Open any Indian woman's wardrobe, and you'll see rows and and rows of colourful saris of every kind. From elaborately embroidered silk affairs, to the more breezy, chic cotton ones, most Indian women treat their saris with reverence.
But with the increasing pace of modern life, most women now prefer to flit about their daily lives in the more functional salwar-kameez, jeans or skirts. And sari, therefore, has become an outfit to be worn during festivals and other formal, cultural occasions.
But two Bengaluru-based friends decided to bring this six-yard long "story book" out of its neatly-pressed avatar, where it is jealously hoarded, but seldom worn.
"Like most Indian, urban women, we too had collected saris over the years and they were lying unworn, unseen in cupboards and lofts because we had moved to more 'convenient' dressing for our office-going, home-running, avatars," write friends Anju Maudgal Kadam and Ally Matthan on their website, 100sareepact.com. "This year both of us were speaking about wearing saris more often and bringing back more elegant dressing in our wardrobes. That's when we decided to show our saris some love," they added.
That's when the #100SareePact was born, and the friends decided to wear their saris a 100 times before the end of year 2015.
But sporting a sari 100 times year, means wearing it at least twice a week. "We invited women to use the sari as a medium to tell us a story. It could be the sari you are wearing, about its weave, its design, the tale behind its purchase, the special occasion it was worn on...there are so many. The basic idea was to revive elegant dressing," Maudgal Kadam told The Hindu.
But there was more to the pact.
Maudgal Kadam and Matthan invited women from all over to join the pact and share the photos of them wearing a sari on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #100SareePact.
Maudgal Kadam told The Hindu, "For many of us, saris and moms go together. We remember our mothers, the special saris she used to favour, her usual attire, the aroma of her saris, the feel of the texture... Saris evoke memories, some odd, some comic, some sad but all memorable. That's why we invited women to use the sari as a medium to tell us a story."
Recently, I draped this Mauve Georgette on the auspicious festival of #GudiPadwaMarch 23, 2015
"As we shared our photos and our stories on our Facebook and Twitter walls, more and more beautiful women in their beautiful saris started telling wonderful stories about their relationships, their past, their memories. Each of us started making connections through the common threads of themes that we found in the other's story," Maudgal Kadam and Matthan wrote on their website.
As the pact is gaining more and more popularity, the friends are happy that their initiative has stared a dialogue about this wonderful garment, and has encouraged women to share their experiences and memories.
Maudgal Kadam and Matthan also plan to archive and document the stories and photographs shared on social media on their website 100sareepact.com.