Saree: c/o Sareez.com
Neckpiece: Street shopping, India
Handcuff: Forever 21
Septum ring: Forever 21
Dharitri was covered in a beautiful handwoven cotton saree but it seemed as though her body was wrapped in a blanket of sand, guarded under the ocean. Dharitri was rightly named for she felt her oneness with the earth. She seeked strength in her creativity and her curious eyes always kept her on her toes. She had no regrets from her past and carried no burden on her shoulders, she only gazed with a face full of questions. Dharitri questioned everything around her, she was never content with the average anythings and it always made her wonder if she demanded for more than what she deserved. She hated to compromise and the rebel in her always showed up like a sore thumb, especially when she was pushed into things in the name of tradition. Dharitri was raw and was strongly drawn towards nature. She was an inspired soul that embodied earth, she felt one with the rivers, the mountains and the forests. As she walked through the woods her eyes glistened like the moon on a dark night. She had a firm but a sweet voice, that sounded like the continuous loud chirping of the morning birds. Her mind, a vast forest where she rested under the shade of tall trees and adorned flowers as jewelry. She was a wanderer and wander she did, to far off places without any fear. Dharitri never felt homesick because her home was within herself, in her inner wild soul. Dharitri couldn’t relate and restrict her emotions to the 4 walls of a house, for her mind travelled far across the concrete building into the wilderness. She weaved stories with every picture her eyes captured, every face that she had seen and at one point she felt like they had always been a part of her. She picked and carried within herself many stories, sentiments and unsaid thoughts from the people of each place she wandered into. Dharitri was a dreamer, a soul seeker and a wanderer. She was fierce and kind, she carried fire in her soul and grace in her heart, she was a paradox of a rare kind, with eyes that told mysterious tales of exploration. Dharitri was bold in her choices and feared none. She was more like the moon than the sun, for she shone bright in darkness. Dharitri preserved her freedom every time she was a little less tame, a little less careful, a little less obedient for this freedom in-turn went on to nurture her unashamed wild soul. Dharitri had become an unwilling inspiration for other women to reclaim their inner wildness. All of us have a Dharitri in us, that untamed alter ego that we need to let free. Because only then will we truly become one with nature and a strong creative soul.
This cotton handloom saree from sareez.com, took me back to my childhood days of admiring my mom and grandma wear their beautiful drapes. My grandma’s almirah filled with sarees collected from various parts of the country was nothing less than a treasure chest. When she’d want to wear a saree, she’d take out a bunch of keys to open her old Godrej almirah, that made a freakishly loud creaky noise everytime it was touched. That almirah really was a standing witness and a companion to my grandma’s aging. As she’d open the almirah, the strong smell of ittar placed inside would fill up the entire room and I would stand there looking up, staring in amazement at the neatly hung colorful drapes. I’d often help her select a saree for the day, especially when she was confused between her choice and that of my grandpa’s. Being the strong, independent woman with a voice who made most of the decisions in our house, she was always dressed for the part. Every morning you’d find her in a beautiful crisp cotton saree freshly delivered from the laundry, her neatly combed thick oiled hair and a red bindi in the center of her forehead. With so much on her plate to do and finish in a day she’d always fall back on comfortable fabrics like cotton and considering the Indian heat, they were the best bet. I clearly remember running up to her room and help her straighten the stubborn pleats of her starched cotton saree. Her love for dressing up and to look presentable even at that age was admirable. As she grew older that excitement started to fade and soon her stiff cotton sarees also became soft. She then passed on her grand collection of sarees to her daughter, daughters-in-law and grand daughters. This memory of hers will always be etched in my mind and I’ll always remember her every time I wear a saree.
Sareez.com is an online store that carries variety of sarees and other ethnic wear for women and men. They ship internationally too, so that’s a great news for Indians living overseas. Go check them out incase you’re interested in buying pretty traditional wear for the upcoming festive and wedding season.
Thanks for reading, have a great weekend.
Photography: Vaishali Gupta
Concept, Styling & Editing: Swati Dixit