fond memories of this elegant garment, which supposedly got the name “saree” from the word “sattika” which means women’s attire! Incidentally, Sattika is said to have been a three-piece garment with the Antriya for the lower part of the body, the Uttariya, which was a piece of cloth worn over the shoulder or the head and the Stanapatta which covered the chest.
My First Saree:
My very first saree must have been, of course, the thooli in which I must have been ceremoniously laid down as a baby. This one, in all probability, was my mother’s muhurtha pudavai - a red checked saree of pure silk, soft and comfortable after many washes. My mother tells me that I seemed pretty comfortable in the warm hug of the thooli and fell asleep in seconds. But which baby wouldn’t?!
When I was a kid, the ease of draping of the seamless saree rendered itself ideal as the rich attire of a princess complete with the flowing headdress, the starched apparel of a schoolteacher with stiff pleats and more often than not, the demure costume of a housewife cooking or taking care of babies (well, we had an abundance of toy kitchen utensils and dolls!). Oh, how many afternoons I remember playacting with my sisters, all of us dressed haphazardly in our mother’s sarees, playing multiple roles differentiated solely by the changing style of the drapes!
Silk Costume & Bharatanatyam:
I think I began to truly appreciate the gorgeous silks and the bright, effervescent colour combinations only during my Bharathanatyam recitals. The navy blue & orange, the yellow & red and the green & pink combinations made the dancers pop on stage and played an important role in drawing every eye to the performance, while the pure silks kept us cool and moved so gracefully with all our adavus!
Me, My first pinned up Saree & Memories:
I got my first very own silk saree to wear during my school farewell - a stylish embroidered affair which I have safely preserved to this day, especially because it made me feel so grown-up and sophisticated, even though I was barely 17. My college celebrations involved some fabulous Tussar and printed silk sarees - buoyant and cheerful and which brought smiles to everyone’s faces. The exquisite Pochampally, a lemon yellow with magenta elephants scattered on it - stands out in my memory along with the proud faces of my college friends when we received our degrees. Imagine my surprise when I found this Hemaragini - Cyber yellow Pochampally Silk Saree!
Then came marriage with the host of rituals and carefully selected sarees for each mini celebration - a rich purple and gold for the Oonjal, a light-weight Kanchipuram for the Nalangu and a traditional deep red pure silk (like the ones in the Weaves art's Vivaha Saree Collection) for the Muhurtham. The weavers say that the name of the bride is woven into the Muhurtha Pattu that finally reaches her hands, and for some reason that made me smile. I guess it reminded me of the names of the bride and groom worked into the intricate mehendi design on my hands. :)
Browsing through the Kattam sarees, I came across the delightful Palum Pazhamum saree - the yellows and reds and greens taking me back to my “Maru Pudavai” the saree I entered my in-laws place in for the very first time.
And then came my Seemandham. Being heavily pregnant is not an easy state to wear a silk saree in, and yet the spirit of the celebration demanded it! The borderless soft silk sarees like I see here in Mugdha Collection are a boon to people who cannot wear heavy ones comfortably, believe me, and a traditional bottle green one finally saved my day!
With my son in high school, I can finally focus on a serious career and the vibrant and comfortable Kanchi silk cottons have become a vital part of my wardrobe. Luxurious and fashionable, the tasteful and ornate Kanchi Silk Cotton sarees are the ones I look forward to stocking my workwear shelves with.
I haven’t even mentioned the sarees that were special gifts from friends and relatives on so many occasions and which bring up sweet emotions every time I lay eyes on them! But there is no end to my memories with my sarees and each one I own has a very special place in my heart. I bet everyone who reads this will have their own stories to tell about their own special sarees. Why don’t you?