Ever since Dushasana laid his hands on Draupadi’s sari with the malicious intention of disrobing her and thereby insulting the entire Pandavas, the sari had not only miraculously unfolded in yards but also in nuances that defined and redefined womanhood over time.
However, as years rolled and dynamics changed, sari took a back seat from an everyday wear to something that we wear for occasions. Yet, we know we have retained the love for the six yards of sheer elegance. The flak received by a recent video that went viral, depicting the predicament of wearing a sari to office, be it climbing the stairs, going to the washroom, skin show or dealing with lecherous looks and annoying queries – all in good humour – goes on to prove this.
On the other hand, famed designer Sabyasachi Mukherji was heavily criticised and trolled recently for a comment he made during his speech at the Harvard India Conference. “I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a sari, I would say shame on you. It’s a part of your culture, (you) need stand up for it,” media have quoted him as saying. The comment has been labelled as misogynist with netizens stating that no choice can be insulted or mocked.
But then again, we have some incredible inspiration in the brewing. Mandira Bedi is one actor and television personality who has always managed to make heads turn. This time, however, the 45-year-old has not only done that, but also made jaws drop, when she performed push-ups draped in a sari.
The video she shared on her Instagram account has now gone viral, with fans lauding her for her stirring spirit.
Popular fashion and beauty blogger Esha Hindocha believes at the end of the day, it all boils down to one’s comfort. “If Mandira Bedi can do push-ups wearing a sari, it is definitely applaud-worthy. However, not everyone might be comfortable with it. If I’m conscious about my outfit, say, for instance, at my workplace, I won’t be able to focus or give in my 100 per cent,” says Esha, adding that she wouldn’t hesitate to sport one on a special occasion, which calls for wearing a sari, thereby embracing our culture.
Shital Mahajan, an Indian skydiver who has mind-boggling records to her credit has added another feather to her hat – by skydiving from 13,000 feet sporting a nauvaari, the traditional nine-yard sari. Those who have been keenly following fitness icon Milind Soman would have definitely come across his mother Usha Soman, who often accompanies her son in marathons, sporting a sari. Video of her doing planks in sari too had stunned the world.
Does the list end there? No way! Jayanthi Sampathkumar from Hyderabad had made headlines running a marathon in sari, whereas Meena Raghavan, touted to be the oldest practitioner of Kalaripayattu, which originated in Kerala, slays the a martial art, beautifully clad in sari.
Sunory Dutt, blogger and communication head at IIIT Hyderabad, too echoes Esha’s view, stressing on the importance of ease. “If you are thinking along the lines of culture, there are many places in India, especially the north, where sari is not the main outfit. Being comfortable in your own skin is more important,” she reckons.