Beg, Borrow, and Steal, my absolutely favorite theme. In fact, my sister did hint that I would be delighted with this theme.
Well, I have known no other way. As the younger of the two siblings I gotta wear most of my sister’s clothes. Then we reached the stage where we could share our clothes- envy of the ‘lone girl child’ friends as our wardrobe was always double of theirs. Moving to different locations for higher education helped even more- she wore it there and me here. I was lucky to have her around during my initial work years (Let me clarify ONLY from the wardrobe perspective) as I had ready Corporate wear clothes waiting for me when I arrived at Kolkata. Sister had just got married then so she had even more new clothes to share. Of course they would come with riders like “don’t drop ice cream over it like you did last time”, “watch out for grease if you are travelling by cab, you managed to get them onto my yellow silk saree”. Never mind. Not being much of a shopper I was happy to have access to these clothes. Sister also took a lot of pains to buy material for me, design the clothes, and get them stitched (of course she got to wear them too). This continued even after I moved to Chennai- all my clothes still came from Kolkata, ferried by some hapless souls (that includes our respective spouses who by then had realized that a little cooperation from their side goes a long way in ensuring family peace). That is the bit I miss once she moved to the US of A.
Somewhere down the line the saree wearing days began and after we started MOS in 2010 there was no looking back. I had to be the change I wanted to see. MOS ensured that I wore sarees with more regularity and slowly started to work my way around cottons. And so like I have mentioned in earlier posts, my wardrobe has quadrupled. To start with there is mine that I had carried for years, Mom’s as she primarily wore cottons, sister’s( since she now rarely wore cottons) and gifts( many of my new cottons are gifts from friends and family).
The saree in the picture was gifted to my Mom for her 70th birthday by her friend (a leading designer who works with weavers to create some exclusive pieces inspired by Odisha weaves). I just love the vibrancy of colors here and simplicity of design.
Funny that both sis and I have showcased sarees borrowed from my mother’s birthday collection for the theme. As for me I always come to BBI with plans to raid. So you could say it was stolen in the guise of being borrowed. I have even factored seasonality into the same. So I pick up the Bengal cottons by February followed by Odisha cottons around June (the South cottons, Chanderi/Maheshwari are somewhere in between), Pure silks around September and Tussarsa around November. Some of the dressier ones have a permanent place in my wardrobe. So as you can see there is a lot of science to the borrowing too.
Some days I feel like her when I am wearing her saree (rudely reminded by my good friends that I am not a patch on her), other days I feel that love wrapped around me. The older ones bring a lot of memories back- like the blue one that I wore to the MOS Style Icon meet and which later got featured in Alka’s article in the Asian Age. That was Mom’s first Bomkai- gifted to her by Dad. Later sis had got it block printed giving it a new lease of life.
And then there are sister’s sarees- but that is for another post.