Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When In Rome

Our first posting was in New Delhi in 1994 we lived there till 2003. Incidentally I have lived in this city and done my post-graduation before that, so I can claim to be familiar with its nuances and moods, but here I am talking of just the dressing of its female denizen. The women in the streets are smartly attired and well groomed. They wear the latest in Desi fashion whether it is the Patiala salwar, salwar kameez, churidar-kurta. These days jeans and kurti and western wear is popular too. It’s like committing hara-kiri to turn out in grumpy clothes and dishevelled hair. The ‘Bibijis’ mostly  wear tailored to fit. The thing about Delhi is the area speaks of the class of people you are going to bump into. Khan Market and G.K will be high in Fashion Quotient while Rajori Garden and Pritampura may be less. But everyone on every street turns out well. And  New Delhi parties come with a warning- attend only if you have fortune to shell out because the checking you will be subjected to is akin to immigrations at JFK! After all, Delhi is the fashion capital of India, Bhaiya!
(Delhi women are always well turned out)

Punjab is similar to Delhi in ladies fashion, but a notch higher on glitz! The ladies of Punjab love Kitty Parties and I, talking about Punjabi kitty party gear will be like me talking about Bombay Stock Exchange!! But this much I know that each party will have a theme (animal print, floral, a specific colour, western outback, animation!!!)  You need to shell out big bucks to wear a designer garb each time! Or you could take help from “www.kittypartiesthemes.com” a website actually exists)! Moral of the story: Oye Chak De Phatte!!

(Women of Ludhiana, Punjab)
Mumbai is a whole different ball game! Everyone wakes up, throws on some clothes (accessories optional) sits on the local and goes to work. The dress is crushed and very ordinary, picked off the rack; no thought goes into the hair or the face. The SOBO college kids (a small hand full of exceptions) may sport the latest Indi-fashion, but that’s that. I have been a Towner and I have no knowledge of the suburbs, sorry. In Mumbai you get to save on your beauty treatments and designer boutiques because  everyone is buying BIBA, Lifestyle or Pantaloons. In some pockets of this Metropolis you will even find “Nightie”clad women roaming the streets doing their daily chores! The Gujju ladies can however be easily spotted; they will be the most colourful and the most vibrant lot! Dressing well is a minuscule minority here. Motto is dress as you please! Sab Kuch Chalta Hai Yaar! 
(Women shopping at Colaba, Mumbai)

Nagpur: Wow! what do we see here on the streets, well we don’t! The girls are all covered up in scarves and dupattas and only their eyes are visible!!! The Taliban will love this place. I thought it was the heat but they are still all covered up and it’s November for Christ’s sake!! Don’t ask, I have done the research; some say pollution, some say it’s to avoid stares, some just shrug their covered shoulders and shake their covered necks!! Poor dears!!

So can we safely declare our national dress as THE SALWAR KAMEEZ!? It’s overtaken the sari (which I think looks gorgeous when well tied) and all other regional dresses. So all Indian ladies on the road in ill fitted ugly salwar suits, Now that’s like a scene from a zombie movie! And I too am one of them cause I believe in the phrase “When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Sigh!

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