One of my earliest memories of sarees is of climbing onto my mother's arms whenever she would wear a new saree for the first time. Too small to run around wrapped inside yards of fabric, I would play with its exteriority, its crispy newness, its texture; sometimes soft and holding, sometimes slippery.
In retrospect, perhaps what was most evocative of wonder and joy was the glow on my mother's face that would pick up a different hue with every different saree that she would pick. Unknowingly, I carried this memory of wonder till much later, into my adult womanhood.
I’m sure, like me, you would also remember the saree-clad figures in your life, who could impressively carry themselves off, with an air of authority and confidence. Growing up, sometimes we would have rebelled against the saree or the figure clad in saree, while at other times we would have envied them. And yet at times, when we craved for comfort, some of us, the lucky ones, would have also found solace in crawling back to the embracing folds of those very, saree-clad figures.
Today, sarees don’t need to shield me anymore, nor do they need to intimidate me with their enchanting beauty. Each time I stand in front of the mirror, draped in a saree, my face lights up and I find my mother’s aura gently caressing my cheeks. The fabrics that once formed the walls of my playground, have now become the embodiment of my spirit; the perfect, non-judgemental, emissary of the woman’s body.