There once lived a little girl who loved to play dress up. In the afternoon, when everyone was asleep, she would go to her mother’s room, take out her sarees and tie them around herself. She would pull out her jewelry boxes and put on earrings and necklaces one after another. She would apply red lipstick and pose and preen in front of the mirror. She never got tired of doing this and for those couple of hours, she felt like a princess. Years went by and the little girl grew up. From a “princess”, she turned into a “tomboy”. She got a “boys cut” hairstyle, she loved watching WWF and practiced the moves on her brother, boxing became her favorite sport after watching Rocky IV nearly twenty times, and she turned up her nose at anything girly. The dress up days were long gone.
From the tomboy teens, the girl entered college. She was overweight and to hide that, she wore baggy t-shirts, skirts and kurtas all the time. On formal occasions, her mother would try and persuade her to wear a saree but she would refuse. She was once told by a friend that she should never wear sarees coz she looked terrible in them and she could never forget that remark. She loved sarees though. Her mother would take her along for saree shopping and she loved to sit inside the store admiring the different styles, the designs, the fabrics. Her favorites were always the traditional and handloom sarees. The taants, the kaanthas, the kanjeevarams, the tussars. They represented regional traditions, culture and history. They told the “Qissaas” of a bygone era and today and the promise of tomorrow.