B/L: Gitanjali Sehgal.
The memories of my mom in her beautiful sarees with her pallu fluttering away in the wind are the first that come to my mind when I sit down to begin writing this piece. After so many years even today I feel she looks very royal and regal in her pretty sarees.
The same stands for any lady in our country, she may be wealthy or underprivileged, but the aura that envelopes her when she is draped in those six yards of fabric brings about a beautiful glow and confidence to take on anything life throws at her.
Thousands of years back saw women clad in this long unstitched piece of cloth that came to be known from a Sanskrit word ‘sati’ meaning a strip of cloth. With different styles of draping giving way mainly to the regions topography and weather conditions, it is now a unifying factor all across our country.
With each region and state in our country rich in having its own set of handlooms, intricate fabrics and plush textured textiles, each part its own unique embroidery, thread-work and weaves, we literally have a treasure trove to indulge and choose from.
Right from the visions we concur when we think of Sarojini Naidu, Savitri Bai Phule, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa to Lata Mangeshkar, Maharani Gayatri Devi, Usha Uthup and Rekha, they are each strong, resilient and elegant with oodles of charm and grace and not to forget, each in their own style of the saree.
With changing times and fashions, the saree has stood the test of time. The exquisite handlooms now becoming dearer as the livelihoods of weavers are coming under the line of fire. The cost of creating these hand-woven works of art has gone up. Earlier it was communities or one could easily say villages who were involved in making one particular type of saree. Now slowly these skills are getting forgotten or simply lost as the younger generations are mostly leaving their hamlets for trying to carve out a better life. The irony, many a times, people in a particular village cannot afford to wear the beautiful sarees they create themselves.
The incredibly talented duo at The Saffron Saga have joined hands with the weavers at the Bunkar Cluster of Varaseoni, Balaghat in an effort to make them more empowered to carry on with their craft. Sarees and fabrics in tussar, cotton, bafta silk cotton, cotton silk fabric akin to Chanderi’s are the forte of this particular belt.
Encouraging more and more women to wear the saree is one such initiative by The Saffron Saga on many platforms worldwide. Reaching out to zillions, making them aware about their own rich, vibrant and traditional handlooms is their vision as a mission.
Kudos to Kranti Salvi who ran the Berlin Marathon in Germany on 16th September 2018 in a beautiful red nine yard ‘Nauvari’ saree clocking just 3hours, 57minutes and 7 seconds, the fastest setting the Guinness World Record for running the fastest marathon in a saree.
The smile when you spot an interesting saree, the rustle of the fabric, the shimmer of its print, weave and design template make one give into temptation. Yes, yet again! The perfect fit for all occasions bringing a swing to our step, sashaying down the paths we choose for ourselves with grace, confidence and élan, that my friends is the lure of this six yards of elegance!
Let’s bring out our treasures, and wear them with pleasure.
- Fancy or plain, it’s always to remain.
Shimmery, flowery, chequered or lined.
Beckoning our senses ,making us bind.
- From mothers to daughters,from womb to bloom.
- These beautiful sarees, true family heirlooms.