sarees tell stories

a tale of two sarees

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no, it’s not the same saree. am still giggling at how i landed up getting two sarees that are, no, no, not the same.

it was a mistake. wasn’t very clear whose, mine or the shop’s. but a mistake it definitely was. i’d seen this beautiful saree on instagram, which is now like a shopping mall for sarees or anything. it was a striking mustard saree with an inky purple and a hot pink asymmetric ganga-jamuna border. a gadwal in silk with the trademark kuttu weave at the borders and pallu. abhihaara had posted it.

based in hyderabad, abhihaara social enterprise is a shop you go to when you want the real thing and where you know the weaver gets a fair deal. they work directly with women weavers and produce authentic cotton and silk weaves of andhra pradesh. i wanted that mustard saree.

they took my order and after a couple of months the saree arrived. i opened the dhl package, highly excited, all set to see a vibrant mustard saree tumble out. the saree had been rolled, not folded. i unrolled it with impatient fingers, waiting to see the mustard. waiting to see the musta…

yellow and green checks appeared out of nowhere. what? i looked at the borders. the colours were perfect. so what was this checked body of the saree? that too in green and yellow? i felt my heart begin to sink. it was such a gamble, shopping online.

instantly, i whatsapped abhihaara. there had been a mistake, the wrong saree had been sent. i helpfully added some pictures. abhihaara replied, well this was the saree i’d ordered. i sent them the instagram picture based on which i’d ordered. yes, that was the saree… it looked like that when shot out in the open in natural sunlight.

really? i was astonished. had i seen it wrong?

anyway, in the course of this to and fro of messages and looking at the green and yellow checked saree again and again, i began to like it. a lot. all those colours… should have clashed, but somehow didn’t. looked unusual and elegant instead. tell you, colour matching is magic, some people just know how it’s done.

even as i grew enamoured of this gadwal, a part of me chanted, mustard mustard mustard. so i requested abhihaara to make me one without any checks, in the kind of colour the saree in their instagram post had.

the second saree came a couple of weeks ago. it was a greenish mustard. difficult to define colour. nothing predictable about these gadwals really.

so now i am the happy owner of these almost identical sarees. sometimes mistakes can lead to wonderful things.  

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sarees tell stories | two gadwal silks from abhihaara social enterprise, hyderabad, bought 2020. you can find them on instagram @abhihaara

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