31 Days in a saree…..

Soumya Ravi
Long. Sweet. Valuable.
5 min readFeb 2, 2021

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This was a challenge many, many years in the making. I first thought of doing it, when I read A Sari for a Month for Newsweek by Shoba Narayan. I loved the idea, and since then, it remained in my mind as something I would do one day.

What’s the big deal for an Indian born and raised, 50-year-old woman to wear a saree for a month? It’s not a big deal for most women of my age, especially if they were raised in India, just as I was. Even today, I have cousins, both older and younger, who wear a saree and feel no constraint and are completely at ease with it. But for me, it was a challenge.

I have always loved sarees. Loved their vibrant colors, their stylish drapes, the way the cloth felt. Talk to me of elegant women, and I immediately think of a saree clad woman. My mother, aunts, and cousins all drape it well and look so refined and put-together in a saree. However, my love for sarees lasted only till I left the shop with it; wearing one was never my choice. I didn’t know how to drape a saree well, and I was never comfortable in one — and it showed. While I love the pottu, I dislike the other jewelry accessories that go with a saree. I wore sarees as infrequently as I could, and eventually, I got worse at draping, worse at walking in it. Even with pins, the sarees unspooled. And driving — “Why did I get married if I have to drive even while wearing a saree?” Part of the problem was that I did not have the kind of sarees I could be comfortable in for many hours. Mine were either super heavy Kanjeevarams, or super soft ones that spooled all over if I moved just so. I got so used to comfort wear — my faithful sweats or a pair of jeans — and left my sarees hanging in my closet like prized pieces of art. There was always the guilt, though, and then the inevitable what are my girls learning from me about the saree and, by extension, about India and Indian clothing?

Well, I did find out what the girls thought of it. We were talking about clothes, colors etc. and my daughter said (I paraphrase) “Sarees are not comfortable and are for old people — young people would never be able to wear it.” When I reminded her that her grandmothers lived in a saree day and night and did everything, far more than we did, she said, “Exactly. Old people can be comfortable in it. You wouldn’t be able to wear it all day and be comfortable,” Challenge accepted.

I would spend 31 days (1 month) in a saree. All-day, every day. I did give myself some outs:

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Soumya Ravi
Long. Sweet. Valuable.

Digital Marketing (Lead Gen), and Marketing Ops are my work & my passion. Steward of @Clifford_Library. Binge watching, and reading are how I relax.