In her mother's sari

The first sari worn by a woman is usually one that's passed down from her mother. That sari becomes not just an heirloom but a sentiment. The memory of being taught how to drape for the first time, that graceless but determined walk against yards of fabric. And most importantly, how that sari signifies the beautiful transition from girl to woman. 

We asked 9 women across ages to wear their mother's sari and share their stories with us. 

Diksha Basu, 32, Writer and Occasional Actor

"This is one of the first saris I took from my mother because I love the colour scheme. We both wear a lot of red and black. These days we share our saris but when I wear this particular one I see flashes of my mother whenever I catch my reflection." 

Preeti Verma, 33, Owner and designer Runaway Bicycle

"This is a 35 year old Benarasi sari that my mother got as a wedding gift from my father's family. Over the years the sari tore in places but she loved it so much she darned it with bright green flowers. My mother's love for it makes this sari even more special to me." 

Ankita Kohli, 28, Freelance Creative Consultant

"This is one of my mother's college saris. A part of me always wonders about my mother as a young college girl when I now wear this sari as a grown woman." 

Archana, 23, Domestic Help

"This sari belonged to my aunt. My own mother passed away when I was very little, but my aunt brought me up like her own daughter. This is not a very old sari, but it was bought by my aunt for herself and she gave it to me because I loved it so much." 

Supriya, 31, Ad Film Maker

"This is a 34 year old Benarasi sari that my mother wore for her wedding and when she passed it on to me, I wore it for mine." 

Priyanka Bose, 34, Actor

"25 years ago, my father bought this Dhakai sari for my mother from Bangladesh and she kept it aside for me. He always had immaculate taste for her when it came to saris. I always say, as we Bengalis don't inherit money, we inherit ma's saris."

Shagun Seda Sengupta, 34, Creative Director

"This is a 23 year old pure chiffon sari from Mysore that my father gifted my mother. I love how it's so simple yet so striking. Since it was a gift from my father, I never had the nerve to ask my mother to give it to me. On her 60th birthday, in a fit of motherly love she finally gave me this sari." 

Bollamma Apaya, 82, Homemaker

"This is 53 years old, it's a Dharmavaram sari. It's a special memory for me because it is the last sari my mother gave me before she passed away." 

Hetal Ajmera, 35, Designer and partner; Sharpener Inc.

"I like dressing comfortably, so I never wanted to wear a sari, I felt I would hate it. But we had one of those family functions where I had no choice but to wear one, so I picked this from my mom's cupboard. It was the first sari I wore, it was soft, easy and surprisingly very comfortable. I've loved wearing saris ever since." 


Writer/Creative Director: Meera Ganapathi

Photography: Vijit Gupta

Backdrop: Preeti Verma and Runaway Bicycle