Drape Saree Dress

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Older I grow and it’s a bigger pull to return to your roots seem the most secure spot after all the storms we endure. I had returned to be a Bengali with a vengeance that I never knew existed in me. It was called searching for yourself in this vast horizon called life that I didn’t know I had the ability to even fathom how I am nothing without the experiences of my past, intertwining in my present.

One such afternoon I was nostalgic and found a saree that my grandmother had passed as a married woman that she wore. The silk had served its purpose. I could imagine the cocoon and the silk that was woven with the quintessential border of red with beige. Signifying her married status. In the later years, she only wore white as a widow and her color was only a bleak black border or blue border on her white cotton saree. 
I held the saree on my chest to feel Dida and her gnarled fingers that were full of love and affection but I knew it was the most elusive search. The saree was falling apart and the silk was softer to the extent of being as delicate as she got in her later years. I met my friend Neetu Gupta who is fascinated with the Bengali culture and loves and understands the Bengali sensibility with as much sensitivity as I search for in my mature friendships. I told her that I don’t want to lose this saree and please create a garment that would embody Dida and her saree wearing style. 
I had given up on the idea because I knew I couldn’t explain this to anyone. She in her inimitable style told me, give me a week and let me figure out something. I called her anxiously asking her what happened to the saree and she called me over. 
What I saw was unbelievable and I felt a lump in my throat remembering Dida and her gentle presence in my life. Goading me to wear a saree and she looked at me with pride and joy. I wore the drape dress and missed my bunch of keys to throw over my shoulders and open the betel box like she did.
The drape dress was much more than what I had expected to make me feel feminine like the women in Tagore’s household. Bereft, artistic and in beauty personified at every moment. I searched for the Champa flowers to press near my neck to get the fragrance that women of those days did. I Couldn’t find the flowers but settled for my typical red bindi to mark my commitment to the cause. 

The saree is reinvented into my drape dress by Neetu Gupta and her store Verandah where I sit & contemplate on all the women who lost and found themselves in this strange journey called life.

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  1. I am nothing without the experiences of my past! Such a deep thought and so nostalgic. Moody mo you really bring the mood in! Lovely like you.

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