The Flyaway Saree

by Vimala Ramu
(Bangalore,India)

One thing I sincerely appreciate about the modern generation is their credo “Dress for comfort”, be it jeans, capris, salwaars, kurtis or swimsuits.


If something was missing in the attires of our generation, it was a sense of logic in dressing up. Compared to our previous generation who used to swathe themselves in yards and yards of material (oh, those dhotis, pagris,9 yard sarees …), we were a little more sensible in that we at least used lesser material to cover ourselves. But comfort? There was only one way of wearing the saree (in South India) and this attire would have to do for all the occasions including in bed.

The glamour quotient made its advent in a middle class housewife’s life when nylon sarees came into the market__Nylon, so named as the yarn was invented simultaneously in New York (Ny) and London (Lon). We had heard that Dacca muslin sarees could be folded and fitted into match boxes. But that was only a legend for us. So, this diaphanous material in lovely colours and attractive prints which would not fade, shrink or pucker up was indeed sensuously wrapping us in ethereal elegance and making us feel beautiful and glamorous - thinner the material the better it was. Gujarati ladies would embroider their matching coloured petticoats with intricate mirror work of Kutch so that it would show through the transparent material.

With a heavy bias developed towards pure silk and pure cotton in my later years, I shudder to think how we loved those nylon sarees and wore them all the time, in spite of the warnings about going near the fire. I wonder how I used to wear them to bed even during hot summers of Delhi…….

It was during one of those postings to Delhi. We stayed in the quarters at Dhaula Kuan. As we were occupying the first floor, we used to sleep on the terrace above the ground floor garage using light charpoys (5 of them, one for each member of the family) to spread our beds in the nights.

One very hot, windless night, I had discarded my nylon saree and left it heaped loosely near the bed. In the middle of the night, suddenly a strong gust of wind rose and carried away my saree. It deposited it in the compound of our neighbours! As luck would have it, the back of their house faced the rear of our house and so we did not know them well.

But, “Chivalry, thy name is Man”. My husband, without a second’s hesitation strode down in his summer (un) dress to retrieve the saree.

I was shocked! Watching tensely from the balcony, my mind was full of questions. What if the residents of the house, say the master or chaprasi comes out? What explanation would he give them, trespassing in the midnight in their yard barely clad in a jhangia? Would they believe him if he claimed to be their neighbour and that he had come for his wife’s saree?

Fortunately nothing of the sort happened. While the residents of the house slept soundly my husband brought back the saree in great triumph and gave it to me. I folded it well, weighted it with my pillow and went back to sleep, barely able to suppress the laughter bubbling within me.

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Feb 03, 2013
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The Flyaway Saree
by: Pushpa Raghram

It was fun to read the write-up. I appreciate your husband's guts to go to the neighbors backyard during the night. Well written. Congrats.

Jan 15, 2013
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Bow
by: vimala ramu

Dear Gc,
I take a bow.

Jan 15, 2013
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No Vimala!
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

I'd say you have the GUTS & the right admixture of HUMOUR to narrate such an episode in measured perfection (i.e. without going over-the-top). Salute you for your bravado and spunk!!And of course the WIT!!!!

Jan 08, 2013
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Thanks
by: vimala ramu

Glad you enjoyed the episode Kumuda.

Jan 07, 2013
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you are lucky
by: Kumuda

Vimala
You are lucky you noticed the saree escapade just when it took off.Soppose you woke up after day break and didnt find it in its place like Gopikas of Vrindavan then what? My imaginations runs wild with your dear husband caught by the unknown neighbour for trying to steal a saree from their backyard though it rightfully belongs to you.I had to control my imagination and compliment you for starting this in the first place.Good work

Jan 07, 2013
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unique
by: vimala ramu

Hi Geeta, thank you. What you mean perhaps is that it is something that can happen to any one but only I have the guts(shameless) to tell all about it !!!

Jan 06, 2013
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Thanks
by: vimala ramu

Thanks a lot,Pankaja. Among your wellknit works, I feel my work is flippant and flimsy. Nodi swamy naavirode heege !!!

Jan 06, 2013
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Only you can write this!
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Vimala, I had a long laugh during and after reading this. Only you and you can write this. I am seeing a sequel to Colors. E-N-J-O-Y-E-D!

And thanks for the comment on the review. It was beautiful and so apt!

Jan 05, 2013
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Good
by: nuggehallipankajaAnonymous

unusual incidence narrated with your usual streak of humor,Vimala !

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