My Shaadi Ka Lehenga…

 …was carefully unwrapped from the mul cloth I keep it wrapped in, with the cloves to keep silverfish at bay, and the faint musty smell of something precious and stored. Yup, after I’d fallen to the ground and had old shoes brought to revive me when I caught glimpse of the choli which I must have definitely stitched in infant size, because there was no way even half of me was even hoping to fit self into the entire whole of it, I realised it had been a while since I’d actually taken it out to look at it. Could it possible that once upon a time I actually had arms that were matchsticks. You know. I could have been a stick insect and I never appreciated it. Arms that could be left bare in sleeveless tees and trusted not to jiggle themselves into the shimmy shake if all one attempted was an innocent bye bye gesture. Well. All that really means is that yours truly is never ever going to be able to do the red carpet walk and wave, but then, who really wants to. After all, yours truly is never going to be invited on said red carpet anyway, except perhaps to lay it out. The red carpet that is. What did you think?

Speaking of red, the lehenga is red. Brilliant red. In true blue North India style. With embroidery so heavy I almost had to be propped up at my reception with cousins and quick swigs of alcohol. Of course I’m kidding. I didnt need the cousins to prop me up, I didnt have any who would have taken on the task of propping me up, given that no one was willing to risk life and limb to be splatted under falling bride. Seriously though, given the size of them arms I must have been chicken proportions when I wore said lehenga,  It was a wonder I didnt fall in a crumpled heap to the floor. Would have been nice though, bridelike swoon, considering one made a most unseemly bride with not the remotest smidgeon of any trace of tears during the bidaii only, I am reminded of, by the spouse, of my unseemly glee in hurrying to the honeymoon suite booked at closeby hotel, though I insistence was an urgency to use the facilities which one was unable to do in front of gadzillion swarming guests oohing and aahing over one. Brides are not supposed to pee. Right. They have to smile and look radiant, and not need to clean their teeth post dinner with toothpicks.

Anyway, the lehenga brought back precious memories. Of standing next to the man, accepting gifts and envelopes and wondering what they contained, and not knowing one would get around two dozen steel utensils and three lemonade sets, and the gift opening ceremony would be something that you would have happily traded for the pleasure of watching paint dry given the wow quotient of gifts that emerged from them wrappings.

I aired out said lehenga, noticed the fading and blackened gota work with a wry smile. It has been 13 years in the keeping, save for occasional airings and ooh ing and aahing with no practical use for it. Folded it, stuffed in cloves and wrapped in back in mul again. By next year, I think the waist too will seem impossible to get into. Will keep it as heirloom for the grand children to play dress up with. Now, why does that thought make me happy?

Yup, I’m earning them grey hair right I think.

What about your wedding outfit? Would you still fit into it. Sarees excluded from discussion of course, blouses included. I still fit into my saree. The Banarasi I wore for them pheras. As for the blouse. Well…..


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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17 Responses to My Shaadi Ka Lehenga…

  1. D says:

    Five years and no children later, I fit into my brocade lehanga with zardozi work. And I manage to wriggle into the blouse as well and stay in it if I don’t breathe 🙂

    Yup. Not breathing is the key. I do that in my dvb skinnies. Wear them and stop breathing because I refuse to accept that I’ve outgrown them.


  2. kbpm says:

    Ha! Fat Chance of fitting into those blouses! They were that three quarter sleeved ones (YUCK). My fingers dont even fit in them. The saris are Kanjeevaram and outrageously OTT in their zari work. I sort of fit into them still though there was the situation during one of those torturous pregnancy function thingies wherein the nine yards sari – yes I said NINE yards – was insufficient to wrap around the girthful middle.

    Kenny, if you dont fit into your blouses, you must have been truly matchstick size when you got married. You are school girl proportions right now!!!!


  3. myamusingmind says:

    No I dont fit into my bright red lehanga..not even the waist 😦

    *Big hug*


  4. bhavna says:


    Lemme get some sadistic glee here. 10 yrs and 2 kids later, YES YES. That is abt saree blouses however old fashioned they are. Lehenga? Kiran, u have inspired me to try it out though on Mom’s insistence had got a boring, aunty Kurti made. Cheers!

