Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Granny's saris!


The Indian Sari is probably one of the most elegant single piece-garments one can find in the world. Drape any woman in a sari, you transform her persona. Having said that, how many of us, especially,  women between the age group of 25 to 35 years actually wear this traditional Indian clothing on a regular basis? Well, I’m not sure of others, but the saris in my wardrobe have been relegated to the “occasionally worn” category, reserved only for weddings of close relatives! No wonder Abhay always associates saris with his grandmothers who wear no other outfits other than saris. I had earlier touched upon my mother’s passion for saris, but there is so much more  to say that it is certainly worth another post! Nothing gets my mother as excited as when we go sari shopping and her enthusiasm knew no bounds last week as we nudged our way through the crowded gullies (bylanes) of Rajkot’s famous sari shops! She had even devised an innovative strategy to combat ‘Monday Blues’ – wear a new sari every Monday to work! J (Well, she could afford that….as her college worked roughly for about 30 Mondays a year!) After she retires from service in February next year, amongst many of her contributions to college, she will also be remembered for her exclusive saris. She even recycles her saris, giving them away to the local women in our village, near Dharmasthala who are often spotted wearing my mother’s saris, whenever I visit the village! As for me, I don’t have to spend even a penny on saris as my mother’s  heirloom is enough to drape several generations to come!!:-)

So when I found a book titled “Granny's Sari”, by Asha Nehamaiah and illustrated by Subhir Roy, I just had to pick it up! This book is one of many picture books brought out Children’s Book Trust, Delhi  that is widely available in mainstream books stores at unbelievable prices. Anu and her granny sit by the veranda of their house where granny’s favorite sari is hung on the cloth line. Granny’s favorite sari has the picture of a forest and all over the sari are pictures of spotted deer, fat lions sleeping on the rocks, monkeys and squirrels and green parrots pecking on fruits, etc.  When granny wore the sari, Anu felt as if the animals were alive and as her granny walked, she felt as if the animals moved! As they sat admiring the sari, suddenly the wind blew and took with granny’s favorite sari! The grandma-grand-daughter duo embark on the hunt for the favorite sari. They first encounter a policeman who instantly recognizes the sari that entrapped a thief that he was chasing. Thanks to granny sari, the thief is now behind bars!  But the sari flies off going on to help Mrs. Rao along its path. With the help of granny’s sari, Mrs. Rao is able to pluck mangoes from her tree. But before Mrs. Rao could hold on to the sari, it flies again! Both Anu and her granny begin to lose hope when they stop by Lakshmi, the fisherwoman and in turn ask her if she had spotted granny sari. But before Lakshmi could respond, granny points to Lakshmi’s three children who are all dressed in green with the same print as granny's sari. Anu realizes  that granny’s sari has been sewn into brand new clothes by Lakshmi as she could not find the owner of the sari that flew into her hut. Lakshmi’s eldest son wore spotted deer on his sleeves, daughter had a picture of a parrot and the little boy sported the picture of a fat lion on his shirt and Anu had to concede that they looked wonderful on the children. Anu later asks  her granny as to why wasn’t she annoyed at what happened. Her granny replies  that her sari was so special that when she wore it, it had made her happy and when it flew away from her, it had made other people happy! Just like Anu’s granny, Abhay’s granny too made others happy with her saris! So dedicating this post to Abhay’s granny and her love her saris!

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