Monday, May 30, 2011

Pyari sari

Pyari Saree

To me one of the biggest regret of not being a woman is that I will not get to wear a sari, if I may add, publicly. But I have male friends who do not agree: why should women have all the fun?!

The origin of sari is anybody’s guess. And my guess is that wrap around cloth grew longer and longer to become a elongated rectangular cloth, six to nine meters in length, wrapped in a way that allows freedom of movement of limbs, presumably to perform labour-intensive chores that women in those times indulged in, at the same time ensure standards of modesty, which, perhaps since the time cloth was invented, is about covering the body.

Sari is cool, ancient yet contemporary, and scientific. Getting into it or rather wrapping it around can be cumbersome. To tyro carrying a sari is difficult. I know some who feign wearing sari like rope walking. I agree: to hold 6 to 9 meters of cloth wrapped around torso for hours together requires some skill, but it comes easily with practice. It becomes a second nature with time, ask my mother, who only wears sari, 24x7, for last 40 years.

Sari suits, especially over-weight, Indian women. I say this at the risk of stereotyping. Sari wraps body like a holdall. It can also be revealing. It is extremely graceful, suits all age groups and body types. Sari is a clothing that has a moderating effect: fat women look slimmer while slim women fuller.

Since the display of navel is back in fashion, but on a much flatter and toned abdomen, looks like rising sun on a clean sky, sari is in too.

Last week, I had a special visitor: Anicia. She is my flatmate Arthur's childhood friend from California, a fantastic person to know. She wore a sari as a part of culture synthesis programme that we inadvertently carried out one morning.

Anicia is tall and slim, her black long tress, her Indian features (debatable) made her look extremely graceful in a sari. She carried sari very well too, with a twinkle in her eyes. She in that sense is a rare exception to my general rule: sari suits Indian women.

Anicia, in sari, looked to me like a rebel princes of 1950s from a royal family of Rajasthan who insists on riding a horse or driving a Rolls Royce in a local, congested, colourful market-street. She had uncanny resemblances to a prominent member of a leading political-dynasty of India.

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