Saree & Newbie Daughter-in-law-India 2021 (Ch-2)

Continued from the first chapter……. Read here:

saree and newbie daughter-in-law
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Saree- My chosen one !

I’d never worn a saree all 23 years of MY PRENUPTIAL PERIOD. But now, ‘two became one‘ after marriage (pun intended full-blast). Another FACT-CHECK: I took circles around the fire (pheras) with my chosen groom LATER and moved in circles with the saree FIRST (to wear my bridal attire). The sequence says a lot !

Draping the saree was one thing, but washing it was another- Level up! Luckily though, only on days the laundry helper didn’t show up. And mind you, this was no ordinary piece of cloth I’m talking about.

This was ‘the SAREE’ saree of the six-yard Indian fame, which when draped onto, turns Indian women or for that matter any woman, into a gorgeous diva.

But the challenge was: WASHING THAT DIVA ATTIRE; a good six yards in length. Diva-attires are gorgeous to sound but difficult to tame. The six-yards had to be rubbed with hands merely seven inches long, even at its best length. Washing machine- we had not. Not because it was 2002, location: India, but also because we believed that a man’s destiny lay in his own hands. Substitute man for woman, his for her. Let’s talk about the hands’ destiny now.

 Oh saree! Why so long?

When I first-ever dipped the saree in a tub of diluted detergent, I could scarcely imagine that washing the saree would mean washing the entire length of it. I mean, how could one?? It was way too long. I thought, maybe I should rub just both the ends of the garment, or maybe just the perimeter or maybe just the dirty portions. But definitely, not the whole area. So much for my ignorance & so much for Math!

For a second or twenty-secondth time, I flashed SOS to my sister-in-law, a seasoned lady. I asked which lengths of the saree needed to be twisted for wash. She looked at my innocent/ignorant face (no idea, which adjective she preferred) and declared- ‘Whole! You need to wash the whole of it’.

I was stunned. I asked her if this was even possible. Even if the aftermath of the hands was ignored, how feasible was it to wash the flowy serpent, given the limited bathroom time. More so, because I was expected to wash it along with its accompaniments- the blouse & the inner skirt. And together, they were a lot, a huge lot!

But I did & learned over time, the way I learned many other things.

What next after saree ?

The fourth discovery I made after my matrimonial union was that it was not always vaastu or superstition at play when you don’t understand certain societal or familial norms. There can be reasons which may still baffle and bowl you over. Like this:

For dinners, the entire family would sit down together on clean floors with individual plates and seating mats. Of course, the elders & the male members would get to eat first. This was the norm which I was acquainted with, as I was used to the same even in my parents’ house. This is also something that exists still today in most Indian families.

eating on floor arrangement
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But what surprised me was whenever I sat for the meal, I was asked to face in a certain direction and then eat. Furthermore, these directions changed by a few degrees left or right on most of the days.

Was it Vaastu ?

My initial surmise for my positional oscillation was either vaastu or superstition. But what I had known all these years was that all four directions were static & therefore, the probability of vaastu playing a role was ruled out. Next, superstition was a subject I never traversed, forget excelling at and so I looked for other clues on why I was asked to eat facing different directions on different days.

I looked around to see if there were pictures of Gods hanging on the walls around the meal site, lest I may offend them. I shouldn’t be eating before offering anything to them first. But there was none. They were comfortably ensconced in the puja-room.

No, it wasn’t !

What it then was, I wondered. I kept nursing my curiosity for weeks until after I couldn’t hold it anymore and sought clarity from my sister-in-law. She said something I remember to this very day. She said, probably it was not right for me to eat with while facing my father-in-law & therefore, I was made to turn so as to not face him.

BAM !!! The dynamism in directions now made sense- Depending upon which side Dad faced, I had to change my seating direction. My seating direction was calculated directly proportional to his direction and it varied with his variance. Math was poking its nose again!!!😂

Funnily unfunny-Now & Then !

But a lot has changed since then! I don’t play coy or walk slow. Neither do I wear sarees now; so no covering head or washing sarees; I also own a washing-machine now if I had to wash one. I eat face-to face with even the elder/male family members. There is no problem now. But memories remain.

