Friday, April 30, 2010

The special occasion called Saree

My mother wore Saree every single day for most part of her life. No we don’t belong to a community that mandates Saree as an attire for married women. Yet, she chose to dress in iteveryday for close to 30 years. She still drapes a Saree with as much ease and grace but no longer on a daily basis. I guess with age and health issues she has chosen other items of clothing over saree. Infact many women of her generation wore Sarees everyday of their adult lives, I know so many women who even slept in their Sarees because of the societal norms and then later out of habit.

I am an adult, oh yes, have been one for some time now and on certain days I chose to drape a saree to work. On those days when I start from home I am prepared for a day of raised eyebrows, of compliments, of oblique comments about having too much time at hand, or question like – “so what’s the occasion?”. No, no occasion yaar! the same occasion that your mother has been celebrating for 40 years now. The same occasion that my mom celebrated despite leading a far tougher life than mine. For her - a day of such occasion involved raising 3 children, hosting a constant flurry of stay-at-home guests, a day where she needed to do so many things manually- for which I just press a switch today. But a day where her movement, her efficiency and her grace was never restricted by this dress called saree.

I often hear feminist-ic women complain about how saree is the most uncomfortable dress around. I personally know women who claim that they get a headache whenever they drape a saree(but then why do it?). There are also girls(or rather women pretending to be little girls) who boast that they need one mother to drape a saree and two friends to help carry it. Yes you can’t go mountain climbing wearing a saree, even beach volleyball is a bad idea, but I guess every dress has a place to which it can or cannot be worn. Would you wear that little black dress to a place of worship or that ragged pair of jeans to your own wedding? Would you wear your denim shorts to an awards night or would you wear lingerie to fetch veggies?? Then why so much expectation from a saree?

Hey! If you’re clumsy and trip over your own dress then it’s not entirely your dress’ fault.

Also if you don’t like a dress but someone else looks great in it please don’t resent her, it’s a choice you made and hey! that jeans doesn’t look that bad on you afterall J.

To the last category of people who are lazy, I’d say – go back to lazing, that suits you quite well.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It bothered me when..

recently one of my colleagues commented in a gathering that I have stopped laughing(as much as I used to earlier) ever since my daughter was born.

This statement just shook me up. I realized that this was true and it disturbed me even further.

My daughter is the brightest spot in my life’s canvas. Every day she gives me abundant reasons to laugh with joy, to smile, to feel happy and content. Every evening I drive like a maniac(a civil one J) to get to her, to hear her say “Hello mama!” and then take her for a stroll. That’s is the part of the day that I look forward to the most. She’s just two but I cannot imagine life without her and it’s even difficult to remember how it was before she was born.

I just could not deduce the relation between the less laughing bit and her birth. But then some deeper thinking laid the doubts to rest. I asked myself these questions - Is laughing the quotient of level of happiness in one’s life? Or is it the only expression of a happy person?

Granted, my life has become a lot more complicated after being a mother, there are a lot of logistics that need to be taken care of, there is this constant guilt of leaving a little kid outside of my care, there are work pressures and snide comments coming from people who have themselves not been parents or from those who are parents but not the “involved” kinds. But, everything wasn’t really smooth as silk before I became a mom. A totally different set of things stressed me out then. I smile to myself when I think about them. How priorities change with time?! Meeting up with irrelevant people, catching the latest movie, going to Sarojini for shopping, completing a novel every week, etc seem so irrelevant now. I’d be lying if I said that I do not miss them at all, but now that I cannot have then as often as earlier I fail to rue about them.

Maybe with age, responsibilities and shifting priorities one is not able to express their state of mind as they could when they were younger and less responsible for themselves and others. I still love rain as much as I used to when I was a child. Earlier I could celebrate it by dancing in it, now I do it by sitting in my balcony and sipping a hot cup of tea while watching the rain drops rush down. To someone whose known me since my childhood it would seem that rain has become just another change in weather for me. But I know how far from truth that is.

Same emotions. Different Expressions. It’s that simple.