Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wardrobe Blues

Wardrobe Blues

(Woman’s Era; May (First) 1998)

“Honestly, I have nothing to wear!” Not a very original statement, I’m afraid, but true, none the less. It didn’t sound original because of the simple fact that it is the refrain of women all over the world----class, creed, race no bar!
I stood in front of my cupboard crammed to bursting point with clothes, clothes and more clothes. And yet I wailed that oft-repeated chant, “I have nothing to wear!”
Hubby, heartless as usual murmured,” So what’s new?” and went back to the sports channel on TV. It was left to me to rummage in my war-ravaged almirah for something suitable to wear. This was one hour before zero-hour-----the time we left for a party.
It was not so much not being able to decide. The problem rather arose because I could not remember what I had worn the last time when I had partied with the same crowd.
We have so many “circles”. Hubby’s old school friends. Old college friends. Mine, ditto. My colleagues. Past and present colleagues of the husband. Relatives. Neighbours. Was it any wonder that my head spun in circles having to keep in mind all these circles?
Hubby dear couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. “So what if you repeat a sari? Who’s going to notice anyway?”
To which I had the pleasure of replying sweetly, ”Everyone is not like you darling. You wouldn’t notice if I turned up in a tent!”
Of course, there are some circles where it really doesn’t matter what you wear. Old school friends fall into this category.
After all, when someone has seen you in a shapeless pinafore and tight well-oiled plaits, she hardly bothers with your outer appearance----be it your new perm or your prized Dhakai. For someone who has seen you as you are, day in and day out, through the years it really doesn’t matter if you are shimmering with diamonds or not. Your company is scintillating enough.
I was musing so, when my husband broke into my reverie. “Aren’t you ready yet?”
“You’re a fine one to talk,” I retorted testily. “It takes you one minute to fling on shirt and trousers. You cannot compare yourself with me!” Muttering to myself about it being a man’s world down to the smallest thing, I hurriedly chose something. I was reasonably sure about it too.
On the ride over, hubby conceded, “I guess, you have to keep track of these things; otherwise you’ll have to put up with comments. Behind your back, at that! Why become fodder for feline and canine instincts?”
“Eh?” I was puzzled.
“I mean catty and bitchy yaar!”
Maybe I was paranoid, but at the party, whenever someone’s gaze lingered a little too long on my sari, I must have worn the same thing at the last do!
A few days later, hubby announced, “Another party coming up!”
That sent me into a frenzy of organizing my cupboard. Matching blouses, petticoats, chunnis, bangles were all found, or bought. Accessories went into neatly labeled trinket boxes. For the first time in years, I had the luxury of being pampered, albeit by myself!
But, came party day, and I was back to square one. No doubt, my cupboard was neat and organized, but the question remained: What on earth had I worn last time?
My husband was exasperated. To be fair, he was justified. But somehow, I could not help it. Everyone has some pet quirk. This was mine! And so the whole scene was replayed.
This time, hubby tried to score by saying, “I don’t know! My mother never made a song and dance about clothes. She always managed to remember what she wore and when.”
“Of course she did, dearest,” I replied mildly, though fuming inside. But I had to let fly a barb.
“She didn’t have much else to concentrate on. She probably could remember what everybody else wore, too!” How was that in the canine-feline department!
“Well, can you?” he quizzed.
“You know I can’t. And that is because I have a million other things on my mind. I am not scatterbrained, am I? Who remembers the kids’ marks in every subject in the last exam? Who remembers their exam schedules, their fee payment schedules, their school trips, their vaccinations? Who remembers the insurance premium, the sports club membership? And all this without writing anything down, I’ll have you know!”
“There you are! You’ve given yourself an idea,” hub, ever the organizational expert, said brightly. “Keep a small diary. Note down, column-wise, the date, the occasion, the crowd and what you wore. You can even have a column for accessories!”
“Brilliant, oh L& M!” I smiled.
“I must be, for you to call me Lord and Master after so many years.”
“Take care I don’t go back to calling you MCP!” I shot back.
Well, that bit of efficiency lasted exactly for 2 parties. After that the little diary got lost, as little diaries are wont to do.
But some of my husband’s operations management had rubbed on me and I hit upon another idea.
On a small strip of paper, I wrote when I had worn a certain sari and stapled it to the sari so that the chit would not get lost or mixed up in another sari. Now I felt I would not repeat a sari at least for a decent interval.
I managed to label quite a few saris this way, and felt justly proud of myself. Our resident logistics expert (read my husband) also was happy, since he was not called upon to help me decide what to wear.
So there I was at this party, circulating and enjoying myself hugely. I was talking animatedly to a circle of friends, when someone behind me picked up my pallav to admire the border.
Or so I thought. For it was a particularly canine-feline lady, and she said in a carrying voice, “Didn’t I see you in this sari some time ago? October 12th, to be precise. You must be very fond of it, na?”
My first reaction was puzzlement. How could she know? As far as I could remember, I had worn the sari for a family function, so there was no chance of her having been there. Indeed my slip of paper had said so.
My hand flew to my mouth. Where was that slip? A surreptitious search confirmed my worst fear---- I had neglected to remove the offending bit of paper before wearing the sari! There it hung, at the edge of my pallav securely stapled for all who cared to see! At that moment, I was like Sita, praying for Mother Earth to open up and swallow me----
All that is water under the bridge now. But it still rankles. One solution is to wear a sari only once, before discarding it like a fabled actress of yesteryears. That idea does not really appeal, besides making us bankrupt.
I have only one viable option. I am taking a correspondence course from my mother-in-law on the subject.


Blogger tangled said...


4:31 AM   
Blogger krish said...

:-) Good one. Good to know that you have been this brilliant right from 1998!

3:03 AM   
Blogger LAK said...

tharunya, thanx!
Krish welcome back. Only since 1998, not earlier? ;)

6:33 AM   
Blogger krish said...

Earlier? How would I know? Submit your credentials and testimonials for the period that you want to be certified for; let me pronounce my verdict upon verification of the same!

6:55 PM   
Blogger LAK said...

Oh, haven't you read the earlier ones? I'd appreciate a critique.

7:40 AM   
Blogger krish said...

Lak, Im bad with dates ;-) So bad that I must have failed to notice the dates that you mentioned in the posts. Let me go back to your posts and check.

8:10 AM   
Blogger Sachin said...

Good one!!! Am sure my wife would really empathize with that - though she does not wear sarees as much as salwars!

10:10 PM   

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