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More Than Meets the Eye (Part 2)

***Written by production manager Jane Mellema***

Continuing the story from previous blog post....

Early one morning, our bundle was roughly placed on a vehicle. An engine sputtered to a start, and we began to move. We were greeted by honking horns, squealing children, and many men and women shouting back and forth. 

The fabric was peeled from our bundle, and we saw the sun. We began to sense hesitant anticipation. Was this good? The vendor grabbed us four or five at a time and arranged us in a manner that displayed our best qualities.

People began to pull us out of the piles. I felt myself being stretched out and carefully analyzed. “It's clean! No holes! Perfect and new!” the vendor proclaimed, hoping to deceive the potential buyer. I knew I was not new. “Yes, there are a few small holes and stains, but I think we could work with it.” A younger voice rang out. I found myself hoping this person would choose me. After a few minutes and the inspection of several sarees, this person quoted a price, to the disdain of my vendor. However, the sight of cash and the thought of instant income melted his resolve. I was sold to a pair of beautiful young ladies. Once again, I was stuffed in with a bunch of other sarees and taken away.

After a few days, many new friends and I were packed on a scooter and brought to another location. Again, I saw a simple home with concrete walls and floors. My curiosity was piqued. I was surrounded by several ladies taking out objects I had never seen before. One looked shiny and sharp. Then they used the sharp object to cut the edge of my new friend. What is going on?? I watched as they continued to cut consistently sized pieces out of my friends. Soon I was picked up. NO!!!  PAIN!!!! I was afraid. I was scrutinized by intense eyes. After my stains and holes had been located, someone began to cut me and rip me apart. My pieces were gently folded and placed into a pile. Soon I realized that pieces of me were being matched up with pieces of other beautiful sarees. There was some strange plan for us. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.

Our pieces were transferred to another home where ladies picked out threads that complimented our beautiful colors. 

OWWWW!  What was going on? My life was suddenly filled with pain! I had thought I was an old saree, near my end, but this end was different than I had imagined. A sharp object pulling thread weaved in and out of me. Back and forth. Back and forth.  Ouch. Ouch OUCH!!!! Was this necessary? 

As I looked around, I began to see what was happening. Together with pieces of my friends, pieces of me were being made into new and mysterious things. I did not know WHAT they were, but they looked pretty. Little sequins were attached to cover my holes. I began to feel very attached to my new friends. We had been forced together in an intense situation! We passed through the hands of multiple ladies with different personalities and temperaments. Some seemed to have eyes attuned to flaws. We began to rejoice with the ladies when one of us was declared finished and set aside. After completion, we were pressed with a hot iron, packaged in plastic, and stuffed into a cardboard box to be mailed. The box was put on a truck, and then we were shifted into an airplane. Where were we going?! Our ears were soon met with the sound of a new culture - voices and languages we had never heard.

Once again, inspected, separated from friends, packed in another box and sent off.

I reached a new destination. When would this stop?? I was tired of unpredictable journeys. My comrades and I were hung on a nice shiny rack. It seemed we would stay put. Days passed by. Strange women came in – they seemed cultured yet casual. A woman picked me up and wrapped me around her neck. That’s not how to wear a saree!!! How odd. Yet she did not take me off. “I LOVE IT!!!” She exclaimed. “Can I pay for it and wear it home?” “Sure!” a voice responded. 

After the woman had paid, we exited the building. The streets were unlike anything I had ever seen – peaceful and organized.  It seemed that a new life was beginning for me. After all this time, I had been purchased by someone who seemed determined to keep me for a while. I think I just might like this new life ;)

Photo credit: Brady Black

1 comment

  • Mo

    Well done Jane-O. I could picture it all so well.

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