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At 72, Iconic News Anchor Salma Sultan Walked (And Danced!) Down The Ramp. What A Rockstar

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While our parents were still running around in their bloomers, Salma Sultan was busy etching her name in television history. The iconic news anchor became a household name in the 60s as a Doordarshan National presenter. Known for her sartorial choices of a modern draped saree paired with a red rose neatly tucked behind her ears, Salma is a fashion icon the younger generations need to know more about. Armed with her seminal catchphrase, “Namaskar! Aaj kay samaachaar iss prakaar hain...”, Salma was known to Indian families for over three decades as the fashionable lady who brought us the news. This woman is no less than legend, a fact made abundantly clear while walking the ramp at a recent show!

Salma was joined by celebrities, including Padma Shree Shovana Narayan, for a fashion show organised by Saree Sanskriti. She shaded our whiny millennial selves spectacularly and said, “It is a very happy occasion. Many people have come together to make this a successful event. I do not believe millennials have any problem wearing the saree, it is all about ensuring that they have confidence. When confidence is there you can pull off any attire” she elaborated.

Dancing to the tunes of Saree Ke Fall Sa, Salma was a vision in a brown saree and gajra. She has been an avid advocate of promoting cultural attires and has been associated with organisations working for the same. A true fashion icon in her own right, she confessed in an interview with Verve, “We were our own fashion consultants back then. The black-and-white TV offered us the facility to wear whichever colours we wanted to, but the onset of colour TV shattered it. A new sari a day I could manage, but matching blouses? No way. It was a pretty tall order. So, the idea of draping a sari over both shoulders came to my rescue and believe me…it works even now”. Oh yes, it does!

As for the rose tucked behind her ear, Salma had a fabulous reason for that as well, “The day when I plucked a red rose from my garden, I hadn’t the faintest idea that its story would become viral. Can you imagine that even now, the rose fever is unabated? Yes, it did give heartburn to some people helming affairs at that time, who issued memos and warnings but…let’s leave it at that. The important thing is that the rose lives on in the memory of viewers, and I feel grateful and humbled.”. There are literal stories out there of women hunting for sarees that Salma wore on TV while presenting the news, which she did till 1997.

We indeed feel fortunate to have discovered Salma’s legacy and story for ourselves. It is necessary for the younger generation of career women to pull inspiration from the legends who paved the way for us. Especially the ones who do it while decked out in beautiful sarees!


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