Piyali had long pictured herself to be draped in a blue benarasi silk on her wedding reception. Ever since she had seen the photographs of her neighbour Tumpa di, she fell in love with the rich colour of the weave the bride wore. The fine meena work in scarlet and teal and gold had intrigued her. So, when given a choice, she had not dithered a bit in opting for blue. She specified it to be royal blue. Just like Tumpa di’s, she had recalled studiously. Her mother-in-law had other plans though. Driven by mores, the sexagenarian chose a hue two shades darker than Piyali’s wedding saree, a vermilion red, not blue.
Motifs of boughs in gold twined through the length of the weave. Blossoms hung at the end of each twig, so intricate in detail that guests could not stop gushing how resplendent the bride looked. But it was red. Not blue. Much to Piyali’s consternation.