A Saree Story #SundayBlogShare

The other day I posted a photo on Instagram

Yes, that is me, all glammed up for an engagement party we attended.

Aside from all the lovely compliments I received, someone mentioned the colour of the saree, and how lovely it was.

I replied that the story of my saree could be a post of it’s own so here goes!

Way back, before the days of me planning to get married, my family went to Kenya to to attend a wedding. It was the wedding of my cousin, my mum’s niece. My dear maternal grandma was still around at that time, and she decided to open one of her trunks (a special occasion indeed! Nanima’s Sandookh(trunk) contained some beautiful treasures!) to gift her granddaughters.

She pulled out some plain chiffon lengths. They were 6-metre sarees, of a quality that is not seen nowadays. One was black, and one was a lurid orangey/peachy colour, Kind of like this . Add a bit more fluorescent orange to it and you get the picture/colour?

Image result for fluorescent peach

Well, my other cousin chose the black one, and left me sitting with my sweet smiling grandma, and a fluorescent saree. I was never one to complain, or to get my way, if it meant conflict, so I gratefully took the fabric, hugging my darling Nanima too.

Little did I know that I wouldn’t see her after this trip, as she passed away. I handed the saree to my mum for safe-keeping. Even she giggled a little, looking at the colour!

Fast forward to my wedding planning, and shopping in India. I had my wedding outfit planned in my head, and we had spoken to a tailor about that. WE had bought two lengths of good quality chiffon in black and a pale gold, which I was getting embroidered so I had some personalised sarees. After choosing the patterns, my mum flung something else on the shop counter.

Now to set the scene, shopping in India is a whole other world. If you are from a rich family, or from abroad, it is pretty cool. Basically you get treated like royalty! There will be outfits, fabrics and accessories that materialise from God knows where, if they know you are going to buy! The boys in the shop are experts at tying sarees, and becoming live mannequins too, so if you want to know what something would look like, you need no mirror, just your eyes!

You have sofas to sit and lounge on, cold drinks are brought for you at your request, or a cup of chai. and if you were spending enough, and coming in regularly enough, there was food too! It is wonderful to come into an air-conditioned shop after the heat of the Delhi summer, and to have refreshments waiting, bliss! ( The family at this shop were lovely! They even invited us to their home for dinner, and took us out! Yes, we did spend quite a bit with them!)

Anyway, at this particular shop, where we spent the most of our time, and money, mum decided to bust out the orange saree! I had almost forgotten about it, but the colour brought the memory of who gave it to me flooding back. I looked at mum and felt a little teary. I wanted to have something like this from Nanima to remember her, but for the life of me, I wasn’t going to wear that colour!

Mum asked the man what he could do with this, expecting him to show us some interesting designs of embroidery that would make it more acceptable to me to wear. He looked at it, looked at us and said “Good quality chiffon. Why don’t you dye it?”

Dye it!

What a great idea! Why hadn’t we even thought of that? That meant I could still have the fabric from my Nanima, and I would have a saree that I could wear happily too!

My Hubby Dearest, hubby-to-be at the time, had one request, when I had asked him if there was anything I should buy, clothes wise. A dark blue saree.

So the choice of colour was made! We then decided on a same colour flora sequinned pattern which was hand sewn and the saree above was created!

It has been 16 year since that was made for me, and I have worn it on and off. Each time I do, I remember Nanima.

When my mum saw the photo she said ” That saree was nice, which one is that? When did you get it?” I answered her in disbelief! “Mother, can you not remember? Nani’s orange monstrosity?? We dyed it, didn’t we?”

Then it came back to her. She was happy to see me still wearing it too. (Glad it still fit me, to be honest!)

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So there you have it, the story of my Nani’s saree!

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