Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass ...
Its about learning to dance in the rain!!!
There are many things in life that will catch your eye
but only a few will catch your heart... Pursue those

This is my small effort to make you smile for a while...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Nine Yard Fantasy

Me: Hi Rahul sir,
Rahul Bhatia: Hello Ramya
Me: Rahul sir, whats the criteria to host a guest post 
Rahul Bhatia: oh why?
Me: No... I dont have many reader so can I still ask for guest post???
Rahul Bhatia: Go ahead, its just to loop the bloggers...
Me: Ok then fine send it to me by afternoon.... and the topic left to you thank u Rahul sir... :D

Just few months ago, I pinged this person to convey my thanks to him as he regularly visited my blog and also was kind enough to comment on the posts with his insights, But then I had least expected that I will soon be pinging this person for various topics. And soon my one stop for Doubts in cooking, Latest News, Gossips, Technology discussions, Health Tips, Writing Tips, Good Old Tales, Indiblogger discussions and most important thing for Travel Queries was "Rahul Sir" and that's Rahul Bhatia who is an exceptional blogger blogging at Rahuls Blog and Collection.

How I laugh now for believing him when he told that he is just a retired sailor but then was totally bowled over to know that he retired as Commander in Indian Navy and is now a man of technology with varied interests like blogging, Cooking and travelling.

So I strongly feel, he is the right person whom anyone would want to hear more and more and so I requested for a guest post and here is how he surprised me again with his vast knowledge on any given topic ... 

A Nine Yard Fantasy... by Rahul sir 

‘You guessed it right’! I am talking about the best and most ethnic wear an, Indian saree. An unusual subject for a man to discuss but anyone who cannot appreciate a saree  is not fit to be a man!! Maybe an overstatement but the truth cannot be denied that the nine yards of fantasy can make even the hardest head turn. One need not walk in saree on the ramp at Cannes or at Abu Jani or Sandeep Khosla haute couture show, but just walk pass on an ordinary road to set the heart aflutter.

 I would like to take you on a short journey with my experiences with regards to this attire starting from the time when I was a young lad and saw my mother draped in this fine piece of clothing, ever since I opened my eyes. Never did she adorn any other clothing so this was my earliest brush with this garb.
I would often accompany my parents when my father bought sarees for my mother so I tried to pick up the nuances associated with purchasing this. First time I left home to travel to Bangalore while still at school, I visited Poornima Saree Shop at Kampegowda Circle to buy a silk saree for my mother. The shop keeper was delighted and helped me in selecting a silk saree which cost a bit over Rs 200/- a fairly hefty sum in those days. It had a golden border a small one, not too loud, and a nice pallu. My mother was overjoyed when I gave it to her.

After getting married, I went around with my wife and slowly learnt more about sarees as she too loved to wear them. On our first trip to Srinagar, we went around the market and I did my first shopping of a Kashmiri silk saree for my wife with a self-print and flowers which she liked and wore for many years.
We travelled to many places and each place has its own unique saree, in India. This may not be something which Indian girls would not have heard of but the aura of saree from each part of the country is unique.
 In West Bengal in the remote villages of Pundibari in Cooch Bihar district I saw the Baluchari, Tangail, Jamdani , being woven on hand looms and even amid so much poverty the weavers create a magic with their looms. The streets of Kolkatta at Park Street,  Garihat and New Market will bend head over heels to entice you to buy Kantha stitch and Taat  sarees .

