I love to bake, run and blog. I love meeting adventurous people as well but mostly I’m happy within my comfort zone. I run on my own most of the times, do yoga and weights at home on my own. There are things I wonder about but I’m too scared to go and try them out. In the last one year or so I have decided to face my fears. It’s not only about fears I think, I’m also most intrigued about things others are passionate about and what drives them.
So I have decided to try some of the things that either make me uncomfortable or I can’t relate to at all. I also believe that when women come together, we can create beautiful things.
In the series of articles that I’m working/hoping to work on, the first one I decided to do is the much talked about 100 Day Saree Pact/Challenge/Soiree.
Honestly, from a distance it can come across (as it did to me) as tedious and shallow, yet there must be something to it because of which world over Indian women are following it and loving it.
When there can be a 100 days running challenge then why not this?
I got in touch with Rashmi (who was on her 95th saree when we met) to talk about it while she showed me her collection over a cup of chai and a photo shoot. So the idea of the pact is to wear sarees for 100 days in a year (you can repeat your sarees). It was started by two women with the idea of reviving the culture of wearing sarees and elegant dressing. The idea is not just to click and post pictures (along with the number, say 15/100) on social media but also share the story behind that particular saree – and that could be anything from the weave, where it was bought from, the special occasion it was worn on etc. And that has sparked a beautiful trend, as more and more women started wearing their traditional weaves, they realised how much they missed dressing up. Rashmi showed me one of her sarees which had taken 15 days for the artisan to hand paint. And a Patola which is completely hand woven and I was struck by the intricate symmetry of the work. Honestly, for me sarees used to be just sarees which I wore on occasions or to meetings (and honestly, post pregnancy stretch marks have had a huge impact in my being very conscious about it). I never thought about the hard work that goes in to it or ever bothered to find out anything about them whatsoever.
Now with this pact, buying sarees directly from the artisans is becoming a movement of sorts. With more awareness, women want every possible type of saree to be a part of their collection. Who knows that this movement might actually help save villages whose livelihood completely depends on this art. The Domino Effect has started already.
Rashmi has so much knowledge about every piece she owns and she couldn’t stop talking about it. In her own way she has inspired so many women to rummage through their wardrobes for their old sarees, adorn them and just like that turning a regular day in to an occasion. Quite like what we did (I will let the pictures do the talking). And ended up going to the beautiful Old Fort and learning its history as well. Thanks Arun for the lovely pictures and for the walk.