Three safety-pins


I am cleaning the drawers of my dressing table, a long overdue task. And as I clean, I find my safety-pin box, containing many glittering steel safety- pins in various sizes.

Image courtesy – ClipartKey

Back in my childhood, safety-pins were precious resources that provided quick-fix solutions to many everyday problems – to fix a sudden tear in your clothes or to fix a broken sandal or to fix broken chains or beads. Moms and aunts usually had at least one or two safety-pins on the chains that most of them wore around their necks. All one had to do was ask; and out would come those precious pins that could solve all kinds of problems. But one of the most important uses of safety-pins for Indian women is when we have to wear sarees.

Most of us probably wore our first sarees for our high school graduation ceremonies. There was great joy in choosing the right saree, in getting the perfect blouse stitched and in buying the right accessories to go with it.

And as our moms helped us drape the sarees, we stood with three safety-pins in our palms. We waited to pass them to our moms, as they sat down to perfect each pleat of the saree and to pin them together neatly. The safety-pins were not visible after the saree was draped, but gave us that much needed assurance that we could carry ourselves well!

When we got back from school after the graduation – our hearts filled with precious memories, fun and some tears – our moms waited to receive us, and warned us to carefully remove the safety-pins first and put them away, before we changed back into our home clothes.

And on countless important occasions thereafter – from festivals and family functions to our own engagements and weddings – we draped ourslves in gorgeous sarees, with strings of jasmine in our hair, and huge jhumkas dangling from our ears. The sarees made us feel poised, graceful and elegant – silently supported as they were by three simple, safety pins.

I come back to the here and the now. The safety-pins have been lying in the box for ages. Can’t wait for life to get back to normal. Can’t wait to bring out my sarees and my glittering safety pins!

6 thoughts on “Three safety-pins”

  1. Ahh, yes…the proverbial safety pin holder that has every possible size pin available. I have one of those and keep it with my sewing tools. Safety pins are like tape…they perform whenever employed and save the day! Thanks for reminding me of a joyful memory I’ve used for decades.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sari’s are so pretty and elegant. A friend brought me one back from Malaysia. I’m not fond of the nylon fabric but the pattern is pretty. The first time I attempted to wear it was a challenge until I learned about using safety pins πŸ™‚ Of course as a non Indian woman, it feels disrespectful to wear the sari.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Katelon they are! So happy to hear that you have worn sarees before. In India we use a variety of materials for sarees – cottons, linen, jutes, silk….it’s a really really long list. There are popular sarees from each part of India known for their designs, fabric and weave

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful write up about something that we so easily take for granted! Maybe that’s why they deceive us exactly while we need them. I always land up hunting for safety pins and never find them when I need them!

    Liked by 1 person

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