Benarasi– Immortal and Timeless
Born in the timeless city of Varanasi, Benarasi is rich in tradition and heritage. The moment I mention this term, all the scene from my early childhood flashes in front of my eyes. I, very vividly remember accompanying my grandma to buy these luxurious saris during one or the other upcoming family wedding. White floor mattresses covered all the three sides of the quiet room with bolsters thrown everywhere so that clients can have a relaxed and comfortable shopping experience. Ah ! the halcyon days of the mid and late 1980s. And then the much awaited ‘rectangular box’ comes into the picture ! Suddenly all eyes are set on the magical woven pieces which are coming out one after another .
Now I hear all the magical words like kadwa (kadhua), kadiyal, phekwa, meenakari, tanchoi, sona-rupa take the centre stage. This was like a parent proudly and affectionately talking about his/her own child.
The handwoven heritage of Benaras finds mention in Rig Veda, in Mahabharat and Ramayan. The main reason behind not just the survival but how benarasi has emerged as a winner and still dominates the Indian wedding scene and otherwise, is its capability to absorb techniques and styles . No wonder, apart from the age old weaving techniques like : kadwa, kadiyal, meenakari, tanchoi, jangla and jamdani now we see benarasis inspired by Paithanis , Patola and Jamawar.
With influx of designer garments in a big way , benarasi is still holding the ground proudly and nothing can take away the feeling of utmost pleasure that we get when wear this flattering piece of art, which is our own !