Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sari Shopping

In Aurangabad I asked Anil to go sari shopping with me. I had no idea what to expect, or how to pick a sari, as I had never done that before. Moreover, I did not even have an idea how to wear a sari properly.

As you can see at the photo below, sari buying is a very unique experience. You get seated on the floor, and you get assigned a shopping assistant. His job is to find a sari you want, and your job is to describe as well as possible what you are looking for. Most of the saris are packed in the boxes, so you can not wander around by yourself and say which ones you like. Instead, you have to use words to describe the colors and the pattern you are looking for. But first, you have to define your target price range as saris can cost well over $1000.

I was hoping to find a brown party sari, but it seems that brown is not a popular color for saris. So in the end, I settled for a beautiful silk rosewood-colored sari with small silver flowers. I only bought it because I felt bad about "wasting" one hour of the shopping assistant's time. Especially that he was not the only person showing me saris, but there were also two other younger boys who were running around and bringing saris for me to pick from.

Also, to my great surprise, one of the two boys was asked to wrap a couple of saris around himself, so that I can see better their patterns. I felt a bit uneasy about it, and I thought that it might have been humiliating for a man to wear a sari. But I do not think he felt that way and likely it was a part of his job description.

I did not have a chance to wear my rosewood sari yet as I still need to get a matching blouse stitched for it. I am hoping to do that next time I am in India. So instead I am posting a photo of my wedding sari here, to give you an idea how sari looks (or rather how I look in sari). Anil says that I should be a sari model :) But he is my husband, so what else can he say? :)

Inside a sari shop:

My wedding sari - I figured out how to wrap it all by myself!: