The human brain is a funny thing. A mere smell or a sound or even a texture can unleash memories so vivid , it would seem as if you are actually experiencing it in present.
The smell of a particular agarbatti, immediately takes me back to my Ajji’s ‘deoghar ‘ ( Puja room) . I can almost see her in her nine Yard saree, making chandan ( sandalwood paste ) for her gods.
The sight of parijat flowers on the ground, transports me to my nani’s house in a small village called Barshi.
All this happens in a nano second, almost like magic. Memories that are tucked away deep in the corner of your heart, become unlocked by these visuals and smells.
As I hold my Paithani in my hands and run my fingers on the delicate weave, I am overwhelmed by the flood of memories that engulf me.
I had draped her for the first time for the naming ceremony of my first born , Nikita .
My Paithani was brand new then. I had personally chosen the colours, the pallu design and the butti motif.
It is considered auspicious to wear black for a naming ceremony .
I was very clear even back then, that my sari for that special day, had to be a Paithani! Having just finished my degree in textiles the year before, I was already head over heels in love with this amazing textile from Maharashtra!
My Paithani looked so resplendent .
In the years that followed I draped her many times for many special occasions.
Every time I draped it, she gave me the same joy and the same happy feeling.
Little did I know that every time I wore it, a new memory was silently getting woven into its silken threads.
Today, 28 years later, she looks as resplendent, as graceful and as beautiful as she did almost 3 decades ago!
As I close my eyes hold the Paithani against my cheek, I can see my son Neel, as a toddler , sitting in my lap for his ‘bor nahan ‘. My Paithani was with me, like a best friend, for that occasion.
When I unfold the Paithani to appreciate the beautiful dancing peacocks on its pallu, I fall in love with it ……again!
I smile, as I remember the compliments I receive every time I wear this saree.
How can anyone not fall in love with this beauty?
I fold it with care , as if to preserve all my memories in it .
I am awaiting eagerly to weave more magical memories into its threads.
Memories that I will pass on as a legacy to my children and their children.
Because , I know for sure, that tomorrow I maybe gone, but my paithani will be there, strong and beautiful as ever. Sharing old memories and weaving new ones into its silken yarns!