Monday, 25 August 2008

The Evergreen Saree

It is very discouraging to note that most Indian women nowadays prefer to wear Salwar-Kameez or Western styled outfits. Nobody really takes the trouble to wear the Saree on a daily basis except for the oldtimers who are used to wearing it from their heydays.

Ofcourse there are a lot of women who love to ‘dress up’ for a party in elegant/elaborate/ornate Sarees but if you watch them carefully there are not exactly comfortable. It is like they are wearing a costume for a play which they are glad to get rid of by the end of the show.

And you know what, one of UAE’s emirates has actually banned woman from wearing a Saree calling it inappropriate attire simply because the navel is revealed. Any woman caught wearing the attire anywhere in Sharjah is severely fined.

The Saree & blouse combination actually covers a woman from neck to toe & in the rural areas even the head is covered by the pallu but if worn with the intention of revealing one’s, ahem assets then quite a bit of the body can be exposed. The blouse can be a halter top-like thingie leaving most of the back bare & the sari can be worn 4 inches from under the navel.

The flight attendants of Air India have internationalized the saree, carrying it off very elegantly & even the Customer Service Supports at some 5 star hotels wear them very well.

My friend Chaitra is the Sales manager for Dell in B’lore. She is short, pretty looking & doesn’t look a day older than 25. And she has around 15-18 sales guys working under her. It was a deliberate decision to start wearing the Saree everyday to office. And she swears, the attire along with some attitude works like a dream. And I agree with her, something in the attire definitely commands respect.

A word to the women who think Sarees are not ‘cool’……..
I don’t know if you are aware but men take a lot of interest when their partners decide to wear a sari. They trip over themselves to iron it for you, help you pin up the pallu & get down on their knees to adjust the pleats(the one & only time you get them at your feet).
Whenever my better-half is on his knee’s adjusting my sari pleats, I look down at his bent head & grin stupidly. Dont tell him but I get major CT’s out of this:-D. And if by chance, the mother-in-law is watching hawk-eyed, her precious son at the wife’s feet……..ooooooh goosebumps on my skin….the ultimate high.

The 3 women who I think wear the Saree very well:
Shobha De
Sonia Gandhi

Who are your favourites?
And do u think I have forgotten to include anybody?


  1. Rekha nd Shobha De...gets my vote too...Sonia Gandhi...not for me..

    Shabana Azmi gets a nomination from my side!

    btw tennis players look stunning in Saree...specially Anna Kournikova nd Ivanovich!

  2. I do loove the sari! no matter wt kind of a figure you have (or dont have!) the sari manages to enhance all the right parts and you come out looking good anyways! :)

  3. I fully agree and I have seen many girls and women in the banks and airlines offices(Sahara specially) looking gorgeous in sarees. I cant imagin any other dress for a formal outing, festivals or functions.
    Young girls look so pretty in a saree. When my daughter or DIL wear saree, I cant keep my eyes of them.
    And yes Rekha and Shobha are my favourites also, specially Rekha in Silsila, I like Shabana azmi also for her ethnic wear. She has reinvented herself at this age.

  4. i love sarees but wearing them for long is not fun if you are not quite used to it. i love to look at them, shop for them and enjoy when others wear it. rekha can carry off any dress with aplomb i'd say.

  5. prakhar: Even I saw a pic of Anna Kournikova in a saree & yes, she looks stunning.

    sunshine: seriously, ages back when I was thin as a rake I used to prefer Cottons but now I go for less starchier stuff for obvious reasons;-)

    renu: Rekha wears them like she is celebrating life & yes Shabana Azmi also wears them really well.

    lan: Heehee agree with u totally...when I wrote this post, I just didnt write it for others, I wrote it for myself too:-P.

  6. you`re right. Women look far more elegant in a sari. But I find it a lil difficult to manage since I`m not so used to wearing it regularly. However its great fun, esp when the hubby has to go down on his knees ;-))
    Shabana Azmi totally gets all my votes. Rekha too. And I`m seriously shocked at the Sharjah thing. Although I feel a lil uncomfortable too, if any part of my back is seen! Not that in wearing short tees,it doesnt. But I guess I`m just not so used to it :) I hope I wont be judged for this :)

  7. Thanks for going through the archives :) and yes, I`ve got so used to the new places now, that I cant wait to go back home from this verry long vacation! :) I need to blog about it.

  8. My favourite in a saree is Hema malini. I agree with u. But are u really serious abt Sharjah and saree. It is unbelievable!!
    In the last 4 years, I have given away most of my sarees, owing to the fact that Neha uses me 99% of the time as a sofa or bed. I hate to land up at functions with crumpled sarees. I'd rather be in a crumpled chudidhar. :D

  9. Yup women look good in sarees.

    I would say Hema Malini and Aishwarya ( i dont know if you watch Raincoat-hindi movie).....

  10. In my opinion the Saree and Dhoti seem to be the original clothing of men and women respectively. Perhaps when the scissors and needles were unheard of, the five or seven meters of woven cloth could not be cut and stitched into any other dress and the men and women just wrapped these around their bodies to cloth themselves. With the invention of scissors the cholies/blouses for women and kurta for men came into being with the variants of sarees and dhotis.

    I liked Sushmita Sen's Saree in Main Hun Na.

    Mrs. Indira Gandhi's style of wearing and walking with her saree is just inimmitable.

  11. Correction "women and men respectively"

  12. I love wearing sarees though agree with the costume part..the minute i finish wearing it-which takes hours with husband on knees-Yipee!! i want to step out of it..
    I agree on Shobha and Rekha..But I like Sridevi too..not to forget Indira Gandhi and my Mom too..
    and one of the most ghastly one?? Shilpa Shetty in a red saree when introducing contestants in Big Boss !!

