Tried swathing the stretched and pulchritudinous piece of clothing succeeding a ravine… The surroundings beamed, inclusive of the live and moody. The discord (ifs and buts) between the shade of the saree and that of the blouse wasn’t meditated, but insouciance that turned out to be kosher. The mechanism by which the culling was done didn’t turn out to be fatiguing at all. It scarcely took a minute to secure the decision. The greenness of the color and the cottonness of the fabric forged it as usual, resulting simpler. Furthermore, the statistics of choices didn’t bequeath the chances to be ruined rotten.
Getting naked…to garment a cloth wore typically by women…; picking up a blouse… felt- nauseous. It reminded of the first time I menstruated. I felt low. Subdued. Then, my coping mechanism was to approach father rather than mother as against the custom. It broke the pervert tradition and led me feeling appropriate. So, the subsequent undertaking was to don the blouse braless, making it less stereotypical. It receded the discomfort to a certain extent but the breasts lingered. The breasts ‘ I ‘ love, but they look at as objects. I anyway, don’t feel disposed to wearing a bra as a customary, in winter. With the precisely designed silhouetted cups, it wasn’t a prerequisite in the case of blouse. Luego, the petticoat; the nausea again. The dizziness…’The stream of consciousness’, ”you’re metamorphosing into a woman. You’re being remodeled like your mother. You’ll be subjugated like her. You’ll be secondary like her. You’re not just draping yourself, you’re sealing your fate. Your mother will register you as a woman. She’ll treat you like one. She’ll square you like she was taken care of as a woman. She’ll have presumptions of you that the society has of a woman. ‘She’ll’ enforce ‘her’ restrictions to ‘your’ sexuality.” History vouches, for my apprehensions have been proved in particular antecedent circumstances. And my memory jogged anon to the inferences to why I’d been evading the cloth despite being fascinated by it, especially, from surfacing saree-clad before her. Her gaze degrades me.
I’ve invariably found my mother attractive in a saree. This used to be her staple clothing till a few years back. I recall observing her wear a saree, as a teenager (and then try myself later, with lipstick, but never a bindi), especially when she would tuck in the plates inside her petticoat. I wondered what part of her body did she just touch. And then a digression from the real to the imaginary and back to the real. This is exactly, not exactly though, how I tucked my plates in. The starched cotton touching your organ above vagina, tickles, more so if the saree is tied lower than the regular. But, you get used to it immediately and it even stops tickling. My mother has been a perfectionist when it comes to wrapping a saree. Per-fec-tio-nist. She would ensure that the plates synchronized with each other. I ensured, they didn’t. I emphasized that it all look amateurish. Else, I’d become like my mother. She’d realize, I’d it apprenticed from her (of course, she’s aware of how keen an observer I used to be while she’d be wrapped) and do everything in her competency to crush me like her.
I’m told, I resemble my mother. In fact, I know, I’m endowed with earmarks of her in that sense. So much so that her photographs clicked at my age ‘could’ be confused with as being my photographs. I want the similarities to end here. I find it abusive when compared with her, though it secretly somewhere, enthralls me for some unknown reason exactly as it disappoints when not compared with her, at the same time padding with pride. It’s a paradoxical relationship. Since the days I’d observe her wearing a saree, I’ve coveted to be discrepant ‘from’ her not ‘with’ her. It has been a conscious preference throughout. Precisely why she has picked up a disliking for me. Despite my entire efforts to enwrap the saree unlike she does, alas!, I see her revoltingly convivial, i.e, delighted, but manipulated by stern facial expressions. I was hankering to be denounced.That’s what establishes, and safeguards too, my not being like her. So,… she finally takes me as a woman…? I too know I’m a woman; albeit of a diversified breed. Quite literally! (If it satisfies all those who ask me to be proud of being a woman, lol. I’m proud of everything I’m. After all, I’ve created it consciously. Have I, or just followed the instincts?! The man-woman binary is immaterial.) I’m the breed she’s yet to accept…Her kind is, an ugly, demeaning construct. loved saree! Felt liberated but not exempting the puckish; claustrophobic; and object like sentiments. Organdy, Chiffon and Silk are my fabrics. The ensuing experiments will ensure perfection not per-fec-tion. The saree ‘ll be tied disparately; carried varyingly, slight bit revealingly and my daughter can roam naked if she chooses to (if I’d have one).
PS- I could be called the rowdy element that has constantly, since the saree days annoyed her. This particular part of her self, is displeasing to her. She understands me as her distorted, alter ego. So, the reconciliation never happens, even when I urge now. But, I visualize a still hopeful future. A synthesis. I also realize that I’ve become her antipode (somewhat like Elena Rincón in Juan José Millás‘ La Soledad era esto who unlike me realises this through her mother’s diary after her death.). It is abhorrent to her. I remember being termed as “Mastaani Ghodi” by her in an outrage. Till this day, the label is cherished by me. It was an achievement. I also owe my cheerful disposition, along with tiny bit sadism to her, which does resurface despite difficulties. I love her (despite her unholy attitude towards me, which is an issue and of which not a word has been mentioned here). Yet, you hurt her and I’ll make you cry for a lifetime (non violently, till you repent)! Not sure, if she feels the same. Only I can hurt her. But, I don’t want to be like her.