    Can I officially hate you? 🙂 Cmon folks, you need to spread to keep self esteem issues from attacking the rest of us women.


  5. Violet says:

    Yes I do.. and the reason I am so sure is that I wear it every karwachauth, 3 so far.. The only time I had trouble getting into the blouse, and wore it with the top two hooks unhooked was on the first karwachauth, when I was 6 months along with my daughter. Well, for once I can be happy for being thin..

    Can I officially hate you? 🙂


  6. Serendipity says:

    its only fair for there to be a picture no? 🙂 put put.

    No no. Its too painful to see matchstick arms again.


  7. Sowmya says:

    No chance. I had planned my trousseau to not inlcude heavily zari-ed saris, so i get to wear my kanjeevarams to special occassions at work too. Have dumped them zari blouses long back and gone in for more practical 2X2 plain ones now. I miss my old slim self though!

    I hadnt planned any trousseau, just bought a few sarees and received a few from the inlaws side. All stuff I wouldnt be caught dead in now. And the old slim self? Me too. Me too. I was never slim. But I’d take that over the current shape any day.


  8. Shilpa says:

    Yeah I do fit into my blouses, but considering it only has been 2 and a half years since I got married, I am not surprised.

    *Smiles smugly at newbie wedded, from vantage point of 14 year anniversary coming up next*


  9. M says:


    That’s sad that the lehnga cannot be used post wedding…

    Like kbpm, my wedding attire consisted of assorted saris, that, thanks to insistence on not-too-much-zari, I can still wear…. reused the 9-yard sari recently, and yes, it still fits.
    Blouses…ok, the circumference fits – but my whole shape has changed, so no, the blouse doesn’t really fit I guess…

    I have given away most of them horrific sarees in pink and green and royal blue with broad zari borders and horrific clashing colours I got as trousseau. Along with the blouses, so now torture of trying to squeeze fat in by centimeter into them. I now survive on crepes with embroidery. Better for the current fatter frame too!



  10. Kanupriya says:

    Me too :-(, I mean even I can’t fit into my blouse of that beautiful wedding lehnga! And I also keep on wondering what will I do with it apart from keeping it as a heritage for the next generation!

    Welcome to the heirloom lehenga corner! 🙂


  11. aneela z says:

    hmm its early days yet for me…but I think I will be able to wear one of my wedding outfits for a while as I wore a kurti with my gharara…perhaps not the choli/slip of the other as Im breast feeding and well am currently exceptionally endowed in that region, but I guess they go down after a while dont they? yes I might have to lift them from around the waist but it should fit right? damn, you have me thinking now. and there was one which was a salwar kamiz so I will get some use out of that as well. I didnt have the usual kaam valey jorey, so have been able to recycle them with other bits and pieces.

    Should fit should fit. And yes, recycling is the key. And about the breast area going down, I’ve had the reverse experience. Gone up two sizes since the brat fed. Ugghhhh. I have a two inch gap between blouse buttons. But then there is also back fat to be factored in.


  12. M says:

    Aah…add me to the cup-size-increased-after-b/f brigade…having been pretty flat before I enjoyed it, until I realised none of my sari blouses fit! I went up two cup sizes and stayed that way….and no, it’s not good when the darn things also sagged! 😀



  13. Big Zed says:

    Well, YES I do fit into the wedding lehenga blouse.

    Okay now for the correction.
    I had it made with a LOT of xtra cloth in the seams anticipating the weight gain. So I’ve just removed the “silai” and now it fits! 😀
    meanwhile, my husband still fits into the Jodhpuri he wore at the reception and no, he didn’t have to open it up.


  14. Shobana says:

    I don’t fit into my wedding blouse either Lady K 😦 Got a new blouse for the seemandam when I had to wear that saree again. It has been 8yrs and I do have a 2yr old…can I use that excuse? Please??


  15. Mansi says:

    Yes, I still fit in it, however, its been only 3 years! 🙂 I really want to make the choli sexier though in the hope I can wear it at least once more..


  16. Dottie says:

    I do fit in the blouses Kiran. Come on now 🙂
    *hides the fact that she opened the seams.. ummm twice*


  17. Mampi says:

    NO NO NO,

    *Mampi falling to the ground and shaking it in the process*


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