Not very far in Assam, in Kamrup district, near Gauhati is the Sualkuchi village, by the banks of river Brahamputra. The village is famous for the Muga and Pat  silk sarees. I saw how the silk worms are raised and the thread is extracted, the threads colored to weave sarees which could take anything from a few days to almost 8 to 9 months to create. Ericulture is a household activity in this small village where Muga cocoon to cloth is created in form of mekhalas, chaddars and sarees.  The price range is from a few hundred to tens of thousands of rupees. They create a half saree for unmarried girls, a tradition in common with South India. The cream colored saree purchased here still remains a fond collection.
In Varanasi, silk sarees are as famous as the sweets of the city and the temples. The holy town by the river Ganges produces one of the finest works of silk brocade and Jari work (woven with silver and gold threads). No North Indian wedding of a girl is complete without a ‘Banarsi saree’ as it is fondly called. There are massive stores and small ones in by lanes in town where one can come across sarees stocked in shops.
I got an opportunity to travel to Aurangabad, famous for Ajanta and Ellora temples. While going around and exploring the city I learnt about the village called Paithan which is 56 km away from the city, by Godavari river. My wife insisted that we visit and I knew that a big hole was about to be blown on my pocket. Paithani sarees are known world over for the rich silk sarees produced here with motifs of peacock and birds and frescoes of Ajanta paintings. Every household is engaged in the art of producing the magical sarees on their looms. There was very little time left to see the place as my purse cried aloud after the purchase of a saree at Paithan.
While visiting Bhopal, the visit would have remained incomplete without buying a Chanderi saree, which has a very fine texture and are light in weight. Maheshwari and Tussar silk  are some more exquisite sarees crafted here and are popular.

Another trip to Hyderabad would have been a nonevent without falling for a Pochampalli or a Kanchi Pattu saree. Pochampalli sarees are famous for the intricate geometric designs.
Jamnagar in Gujrat where I served, was a perfect place to buy Bandhini sarees (which use the tie and dye method). It was fun to visit the small shops in lanes where the workers produce the saree by tying knots with thread, to create the designs and immerse them in different colors and dyes to conceive startling designs.  Patola sarees of Surat with geometric designs are even more enticing and expensive. Rajasthan  is  also a stronghold of tie and dye sarees, and no visit to Jaipur is considered fructified without a purchase of ‘tie and dye’ saree.

I will not do justice to the sarees without mentioning about the ever popular Kanjeevaram sarees of pure silk from Tamilnadu, Mysore Silk sarees of Karnataka , and Set Sari of Kerala. These sarees add so much color and have such rich ensemble of sparkle that they require a separate post to describe their beauty. It is difficult to give a miss to stores like Parthas in Ernakulam and Sarthas in Chennai without buying from here. Since I wandered in these states more than anywhere, you can well imagine how my finances suffered during each of these visits.

So next time you want to win a heart of your sweetheart do not forget to buy a saree . Sarees are now conquering the world by being projected by the divas of Indian film industry like Aishwarya Bachhan, Vidya Balan and Sonam Kapoor at international forums. Who wants to be left behind, in the race for grace?

P.S. Rahul sir :D please reply to all the views and comments we get on this post - Thanks


KK said...

My mom mostly wears salwar kameez. A lot of women in Punjab/HP/Haryana do not wear sarees. ('Mostly' here means almost everyday)
So, I am one of those people who do not know anything about sarees.

Ramya said...

@KK: Hello KK, Thanks for being the first person to comment on the guest post, so as you dont know much about sarees :D I am sure now you have got a very good insight about it after reading this post :D?

KK said...

Yes, now my insight is better. Secondly, a lot of things in life are about understanding your audience so to speak. I *will* have to understand more about sarees in the future :-)

Badarinath Palavalli said...

ತುಂಬಾ ನೆಚ್ಚಿಗೆಯಾಯಿತು :)

Richa Singh said...

This should become an eye opener for all husbands to ensure that they buy the best sarees for us :) very informational I must say :)

padmaja said...

Rahul is a great writer and it is a pleasure to read his narratives, he has done it again with a simple subject as a saree, enjoyed a ,to!
Ramya, nice visiting your blog today!

Arti said...

Information, humor, memories all packed into one fantasy of nine yards! Saree is truly a rich symbol of our cultural heritage but what amazes me more is how our states and cities have offered it something so unique that almost each part today boasts of its very own type of saree.

