Yards of memories: Niketa Malhotra and the various drapes
Niketa Malhotra is a self-professed saree enthusiast, who, after attending a saree workshop in March this year, has set out on the mission of creating awareness of the quintessential Indian garment. Trying out a different drape almost every day since March, Niketa is in Goa for a special presentation on the various drapes of the saree
A saree is a humble and yet elegant garment which rarely gets the due it deserves. Attempting at remedying this is Niketa Malhotra, who has been wearing different types of sarees in different styles, almost daily, for quite some time now. She carries on with her daily chores, family functions and every other occasion by giving the saree a new twist. Niketa, from Pune, is a self-professed saree enthusiast on a mission to create awareness about the saree. “I attended a saree workshop conducted by renowned textile and saree scholar, Ṛta Kapur Chishti at the Sari School, New Delhi, in March, this year. I was inspired by Ṛta’s love for the saree. In September 2017, I worked with 18 women who learned and experimented with the different drapes of India. The ancient drapes suddenly seemed to get a new lease of life when the women draped them in a contemporary way and walked with confidence on stage. That was when The Indian Draping Company was formed,” says Niketa, a consultant for startup companies. The Indian Draping Company is a movement to revive the ancient wisdom in the traditional drapes and infuse them with a modern perspective. Every region in India has a drape designed, keeping in mind the occupation, weather and culture of the wearer. A saree can range from five to nine yards in length, with two ornamental borders running along the length and a ‘pallu’ at the outer end. There are more than 100-documented draping styles across India with every state having multiple, diverse variations of its own. In Goa, Niketa will be offering a glimpse on how the saree can suit you through her interactive session, ‘Unravelling the Drapes – the many incarnations of the unstitched sari’, today. She recently organised a session at Assagao 6 where men and women participated with the same enthusiasm. “The saree is not just a garment that has to be strictly worn in one style. It can be tried in different styles according to the choice of the wearer and what looks good on them. The workshop was great as I even demonstrated a drape on a young boy. I was excited about the workshops in Goa and I wanted it to be special. I drove down to Goa wearing a Dhokna Jalpaiguri saree drape from West Bengal which is my grandmother’s saree. Every saree has a story behind it,” she adds. For her interactive session today, Niketa’s presentation will follow the evolution of the saree through the centuries. She will emphasise on various drapes like ‘Boggili Posi Kattukodam’ drape from Andhra Pradesh, ‘Dhoti Sari drape’ from Orissa, ‘Pagadi Palla’ drape from Uttar Pradesh and ‘Shantanu Khond’ drape from Chhattisgarh. “A saree can be worn with western garments too. I often use a western top instead of a traditional blouse and then I don’t’ have to wait till I can get a matching blouse. The drapes can also be worn according to the activity of the day,” explains Niketa.
‘Unravelling the Drapes – the many incarnations of the unstitched sari’, an interactive session by Niketa Malhotra, will be held at Gallery Gitanjali, Panjim on October 11, 2017 at 6:30pm
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