What happens when intelligence meets insanity, arrangement meets arrogance, sophistication meets stupidity and carefulness meets mindlessness? Clash. It does not stop here; snowballs into a war. War shakes foundations; ask the dwellers and survivors. They come out of the war but the war never comes out of them. Never. Pain penetrates, remnants remain, loss lingers. Can’t agree more with Anand Bakshi when he wrote the line, ‘’Zindagi har kadam ek nayi jung hai’’.
Sometimes, victory lies in giving up. In my years of having surrendered to a personal war, I failed to discover a woman saying “I have enough dresses.’’ To put it in a bitterly better way, womenfolk throughout can’t afford to ‘lay down’ on their dresses (hands down to the exceptional exceptions). Outfits are the assets; their collection an achievement.
Though the feminine urge to dress up differently corresponds to age, availability and affordability yet most women believe in ‘piling up stuff’. There are no limits to the ‘dress desire’. The feminine wardrobe is a ‘garden’- exclusive colours, cuts, contours, contrasts, combination and collection. One particular dress means one specific design.
Repeating clothes is unacceptable to the ‘lady league’. Putting on same dress the second day is synonymous to walking unclothed. Half stuffed closets hurt egos. The craving for looking ‘one-of-a-kind’ is hopelessly unconquerable.
Having the ‘latest’ is an ordeal. Patterns of ‘uppers’ change so do the cuts of ‘bottoms’; nothing must be left unexplored, even if it means to get dresses from across the borders.
Within weeks, the trends change, so do the fates of “phased-out’’ pieces. Suitcases inside charity houses welcome the discarded. Though the change in a woman’s physique with various stages of life demand change in attires, yet there is no denial to the truth that a woman’s wardrobe never shrinks. The ensemble business is an unfinished one.
To say the least, our directionless, mindless and aimless crowd (read society) has converted that ‘one special day’ into an unnecessary affair of weeks; it is a blossoming burden with sinking sanctity. The pre and post bridal trousseau displays a unique ability of a woman to execute the un-needful.
Before marriage, the bride-to-be abandons (read distributes) her maiden costumes. Since when did using ‘used’ bring misfortune? Ever heard of food fusion? Now the creative blend of culturally distinct clothes bearing a price tag of five or six digit figure is the norm for the ‘henna ceremony day’. Then the ‘’victim bride of social hegemony’’ pays a staggering fees for putting on her ‘lehenga’ for some hours and never after.
A bride settling for anything less than a ‘designer label’ on her reception has become a rare phenomenon. As if this wasn’t enough, the bridal cavalcade doesn’t move further without the ‘’sacred seven suits for seven days’’. Satin- silken stuff is as precious to her as are her father’s blessings.
Exactly like new people become a part of her life, fresh and finely stitched dresses enter her closet. When the freshness gradually wears off, the pregnancy and post- partum period brings a different range of subtle and sombre maternity material.
Time flows; so does the unsettling ‘shouq’. Even the wrinkles that appear on the face fail to reduce the liveliness inside the closet. Old age being a number is the excuse given.
The suggestions for carrying forward with ‘minimum’ are crushed under the banner of feminism, patriarchy and misogyny. Clothes- a bare and mere basic need has become a bone of contention in homes. Can’t this ‘palav prah’ be given a thought to before we see bodies draped in ‘designer shrouds’?
Post Script: Apologies for any hurt caused though not meant.
Unapologetically, a woman; a staunch believer of ‘minimalism’.