NAJU DAVER’S GARAS
Today’s Naju Daver is synonymous with the Parsee gara, and correctly so, because she has been responsible for single handedly reviving the dying art of exquisite hand embroidered silk sarees, known as garas.
All those who have visited her annual exhibitions rave about the fineness and artistry of her work and those fortunate enough to possess her garas know that they are worth their weight in gold, even if they cost as much!
Every gara of hers comprises if six yards of silk exquisitely embroidered; conceived and executed with poetic imagination and painstaking labour over months if dedicated hard work.
The art of gara making originated in China and received recognition at the end of the last century through Parsee patronage, when some of the earliest Parsee traders visited China with their spices and came back with yards and yards of exquisitely embroidered silk.
When trade between the two countries stooped somewhere at the start of this century the garas became prized possessions, passed down as heirlooms. However, the stylish sixties saw the invasion of the western look in local couture and the garas were sold to ‘Zari purana wallas and some women even snipped up their garas into dressing gowns, cushion covers and dresses.
Sometimes in the late seventies, Naju Daver, herself a magician with the needle and thread, started lamenting on the community’s garas. She set about reviving them. From a few old pieces she copied the design and colour combination, and started making them herself. Slowly, she gained in confidence and started setting her own patterns along traditional lines. Today, her garas are masterpieces that often seem to have surpassed the originals.
Naju Daver has received many offers to retail her exclusive sarees through fashion stores and house, but she has declined. This is not something that she can do to a deadline, she avers. Each gara is a labour of love that takes its own time in the making.
“ I think what really matters is that I have enjoyed doing this every second of the way. Creating a new gara is really my biggest joy.” Says Naju Daver, letting out the biggest secret of his success.
By a Staff Reporter (The Afternoon).