I was very excited about this trip to my hometown. In addition to being home after almost two years, one of my best friends was getting engaged! From the moment she told us about her engagement, two other friends and I started planning our outfits for the occasion.
At first, we thought about wearing the same colour but since the three of us couldn’t agree on one colour we finalized upon wearing similar outfits in different colours – this way we could wear the colour of our choice. But most of our plans didn’t go beyond our group chat.
Determined to buy something new, I even spent one whole day at the Select Citywalk mall trying different ethnic outfits at shops like FabIndia, Global Desi and more. That day I came to realise the sad truth of my life – outfits that I like don’t look good on me. I really liked this teal coloured anarkali but I looked like a member of the Mughal Court in it, and then there was this maxi dress with a long flowy jacket in white and gold which made me look like a magician. Tired and disappointed, I decided to take the safe route and wear a saree.
The day I arrived home, I started looking for a saree; since it was just a simple affair, I couldn’t wear one of those heavily embroidered sarees. After rummaging through my elder sister’s almirah I chose three – a grey chiffon saree with simple thread work in red, a green silk saree with a geometric print and a pink chiffon saree with polka dots. I shared the pictures of these three with my friends and they liked the green one. So, I was all set for my bestie’s engagement party.
However, tragedy happened a day before the party... none of my sister’s blouse would fit me. I had lost weight at the time so I was certain that her blouse would fit me, and therefore, I didn’t bother to try them. Cursing myself, I went through her almirah once again with the hope of finding a blouse that fits me and matches with any of the three sarees.
“Why can’t you do these things beforehand? You realise such things at the eleventh hour,” my mom started complaining. She then suggested that I take the blouses to a nearby tailor for alteration but after having a proper look, she told me that there was no way any of those could be altered to my size. The only other option was to find my mom’s blouse and alter it to my size. Now it was her cupboard’s turn to be searched.
While she was hunting for blouses for me, I saw something with a very interesting pattern in black and white. It was a new saree she had got as a gift. I liked it the moment I saw it. But she hadn’t stitched a blouse for it and there was no black blouse in the house.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention - in that moment of panic, an idea struck me. I had recently bought this long black shirt and since the saree had a contemporary look I thought about using that shirt as a saree blouse. I quickly tried this combination and it actually looked good.
Since the shirt was long, I didn’t button it till the end and left the two buttons on the top also open. I gathered the unbuttoned part in the front and tied a knot. As for the back part of the shirt, I tucked it under my bra… and thus I used my shirt as a saree blouse. The fact that it was made of rayon meant the collar wasn’t stiff and this saved me from looking like a flight attendant.
I made a three-layered neckpiece with a long pearl necklace and wore a pair of matching earrings. I had often read articles about how tops and shirts can be worn with a saree and had often seen this being tried out on ramps. Little did I know that this trick would save the day for me.