Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sari for the inconvenience

So it was a friend's wedding dinner last weekend and I decided to wear a sari. It was the first time after the wedding (and the subsequent celebrations) that I was wearing a sari.

My tryst with the sari started on a serious level a few days before my wedding, when I did a few practice rounds to ensure I wouldn't stumble and fall at the mandap. Once I got the hang of it, I decided to put myself through the ultimate test - to go shopping in a sari! Success!

By the wedding day, I was a pro at wearing a sari in five minutes flat and keeping it on in the exact state for a couple of hours. But my worst sari ordeal was the one I faced right after the wedding. And when I say right after the wedding, I really mean right after the wedding, like an hour! We had to go to the marriage registration office and get registered because we were leaving the next day and there were a few procedures to be completed before we could get the certificate, such as going to the studio and getting the wedding photo to submit for the registration. So here I was, 35 kg excess - in my sari, red & gold dupatta and gold jewellery, running across the crazy streets of Cuttack from one office to another with Viv, his dad, my cousin and my extremely adventurous Singaporean friend Starbreez who - high on Indian food - had clearly gone out of her mind and decided to accompany us to the many government offices that we had to run to.

On the roads, I got stared at like anything, cos the sight we presented was clearly a case of one of the following:

1. Girl running away from her own wedding
2. Guy and girl running away to get married
3. Shooting of some stupid TV serial

Now and then I'd pause to check that all my jewellery had not fallen off. I realised that I should have left some of it behind (I'd still look like a bride in the studio photo without six of the seven gold necklaces, wouldn't I?) but it was too late to be thinking about it. Luckily, all the practice I'd had held me well as I dashed across the roads weaving in and out of the traffic like a sari-wearing superhero. In fact, if there was a sari marathon, I think I'd be a strong contender! Provided of course, all moms and aunts are ineligible to enter.

After going back and forth between the same offices (government offices in India... sigh...) we were finally done. My worst sari ordeal was over and we were back in the car and heading home, armed with the marriage certificate. The jewellery was driving me nuts by then, and I took off some and passed them to Starbreez, who cleverly hid them in a secret pocket in her - guess what? - hat, of all things! So we went home, me in a sari and Starbreez with a load of gold perched on her head. If I wasn't a new bride, I'd have laughed my lungs out.

I jumped into the shower as soon as I reached my room, so I could get ready for part 2 of the wedding - the reception. My reception sari was even heavier with all the gold embroidery, but luckily all I had to do was stand there and join my hands to greet the hundreds of people I'd never seen in my life before. What a contrast to the daytime drama. Sari-superheroine by day, demure bride by night. Those who watch 'Goodness Gracious Me' would know why I'm ROFLing at the thought.

And I paused to think about the sari and all the troubles and inconveniences associated with it. There is so much thinking and logistics that go into what you thought was a mere 5.5-metre piece of cloth! First, it needs two other pieces of clothing of the exact same colour in order to be worn. Oh oh, almost forgot the sari 'fall' that needs to be stitched on to the sari before you can wear it. Not to mention that bangles and bindi must also be readily available otherwise it's no good. It is expensive, heavy and difficult to fold. Then there are the pleats, which can't be done perfectly without having another person around. Then there's the anchal, and you just don't know what to do with it. If you pin it all up on your shoulder a la Indian Airlines airhostess, you're safe. But if you don't have fab abs, you may want to avoid that, and rest one edge of the anchal on your left arm, in which case your anchal can't be its usual length, because you would just trip and fall. Worse, if it your sari is not chiffon or other such clingy material, you also have to watch out for unintentional poofing up of certain parts of the sari, giving you a very pregnant look, which somehow gets magnified in photographs! Going to the toilet can be a problem, even if you tell yourself that it's just a long skirt. The after toilet-look of the sari can be quite Victorian. Then there are the safety-pins which are absolutely essential if you want to preserve your dignity. I personally use at least four pins to secure my sari. Then there's all the thinking you need to do if you decide to wear it to parties and other fancy occasions after your wedding. Now that I am married, will everyone think I'm the gharelu type if I turn up in a sari?

Fortunately for me, I do not have any such doubts.

To me, a sari is the most gorgeous outfit in the world, and in spite of everything, it's totally worth it. :)


Shruti Bhandari said...

I call Sari as "the original safety pin dress"

manju said...
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Jo said...

yeah i agree saari is the most gorgeous outfit...but thats the case when others are wearing......tell me to where one....and i could possibly be with the best "dead chicken" look on face...

Mohan Kodali said...

sooo much for the sari :O

inconveniet yet adorable!

haha gharelu type ka bhai :D

Neihal said...

that is pretty much my story as well...I had to rush for my MC as we were leaving the same day...the most difficult thing was to get in/out of the car some 200 times...phew!!!

Neihal said...

oh and I totally agree abt saree being the most gorgeous outfit...plus it makes me look taller :D

Thisisme said...

oh god..u got me scared abt wearing the sari! :-s

i totally agree its the most amazing n beautiful outfit..but only on others! its too inconvenient for me :(
i cant understand how aunties go to loo in it! n if one is travelling..man!the sari wud increase my luggage 4 times over! n then no pockets in it :P m a sucker for pockets in any dress :D:D

but still..if 1 manages to luk gud in it..its totally worth it :):)

Vaijayanta Chattoraj said...

If I saw a girl wearing a bridal saree and running on the road, I would think the girl is late for her wedding and is running as fast as she could to catch the bus, so that she could reach there in time. [:D]

Bivas said...

interesting n useful info...
shayad kabhi future mein kaam aaye!

Ujwal said...

