Growing up with someone brutally honest, I knew she always wanted to teach us beauty lay in how content we were with ourselves not the one that thrived in compliments. Another person’s opinion of how you look never mattered if you don’t know how you look.
I once read, “A woman armed with ancestral wisdom is an unstoppable force.” Kerala was never easy, and she never made it easier. You may take this in the wrong sense, but my grandmother showed me the hardships of how a society works.
Ten years from now, we would remember how we set off to Pondi one summer. Sometime again I suppose, I would be sauntering in eye-clashing clothes in another city, but my first one would always be Pondicherry.
Even by 6:30 am, to our surprise the market was already on its feet. Women peeling fresh prawns, a lot of them comfortably squatted, and their wringed sarees tied around their waists. There were hints of jasmine among the pungent smells.
On our first day at Pondi, we imagined cycling through Rue Suffren till Paradise Beach, rather we found ourselves going around in circles. Riya and I never got our hands on bicycles, but we had a better experience with the rickshaws.
If there’s anything that I have stolen from my grandmother’s shelf of knick-knacks is a spoonful of pickle and some sweet and sour sarcasm. And yes, thanks to that I landed a job as a writer in a magazine.
You wear a saree only when you become a woman.” It sounds like a sentimentally wise thing to say, but let me break it down to you. In other words, it also meant, “When you’re ripe enough for the marriage market.”
A flurry of auto drivers rushed to us chattering away in Tamil. Dawn seeped in, the sun rose fairly early at Pondicherry. It was another day of sun, but there was a sweeping wind of laziness that suddenly slowed down time.
My uncanny taste for flamboyant textiles hailed from a land of curious glances. Markets always stir these peckish desires in you to experiment, it’s the one place where you can tailor your dreams. But that’s not what I loved about markets.
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