The Saree, a fabric that has always been a symbol of Indian identity for most women in the country got alleviated to a new status symbol thanks to the efforts of this individual last year.
A movement was initiated due to a pact between two friends and the momentum is high and awaiting yet for many others to join.
She is an entrepreneur, media professional, one half of #100sareepact and mum too.The#100sareepact initiative resonated with many women across the country and off shores for they could bare their soul with their saree stories.
Meet Anju Maudgal Kadam, who shares with Mums and stories her story of her mother, her journey into motherhood and much more.
A heart touching story from a beautiful mum.
“Though I was born in Karnal, Haryana, I grew up in Mumbai, that melting pot of all religions, cultures and thoughts. It is a city that defines you with its spirit, ethos and lessons it teaches you. While growing up, my mother was my hero. She still is. A homemaker, she also doubled up helping my father in every business he owned.
Those were not times of fancy titles or designations. If it was a family business, the wife pitched in if she could. And my mother stood shoulder to shoulder and in my mind was always the quality manager along with being a HR manager, admin, peace maker and team leader. In short, she made sure everything ran smoothly, actively pitching in with her wisdom.
My Ma was always there for us, so it is hard to pick an instance that stands out. But my most fond memory of school days was running home to eat lunch – my school and our colony shared a wall so I could, it took me five minutes to walk home – and she would have lunch waiting because she knew I would have volunteered for march past or a play or calisthenics or a sport and I needed to run back to practice.
Our house was on the ground floor so it was the house that fed the hungry, quench the thirst of every kid playing downstairs, the balcony was used to stash every firecracker for Diwali by everyone, holi water buckets and balloons were stored there too. It was the community home. Ma was everybody’s friend; kids and elder folk.
Ma made our childhood secure. I miss having that sense of security for my kids. We live in a condominium, but times have changed, and kids don’t hang out the way they used to.
However I must confess that I am the “feeder” of anyone who comes home just like my Ma was to us all. I began my journey on the #100sareepact to honour my mother and the women in my family.
I have memories of my mother change into a softer cotton saree loosely tied, to sleep in. Much, much later when we all grew up and also my siblings moved away to foreign lands, my mother began to experiment with salwars-kameezes and trousers. But it has always been the saree for her go-to way of dressing. I am most proud of my mother, she always has been an emotionally strong woman.
Some experiences were hard on her, but she emerged victorious through every storm with her attitude and resolve to see things through. Her strength continues to hold the family of siblings and their kids and her great-grand kids close. She is the glue of our family. The kids and she bond over technology. They teach her, she learns eagerly like a child for it keeps her connected to her loved ones.
For me, the image of my mother when I close my eyes is of her wearing a saree and a bindi. Elegant, strong and simple. I had been saying for very long that I needed to wear the sarees I had and began by posting on March 1st on the #100sareepact. It was never about just the saree for me, it was about telling the story of who I am.
Distilling my thoughts with every wear and answering for myself what mattered most to me. I think the story telling touched a chord in so many; else if it was just posing in the saree, the pact would have died down very quickly.”
Talking of her kids Anju says, “Darsh is 15 and Khayaal is 11 years. My only wish for my children is for them to be grounded, have the luxury of choice and the ability to choose well. I want them to be happy. I think the challenge of parents today, in our milieu is certainly keeping the children focused and helping them develop a passion or an interest toward a subject or a calling.
Our challenge will seldom be dal, roti, and housing (as it was for our parents). Our challenge will be on how to fire up a hunger in the belly for an entitled generation.”
“As parents, my husband and I are fully cognizant of this challenge. I wish there were parenting schools and how to bring up a good human being courses, parenting is hard and there are no guarantees. So what kind of Mom am I? The best I can be.
I know that being a mother is a very important part of my life and my children will always come first for me. Perhaps I feel so strongly about that due to the fact that I’ve had years of a fulfilling career in media before I had them.
Seeing me work and juggle home and hearth with my work and interests, I hope will leave an impression on who I am for them. A woman who believes in doing things with dignity, grace, and someone who completes her commitments.
I call myself a student for life and embrace learning. I hope they will too.
Experiences are all we can give our children. to observe, to assess, to learn from, to feel, to imbibe, immolate, perhaps even decide that that is not what they would want for themselves.
For children, learn what to do and what not to do from looking at their parents. I’ve grown and learned so much in this last year on the #100sareepact.
There are on an average of 50 to 70 stories shared on the pact every single day and the pact has expanded to way beyond my connections….There are some stories that get etched in your mind for the emotions they evoke. I am often asked what is special about the #100sareepact. It is special because in every story told on the pact, we find a little bit of ourselves.
Individuals like Jhelum Banerjee posted to the blog the story of how her mother passed away and there was this cupboard where her special sarees – Banarsi etc were kept, but her father could not bear to open the cupboard and share the sarees with his daughter. Then she started the #100sareepact and one day he gave her the key to the cupboard and asked her to wear her mother’s sarees. She has told her mother’s stories by wearing the sarees. That gave me goose bumps. Of being able to touch so many lives has been my greatest gift from the pact.
I say this often, we are all connected, we only have to find our connection. It’s been an emotional journey.