|| Silk-Spun Dreams ||

It was gorgeous. The gold strings interwoven with the peach silken threads; there were patterns in green on one side and heavy gold border at the bottom. One of the most magnificent sari she had ever seen. “It is Kanjivaram,” she was told. Her eyes gleamed with joy mixed with astonishment as she ran her fingers softly over the silk. “It is beautiful!” she whispered, with extra emphasis on beauty. “You can wear it for today’s function if you like.” She looked up surprise apparent on her face. “Are you sure?” she stammered, “It must be very expensive.” She could see the owners face swell with pride, “Of course, it is. Aishwarya Rai wore a similar thing on her wedding. What do you think!”

She draped the borrowed sari that evening after she had donned her best jewelry. It was not easy. Given her limited experience with wearing this particular attire, and the extra heavy material of this specific sari, she took almost twenty minutes to get it on. It was kind of shabbily draped when she stepped out of the house and into the car. But by the time she stepped out of the car and into the function, the shabbiness was replaced by utter chaos. The pallu length had multiplied during the 15 minute car journey. The skirts of the sari had come lose, and as she balanced herself on her high heels, which were mandatory given the length of the sari, she had to be careful at every step else she would trip and fall.

There were people everywhere – urging her to taste some chaat or share some ice-cream. Tempted to try the delicious snacks, she tucked her sari up, and walked to the stalls. She got herself a plate full of snack with yogurt and sauce, and had just dug in with gusto when she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. She turned around to see this uncle from Saharn Pur; graying and wrinkled – he could be anywhere between 80 to 95 years of age. Hunched over the walking stick, he stood there, smiling at her. She liked him, yes. She bent over to touch his feet as a sign of respect and just then his little granddaughter came running. She wanted a bite of the snack too and tugged at the golden-peach Kanjivaram pallu.

Momentarily, the world came to a standstill. Then, she felt a slight pull, heard a faint sound that reminded her of a tearing cloth, saw the unfurling of the magnificent golden silk. Turned to stone, she stood there. Standing amidst a frolicking crowd, with strains of a popular Hindi film song in the background, she had only one thought in her mind, “Would the owner forgive for ruining the sari just like the one Aishwarya Rai wore on her wedding?”


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