Enjoyed reading so much in depth about it, many thanks for the guest post, Ramya. It's wonderful meeting you and your blog through the ever so versatile writer, Rahul sir. :)

Vidya Sury said...

Hi Ramya! How nice to meet you via Rahul!

Wonderful post, Rahul. I am thrilled to think I own every type of sari mentioned here, even if I only wear it on special occasions. You're right thought - that the sari is the best attire ever.

:-) Always great to read what you write.



Raj said...

Wow Rahul… you took us on an amazing trip down memory lane as well as across India describing in vivid detail the various sarees and their magnificience. Saree is indeed such a fascination to every one and you kindled my own memories of buying them for my mother. Really loved reading the intricate details about different sarees and how they are made and how they form such an integral part of our culture. Terrific post and it was a pleasure reading it.

Jayashree Srivatsan said...

Nice informative post Rahul . I love wearing saree a , I get an elegant feel about myself in them that no other attire provides . :) I like nine yards too but I need my mom's help to tie that one

Found In Folsom said...

Rahul sir, you definitely have so much knowledge on the 9 yard thing than may of us women do :) Your post tempted me to buy all the different varieties of saris you mentioned in the post :)
Your mom and wife are lucky to have you..Also, Ramya that was a wonderful introduction about Rahul..I knew many things about him..I love the 9 yards except that I am not a perfect in draping it :P

Purba said...

Nothing can parallel the joy of buying a sari – beautiful cottons that bring alive the magic of weavers and their looms, the feel of silk as you trace the intricate patterns with your fingers and the silent gasp as the showroom salesman unfurls the pallu with a flourish – just like a magician, presenting his grand finale.

P.S Rahul, I had no idea that your last name was sir :p

Rahul Bhatia said...

@Ramya- A huge thanks to you for giving me a space on your blog. I am sure this post has fired you to acquire some more sarees for more celebrations at a future date:)
@KK - Hope you got to know about some exotic sarees. May be I could address you s a right audience.
@ Badarinath-ಇಷ್ಟಪಡುವ ಒಂದು ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು
@ Richa- Ha Ha hope the men folk don'nt come after me for this additional expense!! Thanks a lot:)
@Padmaja- I am fortunate to have a reader like you who likes anything I dish out:) Happy more splurging on sarees!
@Arti- Not enough words to thank you, Arti for those lovely comments. I feel very happy to have someone like you writing comments which would make anyone feel proud:)
@Vidya- Am humbled by your comment Vidya! Was delighted to learn that you have most of these sarees in your wardrobe:)
@ Raj- A very sincere thanks for having enjoyed this basically girlie post:) I feel happy that you too enjoyed the read!
@ Jaishree- I know what it feels to look elegent in a saree and hope you continue to keep people in awe with your collection of sarees in Singapore:)
@ Latha- FIF- One thing for sure sure that I am lucky to have a reader like you who enjoyed this post! Ramya, literally pushed me hard to write a post which could come closer to what I wrote for you sometime back:)
@ Purba- Every comment of yours is like an icing on the cake and I have seen bhadra log shopping in Kolkata and their eyes opening wide with each saree being unfurled by the salesman:)BTW - The young flock of ladies refer to me as Rahul Sir as the actual knighthood will remain elusive in this lifetime, it looks!!Also a sincere thanks for following my blog and this makes my stock go up a few notches:)

Rachna Chhabria said...

You are quite the saree expert Rahul. Actually there is no end to your talents: blogging,writing, poetry, travel features and now saree shopping :)

Rahul Bhatia said...

Thanks a lot Rachna for such a kind comment! I enjoyed admiring sarees and learnt a bit in the process:)

BGT said...

Ohhh Sarees... What a 'hot' and 'cool' topic for a guest post Rahul sir :) Despite we being in the technology age where we know what's happening around the world, including 'in-thing' in fashion, Saree remain the best of the lot! Westerners are coming to India to try Sarees, which says a lot abt the fashion statement a saree makes.. :)

Jenny said...

