School Run

I am on a mission to make the sari more present in my life. One of my questions to put to the test has been - 'can I do the school run in a sari?' I woke up and decided to give it a go. Today I wanted a shorter length drape, so I folded the top of sari over to create an extra layer. I went downstairs in my sari “Is that a sari mummy? Nice!” says my daughter Arali. She’s excited which is encouraging. I think the school run has been on mind as I remember feeling slightly mortified when my granny took me to school wearing her sari. It was thick snow in Newcastle in the 1970’s, but it could have also been that she left her slippers on by mistake.

I check that my sari is intact and not transparent anywhere as I don’t wear a petticoat just a t-shirt, sari, pants and me. I’m wearing a lovely amber coloured light cotton sari from Raw Mango, it’s very comfortable. We set off to school which is a good twenty minute fast pace walk often pulling Arali on her scooter while carrying school bags. We live in Peckham, south east London which is a very multi-cultured area. As we walk down our local high street. I notice the different all the ‘tribes’ of people, the cyclists are usually out in force in full lycra and cycle accessories, there are muslim ladies of all ages in hijab, there are many African stores selling brightly printed fabric for dresses, workers of all sorts heading for the station and the hipsters around the cafes. I feel rather ‘non-tribe’ in my sari. There’s nothing like this around me, no fleeting eye contact with instant recognitionof your tribe going on. This feels refreshing in a time when all manner of trends have been exhausted and I feel…just me.

I kept my sari on all day. I did the school run, worked from home, shopping, school pick up, hung out in the playground and went out for pizza with friends, from morning till evening in my sari and I did not once have to re-tie it. It was secure and comfortable all day long. I could have even gone to sleep in it as ladies in India sometimes do.

Mehala Ford