Sarees are poetic. Sarees are sexy and sarees are dramatic. Sarees are beautiful, elegant, stylish and a lot of other things. But one thing that sarees are not, is ‘dependent’. Sarees are whimsical, Sarees are wild and as far as Bollywood is concerned, Sarees have never needed blouses to stay in place.
Priyanka Chopra had, yesterday, shared an image from her photoshoot for In Style magazine where she wore a sizzling golden sequinned saree and looked pretty like she usually does.
However, ‘hot and sizzling’ as it was, it invited lots of comments and critics. True, in the age of social media, anything and everything invites critics and ‘trolls’, but in Priyanka’s case, the trolling was limited to a single issue: Priyanka was wearing a Saree, only a Saree, without the blouse.
Fashion is such an important part of global culture, often arising from centuries of tradition, and doesn’t go out of style when the seasons change. The ‘Saree’ is one of the most iconic and recognized silhouettes from India. https://t.co/105fGXxZln pic.twitter.com/BKhRcQYgqd
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) June 5, 2019
A video clip of Priyanka trying to dance while keeping the blouse-less saree in place also went viral.
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The ‘trolls’ and critics soon started pouring gyaan over how the missing blouse is spoiling the saree and also how sarees are meant to be worn like they are supposed to be worn and all that.
The thing is, why is the blouse being overemphasised here? Did Bollywood ever need blouses? No, it did not!
Bollywood’s sarees have been as free-flying, logic-killing, gravity-defying and myth-busting like Bollywood’s movies. Did Zeenat Amaan ever need a blouse with her saree in Satyam Shivam Sundaram? Did that wild, glass ceiling shattering, screen dominating, diaphanous, delicate white saree with a red border look like it ever needed the support of a boring blouse? No.
Bollywood has been breaking barriers and blazing trails long before Priyanka Chopra. Chopra is merely following the footsteps. It did not stop with Zeenat Aman. Have we forgotten the glorious days of ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ where Mandakini sang, danced, and carried the entire movie on her sensational, blouse-less, wet shoulders?
Bollywood’s sarees are as fierce as Bollywood’s movies. Like the movies do not need the mundane interference of logic, science and plot, Bollywood’s sarees have never needed the overbearing, imprisoning, caging dominance of a blouse. Bollywood has flaunted actresses wearing sheer chiffon sarees on snow-clad, windy mountaintops of Europe. While the actors look clueless in coats and jackets, our actresses have been singing and swaying in those icy winds.
If our actors can land punches that throw a dozen people in the air, can be beaten to pulp, get riddled with bullets and still bounce back to kill the villain with their bare hands, can jump from skyscrapers and land like Iron Man in just jeans and a blue shirt, why should the heroines be confined, defined by a mere blouse?
Our heroines do not need blouses, a number of scenes in the 80s and 90s movies where the hero and heroine get wet and end up in a cave will also tell you that a Saree can simultaneously work as a barrier while the heroine hangs it to dry and changes into the hero’s shirt, just the shirt. Like she did not need the pants there, sarees never need a blouse to work their magic.
A saree, more importantly, a blouseless saree can pull more audiences and attract more YouTube views than all the other useless scenes put together. Nobody cares what Sashi Kapoor wore, said or did in Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Nobody gives two hoots about what the male actor kept on blabbering about in Ram Teri Ganga Maili. The sarees stole the show, and they never needed the blouses.