Mumma Has Five Hundred Sarees

Mumma has five hundred sarees
Or at least this is what she claims
Very proudly, with brimming eyes
Glinting with the sun rays of each day of her life.

And of course I believe her,
For I have grown up seeing the stock of her regal possessions
Sprawling exponentially by each passing year
Shrewdly claiming all the unoccupied-occupied spaces of our home.

In fact she might have even more than what she claims–
Sarees of all colours, fabrics, styles and eras
But mostly importantly
Sarees of all memories.

“Anu, see, that’s the first saree I ever wore,
And that one is what I wore when I first came to this house
And of course, your nani gifted this red one to me when you were born
And this is my favourite, your papa gifted this to me.”

She speaks this and a thousand words in one breath
With a voice so content
I wonder if these sarees are more than what I can comprehend
I wonder if a piece of cloth can enfold a lifetime.

But lately I think, I do understand something I can’t explain
If I try – this time, when I went back home and saw my saree-clad mother,
The saree she used to wear when I was a two-ponytail girl
For a moment I thought it was the summer of 10 years ago.

How and why, I don’t know
Though I do sometimes think it’s all a part of her very clever plan
To pour a spoonful of her life and soul in each saree she drapes
For she knows that she might, but her sarees will never get old.

She lives through them.

Anushka Pareek is a keen observer and an opinionated person who is currently pursuing history at the University of Delhi.

Featured image: Pixabay