I was draped today for a Navrathri pooja and I couldn’t be happier. After all, isn’t it every saree’s dream to get flaunted during festivals every year? I got to meet a lot of my own species in silk, cotton, jamdani, linen and all other beautiful fabrics. I soaked in all the festivities and swayed with all my heart as the dances went on past midnight.
As I lie back and think of the great day that I had, one thing that hits me in retrospect is that even though I met many sarees today, I did not see any of my own kind. I was the only Mul Khesh saree there. While this makes me feel special in a way, the feeling is quickly changing to worry. Not seeing too much of your own kind is a red-alert in saree-world because it means that fewer people are buying us. That immediately sets a date for our doomsday.
Saree-world is quite tough, huh? Well, wait till you hear about a weaver’s-world. Yes, weavers are skilled people who earn money based on everyday sales and decrease of demand affects them instantly. To sustain their livelihood they have to look for other options and in many cases they are forced to shut shop. This means that it is not just us sarees that face the threat of extinction but the weavers and their centuries-old skills too.
Talking about weavers, my heart goes back to the loom I was made in. The process of my birth began even before the handloom started working. Old or unused sarees are torn length-wise into thin strips and these strips are added to the warp of the handloom while the weft consists of fresh threads. So, my DNA is quite an interesting entwinement of the new and the old.
It makes me feel proud that I am serving as a canvas to give a new lease of life to other sarees while also taking on a new life for myself. When I look at campaigns in the human-world to ‘Reduce and Recycle’, I find it funny. I mean for their reputation as creatures of high intelligence, it is surprising that they are talking about recycling as a new concept when it has been a way of life for nature and even for sarees. But then, it is just like how some humans are termed geniuses for having built an aeroplane when birds with their bird-brains had figured out the physics of it centuries ago!
Recycling is pretty much what every natural phenomenon is about. Everything around us is a cycle. Well, at least until motorbikes and cars came around. Ok, bad joke. But seriously, the only phenomenon that is incomplete is human existence because they don’t seem to think much about completing the cycle. The waste that they produce does not go around supporting the eco-system. On the contrary, it harms t environment.
Creating lesser commodities and reusing or recycling existing things can help solve the issues that the humans are facing and in turn the world is facing because of humans, isn’t it? I myself am a witness to the kind of beauty that human hands and brains are capable of creating. It is thread-binding. If only humans could address the problems of pollution, how beautiful would a sustainable and eco-friendly world be? Even the thought fills me with peace.