I don't think our kids know what a pallu is as mothers now rarely wear saree. The principle use of Ma's pallu was to provide the elegance to her drape. But along with that, it also served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the stove.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears and as a hand towel.
For sleeping kids her lap was the mattress and her pallu the warm cover.
When company came, those pallus were ideal hiding places for shy kids..
And when going out as little kids, the pallu became an anchor, a guide to follow the Mom in the big bad world
And when the weather was cold, Maa wrapped it around her arms.
Those glorious sari pallus wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot lakdi ka chulha.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the summer the pallu was used to bring in Aam and sweet scented flowers that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old sari pallu could dust in a matter of seconds.
It carried so many toys, a proper basket. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time sari pallu' that served so many purposes.
The pallu is nothing but magic woven.
*And I know what this pallu carried.....I don't think I ever caught anything from my Mom's pallu - but love*