Ashwini Devare is a freelance journalist who worked with BBC Asia as a reporter, covering the Asia Pacific region. After facing the camera and chasing breaking news for several years, Ashwini decided to hang up the television hat and pursue other passions including fiction and non-fiction writing. She has recently penned a collection of short stories. Apart from writing, Ashwini loves singing light classical and old Hindi film songs, is a culture vulture and a manic mother of two teenage boys.
In Pursuit of the Paithani
Ashwini Devare and Sarita Alurkar-Sriram
- Non Fiction
- All Rights Available
Lured by the dazzle of the centuries-old Paithani sari from their home state, Ashwini Devare and Sarita Sriram decided to head to Paithan, a sleepy forgotten town on the banks of the Godavari River in the heart of Maharashtra. Mesmerized by the timeless elegance and rich history of the Paithani, often referred to as a “poem in silk and gold, Paithan becomes the starting point for their journey, to trace the sojourn of the Sari from the time of the ancient Satavahana dynasty two thousand years ago, through the Mughal and Peshwa eras to the present.
Along the way, the journey, which begins as a casual interest between two NRIs, evolves into a search for their own identity, a desire to learn more about their Maharashtrian roots and culture.
Both discover there is so much woven amidst the folds of the Paithani which they unravel as they traverse the countryside, from the world famous frescoes of Ajanta to the dusty by lanes of Paithan: grandma’s stories, folklore, myths and legends, ragas of varying moods, all soft as the sari’s silk, wrap them with a sense of belonging and pride, and opens doors to the art, traditions and unique customs of their state.
“In Pursuit of the Paithani” traces the history and tradition of the Paithani sari. Considered a family heirloom, the Paithani is passed down from generation to generation and its high point was during the rule of the Peshwas in the 18th century, when it became a symbol of Maharashtra’s pride.
The book is laced with plenty of introspection, nostalgia and thought-provoking sentiment as the two protagonists Ashwini and Sarita rediscover their roots, after decades of living abroad.