Here’s a doctor who is eager to inject a sense of appreciation in the art of wearing sarees.
Meet Dr Maya Nagaratnam.
The 44-year-old, who specialises in anaesthesiology and critical care, wears the traditional Indian outfit daily – even at work.
“I wear it when cooking, driving and even successfully performed CPR during an emergency while at work,” says Dr Maya.
“It’s just that I don’t sleep in a saree,” she says in jest.
So what motivates her?
“Saree defines the Indian culture and it makes me feel good. I feel confident in a saree. I’m of Indian origin and I’m proud of my roots.
“My mum wore sarees to work every day and I started doing the same over the past year to get people talking about sarees and hope that they too see the beauty about sarees.
“It’s not about drawing attention to myself but to the outfit itself.”
Dr Maya has some 60 sarees in her walk-in wardrobe.
“But I can mix and match the blouses and cloth so I have more than 60 options.”
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Some of her friends ponder about her love for sarees as she proudly displays her garb on her social media accounts.
“There are those who think I’m weird. I just laugh it off. Many say they prefer the easier option of blouses and pants but sarees are equally comfortable.”
But it takes a long time to tie a saree, no?
“Initially, I used to take 20 to 30 minutes to tie a saree but after getting the hang of it, I can tie the saree in about eight minutes.”
So we put Dr Maya to a test, getting her to change into several different sarees. She aced the challenge and got it done in less than eight minutes each time.
“There are various types of sarees. Cotton sarees are light and perfect for daily use. The prints these days are quite modern.
“It’s a dying art – not just wearing saree but also making and designing sarees. It’s not something you only wear during functions or Deepavali but it’s suitable for any time of the day.”
And here’s Dr Maya’s advice: “Just give it a try!”