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Sari Not Sorry

What is it about rituals?

Okay, you’ll see tons of pictures of me, perhaps of The Dog (more on that later), and food. But primarily a LOT of me in sarees. Here’s the deal. As of writing this missive, we have been in lockdown and actively social distancing due to COVID-19’s new variant spreading in San Diego for longer than anyone anticipated. It’s been almost 46 weeks of this. So. So what’s one to do to hold onto sanity?

In my case, it’s been the creation of rituals. To wake up every day and make my bed—yes, that’s a chore and needs to be done, especially, ESPECIALLY when one doesn’t want to. To make my coffee and to give the canine extra desi food because she likes it and I don’t want you to judge me, that’s just how this is. But then, every Friday, I’ve been meeting a few of my dear friends, who just happen to be girls and we call it #girlgab Friday. Most of us are in PJs, some with our glasses of wine, plates of food, or holding an animal or two—whatever we desire. What I started doing, maybe 20 odd Fridays ago, was supposed to be a joke. Ha—look who’s laughing now.

Anyway, yeah, so I decided, I’ll go ahead and wear a sari since everyone is in their PJs. That’ll teach them, these slackers! Every Friday, it’s a sari that Ma wore, or gave me when I left India in the early 90s. Or it’s one from Suta, because I adore their work, and it’s a woman-owned business (two sisters, actually) and, and, and, it supports many Indian weavers and textile makers. What’s not to love? Here’s me in one of them.

It is also on that day when we announced “Khabaar: An Immigrant Journey”, my food narrative memoir, forthcoming from University of Iowa Press, in 2022. That grin is all joy, in case you didn’t realize it. Here is what was announced, and yes, it was twenty years in the making. Twenty years to be an overnight success. Just something for you to think about and I’ll talk about it next time.

Anyway, wearing a sari every Friday has evolved into one of my rituals in this pandemic. It makes me happy, and I wanted to share the joy with you.

Talk soon and I’m so happy you’re here.