The Curious Twist of Plastic Surgery, Diwali & The Indian Saree – by Dr. Ashish Gupta

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It would seem strange that one of the oldest form of Indian attire, “the Saree” (which dates back to one of the oldest civilization – the Indus Valley Civilization in 2000 BC) and the oldest form of surgery, “Plastic Surgery” (Sushruta 400 BC) have been associated with every stage of our lives. A mother’s saree pallu is an infant’s first cradle; a toddler’s way to hold it and learn to walk; a child’s cloth to wipe his face; and a father’s sacred thread which he knots to the groom’s attire. Likewise, Plastic Surgery also grows with a child by treating the birth anomalies as an infant (cleft lip palate, hemangiomas, hand deformities), tackling the cuts and bruises as a toddler; treating burns inflicted by with fire crackers in children for a scarless recovery; and as an adult it’s all about the tryst of reversing time for a younger looking self.

In today’s age when traditions are being silenced in the name of modernity the relevance of both these entities come to fore in the days of Deepawali. Exhibitions dot the city halls during this festive season, as people look for exclusive sarees to regale in the religious fervor. Similarly, the practice of Plastic surgery seems to find spaces in all media, social and print, to detail out the Do’s and Don’ts for Being Safe in Diwali.

The circle of a normal skin getting injured and passing through the various phases of surgical healing to return to it’s normal state relies on the principles of Plastic Surgery. The body derives this healing prowess from the positive energy in it and surrounding it. This principle reflects in the science of tying a saree too. Scriptures depict that healthy energy in our body, the earth and the universe moves in circles. Any energy coming towards our body first touches our clothes and then it enters
into the body and its energy channels and then to the internal organs. So when an energy touches the sari, it travels in circles around the body, helping the energy move in the correct way; same as a plastic surgeon guiding the healing stages by constant interventions and micro-adaptations.

The Saree, after having survived thousands of years of modifications, invasions, migration, and globalization has now emerged as highly appreciated, glamorous and sensuous outfit which is festooned by beautiful women all over the world. Similar is the desired result from plastic surgery. Everyone desires to look better, feel enhanced and yet maintain their separate identity.

As the trends shift from heavy Kanjeevaram sarees to hand woven colourful Sambalpuri drapes, the trend of getting a makeover
by plastic surgeon has shifted to “Tweek-ments”. Patients increasingly want to maintain their general facial structure, inherited family traits, and just want to look like themselves, but with a few refined tweaks. Unlike 5 years ago when people wanted to look like the cover model of a fashion magazine, today they want to look more like their own filtered photos or a “Photoshop” version of themselves. People are super into the tiny little micro-optimizations that make them feel a little bit more confident and which are not completely obvious.

The Patient of today is more in favour of the “Natural Look” and what better way to carry it on Diwali than in the Traditional Indian Saree.

Anyone who has spent their childhood in India relates to the common fabric of the saree and the generation of today relates to plastic surgery as a form of celebrating youthfulness. And the festival of Diwali binds these two processes which are poles apart as a celebration of life.

Our special thanks to Dr Ashish Gupta, Senior Consultant & Head, Dept. of Plastic, Micovascular and Cosmetic Surgery, S.P.S. (Apollo) Hospitals, Ludhiana for this wonderful article!

THHD wishes all it’s readers A SAFE AND A HAPPY DIWALI!!


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