As a kid, sarees fascinated me a lot. I have always seen my mom draped in a saree. She never, as far I remember, adorned any other attire. That lehrata hua pallu attracted me since childhood. That pallu which gave me refugee whenever I was shy, that cleaned my messy face and that fanned me during powerless summer afternoons enticed me to wear a saree.
I used to roam around the entire home in my sister’s chunni draped like a saree over a frilled frock. Complemented by a high fountain ponytail, a small bindi, light lipstick, kajal and bangles, I was an adorable sight to behold during my childhood days. And yes, I also carried the purse that I received during kanjak and act as a school teacher. Such a drama queen I was.
We(my sister and I) have an age gap of 10 years. Her freshly washed and ironed chunnis were my first sarees, which she dotingly allowed me to wrap without any fuss.
As time flew by, my love for saree and childhood escapades crumbled under academic pressure.
Once I had to wear a plain pink saree for an event at school. Fortuitously, my mom had one in her wardrobe and I wore it for the function. While climbing the stage, I felt my mom holding my finger and boosting my morale. Though physically absent, her saree bestowed me the same calm and contentment, which a sleeping infant senses while holding his mom’s clothes(even when the mom is not around)
Soon, I was preparing for my farewell. Being the youngest with married elder siblings, I had no dearth of the latest design sarees. I chose my sister-in-law’s saree to wear for the farewell. But, unfortunately, I burnt it while ironing and faced the wrath of my mom. My bhabhi not only saved me from my mom’s outrage but also offered me another saree, that too of my choice, from her collection. I dazzled the stage in my bhabhi’s saree. Enunciating full confidence, I participated in competitions organised by my juniors. I felt the same truce I had felt while donning my mom’s pink saree.
My parents went on a vacay to South India and bought three different coloured Kanjivaram silk sarees for me, my sister and my sister-in-law. They were very well aware of our colour preferences and I got my favourite peacock blue saree. That was my dad’s last gift to me before making his journey to the heavenly abode.
Time is the greatest healer. We all got back to our lives and I was appointed as a lecturer in one of the esteemed colleges of Delhi where I had to wear saris.
If I wished, I could have bought new sarees, but I opted to wear my mother, didi and bhabhi’s sarees.
After dad’s demise, I had lost my confidence. I was not sure of facing grown-up students. Those sarees always boosted my morale. I felt safe, loved and protected in them. I felt my elders(ma, didi, bhabhi) shielding me from the adversities of the world.
Then wedding bells rang for me. A lot of new sarees were purchased but the saree from before which is still in my wardrobe and will remain till my last breath is the peacock blue saree gifted by my dad. It carries his love, his adoration, his essence, his feel. That was the first and the last saree gifted by my dad to me.
It carries him.
Love You Papa…
3 thoughts on “My Dad’s First and Last Gift of Saree”
Such a heartfelt blog. Truly there’s nothing like love attached with such gifts. Can totally resonate.
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