Here comes the Bride: shopping at Nalli’s

The silk Garwhal for the bride

One of the best wedding customs we have is that of inviting the bride to a special lunch or dinner prior to the wedding where she is the guest of honour. Not only is this a leisurely way of catching up with long lost friends and relatives but it is also a way of interacting with the bride one on one before her big day. Very often the groom is also invited with his family so that everyone gets to know one another. However,  it is quite difficult to orchestrate everyone’s presence at a given time or date in Mumbai when half a family is always too busy to attend so this function has been adapted to suit our times where people have a combined bridal shower with one branch of the family having  a pot-luck or contributory meal .

Yesterday Anna Shetty was given a new kind of bridal shower by Mrs. B and her charming daughter in law met us at the Mumbai branch of Chennai’s iconic store  Nalli’s at Mahalakshmi. While this store doesn’t have half the charm of the original but we still managed to spend three hours looking at every sari in the store while catching up on what the bride and her groom do, their future plans and snippets of their romance.

The gossamer fine Chanderi 

At four thirty in the afternoon it seemed every amma and her daughter were at Nalli’s and we were literally looking over one another’s shoulder trying to see which sari was being unfurled in front of you. While it is hard to make oneself heard over the din, the advantage of shoulder to shoulder shopping is that you can see at least ten saris at one time. Since each customer has a different taste, it is easier to point out what you like and then ask your attendant salesman to show you what you want.

With literally hundreds of saris like Kanjeevarams, modern saris, Coimbatore silks, Upadas, Bandinis,Myore Georgettes, Patolas, Oriya,  I realised that if you do want to go sari shopping in Mumbai, it is best to visit the website of the shop prior to the actual visit to have a more meaningful shopping experience because apart from the traditional saris you can choose from a variety of modern adaptations of traditional weaves . Gone are the days when you asked for a wedding or a casual sari, the operative words these days in sari shops are “concept”, “collection” ,”designer”and” bridal .

After two and a half hours of combing through every sari in the store, we finally found what we wanted. Thank you ladies for a lovely afternoon and a unique and delightful bridal shower!

This seemed to be the perfect end  to a hectic week of wedding preparations interspered with corporate entertainment. With overseas visitors in town, every evening was spent in fine dining and wining. While most of our meals were outside, we had our customary meal at home where Anna Shetty dazzled with this gorgeous centrepiece : it was just the right touch to a meal of steak & potato salad, Spaghetti a l’oleo, Sea Bass in lemon butter sauce, grilled tiger prawn, garden fresh Mediterranean  vegetables, rummy chocolate mousse all washed down with a mellow 2008 Chateau d’Ori Cabernet Syrah.

Pine cones & candles

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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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