Just don’t get it wrong – Chennai is not freezing – neither am I in the colder places – nor am I wearing a shawl. People like me always refer to Shawl as this beautiful Kashmiri one which is used during chiller climates or as a beautiful accessory to a sari or dress.
And then there are others – who refer to the simple dupatta or a stole or a dirty towel as shawl – mind-boggling, I tell you !
Especially in this conservative land, where I live, the use of a shawl is a must, whether you wear a night wear (nightie), salwar kameez, jeans + tee shirt, jeans + shirt, jeans + kurti – anything apart from a sari, you need to wear a shawl to cover your boobs; of course, apart from the basic clothing. Those people wearing nightie at home, just come down to drop their kids in the school bus in that nightie – Oh ! And covering themselves with a dirty towel which is perfectly defined as Shawl, in this land !
Girls are brought up conditioned by this rule – wear a shawl always ! Cover your chest, hair, face – anything you want.
Boys are conditioned too by this rule – any girl not wearing a shawl is bad – just bad.
I was shocked first, then saddened by the whole damn thing.
During my recent train travel, I met this sweet girl, who was travelling with me. She had come to Chennai for work and on the first day of her job, she wore a sleeveless kurti and jeans. Even if the company allowed the women to wear such dresses, all her co-workers were stunned and started criticizing her and her dress for she cannot wear sleeveless to work – the reason “Idhu Chennai ma” (This is Chennai). She had the shock of her life, as she is so used to wearing such clothes at her place – Bangalore.
But I made sure I’m not affected by this and neither are my girls.
Clothes do not define my personality. PERIOD.
I dislike wearing dupatta…OOPS…Shawl ! I may use it as an accessory whenever I like it but certainly not to define my personality !
There…its out of the system…and I’m relieved 😉