  13. piper: I understand what u mean by the 'exposed back' part:-D.
    Judged!!! ofcourse not:-p.

    bins: tell me abt it...I sit with the kids at the back of the car. By the time I reach church, I'm a mess & filled with so such frustration that I feel like a fake going to pray:-O

    stalag sukhoi: well now there's no contest here....Aishwarya looks good in a sack:-p

    Balvinder Singh: Oh could I have missed her out? Mrs Indira Gandhi was awesome & wore her saris really well.
    And Sushmita Sen looks good too...infact too good to be true:-P

    my space: Yeah have to agree, it is a strain.
    I shdnt be so mean but Shilpa Shetty ties them so low that I fear that it may slip off one of these days:-S. But her figure is something else.

  14. Ah I love sarees.. I did eve when i was a kid.. i wud ask mom to dress me in saree.. every sunday :D :D

    though i feel salwar is more comfy when one has to rush all the time.. nothing beats saree in elegance.. its ultimate femininity that nothing can surpass...

    and yeah my points go to Rekha :)

  15. sarees are lovely and very very sexy but u cant rule out the fact that they are troublesome! and god help poor lil 5 -feet- something women like us :(
    but then i totally love them..
    i think sonia gandhi carries them very well, and i loved sushmita sens sarees in main hoon na.

  16. winnie: I can just imagine the scene. Even my sis & I wd take some old sarees of mom's & have fun wearing it around the house:-D

    ish: 5 feet something is not an excuse...wear high heels. It'll look sexier.
    Aaaah... finally somebody who agrees with me abt Sonia Gandhi.

  17. I adore saris, but I'm still very much a beginner when it comes to wearing them. I first wore a sari by myself only a few months ago, without any experienced women to guide me. Hubby helped of course, never could've managed the pleats without him :) After two tries we got it mostly right, though the fall was peeking out a bit in the front :(

    You've already got women who look fantastic in saris, so let me tell you who absolutely does not: Serena Williams. I like her fashion sense on court, but there was this one time she was in India and there was a picture of her in this yellow sari....ughhh!!! Biceps & sari blouses are NOT a flattering combination!

  18. Shalom: I bet it was a cotton sari which u tried wearing. First practise with chiffon & other lighter stuff, then venture into the starchier side of it.

    I've seen her picture & yes it looks pathetic. I was wondering if there was nobody who cd tactfully guide her as to what wd look good on her.

  19. Actually, it was a light-as-air chiffon sari! The heaviest one I have worn till now was a silk sari for a post-wedding function, which my sis-in-law draped for me...ufff, every step felt like I had weights on my body!!! That's why I'll be sticking to chiffons at least for the foreseeable future.

    But its not so much the weight as much as the fear of stepping on the pleats, even though I pin them in various places to ensure they hold. So I guess its more practice for me before my sari-clad movements can be graceful & not robotic :D

  20. You really made a point here- I would say the sarees are so elegant and they do make a woman look like a woman!!!

    I love all the materials available for sarees- although I think my favorite sarees are the cotton ones during the summer time-- sooo crisp!

    thanks for your comments- sorry I haven't been on much to comment- I've been getting my youngest girl off to university plus juggling my normal schedule!!

  21. I know my husband loves it too but i fall into the category of western outfits!!! I know a friend of mine, anushruthi who wears her sarees beautifully..... she was the only one who popped into my head. Rekha wears her saree well but not so much her hair. It kinda spoils it.... and i agree with prakhar here... Shabana azmi looks great

  22. Shalom: Hehe can very well imagine the strain of carry off a heavy sari.
    oh yes same here....even though it is pinned securely I always feel like its coming undone somewhere:-D

    anjuli: I too love the crisp cotton saris, infact I used to buy only cotton saris but now I'm forced to look at other softer options coz I'm no longer the slim trim Indian belle:-(

    preethi: Yeah almost all Indian husbands love to see their wives in sarees;-P. But only the wives know how bothersome it is to wear a sari & then have the kid tugging at it thruout;-S.
    Hmmm..u r right..Rekha must do something about her hair;-P & yes Shabana Azmi is great....has the 'contemporary look' down pat.

  23. I love to see a woman in a beautiful saree. I tried wearing one in India but I just could carry myself in it. It takes a certain style of walking, a certain way of moving, otherwise it all falls off! I had safety pins all over me but I just couldn't pull it off.

  24. I'm sure u looked beautiful & carried it off very well. As for feeling like its going to fall off....all of us go thru tht initially.
    p.s - even now my mother uses atleast 2 safety pins & I use atleast 4;-P.

  25. "Whenever my better-half is on his knee’s adjusting my sari pleats, I look down at his bent head & grin stupidly."...... I know now why you are so fond of wearing a saree! Just kidding. Of course it is one of the traditional and sexiest dress.

    I don't think people are fined if they wear saree. But the recent( a year or two) regulations says,not to wear revealing dresses I guess.

    I agree with your list. I think I can add another "S" to the list. Sandhya Rajagopal-Tamil News reader,if you know by chance.

  26. hmmm...well i guess its up to people to decide what they wanna wear. i don't think you should criticize them for not wearing a sari!

  27. maddy: Really....sari is considered a revealing atire by Sharjah Muncipality. Yes even i hrd rules are a lil lax nowadays but its still a banned attire there.
    Sandhya Rajagopal...will keep a look out for her:-)

    g-man: huh...I didnt criticize. oh well I may sound a little disappointed...:-P


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