My love for sarees is never ending. As a kid, I have always wanted to grow up. I have also been a thinker, from the time I remember. At times, I used to think how it would be to be a grown up. I would see many akkas and annas (sisters and brothers) around me carrying huge bags and some carrying huge books to schools/colleges. I was always in a hurry to grow up and have the feel of a grown up. Now if you are wondering how it is related to my love for sarees, here is how – In my quest to grow up, I had always dressed like how other real grown-ups dressed up. I hardly remember wearing frilly frocks or skirts or pants. Even when I was 6yrs old, I had asked pestered my parents only for a chudidhar! My parents would try their best to make me look at the different clothes available in the store, but my eyes would only look for a chudidhar – that too with a duppatta. The thought of having the duppatta swinging in the air was so interesting then, only now it’s very irritating 😀
Chudidhars didn’t suffice me. It had to be something more I thought. I had always admired my mom, for how she used to manage all the house-hold work staying in a joint family along with her in-laws and then, how she made us sit next to her and teach us our subjects patiently. I always thought I should be like mom when I grew up. This thought only kept re-surfacing every now and then. One fine day, I thought enough is enough and decided to lay my hands on a beautiful blue silk saree that mom had preserved carefully in the cupboard. It was her special saree, that dad had gifted to her when she was carrying me. Sneaking into the bedroom taking advantage of the time when she was busy preparing something in the kitchen, I stood infront of her – with that beautiful saree draped perfectly. She was stunned for a minute – staring at me speechlessly. She hugged me the next minute and then coaxed me to remove the saree. I paid no heed to her and continued to show it off to my neighbours and friends. She assumed I would change it, when I am finally done with my show-off. I was too adamant that I wouldn’t change. There was one final person I had to show what I had done – Dad! Unfortunately, dad was working on night shift for that week and I wasn’t ready to change my clothes before showing it to him. I was too afraid mom wouldn’t let me touch that saree again, if I miss this golden opportunity. I went to bed wearing that saree and hardly slept that night. I kept anticipating for the sound of the calling bell that dad would press exactly at 4.15 in the morning. When he did, I was wide awake still lying down. He entered the room, had a good look at me and got me confused for some other person. Thanks to the tall-genes I inherited from dad, I was around 4’7” even at the age of 10. He rubbed his eyes twice and put on his specs to have a clear look. I stood up in a jump and ran to him grinning widely while mom explained him all my drama. He still couldn’t believe his eyes. He hugged me tightly and kissed me on my plump cheeks 🙂 Now that’s what I was waiting for!
I have always been fascinated by the number of colors, varieties and designs of sarees available. Many a times, I had looted some of my favorite sarees from mom’s collection to dress up like her – Saturday afternoons were filled with my saree draping drama. There are number of instances, dad has mistaken me for a guest at home. We would then have a good laugh over how dad mistook me for someone else 🙂 As I grew up, I could see a pain in his eyes – the one that I never understood, as he would see me in a saree. He would simply say – “Papa… you are reminding of my responsibilities”. I couldn’t understand enough then. But as I grew older, I knew what he meant- I would soon be of the marriageable age and that he should find a suitable groom for me. It also means, I would go away from him. And then I stopped playing around with sarees! But my love for sarees is never ending.