TUMKUR: As AICC president Sonia Gandhi visits Siddaganga Mutt on Saturday, the gift she receives would have thrilled her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi. For, Sonia, who will be here on Saturday to attend seer Shivakumara Swamiji’s 105th birthday, will be presented the traditional Karnataka handloom sari for which late Indira Gandhi had developed a liking through her cultural advisor Pupul Jayakar.
Indira had visited the mutt during Emergency.
The pale pink, light weight, six-yard silk sari is being sourced from Vimor, meaning “pure” in Bahasa Indonesia, a homely three-decade-old shop run by Chimy Nanjappa, a Kodava in Bangalore’s Victoria Layout.
It was Pupul, who was considered the doyen of handlooms and handicrafts, who mentored Chimy those days with an objective of preserving traditional arts.
So, Indira Gandhi was Vimor’s natural customer those days, while freedom fighter Kamaladevi Chattopadhaya too had appreciated it for promotion of tradition. Soon, Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Vadra too were introduced to the Vimor saris.
The simple sari for Sonia is being designed by Chimy’s daughter Pavithra, and is woven by weavers of Vimor, who have been groomed in the hinterlands of Kanchipuram for many decades. Pavithra confirmed over phone that the Gandhi family have been their customers for several years.
Considering the guest and the event, the mutt had no second thoughts on the gift and felt that a sari from Vimor would be the ideal present for Sonia.
“Shivakumara Swamiji was particular about the gift to be given to Sonia. A pashmina shawl too is included,” said a source from the mutt. The Swamiji, who is himself a great administrator, enquires about the smallest details. “When he was shown the sari, he touched and felt it, and with all curiosity asked whether it was cotton or silk,” the source said.