Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Saree Days

Today, I am wearing a black cotton saree with a sandalwood border. I was supposed to have worn an orange and purple silk one. But when Ma unfolded it in the morning, she realized that it was too small. I didn’t know one could shortchange a couple of yards of a saree.

I don’t like wearing cotton sarees too much. They bloat around me and feel so crisp and edgy – like I’m living in the middle of a paper dosa. Chiffon is my favorite. Or Crepe or georgette. Silk looks nice, but it’s too formal for me. No, I think I would always go for chiffon. It drapes easily and I find it much easier to manage than a cotton float.

My blouse is pretty sexy, but it is a fact I have taken care to camouflage for office.

If I could manage my sarees better, I would like to not have it as occasion wear. It is not all that unmanageable. I think the last time I had trouble with an outfit was when I worn dungarees to someone’s house for lunch. Going to the loo was pretty complicated.

By now, I think I have traveled in buses and trains wearing all kinds of clothes – billowy dresses, tight skirts, long, trailing ghagras, snug jeans, etc. etc. So, a sari seems pretty tame in comparison. However, I don’t look very nice in a sari. I look better in other garments. In my opinion, it’s balderdash when people say all women look beautiful in a sari. Well, some don’t and I am one of them. My husband used to say I looked beautiful in a sari but would actively encourage the idea to change into something more ‘me’ – which basically is t-shirt and shorts.

In fact, I think everyone looks great in t-shirt and shorts. Of course, length and fit would differ from person to person, but there is always a type of t-shirt/ shorts combo that suits everyone.

I don’t like salwaar kameezes too much. Unless the kurta is tight-fitted and the salwar is the colorful, loose patiala type. But chooridars are complicated, and they rarely suit anyone who isn’t tall, so that’s out as well.

I have a black and fuschia set that is very pretty. The kurta is short, barely hip-length, and really snug with cap sleeves. There’s a slim line of fuschia sequins at the hem of the sleeves and the patiala is a vibrant floral print. I love wearing that.

In fact, I like well-fitted clothes and fabrics that hug the body. Now that I travel in trains and crowded buses or walk through densely peopled streets, I don’t want to take anymore space than I absolutely require. It is strange, this little shift in my head. But I suppose I am much more keen on compactness now.

Handloom is awesome. I have a beige hand-painted handloom sari that has a Japanese haiku interpretation with the Om symbol. It would look really sensuous draped around a lithe tall body – in fact, I think it can be draped around either – man or woman. The Universe and its wisdom, after all, are androgynous.

Lately I have begun to love clothes. I love being around them looking at them, feeling them, studying them the way one drinks in a poem so as not to let it slip past. And I think I have some fabulous pieces. Most of them were bought or made at the time of marriage – mine, my cousins, my friend’s…or a Durga puja - but a substantial lot of them I have sought and found amidst cool little crevices in a variety of shops.

Especially my 300-500 bux jeans and my bargain-price cocktail dresses.

It would be interesting to catalog them and weave them into my magical world of seek and you shall find.

1 comment:

Jayman said...

Hey Mukta,
Nice posts. Love reading them and I am a big fan of your writing style. Reminds me of Dave Barry.
You did say that most women look good in shorts and a T-Shirt. I am not so sure about that. I have an aunty who looks quite personable in her saree but when she heads off to the US to see her kids, she insists on wearing boxer shorts and a T-Shirt. When she gets back, she insists that everyone see those pictures. She reminds me of your unlit Diwali wick.