Most women love to wear saree, have a wonderful collection and cherish the elegance that it brings. This craze for exclusive and ravishing sarees is beyond economic stratification. The ones who have the means to buy, definitely create a unique collection and the ones who don’t have resources, don’t possess many sarees but wish to some day.

My mother was brought up in a very pampered atmosphere. She didn’t know what pain and struggle was while growing up. Even when she was married to my father who was a pious man but not rich, she was immensely loved and pampered. My father would do everything to keep her happy and cheerful. But after his death all heavens fell on her. She had to raise us seven siblings up all by herself. She didn’t have a second pair of saree to wear.

I remember a day when she was talking to Iti in the village.

“What saree was Mausi wearing? It looked nice. She was explaining loudly how her son got her Saree which was around Rs. 500”, Maa murmured.

“Maa, it’s a sambalpuri saree from western Odisha. It is very very costly. We can’t be buying it,” said Iti.

“I don’t want to buy it either,” Maa interrupted.

I have listened to that episode. I wanted to gift her one but reality was so harsh at that point of time, I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to do so in future. Maa never talked about it ever.

Years later, when we were capable enough, I asked Iti to buy some sarees. She would prefer simple work on the border and a simple saree, yet elegant. Iti knew her choice well and got it made. “You remember Mausi. She wore such sarees. I wanted to wear one from that time. But didn’t say anything.” Maa said.

“Maa, your son has become a big man. He will get you many such sarees.” Said Iti. She continued, “We know what you want and what you don’t. You have given us birth, Maa”.

I am so glad that I could fulfill Maa’s wish which she had kept bottled for years inside her. Except for that gift, she would always prefer simple cotton saree, worth not more than Rs 500, even when she could afford a closet of sarees. That’s how Maa was. Very simple yet elegant. Since then, every year, I give hundreds of Odisha Handloom sarees to guests who come to KIIT and KISS.

I have learnt that one should not break down if one doesn’t have resources to buy something one dearly wants. One should also cut the shirt according to the cloth. One should also not become extremely frivolous if one has resources because wants are unlimited, and human beings should control it by satisfying need, not greed.