Didi, Are You Wearing Sari Without A Fall? People Will Laugh!

‘‘Oh my God Didi, no fall in your sari; how shabby and ugly it looks. Don’t you have any sense? People will laugh at you." And sure enough, some people within earshot turned around to see who was speaking so loudly.

This happened a couple of years ago. While on the mandatory pandal hopping during  Durga puja, I bumped into a cousin of mine.

The initial formalities over, this are what she said, ‘‘Oh my God didi, no fall in your sari; how shabby and ugly it looks. Don’t you have any sense? People will laugh at you.” And sure enough, some people within earshot turned around to see who was speaking so loudly.

Years earlier, when I wore fall-less saris to my French class a couple of times, I spotted a few girls whispering and giggling, looking askance at my attire.

What is the purpose of a sari fall?

Coming to the brass tacks, a ‘sari fall’ is nothing but a sturdy strip of fabric–5 inches in width and 3 metres in length – which is mandatorily sewed onto the hem of a sari; its purpose is to cover the initial drape and pleats area. It is stitched on from the wrong side of the sari, to  avoid  being visible from the outside.

‘Sari fall’ ushers in multiple benefits. No doubt. The extra fabric lends weight and strength, thus making a sari stiffer.

This ensures easier and better pleats, ultimately resulting in a graceful drop of the sari. Pleats stay in place, weighed down by the fall. The fall supports the hemline as well as the whole fabric, by fighting gravity and preventing scratches or wear and tear, be it from footwear or rough ground surface.

There was no fall for saris until a couple of decades back

I still have bones to pick with today’s fastidious, fashion-conscious crowds, especially youngsters. The Sari in its myriad avatars has been worn by women of the subcontinent since the dawn of civilization. Indus Valley civilization is 8000 years old!

The accounts of societies and kingdoms that flourished through the subsequent centuries reveal that the sari was the staple attire.

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Did fall exist then? No. Who manufactured or marketed them? Nobody. How were the saris maintained or safeguarded during those times? Who knows.

Let women wear their sari the way they want

Then why so much hullabaloo about a  not-so-significant accessory? By the way, a nonagenarian aunt of mine, highly fashionable during her youth, doesn’t recall the existence of falls. I am in my mid-50s. If my memory serves me right, falls made their debut only during the 80s.

Here is cocking a snook at the fashionista:  I can jolly well afford falls and get them attached. The sky won’t fall if  I  don’t. So I will give it a miss.

Anyway, I  am lucky to possess a  few resplendent South  Indian silk saris and spectacular Bengal handloom saris,  both categories with weighty borders that fall will do a fat load of good. Hmph!

Image source: Sakshi Patwa via Pexel, free on CanvaPro 

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About the Author

RUCHIRA GHOSH

Am a trained and experienced features writer with 30 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...

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