My mother got married in a Benarasi sari. It was a ‘sindoori’ red sari. Every Bengali woman getting married wore one during her heydays. I landed in Peeli-Kothi in Benaras in 2001 looking for that sari. It took me a few years to find it. I actually had to commission it. The Benarasi was dying. Decaying under piles of cross pollinated textiles and human greed. It took me 14 years to get it back on track. Slowly and painfully. But I never lost my patience. Because I was not dealing with a textile, I was reviving my identity.
We at Sabyasachi support various craft and textile clusters all across India. We aim to keep skill development and heritage alive by making tradition relevant to modern India. Our first stop was Varanasi. 16 years ago. On 11th April, 2001.