Deepa’s biggest nightmare was to wear saree. As she lay awake on her bed that day, she recollected
all her encounters with a saree. It was always painful.
She wondered why people love sarees. Though she accepts it as one of the traditional wears, she
didn’t like wearing one. Just that she was not comfortable. And she always tried to escape from
situations, where she had to wear a saree. However, today she cannot. For her, nothing else mattered as much as draping and carrying a saree.
So she lay awake and lost in thoughts. She felt it is always women who struggle. Look at men they can wear anything of their choice. To any function, they can come in jeans and kurta. Oh yeah, so they just modernized it, is it? By replacing pyjama with jeans, they made it look easier. But she can’t mix saree with anything, can she?
So she lay awake on her bed and time is almost 3 am. She knew her mom will start to knock the door now. The beautician will come soon. God knows how much effort is needed to hide all her red coloured hair with jasmine. She was sure her would-be is sleeping in the other room. Lucky he is! He doesn’t have to get up early, take a bath, wear a heavy saree, do the make-up, and carry the weight of dress and flowers for a whole day. Lucky he is, lucky he is!
So she lay awake and recollected that she wore saree only thrice in her whole life, the tenth and
twelfth farewell parties, and once in college. She was never comfortable in saree. She remembers
the struggles very clearly. The difficulty to walk, sit, stand, the scratches near ankle by her underskirt, the high heel sandals, and the challenge to pee!
So she lay awake on her bed, scared to get up and wear her wedding saree. She had tried everything
possible to replace this saree with any other dress. But she had no choice as her dad loved this one.
She will do anything for her dad. But this saree weighed more than her. This saree is not her choice, but she had no voice.
The saree was on her table. She had to do something. She can’t struggle more. She told herself, “It is just a saree, throw it. Stay beautiful, not silent.” She stood in her room, with her favourite white collared shirt and formal pants. She got dressed up like a bride, but in her formal wear. She applied makeup and wore ornaments of a bride but in her formal wear. And she was beautiful beyond words. The new avatar of a princess!
Standing next to her fiancé in the mandap, to all the guests, she made the following speech. “Friends and family, Thank you very much for gathering here on this auspicious day. I take this opportunity to introduce a new bridal wear to you all.
Dear ladies, forget global warming, pollution, ozone layers and water scarcity.
Forget poverty, malnutrition and natural calamities.
Forget the boundaries of nations and terrorism.
Forget nationalism, politics, religion and caste.”
She could hear it, her name being chanted. “Deepa ”…. “Deepa” ……. She grew more excited and continued her speech. “All my dear ladies, let’s burn all sarees and wear what we like. I assure, peace will be restored in this world !!!
Let’s break all stereotypes!
The biggest challenge of a woman’s life is not education, career, health and hygiene. Not the freedom to communicate, to express emotions, to travel, to conquer empires.
Ladies, our greatest pain is not menses, pregnancy or labor.
I ask you to forget any concerns at home, workplace and public spaces. Join hands to just boycott saree! All colours of your life will be back, if you just acquire freedom to dress code.I repeat my fellow women, the question is not about existence.” ….
She was shaking now, water on her face and she could hear her mom’s voice calling “Deepa, wake
up, its late. Get up now or I will pour more water on you!”
Let us think about the stress we carry for dresscode ! Has it haunted you ? while cultural reasons and respect to elders are one valid reason we accept the dresscode , how many women who crave for Western wear are restricted not to ? How many of us do not have mental freedom to dress up the way we want to ? Let’s think deep & create a better stress-free society for future generations. Let the dress doesn’t make us a queen rather let us learn to be one within !