(Guest Post by Shubha Shetty Saha, Senior Entertainment Journalist and Film Critic and Voylla Fan)
I have to narrate this wanting-to-dig-a-hole-for-myself-and-stay-there-for-good incident that happened to me a few years back. There I was, standing right in the middle of a huge banquet hall full of people, attending my beloved nephew’s wedding reception. One moment I am feeling cocky and looking sexy (at least I was sure I did) in that black and gold designer chiffon saree, and the next moment, without any warning the saree chose to unravel itself and drop in a heap around my shaking-with-disbelief ankles. My sister (who I always suspected to be a superwoman) came flying from somewhere and pushed me into the nearest ladies room. Thus my izzat was saved at the nick of the time; just about a second or two before the over zealous wedding photographer turned his camera on me for a ‘candid’ picture. My cruel family never lets me forget this incident and now it has been promoted to the status of being one of those favourite family jokes that everyone laughs at, no matter how many times it is repeated. The good thing is since then I have invested in a big bag of safety pins. Also, now I finally know why they are called safety pins.
Did this ‘traumatic’ incident deter me from wearing sarees? No way! My love for them has only grown since then. Even though the journey from being a fumbling, tumbling idiot to ‘oh you look so comfortable in a saree’ has been not particularly easy.
Why do I love saree? Let me count the ways.
How can one not see the flexibility and the endless possibilities of this unstitched fabric of six yards offers?
Can you think of any other form of outfit which moulds itself to feed your imagination and fit your personality, no matter how drastic or dramatic your sense of style is? The cute neighbour of mine, 80 year old Tam brahm Pati drapes her nine yards of traditional cotton and looks as sexy (if not sexier) as that supermodel on the ramp, in her teeny weeny choli and a transparent lacy saree. There is no doubt that saree brings out the hidden gracefulness of whoever is wise enough to wear it and voila, it also hides the flab that you unsuccessfully try to tuck under oversized dresses.
I am a big fan of women who wear sarees to work. I look at that as the reflection of pure confidence, as someone who’s got things under control. If she can run around, probably in high heels, from meetings to luncheons etc with that saree draped so gracefully around her, do you have any doubts of her powers of control? I can almost see men who struggle with their ties every morning, nodding meekly at this. It is as if the woman is reiterating the fact that to be successful professionally and to compete with the men around her, she does not need to ape their style or fall into line about others’ expectations of how she must be dressed in a corporate world. She is comfortable in her skin and her saree.
Give a woman, any woman, a well fitting blouse, a beautiful saree and fitting accessories, there is no chance in hell that she wouldn’t look extraordinary.. That is the magic of sarees.