The Sari Edit:<br> An Interview By Faz Gaffa-Marsh
I have begun to realize that there is a certain way someone carries themselves when they’ve lost someone they’ve loved. There’s a space they hold, deep in their hearts that is a simultaneous juxtaposition of grief and joy: a sentiment you’ll only experience when you’ve experienced the death of someone very important to you.
I sat down with Rakhee, the founder and mastermind behind ethical brand, Maisha Concept, on a morning to talk about her upcoming sari collection, a tribute to her mother. November 2020 marks 13 years since her mother passed away, and yet the pain, the yearning and the loss is fresh under her skin.
“My mother always wore saris. As a child, I’d watch her pick the saree she wanted to wear for the day, deftly wrapped, pleated and wrapped herself in her comfortable cotton sarees that she’d wear daily. It was always mesmerizing. And the folds always fell nicely, the skirt, just right as she went about her daily chores. She even played badminton in them!” Rakhee reminisced.


Born and raised in Kenya, Rakhee lived in a multi-generational Gujarati home with cousins to play with after school, and aunts swarming in the kitchen. “My mother always enjoyed cooking, she made food for everybody. It was her love language — the way she cultivated joy. And until today, my cousins and friends would still remark about how good my mum’s food was, and how she was always so generous, and so kind.”

“My mother was a simple woman, you know?” Rakhee continued, as her voice broke, as a wave of grief washes over her. “I could count on her to always be there — when I came home from school, when I needed her near. It was the best relationship. She always encouraged me to do more than she did, even when she was sick.”

“My mother battled cancer for years. And even when she was sick, she still had sarees on — they were simple, soft cotton saris — but it was truly a part of who she was. The way she wore her sari was effortless, but in so many ways also incredibly powerful. It was just a testament of how proud she was of her heritage.”

“For me, saris were always occasion wear, for Diwali, or even weddings that I attended. After my mother passed away, I was left with so many of her sarees, and I couldn’t drape them on my own, so I gave a lot of them away. But the older I grow, and the more I see women rock saris day-to-day, I wanted to reclaim a connection, moving it from cumbersome occasion wear to day-to-day clothes styled beyond its conventions. It’s more than just 6 yards of cloth — it’s an identity.”

“It has been 13 years since my mother passed away, and while the pain never goes away, I am finally beginning to feel ready to talk about her and honor her,” Rakhee added. The ultra limited edition collection is made up of cotton mulmul saris in two colours, ready-pleated and as is.


Faz Gaffa-Marsh @fazgaffa   |   Sabrina Sikora @sabrinasikora

Usha Joy @ushajoy 

Anybody who’s experienced grief and loss will tell you that you won’t ever snap out of missing them, and sometimes, it’s really hard to wake up feeling full of joy. In an Instagram post Rakhee writes, “Let’s keep holding on, please keep giving me signs, keep me strong when I’m weak, bring back my smile when I’m sad, keep guiding me with your energy and always be that guardian angel that Leyla and Uma always kiss goodnight everyday - their Nani.
” Sometimes, you just have to make a plan to celebrate and enjoy the things that you love. Just like Rakhee has been doing — the little things that will sustain her.

The Maisha Collection first sari edit drops on 6 Nov, 6am SGT on

Aarika Lee @aarikalee   |   Anita Kapoor @anitakapoor

Credit to - Sabrina Sikora @sabrinasikora for photos

November 05, 2020 — Rakhee Shah
Tags: saree

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