It happens every once in a while. She starts watching a film from forty to thirty years ago. She admires the grace with which the heroine wears her cotton saree. The simplicity of the heroine’s dreams. A house, a baby (or two). The gentle teasing that comes just after declarations of love. The grace of the moment comes from being so familiar and so simple.
There is such aesthetic beauty in the divison of roles. The heroine looking glorious as she cooks in the kitchen. The fact that nothing stops her from loving their child. That he buys her something exceedingly pretty. Or how she sweetly waits for him. Even when she burns their dinner, there is such childlikeness about her guilt.
But it keeps coming back to her cotton saree. The simplicity of it. The elegance of something draped so casually. The crispness of the cotton fading through the day. How it frumps around the waist. How the beautiful woman adjusts her falling hair on her face with the back of her hand, because her fingers are too messy with dosai maavu.
The vision of breakfasts in perfect homes. Steam, and the suffocating smell of hot pongal. She realizes why she would hate feminists if she was a man. Could a feminist make perfect filter coffee? Could a feminist wear a crisp cotton saree and then soften it with the routine of domesticity?
And then she looks at her own slightly tattered shorts. The film ends. She sighs. Besides, she would find the washing of sarees too cumbersome.