Every Indian woman has several sari memories. Mine essentially centre around fights with my mother as she struggled to get the six yards to stay put on an impatient daughter. I thought I would never be able to wear a sari without a conflict until I met my mother-in-law. Four minutes and you’re good to go, perfect pleats and all. If she ever moves in with us, I’m going to start wearing saris to work.
This week, we’ve tried to do a sari cover story (Page 12) without the usual suspects. So we’ve deliberately sidestepped Mandira Bedi’s noodle straps, Elizabeth Hurley’s wedding saris and Yash Chopra’s chiffon fixation. Instead, we’ve focused on working women. If you’re a woman who feels ambivalent about wearing a sari to the office, maybe we can convince you it’s worth giving the garment a shot. If you’re a man, then this is great insight into why the power women around you love their saris.
The main essay has been written by independent management consultant Rama Bijapurkar, who points out that as global business increasingly acknowledges the Made in India tag, wearing a sari is only getting easier. In fact, Rama believes, it’s sartorial competitive advantage. There’s also a great sidebar on the country’s craziest sari market (Chennai, of course) and lots of tips from the experts.
Don’t miss the travel section this week (Pages 16 and 17). The Holiday Postmortem trio travelled to Antarctica on an 11-day cruise. Their account of iceberg-calving and the penguins on Devil Island is magical. You know where you’re going to share your travel adventures when you get back from your summer holiday this year. There’s also another wild tale of the lengths astronomy lovers will go to. These ‘telescope tourists’ are happy to spend thousands of dollars to glimpse the frontiers of astronomy.
The summer books package from The Wall Street Journal (Pages 18 and 19) is another must-read. Even if you don’t get down to reading all the featured books, we’ve given you enough info to converse intelligently about them.
Columnist Vir Sanghvi’s column about bratty Indian children was clearly the most popular story last week. It got so many letters we decided to squeeze in as many as we could in this week’s inbox. Keep telling us what you think.