Saving a sari border


Could love be having to say you are a sari? It certainly could. This border belonged to a sari gifted to my sister Yashodhara¹ 35 years ago, on 4th September 1985 by Partha Biswas, Aditi Biswas’s husband.

Aditi Biswas

Our dear friend Maina Bhagat’s son Romil had come to stay with us in 1985 for his 6 month internship with TCS. He was accompanied by his classmate Partha who had landed the same assignment as Romil. Partha adored Mejdi (my sister) and as her birthday drew near he decided he wanted to gift her a saree.

I don’t think he had ever bought one before so he enlisted my aid. We went to Sagar, the only saree shop in Bandra. This saree caught my eye instantly, Partha approved and paid the princely sum of Rs. 500 for it. To understand how big the amount was, that same year I bought pure silk ikat sarees for Rs. 400 each from the weavers in Pochampally, the hub for all wholesale buyers and sellers in Telengana. Mejdi loved the sari so I guess it was a worthwhile gift.

35 years down the line, the saree border was intact but the body wasn’t. Also, like many Bengali tant sarees, it didn’t have a proper pallav. So I removed the border and placed it on black fabric like the original and then added a complementary fabric as a pallav.

Aditi Biswas honours me and the memory of my sister Yashodhara by wearing this saree on Ashtami day. I thought it befitting that this up-cycled piece should go to Aditi, but l really hadn’t expected her to wear it today! Happy Mahashtami.


Model in the header pic: Radhika Nag
Concept up-cycling, styling and photography: Joy Bimal Roy
Location: The Roys Bungalow, Bandra


¹Yashodhara Roy designed costumes for films such as Govind Nihalani’s Hazar Chaurasi Ki Ma and Takshak.


Joy Bimal Roy is the son of Bimal Roy (legendary filmmaker) and Manobina Roy (one of India’s pioneer woman photographers). He started his filmmaking stint as an assistant director to Shyam Benegal, and years later, made a biographical documentary, ‘Remembering Bimal Roy,’ which received rave reviews at international film festivals. He has his own designer label, ‘Touch of Joy’. And is presently writing the first of his books on the behind-the-scenes happenings of the Hindi film industry of yore, and designing clothes and interior spaces. He aspires to be a film costume and set designer.

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