The Saree Secrets.

Just a couple of weeks back I got a chance to wear a saree after ages . I’m not sure what it is with me and sarees but I have a thing for them. I’m yet to figure this out :) I think I was fascinated about wearing sarees (since 13 or so!)way more than being able to drink, drive, party or anything else people are generally excited about around that age.

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Thank God for self-timer!

Being in Singapore, you don’t always get a chance to wear all your beautiful Indian clothes which are otherwise just catching dust. I have always liked wearing Indian clothes so there were times I would just imagine an occasion for myself and wear kurtis and patiallas to Design School, or be the only 17-year-old wearing a black and turquoise saree at a New Year’s Party.

I thought Arijit Singh’s concert was pretty decent an occasion for a saree! It seems it was also the Rare DiseaseIMG_3451 2s Day. I didn’t know about this till the next morning, but it was surely a big enough reason to wear what felt good. I chose to not wear a sling that day – I let myself do this sometimes. Only SOMETIMES.  So when I  do make a choice like this, I am usually prepared in other ways — 1. I had taken extra pain medication, not just for my shoulder but because the night before I couldn’t get a decent sleep and that made my lower-back feel worse. 2. I  had spent the earlier part of the day being even more kind to my right shoulder, lower-back and knees, and 3. I was out with friends who knew my condition a bit better than the rest, and that always helps. 

With a lovely golden blouse, an elegant black saree, matching earrings and accessories, I think I looked like a perfectly normal young lady on the outside. The truth is, all the not-so-normal things were underneath my saree giving me the right kind of support I needed for that night. And no one even knew!

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I wore my Hush Puppies Body Shoe. All I can say about them is that they’re really ugly but useful. They are not anti-slip, which is scary, but they’re so amazingly comfortable to walk in. I threw away the black pair just a few days back so I had to wear the brown ones.  And of course, my knee guards! There is no being out at a concert (or anywhere) without them!

On the days I need to be out of the house for longer or make sure I don’t need to be carried around by someone, I must have proper footwear. I need shoes which provide me with right kind of support for my high-arches. I need shoes which give my feet enough cushioning so that my lower-back doesn’t cry in pain later. And, if I want to reduce the chances of my kneecaps dislocating even by a small percentage, I’ve got to have my knee guards on. It’s not as if I feel no pain just by wearing Orthopaedic shoes and knee guards, but it’s just that if I didn’t do these things, managing my pain later gets almost close to impossible. I have gradually become okay with the need to wear ugly shoes (sometimes!) with a saree or black knee guards with a short skirt.

About six months back, I threw away my entire collection of heels – right down the chute, one pair at a time. I used to love wearing heels! I could even dance in them easily if I felt like it.  I cried quite a bit that day because it was a massive step forward. I really cried a lot. I let myself cry a lot. I think it’s natural to feel sad each time you have to let go of a part of your past – it’s like giving away a piece of yourself or your old self. I had those shoes in my wardrobe for far too long! I was holding onto the hope that someday, I’ll be able to walk in heels again. Sure, someday I might be able to! But that someday isn’t today. Or tomorrow. Or anytime soon. I realized I was only making things difficult for myself. I wasn’t letting myself accept my changing body and  my new needs. I had to let go of those shoes so I could let go of memories that were holding me back.  And I did.

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The next day I woke up feeling lighter and emptier in a good way. I still felt a sad. But it felt like I had more space in my heart for something new. Anything new.

I had the most amazing time at the concert, even though I was wearing ugly brown shoes that didn’t match my saree at all. I don’t think it even matters that much to me anymore. I’m not always wearing shoes that don’t go with my clothes, but when I have to, I try not to let that drag me back into the past. Really, if it weren’t for these ugly but useful shoes, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the concert as much. I got a chance to wear a saree, take lots of photos, watch Arijit Singh perform live and have a nice dinner with a group of close friends after that. I think that was enough for me to say that I had a brilliant day! I had to deal with extra pain later but that’s okay – that’s just how it is usually. It takes me a couple of days to recover from being out at such events.

Slowly but steadily, I’m starting to let myself be what I am right now. It’s not as if I don’t feel bad when I have to pick unattractive Orthopaedic shoes over gorgeous high-heels or make any such choices, but I surely don’t hate myself for having to make these choices. The times I feel upset about these things, I just let myself be upset for a bit. After a while, I come back to respecting the fact that I have a rare body with really rare needs.

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2 thoughts on “The Saree Secrets.

  1. I totally know what you mean about the heels – I really have to carefully decide about how high of a heel I can wear to any given event, knowing that it might easily throw my back out for a day or two. The regular standards of beauty and fashion (which are a bit ridiculous anyway, when you come right down to it) just don’t work for my sensitive body. Love the post!

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    1. Hi Anna, thank you! I know, this shoe business has become complicated over the years. No heels, no flats! There is so much more to consider these days that it really takes quite a while to find perfect shoes which suit my body.

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