In India we have so many life ceremonies! Every Hindu goes through or is supposed to go through 16 important ones and dozens of lesser ones. So one attends one\u2019s own and gets invited to those of others \u2013 neighbours, cousins, uncles aunts, people originating from the same natal village, their cousins, their uncles, their aunts, their neighbours and so on.\nAnd if one is fortunate one is surrounded by some Muslims and some Christians too \u2013 so we get invited to their ceremonial celebrations as well.\nAnd so in my days in Mumbai I might easily be attending ceremonies on 366 out of the 365 days in a year!\nOkay \u2013 that\u2019s an exaggeration \u2026.reality might be say 365 out of 365. Well at least it feels that way!\nCeremonies begin at the time of betrothal. Engagements, pre-wedding ceremonies, weddings, when the bride leaves for her husband\u2019s home, when she first returns from her husband\u2019s home, when they arrive to take her back again, when the baby is about to be born, when the baby IS born, when the baby\u2019s destiny writers from heaven are called, when the baby is given a name, when she is given her first morsel of food, when the baby begins her education, when she graduates, when she \u2026..\nThe list goes on & on\u2026\nAnd so attending ceremonies of one\u2019s immediate family, one\u2019s extended family, one\u2019s neighbors and one\u2019s village can actually be a daily calendar event.\nAnd therefore the corollary is that the clothes I wear to these ceremonies, are in fact ceremonial clothes.\nA little silk or special fabric or a little glitter or a special time-consuming weave or other form of textile art/craft\u2026 something extra, something-special,\u00a0 something that makes it stand out and we have created the ceremonial textile \u2013 the textile fit to celebrate a ceremony or a festival!\nFurther, the concept of \u201cfashion\u201d and \u201cseason\u201d does not apply to classic saris (or traditional clothing) . A Kanjeevaram from the last season? A Banarasi that is not in fashion anymore? Never heard of this and so I still don\u2019t understand the concept of \u2018out of fashion\u2019.\nThe classics are permanent.\nThere is no need to retire them ever. Each earns a permanent place in the wardrobe that just expands over the years \u2026.\nAs life passes and hands us memories to collect, these ceremonial textiles become the hooks that fish out these memories.\nAnd so peeping into my ceremonial sari shelves warms my heart \u2013 not just for the beauty of the art but because of all the stories I have lived in them. Each one tweaked out carefully and revisited with the mind\u2019s eye. It all came back through that textile \u2013 the emotions, the people and some conversations, the scenes of ritual activities, the significance of the moment weighing down the picture and most importantly\u00a0 a whiff of the fragrance of the girl I used to be in that moment!\nSuch a beautiful time watching the movie of one\u2019s own life\u2026.with all its tragedies and joys and deep experiences. All brought to me \u2013 not by 20th Century Fox but by 20th century saris!\nHere\u2019s the first sari I bought with 1/3rd of my Unilever salary in 1987. It created a havoc with my monthly budget \u2013\u00a0 probably had to walk instead of taking the bus and skip a few vada-pavs \u2013 but it was well worth it \u2013 that classic is still as stunning (and sturdy) as it was then.\n\nThe sari connected to the Kite Flying festival in our Bombay home in 2005 with brat #3 (now 21 years old!!!) assisting.\n\nThe blue block print that was used to comfort a sick friend\n\nThe treasured Odisha Ikats worn daily in India ..\n\nThe rately found Upada silk weaves\n\nThe Chanderis & Gadwals & the Mekhla weaves\n\nA Banarasi from 1985\n\nAnd another I inherited one from my grandma \u2013 did not know they were fans of Lion King back then!\n\n\nAnd finally the white Jamdani worn on a very sad day dedicated to my grandmother!\n\nThe circle of life goes on \u2026\nAnd these ceremonial textiles become all the more precious \u2013 not because of the warp and weft and the gold woven in \u2013 but because of the memories woven in .\n\u00a0\n\u2014-\nEarly morning reminiscences after basking in the\u00a0 deep beauty of things that have lived and loved with me for the past few decades!\n\u00a0\nMarch 2018\nMumbai\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\nThe post My Ceremonial Textiles appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.