Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The sari checklist

Sari brings out the ethnicity and beauty of Indian women, say men for obvious reasons, and others, who haven’t worn one yet. It really ‘brings out’ certain things which is basically why everyone vouches for it ;-)

 I look up at my Mom in utmost reverence when she says very casually that she wore a sari when she was pregnant, and traveled in buses.  Please note, that the stairs in buses those days started at the same level as one’s stomach, and it requires a certain level of acrobatic skills to get into one. Working women those times were trained to overcome such physical challenges.

Then came my generation when saree was worn just once a year, on Onam day. And it was such a pain in the a**. Now I am not the leather jacket wearing Marlboro smoking woman, just a normal girl brought up in a conservative family, and still, I feel that way about a saree. Because when I go for a meet up with my friends I quickly slide into a jeans and a top both of which have never been near an iron box. And when I go to church, I slip into a kurti or a churidhar, which has been under the iron box because hey, we go on Sundays and there is plenty of time!

If you are a saree fan and you wear it regularly, you may not agree with me and even say ‘Look at Vidya Balan!’. Because for Vidya Balan, there are people to choose a saree, stitch the blouse, and wrap it around and style her as well. All she has to do is to get on an air conditioned luxury car, go and sit on some premium leather sofa, smile at media and then go home. If I were her, I would wear a saree on every single day.

Situation: If you are a new age woman you may not have as many sarees as other dresses. So based on the situation you need to choose one. One, which was not worn before at the location in question. One which was not seen before by people who will be attending it. For example, you have a beautiful black saree which you saved for such an occasion, and you get to know that some oldies from Kerala are also attending the same, that's when emergency strikes. Elderly people will thrash and curse you for turning up in black on a good occasion. Depends on how tough your skin is. 



Blouse: Today you wear a blouse, tomorrow morning it may not fit you. Today cap sleeves are in; tomorrow it is a three fourth sleeve. Today you wear a low cut blouse; tomorrow you get allergy pimples on your back. Today it is in the same color as the border, tomorrow it changed due to sweat/sun/fungus. Today it looked good, tomorrow it looks like a wash cloth. Today the beads were in place, tomorrow you may have to go search in that auditorium. You get the gist.



Climate: Hot summer wedding. India. Any saree. Somewhere in the choli ke peeche or in the chunari ke neeche you may feel like you are about to explode.

Tummy consciousness: There are women who are confident in a saree. They walk around like nobody is looking at them.  I envy such women. Others like me, who are self-conscious by birth, don’t pull off a saree too well. In an attempt to hide the tummy with a pallu, and the back, and checking the pleats, or the 54623789 safety pins, we may have missed out on the main event. And if there are stretch marks, God help you!

Accessories: This is as inevitable as the blouse itself. If you regularly shop for accessories, you may find one which can go with any saree.  For others, there are three options available. Beg, borrow or steal.

Footwear: The saree often calls for a pointed heel to go with it. A nice pair of strapped heels. It adds a certain tune to the way you walk. It changes your look and lifts you to a completely different level. You need to master the art of walking on those, otherwise adjusting the blouse, safety pin, hair, hiding the tummy etc can keep you busy. Also if you fall or twist your ankle, you will be back to where you were, before being elevated to another level ;-) . Faltering and limping on high heels may send out an embarrassing message to onlookers.

Posing: This is again applicable only to the tummy conscious. Saree day calls for posing sessions, during which you need to pose by turning left, so that the fully covered right side faces the camera. If this pose makes you look physically challenged then you need to go with the flow and threaten your friends to not post that picture on Facebook.

As a part of Diwali celebrations, we are wearing saree coming Sunday, so I wrote this post for myself, like a checklist.  If any of my friends are reading this, please do not hug me when I am wearing a saree. I will not be responsible for any safety pins that may come between us.

Image courtesy: Google.

