I remember the way I jumped around when I learned how to drape a saree by myself. All my childhood I’ve seen my mother draping beautiful sarees. Accessorizing herself with big earrings, a neck-piece, and a bindi. Honestly, she looked flawless, just like any other girl, I wanted to replicate that, but I never could. I never understood which part goes where, where does the tail gets tucked in. Saree has always been my favorite outfit to wear, and it’s mainly because of the feeling of home when I wear a saree.
I remember the first time I wore a saree was for my school’s annual day program. We did not have any saree that’d fit me perfectly, it was two days before the function. We went around searching for sarees in shops. Shopping for sarees now is the easiest, we can literally shop online. But back then, going to shops, touching the material, getting to know the history behind the sarees from mom, was the best feeling ever.
I got selected to be a part of the school choir, the uniform was an orange saree, accessorizing it with flower jewelry and heels. I asked my mom to help me with it, that was the first time I felt like a woman. Though I was just 8 back then, I felt grown-up, it gave me the feeling which no outfit ever did in my life. That was the day I fell in love with sarees.
Day by day I was looking for more excuses to wear a saree after that. My mom is very protective of her sarees. She knew that if I wore any of them, I would end up damaging them, cause I’m so clumsy. But she still gave me her sarees whenever I wanted them.
Whenever I remind myself of these incidents my heart smiles a little bit. I feel like someone gave me a big tight hug but from the inside. Wearing mom’s yellow saree for Saraswati puja, to hang out with the group and later meet that special one, became a taboo for me.
Though the first time I wore a saree was back in school, barely when I was in 2nd grade. That was for the Independence Day Program. I still remember tripping numerous times while wearing the saree, I was small and the saree was uncontrollable. But that still didn’t make me hate saree, rather I started loving it even more. I remember the most painful memory was when I wore a saree for my farewell. The class 12 students were requested to wear red saree by the juniors, just so that we’d look like the main attraction there. But, the amount of tears and memories that particular red saree holds is un-expressible.
With all of this I started learning about the history of sarees, there are particular styles of wearing saree all over India. In the city where I belong, here the main type of saree worn by women is called, “tant” and also “Garad” which basically is a white saree with red borders to it. The Garad saree is mainly worn for programs, like Durga Puja, Weddings, Traditional events, etc.
In bengal the style of saree worn is without any pleats. The cloth is wrapped around in an anti-clockwise direction around the waist. Then a second time from the opposite direction. The loose end of the saree goes around the body then over the shoulder. This style of wearing saree was invented by Jnanadanandini Devi, the wife of Rabindranath Tagore.
Wearing a saree is not just like a normal clothing pattern, it really is an art. If one cannot wear a saree the way it should be worn, then the final outcome is not as graceful as it should be. Every girl’s dream is to grow up and become like her mom, just like that, when a girl receives her mom’s saree as an heirloom it turns out to be the most precious gift for a girl.