Tag: Sari

The problem with Kajol’s sari

The problem with Kajol’s sari

I finally watched Dilwale. Yes that
Rohit Shetty film with SRK and Kajol and the two new bachchas. It’s old news, I
know. The whole world has watched it and not quite liked it too, which I might
not agree with, but then that’s my own thing. I didn’t mind it except for this
one issue – the issue of Kajol’s sari. But first, if you haven’t watched the film
you need to know a little bit about it. I promise to keep it to five lines –
brace yourself.
So Kajol and SRK belong to two warring
mafia families. Point to be noted here is that Kajol is as kickass and as
worthy a scion as SRK. The two fall in love. A misunderstanding crops up, Kajol
shoots SRK and they go their own ways till their siblings find each other and
fall in love too. After some ‘Dobara aaye to jaan le loongi‘ bit’s and a
few sadish songs, the misunderstanding is sorted and voila! All is well
(Writing this down I can get a vague idea why some people wouldn’t quite have
taken to the film).
Whew! That’s exactly five lines. *Pats
self on the back*. 
Anyway the point I’m trying to make is
this – towards the  end of the film SRK’s brother is shot at by a 
don (yet another one) and Kajol sits there all abla nari cradling his head and yells for SRK,
“Kaliiiiii……,” she screams and SRK comes flying out brave and macho
and well obviously, he saves the day.
Why, tell me, doesn’t she reach for her
own gun? She’s as worthy a ‘donness’ or whatever she-dons are called, as he is,
right? She steals the sona from him at the beginning of the film,
she runs a restaurant and has some mean shots to throw when faced with a
kidnapper. She’s brave and smart and wily and strong so why oh why would she
scream for SRK instead of going behind the bad guys herself? Wouldn’t instinct drive
her to go for it herself?
And so I thought maybe it was the sari.
Maybe it was the sari killed her killer instinct. Or maybe she didn’t want to
spoil her look by hiding a gun in that sari. I mean a bump at her hip would
have looked odd, no? Yet, one would have thought she’d have found a way given
that she’d been outdone by it once earlier. Remember Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai and that basketball match? She lost to SRK, despite being the
better player all because of that five meters of gorgeous georgette. Over a
decade later and things haven’t changed. This Senorita doesn’t learn from her
mistakes.
Or maybe… she yelled for SRK because
she just liked having him around, in which case it is perfectly understandable.
I’d call for him all the time if I had the faintest hope he’d come. The brown
eyes, the intense looks, the crooked smile that dimple to die for and the
stubble … ooh the stubble.
Yeah if it’s not the sari it most
definitely is SRK’s fault. 
Proud, happy and grateful

Proud, happy and grateful

N’s Bharatnatyam annual day was round the corner
and her dance guru called a meeting
for parents. I found an inconspicuous corner and sat listening dutifully to the
instructions. And then the teacher said, “All women have to come in saris.” (That five meters of traditional Indian
garment which can be such a nightmare to drape).
I sat up in some alarm.
I had ended my relationship with the sari some 10 years ago when the twins
were born. I tried to renew it once rather tentatively and promptly tripped and fell flat while carrying a two-year-old N. That was when I swore off it. Forever.
I had no intention of going back now.
The announcement propelled me from my
corner and I heard myself ask, “Can we come in a suit?” For the first time, I found the full glare
of N’s dance guru’s eyes on me. I
have to confess here that she is rather intimidating. You know how these gurus are – unbending principles, strict
discipline and all of that. While I appreciate that an unflinching attitude is essential
to teach a serious dance form I have to admit it stresses me out because I am forever fumbling unsure what I might do to upset a rule. That is exactly why I try to make
myself invisible at these meetings. “Let’s keep it formal,” she said shortly, “Saris only”. I quailed and looked around
for support from the other mums but all
of them stared back at me with a don’t-waste-time-with-such-a-non-issue look.
For once I wished I were a man. The only instruction
they had was ‘don’t come in jeans’. Hey hello! How unfair was that! We are
sentenced to a struggle with five meters of cloth and all they have to do is change out of their jeans! Arrrrrgh!
I receded to my corner wondering what I’d
do. Should I send someone in stead of me, I thought desperately. But I wanted to see N on stage and I already had the saris but the blouses –
I wouldn’t fit into any of them any longer. Something
ready made perhaps would have to do. Pushing down the panic, I reasoned, once the blouse was sorted, it wouldn’t
be too bad. All I had to do was dress up, sit,
watch, collect N and come home. Yeah! I could do it. I’d manage.
And then I heard the guru’s assistant calling out “Where is N’s mother?” (Yeah she doesn’t even
know my name – told you I always hid away) “You’re the volunteer for the Ashtalakshmi performance.” With that she
gave the word ‘volunteer’ a whole new dimension and me a whole new world of
panic.
‘Volunteer’ meant no sitting down quietly, in fact no
sitting down at all. It meant tucking your pallu
at your waist and taking charge of a group of girls. Their entry on the stage
and their exit, their makeup and accessories, which are mind boggling by the
way. N is a junior and her costume alone had 5 pieces. Then there were some 10 bits of jewellery
to go with it.
Me.. a non dancer, a non ‘makeuper’, a non stage
person, a non sari wearer – me – had
to do all of that! And I have no clue why I was picked. I put it down to some
really bad deeds of my past birth. Karma.

But it all worked out … 

… just as most things in
my life have a way of working out. Have I said this before? That I am
exceptionally lucky? No, really, I am. It turned out the SIL had the perfect
sari and I managed to squeeze into her blouse too. How’s that for luck?
I got dressed in 10 minutes flat. It’s amazing how it all came back to me, just the way my mum
had taught me decades ago – what went where, how many pleats to go on the
shoulder, how to tuck in the sari firmly so I needed just a single pin. Oooh I felt
accomplished!
Besides, I had no time to fuss since N had to be
dressed and we had to report early and then there were those 8 girls waiting
for me at the venue.
Once there it was a blur of getting the giggly talkative
bunch ready, running around with hair clips and safety pins, someone had
forgotten her dupatta while another
one broke her jhumka. Oh it was such delightful
chaos.
Finally they were all ready and everything was
perfect, N looked beautiful as did every single girl on stage. Watching the delighted, proud, excited faces around me I felt a wave of happiness wash over me or was it gratitude? Gratitude, that everything had come together so wonderfully, gratitude for being a part of so much happiness. 
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. And to think I considered not coming for the sake of a sari.

Linking up to Vidya’s Gratitude Circle Blog Hop. Do click on the link and head on over.