22 comments:

  1. Hehehe I so get this :)

    I'm very comfortable in every saree apart from a silk saree. Anything that flows, I can drape it around me like a dream. The stiff silk ones, scratch the shit outa me and has me sweating buckets in any weather.

    I'm lucky when it comes to blouses as my mom is a fashion designer and she does them for me. Accessories I wear none and I like it that way. Heels is a no no for me as my husband is a lil shorter than me. Although I love to wear heels on a saree.

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    1. So you are the confident one who can carry yourself in a saree in poise :-) I really cant ! Whether it is silk or flowy! Yes heels is a no-no for me too, for the same reasons you mentioned ;-)

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    2. Glad I'm not the only one with a short husband :P

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    3. We are almost the same height...He is an inch taller than me..In any case I cant wear heels.

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  2. Hahaha I can so relate to the blouse issues :P One year the blouse is perfect, another event it looks like it shrunk to half :P I wish to one day master the art of wearing a sari in a jiffy and run around :P

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    1. Ya I know...At functions when we are having fun, the blouse is probably shrinking itself silently ! However I do not wish to master that art...I just wish to stay decent enough to look good in an XXL kurti by the time I am 60 !

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  3. Hhahaha...well I relate to the wearing black saree to a good occasion.Damn these superstitions!!!!
    I have no saree f my own, not old enuff for it actually. I have one cousins wedding this december and I am asked to wear a saree...MUST LOOSE THAT TUMMY FAT NOW!!!!

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    1. Haha I beat you in that ! I am married five years and I have five sarees all of which were bought during the time of my marriage ! :D :D Yes sarees can set goals for you. Like losing tummy fat. :-( Go wear an anarkali girl !

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  4. I can totally relate to this one! JC says when I wear one, there are pleats at the back too! :| Before going for functions I usually keep a buffer time of two hours to wear one, in which case, it comes out well in like 5 minutes. But when I don't have time to wear one, it takes like forever. And I always have a salwar ironed and kept ready as a back-up for an emergency where I grow frustrated with trying to wear a sari and give up.

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    1. haha yes we need lots of time and patience to drape a sari... and after it is all exhausted, looking good in it is a totally different thing ! The effort involved and the outcome need not be proportional...the trouble is, when it is inversely proportional :-/

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  5. ഒരു ഗസ്റ്റ് ലെക്ചറര്‍ വന്നപ്പോ ഒരുത്തന്‍ .. ഡാ അവര് ഐ സീ ആരിക്കും പഠിപ്പിക്കുന്നെ ...
    അത്രേം പിന്‍ ഉണ്ടല്ല്ലോ സാരിയില്‍ ന്നു ..

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    1. I know ! A saree definitely invites a lot of attention, especially attention to detail !

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  6. Hahahaaahahaaa......hilarious....totally with u on this, girl. If I have to list where all I agreed with u & where all I laughed my heart out...then I have to practically copy-paste the whole post out;-D.

    Self-consicious by birth huh......let's form a club I say;-P

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    1. Haha... Well that club will have all the weird people then...the ones who get together but are lost in themselves rather than talk to each other ! It will be so much fun :D

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  7. Oh you get to celebrate Diwali in Muscat? Bahrain is sooooo useless!!
    And listen, stop being self conscious. Most people out there are in the same boat. Wear that saree with confidence and trust me, no matter how lousy you are looking with the way you drape it (coz I just lapeto it mostly!!), you will be applauded for the confidence!! :D

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    1. We have a holiday as well..! And unfortunately I am not confident. I can't even pretend. I am completely useless. :-(

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  8. Ohh..i so relate to this one!!!
    Today, I was required to wear to saree to office ( ethnic day ,,baahh!!)..i spent 1/2 an hour trying to drape one, finally gave up and slipped into an ah-ever-so-comfy kurti..

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  9. yeeesh.. when i read all that in detail, im sooo glad im a dude.. Shirt, pant, done!

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  10. I nominated you for the liebster award

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