I had a party to attend last night. One of my friends at work got married recently and threw us a dinner party here to celebrate. He said no gifts please. Most of us stuck to this, some people did not (not my problem!).
I, of course, decided to wear a Sari. She picked a nice traditional paavadai for itself. I asked her for colours (yeah, we pretty much have one in every colour). I veered her towards the pink one as it was right there, no need to search. Then she recommended Orange for me. I took out my two orange saris but was not inspired. So I picked my bright red one. Maybe its sort of pink. Not sure. Everyone commented on how similar we both looked (HA!).
This is an old sari. Although its not the maroon that I love, its definitely one of 'my' colours. Nowadays of course I do much brighter colours than before - lime green, full red, yellow - as well. But I used to like this sari even earlier when I would not even touch electric blue.
If memory serves, my grandparents gave me this sari. It must be at least ten years old. Probably more like fifteen. They bought saris for all us (hopefully something for the guys too) ladies. I was quite pleasantly surprised to qualify for this because it was a first for me. People would get me dresses and paavadais and stuff but not saris (meaning, they thought I was too young for saris). It is a nice soft silk, with minimal work in the body. The border is a very thin bit of black (as is the pallu). The border and pallu are worked in thread of several colours. There is no zari at all. All of these features meet my approval. I have many saris with zari, I don't dislike it per-se, but...
So I dragged the sari out, it was neatly pressed and stuff from the last time I wore it (very long ago which was). The monster girl was pretty excited for some reason about this party. She dressed herself (mostly) while I draped. The sari is so soft (compared to my usual stiff Kanjeevarams with their miles of zari) that I did not even need to switch the fan off. The pleats came out perfect, or nearly so. The last pleat, my usual nemesis, had an iron crease which worked out well. The pallu pleats did good to. My plain black blouse fit well. Recently this blouse thing is a nightmare. I definitely need new ones. Everything is sort of loose in some places (i.e. chest) and tight in others (i.e. my fat muscly arms). Thankfully this one was good. Its a new-ish one so the sleeves were exactly as I like them (super short).
Of course I could not find any bindis. I always make it a point to wear bindis when I wear saris. Usually I wear two. And also bangles, usually two. Thankfully the monster recently got, as a gift, one of those things with liquid bindis in all colours. "Never mind amma you can wear this" it said. Cool. I picked a spot of red and a spot of black and felt well pleased with the effort (though it was a bit off-center and all). My hair was a mess, with some oil going on in it. I washed my sticky face after draping the sari. The monster went potty after my entire sari operation was complete (so what? I am used to it now. I can handle it, only cotton saris that get squished easily get ruined, the silks handle all such monkey tricks OK. Anyway what is the choice? I HAD to wash its back-side).
When I returned home from the party, where she had exhausted herself running circles around people, I was changing and was thinking "Gosh! I do LOVE saris." Then WHY don't I wear them more often? I really don't know. Shoba Narayana in her MINT column recently insisted that the sari was dying out. She was talking about the professional world. I made my husband read it and he started telling me I am sell-out because I wear pants when I make my presentations. He strongly feels I should wear a sari. I always feel guilty about it too, especially since I do like saris, and am generally comfortable in them.
Anyway for now my excuse is that all the saris I own are too bright to inflict upon hapless engineers in their black suits. In real fact I would not even wear footwear with any bit of bling on it for such occasions. I don't do cotton and other materials of saris too comfortably (I generally only wear silks though I LOVE Bengal cotton saris and admire them wide-eyedly when someone wears them). I absolutely only wear saris (no salwar kameez or such 'half measures' as I like to think of them) at weddings and such occasions. I have even happily worn the nine-yards sari whenever the MIL thought it would be nice to (and tied it for me - I dont know to do the proper Iyengar nine-yards sari). And, to be sure, I am packing saris for my Deepavali trip to Chennai!