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The 3 S

About two Sundays back, when Shashi Tharoor wrote in The Times of India about how more and more Indian women are wearing less of the sari and more of western outfits, he expressed an alarmist attitude, almost, of the sari becoming extinct. This Sunday, he admitted to being bombarded by mails (obviously) from women who thought his column bordered on sexism. There were some who said his argument was a bit rich "coming from someone who spends his working days in a western suit and tie". Tharoor apologises if his point of view offended anyone but he is not apologising for expressing a point of view. Fair enough!

Living in Delhi, I would like to remind Mr Tharoor that whoever invented the sari did not have 21st century lascivious north India in mind. While I love the sari, I cannot imagine getting into a crowded DTC bus with a sari on. Or for that matter, walking in crowded Pragati Maidan with the sari or running for my life wearing a sari. These are few of the reasons I can cite why women chose to opt for the more practical and fully covered western jeans and tops. Although, even then, you do not escape from the peering eyes of sex-starved Dillwallas.

What is it about men in this part of the country that sets them apart from other homosapiens? Is it their diet of garlic, onions, ghee and milk? They cannot stand straight, they cannot walk straight and every female looks available to them. I remember sitting in a hair salon once and a woman walks into it huffing and panting. She was obviously new to Delhi. It was 3 in the afternoon and she was disgusted by a man in a car who kept following her. "I am a mother of two, and nowhere has this happened before. I lived in Bombay earlier," she was telling us sympathisers. I told her it was so common that by now I have become immuned. Just ignore, be wary and walk on, I advised her and passed on another advice given by one of my brothers when I first moved to this place: be suspicious of anybody and everybody.

While I hope some scientist comes out with a cure for the mentally sick north Indian man, I would like to delve on the sari. I love this nine-yard (is it nine?) light material that falls so elegantly on the female form. I think every woman looks good in it. I feel ultra feminine when I wear one but I hate the reactions of people around me. Take my office. One woman almost screamed from her desk the day I wore one after I towed away my woollies and took out my cotton saris. "What is wrong with you?" I chose to ignore her but my deskie sprung up for me. "Nothing. She is in a sari," he told her. With that it shut her trap. A cheeky designer came up from behind and whispered, "from MTV to Doordarshan." A few other women drooled about how good the sari was and how nice I looked. I lapped up every compliment.

What one wears, however, is a very personal thing. Commenting on someone on that should come as a kind of an after thought!


QueSeraSera said…
I was searching for blogs with the keyword "Shillong" and came across your blog.You write well in a conversational style.Nice Blog
Indira said…
Appreciate the comment. Thanks
Anonymous said…
and of course how can Mr Tharoor forget, Salwar Kameez is as Indian as a Saree...... so we are keeping safe our 'tradition and culture' by wearing the 'punjabi' traditional dress too....

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