A wonderful topic! I hva ethis thing to buy and stock saris. Kanjeevaram, Chanderi, Paithani, Banarasi.. I guess I have them all. But the saddest part is I dont wear them at all! I think it is an art to wear this beautiful garment and untill I perfect that I dont think I would wear one. My mom too always wore just the sari. She works, eats sleeps runs and dances everything in a sari, and that's how comfortable it is for her! I wish I could be like that.
BTW I have lived in Aurangabad, so if your wife wants some more saris and you want some more oles in your pockets, please let me know :-))

Rahul Bhatia said...

@ Binu-Sarees are here to stay! The style and fashion of time will decide how they are worn:) Thanks a lot!!
@ Jenny- Delighted to see you back with such a lovely offer:)BTW do find time to wear a saree on special occassions to do justice to your lovely collection!

SuKupedia ™ :) :) said...

@Ramya: Good choice of a guest writer :)

@RahulSir: A very wonderfully expressed post :) :)..

D.Nambiar said...

Mr. Bhatia (I think I'll call you commander from now on. Whatsay? :)), I didn't know you knew so much about sarees and that too about sarees from the north to south and east to west. Wow. This almost blew my mind.

Pleasant writing as always. There's nothing quite like wearing a saree. Just who can disagree with that. I miss wearing it. I get to wear only once a year now -- Onam celebrations.

Ramya, Chittrana? Nice name.:) Shall come by again.

You guys have a good a weekend.

Rahul Bhatia said...

@ Sukupedia- Feel honoured to read your nice comment! A big thanks for liking the post:)

@ Divya- such a delight to read your comment! Ah if you address me as a Commander I will feel I am still sailing the high seas and not writing some humble posts:) you are the best judge! Learnt a bit about sarees from people like you who love to adorn them:)

Ramakant Pradhan said...

Very informative article on the Saree. Quite a few pointers to take :)

Rahul Bhatia said...

@ Ashwini- Thanks a lot that you liked the post! Am sure your prized possessions will increase in number with time:)

@ Ramakant - Am very happy that you liked the post and found it informative too!

Jyoti Mishra said...

Rahul Sir knows how to entice readers...
I was fascinated by the title alone :)

and the anecdotes you add Sir are a treat for the readers..
Saree... well who doesn't know about sarees is surely missing a lot :P

Rahul Bhatia said...

Once more many thanks, Jyoti for those comments:)I am happy to have a reader like you supporting whole heartedly:)

Nuthan said...

That was indeed a great great length of knowledge about Sarees.. Rahul sir, hats-off to you.. More than the knowledge I love your attitude because that's what made you knowledgeable..!! thanks for that encyclopedia-tic-information-about-sarees.
Now there is another reason for me to boast about India's richness in diversity.

@Ramya - Really appreciate your thought to get this guest post out. Your ranking has gone high in my books : )

PhilO♥ said...

So much of traveling, so many sarees :)
I guess. every Indian woman looks good in a saree, no matter if the woman is tall, short, fat or thin.

This was a lovely post :)

Rahul Bhatia said...

@Nuthan- Am humbled with your kind comment and indeed I have been fortunate to go around and see the beauty that lies in the world around us. Ramya is one of the energetic bloggers who have been kind to provide me space on her nice blog!
@ Juhi- How nice to see you backand leave your pug marks on this post:) Agree saree is elegance personified on every lady no matter tall, short, fair or not so fair:)

Haddock said...

Agree with you about the streets of Kolkatta at Park Street. They really entice you to buy Kantha stitch and Taat sarees. Had a good experience when I was there with my wife.
Well written.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Thanks a lot Haddock! Happy to read you had similar experiences at Park Street in Kolkata:)

vanderloost said...

The post speaks of the writer's vast and varied travelling experience. Most enlightening even for a person who has been in sarees for almost two and a half decades.