"I am an Assamese Woman; born and brought up in Assam! Obviously, my temporary home here thousands of miles away is filled with artifacts and knick-knacks from Assam and other parts of north-east India.
But these are the pieces that I hold closest to my heart - the mekhela-sador sets that my beautiful mom wove in her very own loom!
Making a handloom piece manually from scratch is not an easy feat; the entire process requires mental dexterity, it requires time and patience, and it demands so much stamina and physical strength from the weaver. It truly is a labor of love. Mahatma Gandhi once said "Assamese women are born weavers, they can weave fairy-tales in their cloth"! I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been born into a family where weaving has always been a passion and is still practiced regularly! I grew up watching my mom and my aunts weave fairy-tales in their looms. Mom often reminisces about the three looms she shared with her four sisters before her marriage and how they would have weaves on each of the looms at any given time. Mom's loom was assembled by my grandpa some 45 years ago and kudos to my mom, she has kept the loom and the art alive all these decades despite moving between cities and finally settling into an urban setting with very limited space. I have always been proud of my roots, but as I grow older and may be wiser, I have started to realize more intensely how strong and beautiful my heritage is! How lucky me and my sister are to inherit such stunning pieces my mom crafted with so much love, affection and care! I only have three sets here with me but back home, we have a big suitcase full of mekhela-sadors that my mom has woven over the decades! Every time me and my sister make a trip home, we devote one afternoon going through that suitcase, trying out the pieces and selecting the ones to bring back with us. Meanwhile my mom would grin ear to ear; pride from the artistic work she has done and joy from seeing her daughters flaunt mekhela-sador of their own volition.
I don't get to wear a lot of mekhela-sadors here but everytime I do, I try to flaunt these pieces - they are my pride and joy!"
Thank you Arundhatee for this motivating story and beautiful images. Hope you get to wear your Mekhela-Sadors more often and flaunt this amazing craft and tradition.
Arundhatee Talukdar is an electrical engineer based out of Chicago, USA.