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.