What it means to wear a sari

Wrap the first part around your waist. Remember as the silk eludes your fingers that this is the same token of feminine glory that your mother, her mother and all the mothers who came before her wore with dignity. This was what it meant to be a woman. No longer are you the small girl, or even the awkward adolescent.

Pleat by pleat, twist your fingers to capture the folds and then bunch them together to form the flowing folds that tucks in neatly at the front. When you walk,  each fold expands to accommodate your stride. When you stand, they shall remain vertically undisturbed, tucked in after each other’s shadow, meek and respectful towards the ancient tradition.

Let your elegance cascade over your shoulder as you pull up the fabric diagonally across your chest. Watch how it nestles against your form and speaks of modesty, yet leaves the one side of your torso to feel the open air and rejoice in its sensuality. The sari will now  either fall over your shoulders and protect your arm entirely hiding the soft strength of the same arms that build homes and lives. Or if you need to present yourself in a more formal occasion, it will remain neatly pinned to your shoulder, the folds falling behind in regulated order.

It is not just a garment. It is the heritage of an entire culture, whose patterns speak of the many hopes and dreams and scenes from home. It is a heritage woven by women and children of the past who are binding together the grand-daughters to their grandmothers, knowing that their work is for the worthy alone.

Now it has been done. The last pleats tucked in, the last folds straightened, the pins set. Another identity is born.

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