Guwahati: Mekhela chador is not just an attire, but a symbol of identity for an Assamese woman. Ankita Konwar, wife of ‘Ironman of India’, Milind Soman, sticking to her roots, was seen running in a mekhela chador in a viral video, while Soman was clad in a dhoti and T-shirt.

The 28-year-old was accompanied by several others, including a man who brought his baby on a pram, for the run.

Tweeting the video, Konwar wrote: “Determination matters, not attire Carrying a piece of #Assam wherever I maybe Happy #bhogalibihu in advance! #Traditional @milindrunning”

On Instagram, Konwar posted the video along with another short clip of a few Bihu moves to mark the festive season. She recounted her affair with the Assamese folk dance and how she was introduced to it at a mere age of four. She wrote: “I remember loving that smell of #kopouful (an orchid we wear around our hair bun) in that April breeze, which was quite common considering almost every household had that orchid and it bloomed to its glory in April. Amazed by the colours of #mekhelasador woven with #mugasilk , #whitepat and #erisilk !! Since I loved #bihudance started loving the sound of all the instruments related to it like #dhul #pepa #gagana #hutuli.”

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“The festival of Bihu, especially #rongalibihu has always been so so close to my heart. The way people open their homes to groups of people in order to watch them perform their folk dance and hear them sing, the way we get into the spirit of sharing our home made snacks with each other and the pride and respect we feel for the culture that flows in us! I love the simplicity in these small things,” she added.

Speaking about the impact the recent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), she added, “I know #assam right now is not at it’s best to celebrate #bhugalibihu and it’s heartbreaking considering how joyful an occasion it is for each one of us! But I pray we find our way to normalcy. Normalcy – which is being exceptionally loving, which is loving our culture, our tradition. No matter where we are, a part of #axom is always with us! Love and positivity always! Wish you all a proud #bhugalibihu in advance! And yes I love running in my #muga #rihamekhela.”

It is not the first time that Konwar wore a mekhela chador for a marathon. During the 8th edition of Pinkathon in December last year, Konwar wore a black and orange mekhela. She revealed on Instagram, “With all the things going wrong back home in Assam and being so worried about it constantly, THIS was a positive change for my mental health.”

Konwar and Soman are often seen particpating in marathons together, and Konwar has always stuck to her identify by giving us a whiff of his Assamese side. During a Pinkathon event in Guwahati in November last year, the couple broke into an impromptu Bihu jig on stage. While Konwar took the leaad, Soman followed his significant other.

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