I hung alongwith my friends in one of the famous bridal lehenga shops of Delhi. My creators had stitched me over a period of 50 days, intricately weaving in the zari, the gold, the glitter and the embroidery. Shining red and gold with shades of green in between, I was hung on one of the strongest wooden hangers of the shop to support my weight of 15 kilos. The choli and the dupatta were draped over me as I gazed at the visitors everyday through a protective, slightly translucent sheet of plastic. My creators were sure that such a beautiful lehenga like me would be sold very soon!
Enthusiastic girls, accompanied with their parents and many a times their to-be in-laws and fiance, would visit the store in large numbers as the wedding season was just around the corner. They gazed across the hangers and anyone could tell that their eyes rested on me for the longest time. They looked at me with yearning as if there was nothing better than to own me in this world.
Mom its a designer piece! said the girl animatedly
But look at the price! said her mom
I learnt that only a few could afford me as I saw many interested people turning me down when they saw the number of zeroes in my price tag.
But even then, girls often tried me on, even if they didn’t purchase me. Some even clicked my picture on their phone in the try room with a sense of pride.
I’ve clicked a pic Mom! whispered the excited girl
We can give it to the local tailor! she said
But alas! A fake is always a fake! I thought triumphantly
And then as I waited for my buyer, one day, Rimi walked in. While she looked at the other pieces, I knew she had already seen me from the corner of her eye and immediately asked for me. She smiled and moved her hand across the embroidery, her parents giving her positive vibes. She tried me on and I knew that she would be the one who would buy me! When she came outside the try room, her mom had tears in her eyes as she looked at her daughter in her bridal dress. Without looking at my price tag even once, I was taken!
After some minor adjustments to fit my owners size, I finally reached her house where she would look at me everyday and fantasize about her D-day. I was tucked in a neat corner in one of the biggest wardrobes of the house.
Rimi matched her jewellery with my design, which was kept minimalistic as I was already quite heavy with embroidery and glitter. She took makeup trials while wearing me to match the perfect makeup hues with my colours.
And then the wedding day arrived. In her final look, Rimi looked gorgeous wearing me with her jewellery and makeup. My length covered her feet and it was almost as if she glided into the wedding venue like a goddess. She was welcomed with Ooohs and Aaahs as the guests appreciated the beautiful bride. I could see that everyone was eyeing me more than Rimi herself. Mothers whispered into their daughter’s ears and some women snorted with jealously. But I didn’t care… It was my day… I was the center of attraction!
The festivities ended after that day and life suddenly took a U turn for me. I was tucked in a neat corner by one of the servants. For years together, not once did anyone look at me or peep in to see my condition, not even Rimi. I lay there in the dark untouched and abandoned. I was taken out one day by Rimis Mother-in-law who seemed to be persuading her to wear the lehenga for her sister’s wedding. A much rounder looking Rimi was looking down at me and I was sure that she would not fit in even after making adjustments. She realized it immediately and made excuses to not wear me.
I don’t want to wear the same lehenga again, everyone’s already seen it ! she said
And that was the end of my story as I was tucked back in the almira in the dark amidst talks of cutting out a suit out of me or using only the choli with a lighter saree and other strange ideas! What a waste, I thought. I still looked a million bucks and could make ten other girls look great on their wedding day!
But this was my fate. I continue to lie in the corner, in the dark almirah, my embroidery becoming dark and cloth becoming weak, left there to die my own death…