This look is inspired by a little more imagination than just mythology! What if Draupadi lived in the modern day… how would she be?! I’d imagine her as a powerful, confident, go-getter… she could be in any career she chooses to be in… A corporate woman, a lawyer, an artist or a blogger, but she’d be rocking it and totally be at the helm of it!
For those of you who haven’t read the first part of this, Draupadi wasn’t really a poor pitiful soul with five husbands as popular perception of her is. (Read here) She was in fact, fierce, intense and strong-willed… apart from being extremely beautiful and extremely passionate. She was an extremist… loved in extremes and hated in extremes! She was a loving and gentle queen… and an extremely dark and vengeful enemy.
Draupadi, the fireborn, wasn’t like most people think, a poor ol’ soul tormented and tortured in a world of men… she was, in fact, the one who made the universe spin around her… She’s the one who on one hand, brought about the destruction of the evils that plagued mankind… and on the other hand, instigated the revival of humankind. She was Shakti, She was Durga, She was Kaali! She was someone, who always made sure that she got what she wanted … no matter what or how long that took! If that was revenge – so be it!
She never gave up… She never gave in… And she took it upon herself to enslave the world of men to change Her destiny!
Again… contrary to popular belief, Sanathana never showed women as weak or powerless… Women were in fact, always stronger than men… ‘Shakti’ was the source of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva… And Shakti was a woman!
Draupadi, lived in the Treta-Yuga. A time when men had started to believe that they were stronger than women… more important than women. That’s when Shakti came in the form of Draupadi to destroy this shallow, trivial belief and re-install a system where women were either equal or stronger, but in no way could be ‘treated’ inferior to men!
Today, once again we stand at the brink of a similar juncture. This is the Kali-yuga and it’s the corruption and loss and dilution because of the number of invasions and reinterpretations over the centuries that has again lead to subjugation and branding of women in Indian society!
Look at the movie ‘PINK’. All the slut-shaming, judging of women by what they wear and how many relationships they’ve had… isn’t it all what Draupadi went through?! She had 5 husbands and She was Hot… and that’s why people thought she was ‘easy’. Most of us have been through 3-4-5 or more relationships… wear short skirts, love to party, drink and take selfies! Aren’t we judged in a similar fashion!?!
… And whenever, society stands at a juncture like it is today… where thinking stoops to a low and women start getting judged for who or what they desire to be, Draupadi emerges.
Draupadi, for me, wasn’t just a woman… or a myth or a Goddess… She was a phenomenon… an ideology… A state of mind! She was a force that we find today, living in every one of us. Today, there isn’t just ONE Draupadi… Every modern day woman – urban or rural, educated or uneducated, is invoking Draupadi within her
So, here’s a look, I created keeping Draupadi’s basic physical attributes, symbols and personality traits in mind… for the modern day woman in a Draupadi State of Mind!
A little recap of her physical attributes (From my previous post):
- Fire: She is born from fire… that too, the fire of vengeance and passion…hence, has Firey, intense eyes which can intimidate, attract or enchant anyone.
- Wild hair: Dark, untamed, flowing locks… which after her humiliation she swears not to tie till she washes them with the blood of her violators.
- Crimson Red: The colour of her ‘sindoor’ which symbolizes love… is also the colour of blood & vengeance that she swears to cover the city in! Also, in popular portrayal, she is mostly seen wearing red or orange, both colours that symbolize fire and passion.
- Dark Skin: She was dark and dusky… with skin that radiated the glow of fire
- Expression: More than the soft and kind expressions, the popular portrayal of Draupadi has always been in her hurt, angry & intimidating form… Yet, there was a duality to her! She could love endlessly and hate bitterly.
Like I mentioned in the begining of this post, this look I’ve created keeping in mind Draupadi as a modern day working woman.
However, at the same time, I’ve chosen a saree and not a western outfit because no matter what, she’s still proud to be a woman – and nothing else in my mind, represents femininity better than a saree!
I’ve chosen to wear a rust red colour, Bengal silk saree from Fabindia… in a more comfortable and less feminine, high drape.
The pallu, is not the beautiful, flowy pallu of a saree that we’re used to seeing… rather, it’s like a rope… twisted and tightly secured! It represents power, determination, and control! It shows that she’s in control of the situation, of herself and her emotions. It does not distract her, allows freedom of movement and gives her posture!
I’m wearing it over pants and not an underskirt with a cropped shirt.
The shirt, the androgynous formal brown boots, the brief-case and the high, messy saree… all stand for the non-conformist, determined and the ‘I’ll have it my way’ attitude that Draupadi stands for! It symbolizes a strong woman in a world dominated by men!
I’ve continued to let her hair flow free, along with the Kaali necklace (from Razia Kunj) and the Bindi (from the previous look: View here) to keep the symbols and elements in sync with her traditional symbols.
Where would I wear this outfit?
To work of course! When you head to work with the attitude of Draupadi… with that determination and drive towards conquering obstacles, you’re bound to rock at it!
And it needn’t just be on the ‘traditional days’. You could actually wear this look almost everyday!
Hope you enjoyed reading this series and May the fire forever burn within you…!
Photo Courtesy: Sonalee Das
Make up Artist: Shubhi Shrivastav