Her fingers worked furiously, gathering the pleats, tucking here, folding there.. It was the first time she was wearing a sari on her own. The YouTube video made it seem so easy and effortless, she fumed. Nevertheless, she was determined to do a little dress-up today. For it was “Traditional Day” at work. For he would be there in his green kurta. For he’d always seen her as one of the guys, and that had to stop.
A and she knew each other for six years now, if you counted the four years in college. But that didn’t really count because back then he had eyes only for “that babe from Computer Science”. Thank God it was over, she shuddered, checking in the mirror and tucking the pleats below her navel.
There, that looked good, she smiled. Now for the pallu. She deftly gathered the fabric (black, his favourite colour, an excellent choice, she thought), started folding them into layers before tossing them over her shoulder. Securing the pallu with a safety-pin, she wondered when her feelings for A changed from friendship into something more. Was it all those nights spent talking on the phone for hours? Damn, she winced as the pin drew blood. Now the weave and fold had to be done all over again. Was it when he coached her through exams and interviews instead of going home for the holidays? Was it the way he made her laugh, held her when she cried and trusted her with his secrets?
Whew, all tied up. Now for a spot of kohl in her eyes. She deftly drew wings on her eyelids, batted her lashes and laughed, recalling how she dragged him around on a treasure hunt for her favourite plum lipstick. Twirling around, she admired how the low back blouse plunged gracefully for a sensuous effect.
Her carpool was here, honking rudely. Damn, she hissed and hurried out, grabbing her bag with a quick look in the mirror. Today was her day. After all, there was a lot of power in a well-worn sari!