Orissa sari to drape Bachchan bahu - Mom-in-law Jaya zeroed in on trousseau in February

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By International sand-artiste Sudarshan Patnaik has created a sand image of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai against the backdrop of a 15-ft film roll at Puri beach in Orissa as a wedding gift. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee Debabrata Mohanty in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 20.04.07

Bhubaneswar, April 20: If mom-in-law Jaya has her way, Aishwarya Rai’s wedding trousseau will have a strong Orissa connection.

Jaya would like Aishwarya to wear a tie-and-dye sari crafted by renowned weaver Padmashri Chaturbhuj Meher, who sent three saris for the bride designed and woven at Sonepur, home to the magnificent “Pata” saris.

The tie-and-dye weaving art is a traditional craft practised by weavers of Sonepur in which they produce stunning patterns on fabric in cotton, tussar and silk. Because of their intricate designs, the saris taken an inordinately long time to be woven.

Meher in February had sent the photos of double ikkat (warp and weft design), Mayurkunj and Radhakunj sarees to Jalsa, the Bachchan residence, after Jaya was impressed with his weaving skills.

The designer’s association with the Bachchans dates back to 2003, when Meher conducted an exhibition of his saris in Mumbai.

“Jaya Bachchan had come to inaugurate the show and liked my work. She then picked up a couple of saris,” recounted Meher.

The 70-year-old said he contacted the family after learning about the wedding. “She was not there in Mumbai when I sent pictures of the saris. When she returned to Mumbai she told me that she liked the Radhakunj, Mayurkunj and double ikkat saris and would like her daughter-in-law to wear these saris,” he said.

Aishwarya is supposed to wear a maroon Radhakunja, which had taken three months to weave, he said.

The tie-and-dye handloom fabrics for which Orissa is famous all over the country is mainly woven by the Bhulia weavers of Orissa in double ikkat (warp and weft design).

Although Orissa is a traditionally non-cotton growing state, it has a substantial population depending on handloom industry for its livelihood.