The biggest evil of our society still looms large and casts its shadow upon all of us. We are discussing dowry here and how it has only grown to be a societal growth impediment rather than a thing of the past that should have been long forgotten by now.

Many of us are engaged in the battle against dowry. Some fight it individually, while others merge into organisations, forming a formidable collective. The medium we adopt in combating this societal scourge holds significant sway. While some opt for social media platforms to amplify their voices, others steer the course of societal advancement through educational initiatives. And then there are others, like Maithri Srikant, the founder and Creative Head of Vedhika, who has a unique and fresh perspective on dowry, which we will delve into. 

A fresh start

To Maithri, dowry is not a monetary transaction handed over to the groom’s family by the bride and her family. Instead, Maithri's perspective is profound. She strongly opines that the woman entering wedlock is to be seen as an epitome of love, warmth and care. She brings her education, traditional values, and respect for the family, the most significant assets that cannot be bought with money. Maithri has channelled her outlook through a music video that depicts the message through a melodious song and encapsulating visuals. The cover song is sung by renowned singers Aparna Rajeev and Vijay Yesudas and was launched by actor Khusboo. Let's take a moment to appreciate her unique perspective and the impact it can have on our society.

Maithri, with her right hand to the heart, says, ‘Say no to Dowry;it begins with your voice.’ She continues her vision for a world without dowry by harnessing the power of fashion, a medium that speaks to all. Rasikapriya is the first-of-its-kind campaign against dowry in India. Through Rasikapriya, a unique line of Kanchipuram sarees, Vedhika creates distinctive motifs, colours, and designs that emphasise a woman's power and the gravity she can pull towards herself.

Let’s delve into how, through this unique and innovative endeavour, we at Vedhika are collectively fighting dowry. 

The motifs of Rasikapriya

The motifs we incorporate in our Rasikapriya sarees are genuinely remarkable. Each motif is meticulously chosen to align with the theme and spirit Vedhika embodies as a brand. Here, we present some motifs that stand with us in our fight against dowry.

Starting with "Aanchakram".  Aanchakram originates in Indian mythology, specifically from the Sanskrit language. The Aanchakram is often depicted as a circular disc-like weapon, similar to a chakra or discus, and is known for its ability to cut through obstacles or enemies swiftly. In broader terms, the motif of the Aanchakram symbolises power, protection, and the ability to overcome challenges. We also convey this through our sarees - Kanchipuram that radiate power and make a statement of their own. 

Next is Yaali. The motif of the Yaali is a mythical creature often depicted in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples, particularly in South India. It resembles a creature with the body of a lion or tiger and the head of another animal, often an elephant or a horse, and sometimes with additional features like wings or multiple heads. The Yaali is usually portrayed as a symbol of strength, protection, courage and guardianship.

The motif of Annapakshi, also spelt as "Annaparavai," originates from Hindu mythology and symbolises purity, prosperity, and auspiciousness. Annapakshi is a mythical bird believed to possess the ability to separate milk from water. Here in our Rasikapriya collection, Annapakshi signifies discernment and wisdom. It is often depicted with a swan's body and a peacock's head, representing grace and beauty—just like the women of Vedhika who adorn themselves with a Rasikapriya saree.

The motif "Eruthalepakshi" refers to a bird with two heads and a single body, commonly found in Indian art and mythology. This motif symbolises harmony, balance, and unity of opposites. In the Rasikapriya line of sarees, Eruthalepakshi represents the idea of duality coexisting in harmony, often seen as a metaphor for the complementary forces of nature.

Colours of Rasikpriya

Colours play a huge role in life. They can lift our moods. Each colour has a different meaning, too, invoking a unique sensation in us. For instance, the colour blue is often associated with calmness, wisdom, mercy, and love. White is frequently used in the context of purity, cleanliness, honesty, and new beginnings. Likewise, each colour and hue used in the sarees of Rasikapriya holds an extraordinary meaning. They symbolise the emotions of a woman and also go on to speak volumes of Vedhika’s fight against dowry. Let’s explore the colours of Rasikapriya in more detail. 

In the kaleidoscope of colours, red stands out as a beacon of tradition, passion, and auspiciousness, especially in the vibrant world of Indian sarees. As the cornerstone of bridal attire, red is revered in Indian culture, symbolising love, fertility and prosperity. Within the spectrum of Indian hues, red reigns supreme, echoing the richness of our cuisine, the warmth of our spices, and the vibrancy of our festivals.

In the tapestry of traditions, red threads its way through every aspect of a woman's life, from the bangles adorning her wrists to the sindoor adorning the forehead of a married woman. It is a colour steeped in symbolism, representing the sacred bond of marriage and the strength of familial ties. Red sarees embody timeless elegance and grace with their intricate designs and opulent fabrics.

Moreover, red holds a more profound significance beyond aesthetics—it is a powerful symbol against the scourge of dowry. Brides who choose red for bridal attire reclaim their agency and assert their worth beyond material possessions. In this way, red becomes a rallying cry for empowerment and dignity, challenging societal norms and advocating for change.

At Rasikapriya, we celebrate the resplendence of red, weaving its hues into our exquisite Kanchipuram sarees to honour tradition, elevate beauty, and champion the spirit of empowerment. For every woman adorned in red, there's a story of strength, resilience, and unwavering grace—a story that transcends time and leaves an indelible mark on fashion and beyond. 

Another set of colours that we extensively use and hold dear are Mehendi Green and Maroon. Mehendi, an indispensable adornment, transcends mere ornamentation; it embodies rituals, rites, and the essence of celebration. No festivity is complete without the intricate swirls adorning hands and feet, a testament to enduring customs. The hues of Mehendi Green and Maroon resonate deeply within the folds of a saree, embodying the bond between two sisters, a symphony of camaraderie. They speak of family ties, celebrating love and unbreakable bonds between parents and siblings. On the other hand, Maroon exudes warmth and richness, enveloping its wearer in an aura of timeless beauty. Together, they form a harmonious blend, echoing the cherished values of our culture.

Moreover, these colours hold the potential to become potent symbols against dowry. When incorporated into wedding attire, Mehendi Green and Maroon remind us of the importance of love and companionship over material possessions. They embody the idea of marriage as a union of souls, transcending the constraints of dowry-driven transactions.

The team behind Vedhika is united against dowry. Fashion is the medium we have chosen to express our voice. Our Rasikapriya Kanchipuram sarees, steeped in tradition and intricately designed in colours and motifs, speak volumes of our continued commitment to the cause. Cheers to more Rasikas out there to rise and shine. May we hear her morning raga brimming with love and laughter, celebrating the rhythm of her strength and conviction.

Visit us and join this unique movement, where we forge a path towards lasting change. Let’s inspire a collective thought, invoke a fresh awakening, and ignite a progressive social matrix.