THRISSUR: A 9.36 metre-long sari has become the canvas for Sindhu Sapthavarna, a fashion designer based in Thrissur, to pay a tribute of her own to the fight that Kerala and its people have been putting up against the Covid-19 pandemic. Hailing from Valanchery, Sindhu has been designing costumes for textile giants like Kalyan Silks and Beena Kannan’s Seematti for the past 10 years, in addition to running a boutique at her hometown.
With a bit more time on hands in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, Sindhu knew exactly what to do. She started preparing a story board on how the pandemic has been impacting the world, and then began the process of painting it on to the sari. “It took us around two months to complete the work. Of course, the most difficult part was creating the story board. It had to be designed in such a way that the story is communicated as well as contained in a sari which is just 9.36 metre long,” she said. Starting from the spread of the deadly virus from Wuhan to other parts of the country, Sindhu had taken care to ensure that the hues she used matched the mood of the people.
As the initial days of the spread had led to much panic across the globe, she used darker shades to depict these parts. However, stories of hope amid the pandemic -- including the recovery of an elderly couple aged 93 and 89 in Kerala -- have been portrayed using brighter hues. “I have also used the colour green for the time when many areas including Thrissur were declared green zones,” she added.
Sindhu used the craftsmanship of weavers in Kuthampulli village in the district to weave the 9.36 metre-long sari, also known as the ‘18 muzham chela’ in local languages, predominantly used by Tamil women. Assisted by her colleague Anuraj, Sindhu plans to exhibit her work once the Covid threat subsides and the Lalithakala Academy Art Gallery opens for exhibitions.