Trust me, it is much easier to find the perfect guy… when you compare it with the probability of finding a perfect saree blouse. It is hands down the trickiest garment of this Indian attire. Getting the fitting and styling correct is a work of art, and women would die for the master ji (as tailors in India are fondly called) who can achieve this.
Now this piece of clothing which covers the upper body of a woman and shows off the waist to the best effect, is nothing short of a piece of art.
As far as I remember, my mom and aunts and grandmas have always worn sarees as opposed to other comfortable options like salwar-kurta or jeans. Two bollywood celebrities, Mandira Bedi and Vidya Balan are two ladies whom I adore for the way they wear saree and have given it a non-mom look. They make it glamourous too, I feel a large part of it is because of the blouses they wear.
And every Indian naari knows how difficult it is to get such fancy blouses made. It takes a while to trust word-of-mouth publicity by other ladies, and after a lot of trial and error, I had found a good master ji in Pune. But the bond lasted just a couple of months as I had to move to New Delhi. And so the search and research continued…
Finally, some colleagues told me about ‘Eves’ in Greater Kailash M Block market and told me they make the best ones in Delhi. A couple of weeks later I read an article about it in the newspaper I worked in, and so decided to check this place out.
I think no other shop in that market has a board this tiny. I walked past it twice, but helpful shoppers directed me to the right place finally. I had just one blouse piece (an 80-centimetre or one metre piece of cloth either detached from the saree, or bought separately) with me, and had to wait for my turn as the ‘attending master ji’ that day — Vineet— took measurements and discussed styles designs with his client. There were just two ladies before me, so I was confident my turn would come soon.
Can you believe it… I got master ji’s darshan after almost an hour! The first woman had seven blouse pieces, and she gave wanted a different design for all of them. Vineet master ji gave suggestions according to the saree it was to be worn with and the type of fabric of that piece.
A few strokes of his pencil, and new design would be ready on a small piece of paper, which he would staple to the piece if approved by the client. So after the seven-wonder got over, the lady ahead of me gave just five pieces. But she took ages in negotiating the date of delivery. Apparently she was leaving for US in 10 days and wanted it by then. Master ji said he would try, but it would be very difficult.
He said it was the peak wedding season and he had a lot of orders to complete. On top of that, most of his kaarigars (other tailors and skilled embrioderers employed by him) were on leave. The US-bound lady squeaked, “Arre how can you let your kaarigars go on chutti during wedding season?”
Master ji said, “Because they are also getting married madam ji.”
Meanwhile this 20-something girl rushed in asking for her blouse. The woman at the reception looked at her reciept and told her that her blouse has gone for “finishing” and will be with them in the evening. But this girl won’t hear any of it. “Please please please give it to me. I have a parlour appointment in the evening so I can’t come then. I am getting engaged tomorrow and will absolutely die without the blouse.” (Well guess what girl, so would the guests!)
By that time, it was my turn. He gave me three design options, all drawn in front of me, and asked which one I like. I chose one, he promptly took the measurements and apologised that he won’t be able to deliver it before 3 weeks. I was in no rush, so I agreed. And the product which I got after three weeks, was worth the Rs 600 I paid for it.
It does seem very expensive, as the starting price itself is 600 for the simplest of blouses. It goes up as the complication in design increases, or if you had embellishments like zardosi work, swarovski crystals, pearls or beads etc. Vineet’s team of Pawan master ji and Irshaad master ji make padded ones as well as non-padded ones, and their finishing is very professional. Styles like halter, sleeveless, chammak chhallo style (Kareena’s red blouse in Ra. One), or corset style, they can make it all. Fitting is awesome.
I got all blouses for my wedding made by them, and I was extremely happy with their work. Of course, you need to keep in mind that they take 15 days to one month during the peak season (October to March), so plan your trip to Eves accordingly.
I think the best part is that they courier it if your stay in Delhi is a short one. I just placed an order for five corsets worth Rs 12,000 and they are going to courier it to my cousin who lives in Mumbai. Cool na!