I have a strange obsession for all things old, vintage and antique, be it walls with peeling paint, kitchen utensils with a beautiful patina, books with yellowing pages, heirloom jewels or sarees that have been passed from one generation to another. I enjoy collecting them, photographing them and dreaming up stories about them.
Thanks to a TED talk I recently watched, this obsession is taking on a new form aka #makialmarise . Let me explain.
The TED talk I am talking about is the one by Ally Matthan (the lady behind the #100sareepact), in her TED talk she starts off talking about fragrances and how they keep locked within each note a memory and a story. She goes on to explain how sarees, just like fragrances tell stories, stories of their birth, their origin, their buyer and so much more.
This got me thinking about my heritage, my lineage, my ancestors, their lives and their stories. I am not one of those lucky ones to have inherited beautiful heirloom anything and maybe that is why I crave and love vintage so much. In fact, forget material things, I don’t even have heirloom stories to pass on. I lost my nani when I was pretty young and never had any relationship of note with my other grandparents; I thought I was too cool for school and never had time to sit with grandparents.
Today having lost all my grandparents, not talking to them remains one of my biggest regrets. My grandfather meditated and did yoga everyday till he was about 95, my grandmothers were expert seamstresses and amazing cooks, there is so much I could have learnt from them and so much I could have imbibed. Now often I find myself wishing for an opportunity to sit with my grandparents, to ask them so many questions, to listen to them talk and to learn life lessons from them…I wish I wish I wish…
My heart was bursting with all these emotions and that is when I decided that I wanted my children to have what I missed out on, I want to document their heritage, their family and all the stories that they can hold close to their heart for a lifetime. Hence the #makialmarise .
My Biggest Regret
I will be using this hashtag to post all the stories that I can dig out. I will be documenting the stories of sarees, bags, jewellery, books, places, memories and other things we usually keep locked up in our almaris. I am starting the process by raiding my mother and mother-in-law’s almaris, so that my children get to know, really really know their grandparents and where they came from.
Ma Ki Almari Se
You will see a lot of sarees and shawls because both my ma’s are lovers of fashion, style and all things gorgeous. I am especially choosing sarees because a saree is one garment that is truly eternal, always elegant and it 100% qualifies to be an heirloom that many generations can enjoy. I appreciate my mothers salwaars and kurtas too, but from a distance, I don’t think the stitched garment stands strong against the test of time – it changes shape, size, form, texture over the years, what was hip in the 70’s might not want to be worn by my daughter in 2020. The saree however it another story…evergreen, eternally beautiful. So a lot of sarees from the 70’s are in store and I am super excited to document the story of each one.
I am writing a blog post after so so long, I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed writing and how satisfying it can feel. I thought that most people don’t read these days, preferring the instant gratification provided by glitzy images on Instagram. Maybe I am right, maybe no one is reading this, I don’t know…
But I do hope that some day my daughter and my neice read this and I hope they feel the love I have in my heart for them.
If I did manage to pique your interest and if you are still reading, follow me on instagram and leave me a comment, I want to know you and your story, I want to know what you learnt from your grandparents.
Get ready for #makialmarise , get ready for a lot of vintage and many stories …so that nothing gets lost in obscurity.
Jewellery : Maharani Baug https://www.instagram.com/maharanibaug/