Saree Lovers’ of Sydney gather to show off their six yard wonder

Saree lovers’ Poornima Menon, Preeti Gupta and Shirley Jacob

by Preeti Gupta

The group  Saree Lovers  is an idea Shirley Jacob,  Poornima  Menon and I had discussed most passionately at different point in time over the past couple of years but the ”˜busyness’ of our lives meant it would get put on the back burner! However, this July Shirley just decided that the time for action was upon us and launched the  Saree Lovers  page on Facebook, which was only three months ago and the said date  was set  as the date for this meet, and the ball was set rolling.

The main purpose of this group is to  foster the sisterhood of the six-yard fabric. We also felt we needed to raise awareness in women about certain health matters, which we tend to ignore as the needs of the family takes precedence over ours. Having recently lost close friends to breast cancer, we decided to approach the  Pink Sari  Inc  to be the charity of choice for our event this year and they were excited to be so.

8 September 2018 is the red-letter day in the Ladies’ cultural calendar of Sydney as the First Ever Saree Lovers’ gathering of Australia under one roof! On this day, the Don Moore Centre at North Rocks was the  place to be,  as it was teeming with the bevy of beauties sashaying the room in their gorgeous sarees. The explosion of colours that came with  about 200  women at the venue was a  sight to behold. The excitement was palpable.

We are very proud to have provided a platform to the enterprising women who wanted to put up stalls for all things connected to a Saree. We are pleased to say that the lovely ladies browsed to their heart’s content and buying the products. There was retail therapy of sorts going on. Please visit our Facebook Page to get more details.

The afternoon began with the lighting of the lamp and the acknowledgement of country, followed by a beautiful poem composed and recited by the very talented Rekha Rajvanshi who is a breast cancer survivor.   Viji Dhayanathan from the Pink Sari Inc gave a very informative presentation of the various endeavours of the organisation to create awareness amongst the Indian and Sri Lankan community. Also, most touched by the generosity of all the sponsors and the spirit of generosity demonstrated by the donations made by individuals.

The fact that a suggestion to share our Saree stories was picked up and almost SIXTY owned the stage and held us captive to the narrative of their Saree speaks volumes about the Saree sisterhood!! It certainly was a comfort zone for all these ladies in myriad hues and fabrics sashaying across the stage and it was certainly a sight to behold. A special thanks to Kalpita Pandit for creating a unique and delicious ”˜Saree’ cake in pink and donating it to the Saree Lovers’ Inaugural Meet.

There was Tambola and the calling out was done in the inimitable fauji style by Shirley, which had the crowd sweating and on the edge of the seat as we went through it at a fast pace. How could we not share our knowledge of the different saree weaves and fabrics! So, we did! We did this by setting out Saree names for each table and had the information rolling along on the Projector intermittently and we had a Saree Trivia Quiz for fun. It was interesting to see how things clicked for people about the purpose of the Table names and the iMovie. The conversation this generated was very soul satisfying for us.

The music by DJ Dimple was superb; the fading in and out was in harmony with the proceedings of the afternoon. The selection of music especially when the dance floor was open for business to end the evening. We also had iFocus fotography at hand to capture the candid moments throughout the afternoon. A big shout out to our various sponsors without whom we could not have offered 30 prizes for the Raffles, which included a weekend stay for two at the Cypress Lake Hotel at the Hunter Valley by Sally D’Cruze, Gift vouchers by Joyti Tulli for purchase at Tuli jewellers etc.

Last but not the least the FOOD, our heartfelt thanks to the owner and Chef extraordinaire Jacob Chacko of Royal India Catering for the sumptuous spread. For savoury, there was dosa, chole bhature, golgappe, papdi chat, pav bhaji, bhel puri chat and for desserts, there was seevaiyan ki kheer and piping hot jalebi’s straight from the frying pan! Coming back to our intent of keeping our love of the Six-yard alive, we would urge the ladies that they take advantage of the Spring season and create opportunities to air out the chiffons, georgettes or cotton by catching up with your friends over a cuppa and get ready for our next meet, which will be sooner than later!

Shirley, Poornima and I are most humbled and overwhelmed by the positive feedback to and goodwill generated by our first event. Please look out for our invite to the next one, which will be in 2019.

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