Strength In Saree
There is grace in a saree, memories in a saree, there is love in a saree, colours, emotions, stories too but most importantly there is Strength In A Saree.
Over the last few years, as I have travelled across India and listened to stories of women draped in sarees I have come to realise that more than anything else there is #strengthinsaree .
Women have told me stories of receiving prestigious awards in their sarees, their fist day at work, getting married in their mothers saree. I have also heard stories of loss and dread, of being beaten by husbands every night, of receiving news of losing a loved one and of fighting terrifying battles of illness - all in the saree.
So we at Ek Dori decided to document these stories of strength on, (yes, you guessed it) a saree! It is a kora handloom saree with a minimal blue border, we wish for it to travel and be filled with the colours of your lives, the colours of your stories and the colours of your strength.
The saree is hand embroidered with a few words that tell the essense of the story, worn by the storyteller and then passed on to the next storyteller.
Our second Story Of Strength In A Saree is Padmini Netke's story of strength, resilience and survival.
Padmini had us embroider the words " Aai Ambabai Yedabai, Sukhat Rahu Deya " which means " Oh Goddess Let There Be Love and Sukh" . It is an ode to the Goddess that she has immense faith, devotion and dedication towards. She believes that the Goddess has held her hand, helped her survive and given her direction throughout.
Padmini was married off at the tender age of 5-6 years old to a man who was already married and had a wife. His first wife could not have children which is why he married Padmini.
Padmini started wearing sarees soon after and has been wearing sarees ever since. She has undergone a lot in life and her entire life - every tear, every smile, every cry of pain and every sigh of relief has been soaked in the threads of the sarees that have been her lifelong companions.
Her story filled me with rage, with pain, it made me cry and it made me feel grateful, all at the same time. I hope you watch her story and feel something through it. Let me know the thoughts running through your mind.
I will tell you my thoughts...
Like I said I felt pain and hurt and anger, I kept wondering how God could inflict so much pain on one person.. I also kept putting myself in her shoes and wondering if I could have survived and dealt with so much, was I strong enough!? I don't think so..
These thoughts instantly made me feel grateful for what I have. We all do have our fair share of problems and situations that we would like to change, but then I think of Padmini and her life and I am consumed with an overwhelming cloud of gratitude and thankfulness for everything.
Another thing that Padmini's story embedded very deeply in my heart was my already strong belief that What Goes Around Comes Around. Often when someone hurts us we feel the need to make the other person feel the same pain, we feel the need for revenge...but it is important to remember that it isn't our job to keep looking at the past and seeking revenge...it is the rule of nature. It is the job of the universe to bring balance and ensure that 'what goes around comes around'.
Padmini's husband and his first wife were horrible to her and they both met the same painful end...so what goes around surely does come around..
These were my honest and very raw feelings...Id love to know what emotions and feelings the story welled up from deep with you.
Thank you for reading