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Apparel Dilemma

"Have we met before?" she asks, her western suit all prim and proper. Holy cow no, come to the point, I felt like telling her. I am not very good with PR guys. They are doing their job alright but they can be downright bugging. Even more bugging is this: you can identify their black pants and white shirts from far and you cannot maintain a safe distance from them. Technically, the press and PR actually work hand in hand, but they have a tougher job, which is, hounding journalists for some sacred space while their clients give them sleepless nights till they get their due publicity for the money invested for that purpose. I can't imagine working in a PR firm!

But what is it about western outfits and women in the media these days? I am a little curious. Why do all of them dress the same? I am sure, the same was once asked about Indian journalists with their trademark kurtas and jholas? Clearly, today's journalists are going for an image overhaul. You don't see the kurta-jhola clad journalists anymore. Maybe those covering political beats still do. Take today's press conference where union minister for the north east region Mani Shankar Aiyar and Kiran Karnik, president of Nasscom, were addressing the press for their great initiative to take IT to this landlocked secluded region of India. I saw only formal trousers and formal shirts. While I was bored with the deliberations of the conference, I was equally bored by the new Indian journalists love for what seems like an old stock pick from Marks & Spencer's or JC Penny - formal trousers and shirts!

With the slew of TV channels and the westernised anchors and reporters [even Hindi channel Aaj Tak have anchors in western outfits], its the rush to adopt everything western. Wish it did with the minds too. I almost mistook the young Mint journalist sitting next to me for a MNC worker until we got talking. And so were the others. Such a uniformity in dressing, it was boring watching the same pair of trousers and the same ill-fitting shirts. Formal shirts are tricky, unless they are high-end stuff, the flaws show.

Anyway, my grouse is not against western attire. But in a country with such a rich textile heritage, why is their such en masse adoption of the stupid shirt and pant? From the lovely cottony churidar kurtas of Lucknow to the rich colour of Rajasthan -- you have such a range of choices in silks, chiffons, cottons, linens, that the sheer vibrancy of the colour and fabric is prepossesing. Give me a cotton sari anyday, a Fab India kurta and silver jewellry. I am a proponent of this school of fashion. Even Jennifer Anniston does this combination sometimes, so does Lindsay Lohan. Call of the Orient :). See Hello magazine to believe me!

And at the risk of sounding like a page three scribe, I think the best is blending Indian with western styles. Wearing a lovely kurta over a pair of levis with some ethnic jewellery to match looks better anyday than streaked hair, white shirt and black pants. In a fast changing world, you needn't recoincile your identity with everything western. What say?


Sabarmati View said…
Hi Indi,
very nice post. I think, it's our obsession with anything western. sadly, journalist are also becoming a part of assembly line production and revelling in their so-called 'hep-happening' looks.
by the way, do you have an ikkat sari from orissa?
Snigdha said…
bugging is not the word. pr's i mean. they're just not human beings. btw, shirt-pants are convenient, dont you think?
Snigdha said…
oh and btw again, how do you get music to play on your blog?
Indira said…
deepu, i don't have an ikkat sari. and black is my favourite colour :)
Indira said…
sniggy, yes pants and shirt are comfortable but they are boring on an everyday basis no?.. about the song thingy, click on it and go to songspots. very simple and easy. BTW, they don't seem to have much of what i like.
Jayant said…
I get to gloat about this every time I meet up with my friends working in MNCs, consultancy firms et al. They're stuck with strictly formal attire for 4 out of their 5 working days. I, on the other hand, wear formals when I feel like it. I'm sure they'd like to have the option of choosing what to wear. :)
Shanti Thokchom said…
Hey! I agree with your idea on blending Indian with western styles.The earliest recollections I have of Indian journalists is that of the jhola and kurta types and moreover glamourised by Faroukh Sheikh in one of those earlier Hindi movies where he courts Deepti Naval!! Gone are those days now! I cant make out the difference anymore!! Keep blogging!!Its good to read what you have to say about stuffs!!

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