As a kid, I was fascinated by my grandmother’s collection of handwoven sarees. (After thoroughly examining the inhabitants of my own ‘saree closet’ now, I think I was genetically predisposed to hoarding these handcrafted sartorial marvels.) But as much as I loved the demure chanderis and supple linens and beautiful pochampallis, they seldom kept me awake at night, imagining when and how I’d wear them. No, that spot was reserved for her indigo blue banarasi silk saree which was inundated with six-petal flower buttis in what they called a ‘Ganga-Jamuna threadwork’. Like that wasn’t enough, the pallu came with paisley designs.
That saree singlehandedly upstaged the collective wardrobes of all the women in the family and left us vying for a chance to make it our own. And because I cited my marriage as an occasion to drape that hand-me-down, I won.
Of course, that saree will never see the light of the day for all the selfish reasons, but if you, too, want a heritage banarasi outfit that your future generations will fight about, I can guarantee you’ll find one in the list ahead.
Scroll to shop the 12 banarasi must-haves that are fortunately selling on Aza! (Psst: They're not all sarees, so you can wear them - even when mom's not around!)