Saturday, August 23, 2008


By Sandhya Ramachandran

Who would have imagined that a 9-yard long piece of coloured cloth with some dazzling zari work could transform someone into a gorgeous lady?!

Well, the madisaar does just that!

If you are wondering what this madisaar is all about, here's what one needs to know. The Madisaar is the style in which the Sari is worn by the Brahmin community in Tamil Nadu, India.
While saree-draping could be discussed over a thesis-length report -what with each area in India having its own style- be it the Nivi or the Kodagu or the like- the Madisaar is something that is native to Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
When life was more relaxed and breaking traditions was anathema, madisaars were what married women strutted around in, everyday in the house. As lives became fast paced and a woman had to multi-task, the madisaar was fast replaced by it's toned down 6-yard conventional saree.

One can catch sight of maamis(aunts) adorned in madisaar and strutting about in style today, at traditional Brahmin functions. Festive occasions and ceremonies- from the wedding, Seemantham(baby shower), all important poojas(holy prayer), and death ceremonies- along with their storehouse of customs and preparations, also demand that the women wear the traditional madisaar.

Women in madisaar are a pretty picture to behold! The nine yards are draped around them in a mind-boggling manner of twisting the cloth- clockwise and anti-clockwise, in turns! For all those who go clueless at all the instructions, there are readymade madisaars available in the market!!! And in case, one does not have a friendly Ambujam Maami or a Rajam periamma to tie it for them, the net comes to the rescue! Various threads in discussion boards, step-by-step procedures on websites etc, make it easy for one to tie the madisaar on their own.
Madisars are available in a variety of materials such as silk, cotton, cotton-silk blends, polyester-cotton blends, etc. Whatever be it, the picture of a smiling madisaar maami with jasmine entwined hair, a big red bindi(dot) adorning her forehead and traditional gold jewellery, somehow seems to conjure up a feeling of prosperity and that all is well within the house.

Indus Ladies)
Stand with your legs about 2 ft apart

1. Make 5-6 pleats( lengthwise) in one end of the saree.
2. Keep these pleats on your left (at the back) and hold it above your waist line with your left hand
3. Bring the saree around your body and make a knot at the left back in your waist line.. Do not disturb the pleats. The pleat should comfortably dangle over the knot.
4. Bring it to the front and tuck one edge almost near your right edge of your hip and then again take it to the center and tuck it there
5. Make the pleat (width of the saree) and bring the whole saree to the back under your legs.
6. Tuck the saree at the back (waist line).
7. Bring around the saree through your left after tucking the shorter edge slightly at your right.
8. Bring the saree around your body again
9. Pass it on to your right shoulder arranging the border.
10. Bring the border around and tuck in the front.


prema said...

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Dhanalakshmi Sundaram said...

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