If we can think of a super-woman....say "Shakti-woman", I guess Sari wud be the way to go! :)

Saree surely is one of the best looking attires for a woman. :)

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Muhahahahahaha! Hazaar dinon baad aayi and still, I get the 11th position! 11 ka shagun! :D
As for the sari, it's one graceful attire...only if you've the goddamned patience. I'll need to steal patience from half a dozen aunties before I can even dare attempt it. Oh, and didn't you feel funny when you had your hands joined? I'd have burst out laughing...joining hands in front of unknown people is like asking for votes like netas do..."kripya cycle ke chinh ko vote dein". You could have said, "Kripya mujhe best dressed bride ka vote dein". :P
*high on cancelled classes*

PS: Did Starbreez's hat flew off when she had all the gold on her head? :D

PPS: A big fat dancing thenga to TGFI. I WON!! Aha aha aha! *dances away to glory even though she's got two left-feet*

Basanti said...

Hehehe, yeah, I've worn a Saree twice in my life.. and I think a woman looks her sexiest best in a saree.. She's covered from head to toe, yet there's something about the 6 yard drape!

I still cannot imagine bhai as the bride!

soleil said...

I seriously don't know how you do it, I remember when Clueless, Macho Girl and Bubble Burster put on a sari for me for deevali in first year, it took ages!!! You have to bear in mind that they are neither moms nor aunts :p

But I agree, it was definitely worth it in the end :D

soleil said...
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Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

Put up a pic, Mrs Sayesha :-)

Unknown said...

i want pic, i want pic, i want pic

Confused Soul said...

Haha.. was a hilarious post!! :D
Oh btw, congratulations!! Wishing you a happy married life :)

Sayesha said...

Haha! You bet! :)

Heheheh! :P


Oh man! The getting in/out part is the worst! That's why I prefer chiffon saris, one shake and it's in place again! :)

//i cant understand how aunties go to loo in it! n if one is travelling..man!

I swear! That's why I only wear it when I'm just required to be stationary most of the time! :)

I doubt if a girl would dress up in her bridal finery and then take the bus. :O

Hahaha, thanks! :)

Shakti-woman! Hahaha! And the anchal can fly like Superman's cape! :D

#World Girl,
Wah wah! 11 ka shagun it seems! :D You'll make a comic dulhan! I'd LOVE to be at your wedding to see you ask for votes man! :P

//Did Starbreez's hat flew off when she had all the gold on her head? :D

No bacha, gold is a heavy metal you see! :P

Abbe photos dekh chuki hai phir bhi kehti hai can't believe?? :/

But the end result, I remember, was awesome! :D

Nice try, gal! :P
I'm done with putting up sari pics... three is enough I think? :D

Thenga! :P

#Confused Soul,
Thanks! :)

Sakshi said...

I remebered the first few times I wore one, my brothers laughed their collective asses off :P
I had pinned it in every place possible and imaginable. And still feared that it might unravel on me anytime ..
Nice to see that you have conquered the Sari battle.
Not sari to see wearing a sari ..
Thankie for the applause on PJ in advance :P

Angelsera said...

4 safety pins!!
I guess one advantage of dancing in saris is that when I wear it normally I feel totally at ease :D
I love saris! carried well, I think its one of the sexiest outfits ther is

Sayesha said...

Hehehe... chal if you insist soooo much, applause for you! :p

Oh yeah! If you can dance in that thing, I guess it's not an issue for you at all! :)

Vijay said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your experience, although at your cost.
Something that made me uncomfortable was the last paragraph where in you had to describe in vivid detail! I might not be able to think my girlfriend looks sexy in a saree when i see her in one! :(

Sayesha said...

Hahaha! Thanks! Now you know that every pretty thing has an ugly side to it! :)

Unknown said...

I say madam, do I get to see you in a saree?:) pretty please...

Iday said...

So u still learning the art of sari wearing :) I'm sure u'll become an expert pretty soon :D

As you said, sari is the most gorgeous dress on earth. All girls look their bestest in a sari :D

Risha said...

first time to your blog, first of all congratulations for your wedding.
sari...i totally agree with you on that...its totally worth it, i love wearing saris too. girls look so gorgeous in them

Shikha said...

hehe..i could completely relate to ur post cos i got married a few months back..my hubby's house is abt 6-7 hrs from where we got married..and at the frquent stops on the way to eat,etc invited a lot of stares..anyway i'm still not confident abt sarees if i wear them by myself:P,but i love how girls look in sarees:)

Unknown said...

I agree totally with 'JO'!!
Its a gorgeous attire but only when others wear it. Though I've worn a sari couple of times after marriage but I'm yet not comfortable with it, absolutely not!! And if I wear it, its only on one condition.. I won't be moving much, my hubby would be holding the dinner plate (& making me eat too ;):P)

The worst is going the loo in a sari and going down the feet of relatives you don't even know, disgusted & worried about your sari but still a smile on your face :/

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Fotu!!! Fotu mangta!!!

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Now that I am married, will everyone think I'm the gharelu type if I turn up in a sari?

ROFL!! some worry that is.

starbreez said...

OK, to have the hidden gold described as being perched on my head does make it seem very funny indeed -- was quite matter-of-fact about it, at first! :]

Sayesha said...

Hey you have seen me in a sari, haven't you??

Yeah! :)

Welcome to Sayeshaz and thanks for commenting! :)


Tabhi toh! When all you have to do is stand and look pretty, it's the perfect attire. Not for going to the loo and stuff! :/

No more requests man! :P

#Ipanema Gal,
You'd be surprised to know how many girls think this!

I know! The humour struck me only later when I thought about what we'd gone thru in that day! :D