A Letter to My Daughter – Six Yard of Memories

 

Dear Buran

I love you and would miss you terribly during the Durga Puja this year. I wait the whole year for these four days when you come home, just like Ma Durga visits her maternal home. However, no matter how sad you not coming home for the festival makes me, I am not going to put that on you. I know you will miss me, your home, your city, and all its craziness during those four days.

So, to cheer you up I am sending this special care package containing five of my sarees, some of which I knew you wanted to wear for some time. Some of these sarees are new and some are old but they are all very dear to me. In other words, I am sending you a part of me to keep you company during the festival days. In the packets, you will find a handloom cotton saree that my mother gave me when I left Begumpur to come to Kolkata after marriage.

The one thing that all Indian women inherit is their mother’s sarees. This cotton saree from Begumpur is very close to my heart because my mother - your grandmother - commissioned the weavers to make it especially for me. I still remember her sitting in front of them resolutely with a cup of tea in her hand to ensure that they finish weaving the saree on time. When the saree was finally made, I saw the immense love with which she gently stroked the intricate red, white, and blue patterns weaved on the crisp cotton surface.

I can still smell my mother’s scent between the pleats of the saree from Begumpur, even after so many years. Look at me, going down the memory lane. But Buran, no matter what, takes good care of this saree. It is not just six yards of handloom artwork that I carried with myself from Begumpur – it was my inheritance. And now it's yours. I know you loved the rich colors of the saree and the intricate patterns on the border and pallu. Once, you even tried to draw them on your coloring book. I still have that page with me.

Remember the Saraswati puja when you wore this saree and strutted around confidently with your other friends the whole day? You were six and begged me to dress you up in this Begumpuri handloom cotton. You were almost on the verge of bawling out when I finally relented and wrapped the colorful six yards around you.

Among the other four packets you will find a pure silk saree, that I choose specifically for you, an Ajrakh saree, that I got from my mother-in-law, a Dongria Kondh saree from my own collection, and a cotton handloom saree from my mother.

Wear the pure silk saree on Nabami and don't pleat the pallu. Carry it on your hand with panache. I am sure you will look beautiful in it. Don't forget to send me pictures of you wearing each of these sarees. I will be waiting eagerly for them. You can wear either the Dongria Kondh saree or the handloom saree for Ashtami Anjali.

Consider these six yards of cotton and silk as my reflection, to keep you from feeling lonely during the festive season. These yarns hold more than just color or pattern. Years and years of memories are trapped in them – and they will remind you of me. It is now time for you to inherit these pleats, the memories, and aroma of the city that awaits your arrival when you come.

Stay safe and spend a great Durga Puja.

Yours Ever Loving,

Mom.

 

Bgumpuri Saree

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