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Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Shedding Draupadi’s Sari before the Ocean

Phi Phi IMG_5686

Yes – these are the true colors of the ocean in Phi Phi island, near Phuket Thailand.

Yes I am extremely fortunate to have seen such waters several times in my life.

And having seen this again, I kick myself for the many times when I have been bored with life or despondent!

With the possibility of the open ocean available, how can one ever spare a thought for negativity?

The ocean offers more than we have given it credit for. The salt water therapy, the energy giving waves – both have a profound influence on the psyche. And then to be is sparkling transparent waters and interact with the life beneath the waves is an experience that cannot be compared to any other.

At 50 I intend to embrace this new hobby of snorkeling. And if not, just taking a hearty dip into the sea! The salty sticky hair is a small price to pay for the lift.

Today I can only feel pity for my erstwhile self for having been caught up in all kinds of life-issues that wrap themselves around one like Draupadi’s never-ending sari*

A few pictures of the compelling experience that led to this  choice!

Phi Phi IMG_5660

The Ship I came on

Phi Phi IMG_5665 Phi Phi IMG_5676 Phi Phi IMG_5679

The water changes color

Phi Phi IMG_5680 Phi Phi IMG_5683

The shadow below is a school of fish!Phi Phi IMG_5685  Phi Phi IMG_5690 Phi Phi IMG_5694  Phi Phi IMG_5700

Snorkelers!

Phi Phi IMG_5701

A sea cave with stalactites & stalagmites

Phi Phi IMG_5704

There is no excuse or explanation for not doing this earlier! But there IS a plan.

For years my nomadism led to travels in order to meet and understand people groups. But now I have discovered the ocean and found that meeting creatures that live in the sea is equally delightful!

Let life take us where it will!

***

*Draupadi’s sari is a reference to a garment that the great wife of the Pandavas wore, but was being taken off in an attempt to dishonor her – after a game of dice in which she was pawned as prize-money. After an intense prayer to Krishna to save her from embarrassment, Krishna made it so happen that the sari became an endless piece of cloth and the more the yardage came off, more was created. In the context of that story, Draupadi’s sari has positive connotations.

In this context I am just using it as a metaphor purely to refer to the endless nature of the life issues –  the empty meaningless pursuits** that we remain wrapped up in.

Phi Phi IMG_5697

jm

Feb 2015

**An example is the context in which I was raised where ‘skin’ must not be over-exposed. For young women it is enforced as a matter of modesty and for older, heavier women show of skin is ridiculed. That such a concept or thinking should restrict a whole group i.e. women – from the joys of the sea is sad!  Fortunately the young are changing but many of the older women remain shackled by the figurative ‘Draupadi’s sari’  of social conditioning.

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