In August 1990, I went with Krishnan and my mom-in-law to a sari store in Chetpet called Varadarams. On the way there, Krishnan braked suddenly at the traffic signal in front of Pachayappas college and the bike fell sideways. I sat on the road. Neither one of us was hurt, but a few students from the college immediately rushed to help. Krishnan was very worried that I will scream and yell 🙂 but I was laughing. I find all these accidental “falls” very funny as long as people don’t get hurt badly.
My mom-in-law came in an auto and we all met up at Varadarams. We were there to buy the engagement sari for our wedding and my mom-in-law wanted me to choose it myself….. why will I not love her ? So we went in and they showed us several saris but I liked this “vaira oosi” (straight vertical lines in zari) in “mehendi” green. I had no clue about handloom then, but 27 years back most Kanchivaram silks were handloom. We bought that sari and I wore it first on Sept 6th, 1990, the day we officially got engaged.
Here is a picture from that day … photo credits to Krishnan’s cousin Govind.
Most of the jewellery is costume jewellery – it was also on rent. I don’t like a lot of jewellery anyway and spending on gold doesn’t appeal to me. In all our married life, I have only remade a few bangles and bought a couple of earrings in gold, otherwise whatever my parents gifted me, is just kept as it is. I love wearing my semi-precious stone stuff, matching them with the sari am wearing.
Over the years I wore this sari on special occasions and not very often. When we shifted to Delhi in 1997, I made the mistake of getting this sari dry-cleaned. This sari has original “zari” which turns black if an iron is run over it. I didn’t know all that then. The sari was dry cleaned and then I gave it for ironing after wearing it a couple of times and slowly before I could realise it, the zari on the borders and the “pallu” started turing black. Now I have washed it a couple of times using “Reetha” (soap nuts) and some of the shine is back, but you can see the difference in the picture from my wedding and now.
I wore this sari last Saturday when Sanjay and Vivek had come home. There is still a lot of starch left … from those years of dry cleaning which probably caused the damage as well. Since this sari has been in use there isn’t a single tear and its well preserved except for the blackening of the zari.
If anyone has figured out a way to bring back the sheen to the zari please ping me. Would love to restore this sari to its original beauty. Till then I will enjoy it just the way it is … with all the special memories.