Two weeks ago, I and my colleague hit upon a topic during one of those girlie conversations we have in our break hour. We spoke at length on that charming Indian garment that ironically, has fallen off in preference for our new age Indian ladies.
Here, I am talking about the good ol’ saree which, once upon time, used to be religiously draped by women in every nook and corner of India. Sadly, now the garment is assumed to be worn mostly by those who turn “fat and forty”.
But thanks to today’s more ‘modish’ (read: western) creations, saree hardly has any takers especially amongst the younger female population in the country.
I have come across plenty of women who defiantly reject wearing a saree or for that matter any Indian garment ("I know it won't look good on me!","I can't pull it off!", “I don’t want to look like a <i>behenji</i>”) without even giving a thought to making it look good- given the fact that there are 108 ways to drape a saree.*
But when it comes to western garments like a pair of skinny jeans, a designer dress, or a pair of hot pink shorts, I have seen many out there who would rush to fit into the garment even if it is a size too small for them.
Now, if I talk about the ‘few’ GenNext women who have taken to saree for good, Vidya Balan immediately paints a pretty picture in my mind. I salute the lady for setting a beautiful example for all women nationwide for making fashionable appearances every now and then draped in the beautiful nine yards. But that <i>desi</i> transformation did not come overnight for Vidya. She took to the saree with vengeance only after a series of incidents that had the fashion police fault-finding her western garbs that tastelessly highlighted her unfit frame.
Reel or real, hindi film heroines have time and again oomphed sexy-ness in the saree. Who can forget Yash Chopra’s heroines dancing in gorgeous sheer chiffon sarees on the snow clad Alps or the iconic song that had a rain drenched Sridevi seducing Anil Kapoor in a blue saree?
Fashion gurus across the nation have gone to great lengths in saying that a saree “hides the right amount and reveals the right amount” depending on what fabric one drapes and in what way. Besides, by buying sarees one also takes that positive step towards feeding thousands of skilled weavers across the country, who survive by weaving every handloom saree thread by thread.
The question we now have to ask ourselves is — why not? It is time to treasure our heritage and roots for it might just vanish from the Indian fashion scene if we continue to patronize the West. Ladies, it is time to make heads turn like never before in a nine yard wonder!
* Saris - Tradition and Beyond authored by Rita Kapur Chishti.