Meera was standing in front of the oversized mirror of her hotel room. Draping her mother’s golden kaanjivaram , for her friend’s wedding, she looked the exact replica of Maa.
She drifted back to her adolescent years, where she grew up in her parents’ house at her native place.
On a lazy summer afternoon, Meera was napping in Maa’s bedroom when she heard the creaky, opening sound of the Godrej almirah. A sleepy-eyed Meera woke up from the bed, rubbing her eyes and trying hard to get into the circadian rhythm.
Maa was getting dressed for a family friend’s wedding. On such extra ordinary occasions, Maa unpacks her heavy, embroidered and border sarees from the suitcase. For today’s function, she removed the crisply ironed golden kanjivaram saree with the contrasting red blouse and matching golden peticoat. The saree had the characteristic scent of stashed clothes. Maa freshened up and wrapped the saree in a couple of minutes, with precision. Her skin vibrant and glowing, her hairstyle symbolic of the 80s era, Meera keenly observed Maa as she got ready. Applying the foundation stick and concealing her dark spots with a concealer, she put on the bright red bindi. Maa pinned the jasmine chaplet in her hair. She pleated the 6 yards neatly and secured them with a pin on the shoulder. Putting on her floral fragrant perfume, she finished her look with dark brown lipstick. How did Maa always appear young and mesmerising, Meera wondered. While growing up, she had always wanted to look like Maa.
When Meera was a kid, she used to sit with aaji and coerced her to apply ground turmeric on her hands, the type applied during Indian weddings so that she could get married soon and wear her mother’s sarees.She even tried her hand at draping them, but always failed at it. Later when she grew up, Maa taught her to drape one.
Today as she gazed at herself, she could see Maa in her. She had inherited Maa’s genes. The fragrance of the old saree still lingering in her mind. She draped the saree similar to how Maa had taught her.Putting on the nath and the bindi, Meera had one last glance at herself in the mirror.
There she stood, opposite the large mirror, her mother’s reflection.
Meera smiled nostalgically and left the hotel room.