A multicoloured choli

From: A Fine Balance (1995), by Rohinton Mistry:

“‘We didn’t buy them, Ma! We made them ourselves!’ said Narayan, forgetting his little joke. Ishvar explained excitedly how Ashraf Chacha had helped them select and match the remnants left over from the fabric for customers’ orders. Their father’s vest had been easy; there were plenty of white poplin remnants. The choli for their mother had required a bit more planning. A print of red and yellow flowers made up the front of the blouse. The back was a solid red, and the sleeves were fashioned from a swatch of vermilion.

Roopa burst into tears as soon as she put on the choli. Ishvar and Narayan looked at their father in alarm, who said she was crying because she was happy.

‘Yes, I am!’ she confirmed his verdict through her sobs. She knelt before them and hugged them in turn, and then hugged them together. She saw Dukhi watching, and led the boys to him. ‘Embrace your father also,’ she said, ‘this is a very special day.’”

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