Sunday, April 5, 2015

The saree chronicles

Back to summer with the most beautiful garment of our country. Sadly ignored by young Indian women rushing to Zara or losing themselves in the masculinity of jeans, Saree for me is THE marker of myself. My love of being Indian, wearing colourful fabric from our states, with lovely colour contrasts and patterns, cotton that breathes and sings on the body, that lets air caress the skin and rejoice in the feminity of the body: the saree is poetic about all these and more.

In Odissi I learnt to feel the joy of the Saree when it billows around my curves and expresses the feminity of my body. With the daily poems that my sarees and me create, sometimes we experience love, joy, myriad moods, sculptural corners of being and the care with which someone made this gift for me. To think that a craftsman-artiste in Orissa or Bengal sat and wove these patterns on his handloom, never knowing the joy he creates for me. New to the love-poems these weavers have sent to me is the kachcha-yellow dhoti meant for pandits in Varanasi. I fell in love with it as it sang songs to me with its yellowness and multiple colours on the border. As these borders travel across the length and breadth of me, I know that whether on a pandit, dancer or any woman, the Saree is sheer poetry, spiritual and sacred as the sculptures of an ancient temple.

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