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The traditional drape
‘Gochikattu’, the traditional saree draping style of Telangana women gets a picture-perfect frame at Hyderabad-based photographer Kandukuri Ramesh Babu’s show
Kandukuri Ramesh Babu, a journalist by profession and a writer by choice is a photographer by passion. All his works are based on the lives of Telangana women and their attire.
He did extensive research and phorographed women attired in the 'Gochikattu'- a type of saree drape by the women, especially from Telangana region. He says, "I am influenced by 'Nauvari' saree of Maharashtra, where this kind of draping is unique to women.
I feature women wearing this drape in Nanded, Nizamabad, Adilabad and someplaces in Nirmal, Jagityal and Karimnagar."
The photographs were first displayed in Mumbai. "In December 2018, I displayed my work at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
Director ShyamBenegal visited the show and he especially liked my photo 'Gaze'- a women in 'gochi' saree gazing. He advised me to do series on this kind of work. In these three months, I worked on this special saree draping and come up with this exhibition."
Part of culture
"Saree is a part of our culture. The saree used for 'Gochikattu' is made of cotton and is of nine
metres length. These sarees are mainly produced in Siricilla and also in villages like Garshakurthi, Chamanapalli, Choppadandi and Boyinapalli.
According to an estimate, nearly 20 lakh women wear this 'gochi' drape in Telangana," says Ramesh Babu.
The true beauty
"Raja Ravi Verma used to paint gochi saree goddesses and I feel these women I have captured in my photographs are no less than the goddesses," he says. "It is a reflection of the richness of the Deccani culture and tradition, and the style mirrors the lifestyle of working-class women," he adds.
Further stressing on the importance of this style, he shares, "This saree draping style is followed by every woman from Brahmin to Vaishya. It is a great equalizer.These cotton sarees with golden border are comfortable for working in the fields.
They absorb sweat and the dirt won't be visible" "With four to five pairs of gold studs lining their entire ear lobe and silver 'kada' around the ankle, the women in their 'gochikattu' make a great fashion statement," he adds.