It takes the spirited self to fight the self…a six yard fight within!
It so happened that I had to attend threading ceremony. My family and me, were to join the celebrations in the temple right from early morning. I was elated as it was going to be an out and out South Indian affair (my friend is a pucca* South India Tam Bram), starting from breakfast and peaking right with the Southern flavored banana leaf lunch. Another reason was the chance to dress up in traditional attire!
A day before, however, I got busy in I-don’t-know-what. It left no room for me to decide on the clothes and jewellery to suit the occasion. Though my hands were busy in mundane chores, the free-floating mind however was already trying out different combinations.
First thing that I reminded myself was about the blazing heat! Naughty mind, then prodded me to wear ‘one-piece’. I got the chuckle when I imaged myself in the knee length one piece surrounded by heavily decked Kanjeevaram beauties! Coupled with many such distractions, the day ended without any concrete decision on what to wear front.
The D-day saw a great hustle and bustle. One family member after the other was getting ready. The location being closer to our house my son and daughter left for the venue. After giving instructions to the cook and the house help, here I was standing in front of my wardrobe.
I pulled out a few saree folders. First one had “nine yards” in it. At one point, I even day dreamed to drape one. It’s a celebration at close friend’s place and South Indians do wear “nine yards” was my justification. A thought, of me as the piece straight out of museum, thwarted nine yards day dreams.
Next folder had all fancy six yards (sarees). I picked up a ‘half-and-half’ styled one. I was about to search for the matching jewelry, a doubt loomed over. What about the blouse? Think of the devil and devil is there! My doubt turned out to be a striking reality. The blouse was missing. I then pushed my head deep in to the corner of the wardrobe and pulled out a stack of blouses. As luck could have it, I got the matching blouse almost at the bottom of the stack.
By the way, have you ever thought of this…why do we get things that we are looking for only in the end? Simple…because we stop searching any further!
Sorry for that small detour. Coming back to my story…
I was elated at the discovery. But it was short lived. It was a sleeveless one with a deep plunging neck as well as back! Faces of all “Mamis*” staring my bare back, with disgust, flashed across my mind. Hopes of me draping this saree died the natural death.
Then came the folder with all Kanjeevarams. Blaming myself for wasting so much of time, I quickly browsed through the stack. Zeroing in on one, I checked for the blouse. Surprisingly, it was at its place, tucked well in the saree fold! My happiness knew no bounds. I then rushed to choose the jewelry. It was done in jiffy! Thanks to my wandering mind, it had done this homework, the day before.
In between, better half had knocked on the door twice. First one was gentle. Second time the knock was accompanied with a question “Any problem in there?”.
Now was the time to drape the saree. As I took the blouse in my hand, I realised that one of its hook had come out loose. Reaching out to the sewing kit, I had no option but to fix it. I got one more chance to reprimand ‘negligent self’ and sympathize with it moments later!
Time was running out…not for the celebration but for the breakfast at the venue.
A shocking discovery awaited me. Pushing right hand into the sleeve, the blouse denied coming up the elbow level. Like a stubborn, it was stuck there. I gave it a gentle push. Tried twisting and turning it. But it did not yield. I used little bit of force. No use.
It simply stayed mid-way.
I did not wish to register that I have put on and add insult to injury. Blaming the sweat, I consoled my poor self.
I sat down to loosen the hems and make myself comfortable. Finally, it was done. When I wore it, it was none less than a dangling tank top with half sleeves! My heart sank at the sight.
There was a third knock on the door followed by the request, “Shall I go ahead?”
My spirit was about to be drenched in tears. I was going to miss the authentic south Indian breakfast! In the feat of rage, I threw my saree aside and sat on the bed with head hanging low. A faint voice was heard inside. “So what if the blouse is not perfect fit? No one is going to scrutinize you under the microscope. All will be busy in discussing sarees and jewellery or in gossiping. Come on get up and wear that saree”.
I extended a helping a hand to the dying faint voice. In no time, I was ready, clad in six yards and out with my better half. Before hitting the road, my spirit was back to normal. Pausing midway, I wore the last jewelry piece, my everyday accessory… “smile”!
And yes, we did reach well in time to attend the ceremony, enjoyed scrumptious breakfast and “banana leaf” lunch!