Memories lead me to conclude that: in India, commonly, bridology or daughter-in-lawlogy aka marriage from a woman’s point-of-view, is quite inclusive in nature. It holds in its amalgamated core, many other concepts like that of biomechanics, math, home science, psychology & others. For success with the degree, you need to ace them each- one & all!

Hail Lord! May the victory be yours Woman! Amen.

Tell me, how you liked my blog. I’d love to hear from you right below in the comments box.

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62 thoughts on “Saree & Newbie Daughter-in-law-India 2021 (Ch-2)”

  1. Like your fluid style of writing. The anecdotes are although familiar/common but you give them a new lease of life.
    Could see a liitle influence of “miss funny bones” …In a positive manner….. Hope you would pen something from a men view point soon.

    1. haha.. that’s tough, men’s point of view, but sure i can guess their thought methods 😀. Thanks a lot for what u said, ur words keep me really inspired 😊

  2. Awesome blog …….had tinges of mystery , comedy, Indian beliefs to what you faced and how you overcame them . Pretty inspiring. Says that HOPE is always there for Indian brides !!

  3. Nice one. But washing of sari in detergent is worth. It should be drycleaned. 😊😊😊

    1. true that, but the sarees we wore at home day in & day out weren’t so delicate/expensive, so they were home-washed. thanks for reading 😊

  4. For all husbands it seems so easy…. and we fail to understand that a girl comes with you and she is suddenly a “bahu” and you expect to know and work like you have seen your mother and other female members……
    Ya times have changed but we still have lot to teach to our sons and society…

    1. M glad to see ur progressive mind-set; sure we need more of such ! do subscribe to receive regular updates of my future blogs. thanks a lot!!

  5. Amazing ma’am….You always have good humor in your blogs. And bdw I still wash the ends of my saree 😂

  6. Very nicely written in a jovial way.
    Writer seems to be enjoying the process of churning the latet joy of writing .

  7. Saree is not a piece of a cloth it’s an emotion that attaches with each and every Indian girl’s life..and also an emotional attachment between a mother and child

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed dear Rekha as always…..look forward to many more such hilarious write ups

  9. Love your perspicuous style of writing .Tinge of humour woven with clear thoughts makes it a good read .Loved it totally.

  10. I never knew washing a saree was so difficult as I hv never washed one. I really like your style of writing. U make the anecdotes really interesting and humourous by using the phrases such as flowy serpent, positional oscillation, etc.
    I always look fwd to your blogs. Continue writing.

  11. I like the way you speak of your ordeal where it all seems funny now.Graduating to a saree is major change in a girls life after marriage.Although we do prefer more convenient dresses there is no doubt In india a lady in a saree will always command respect..

  12. Nicely written Rekha! Brought back the all too familiar memories of days gone by.
    The direction piece was quite funny, I would never have surmised that on my own.
    Speaking of directions, the only direction worth going is Forward!
    So march on and we are all eyes for the next one!

  13. It was fun reading your ordeal with the saree. Thankfully since I married late I was able to put my foot down on not wearing ‘the saree.’ And even if I have to wear one for any occasion, it goes straight to the dry cleaners after use.

  14. Love the way u dig into small aspects of life that impact us deep – loved ur perspective – look forward to many more

  15. Well scripted blog.. U add humour & wit to that effortlessly. An ordeal faced by young & new bride, insight toIndian culture,the superstitions&finally Hope to women.. U mentioned them all.. Enjoyed reading it

  16. Awesome reading 👍🏻👍🏻👌
    Waiting eagerly for the next edition
    All the best!!

  17. Seriously I never knew washing saree was so difficult as never washed one….good humour, entertaining…. keep going 👍

  18. Worth reading, something to smile in these testing times. Looking forward to more such reads Rekha. All the best

  19. Glad there is something to smile for in these testing times. Looking forward to more such reads Rekha. All the best

  20. It’s humorous, really enjoyed reading it….
    Your narration is simply superb …
    Looking forward for the upcoming one….

  21. You shared your experience in a fun filled and interesting way because you are such an interesting person.Loved reading your story….way to go…

  22. Hi reks grt efforts . nicely explained ur bitter experience and indian rigid norms of those times. Interesting to read with full of humour esp washing saree was lit exaggerated.good try waiting fr more of these inspiring topics.

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