Monday, 21 April 2008

Clothes For Sale!

My aunt is visiting me. Mum noticed a flyer in the hallway announcing sale of exclusive kurtis. I hmmed and hawed but finally relented and took aunt to this place, she wanted to buy some stuff for her daughter and grand-daughter. The sale was in a flat in the building next door. The flat was spectacular with those small touches that scream 'Interior Decorator' (at least to me). White pebbles (which I dislodged due to clumsiness); a turtle (with a turtle food box next to it; strategically placed), giant-ass plasma TV; lights being part of some wall decoration in maroon. I was going 'wow' in my head. You know, cause I live practically next door and my house looks like a refugee camp most times.


The kurtis were hung all over the living room. The very special ones were up near the French windows. The rest were spread around. Comfy couches were provided. We could check out the fit in one of the (three) bedrooms of the flat. The kurtis were not my style at all but I had to behave and help aunt look through them. They all had some beads and stuff sewn on the neck. The suits cost some 5000 bucks each, the tops upwards of 700. The lady was nice, she made some self-deprecatory jokes about Patels; was well groomed; and very enthu to show the collection. She clearly liked what she was doing so I was very happy, you know, since I keep telling people they should follow their dreams and not worry about the making money part (as in, advice I give people when they ask me for it...).


I concentrated my brain on looking un-critically at the clothes and picked up a couple of things my cousin would like. She is tall and can carry off this stuff. Plus she lives in the US so this would be kind of novel. That was okay, not difficult. Her kid though is skinny and very tall and I really wanted to find something comfy and summery for her. Thankfully I found just the thing, a narrow waisted blouse in bright colours. We kept these two-three things aside and were looking through suits when a whole bunch of ladies came in.


I gave a vague smile (should probably know a few of them as they live in my building or the next one; but can never be sure since I am so a-social of late) and continued my browsing. Aunt was asking me if I would like anything and I was saying that it was all a bit much for me since I anyway am trying to cut kurtis out and wear shirts instead. Then, we looked around for the things we had picked up, and the bright blouse was gone. I prowled around and found it under a pile of other stuff and casually took it up.


That started a furious round of Gujarati. I had not paid attention of course but one fat girl had picked up that blouse for herself, from the pile that I had kept aside. Anyway, such stuff happens, right, not as if this was a store or anything. I just smiled and took it up and told the lady, look, we had picked this up and would like to buy it, its just perfect for my niece. The lady was nice, she said Sorry to the girl and we were just about to pay and head out. Aunt was vacillating a bit checking out other stuff. Women do that. Me, as recently accused by my neighbour (under incitement by mom) am such a guy that I am like Zip Zap Zoom, shopping is done, I am bored of looking at things, have picked up a couple, let me pay and get out. But I do recognise that everyone is not like that. So I hung around patiently.


Suddenly the fat girl takes up the top AGAIN and goes off into a room. I raised my eyebrows at the lady and she sniggers and says she just wants to try it. Hello? Why would you want to sweat into something that I am surely going to buy? I mean, I even had the money out in my palms (pretty much). Again, since this was not a store and I was not sure of etiquette and since all this Gujarati was going around me, I just gave one of my silly smiles and waited on the side. My aunt did not get upset either, I thought she would say I won't buy this for the child now that this one has sweated into it but she said the contrary! So that decided it for me, of course, being non-confrontational and all I just stood on the side, once the girl took it off I figured I would pay and get the hell out. A kid showed up, around four, and I tried to play with it a bit to take my mind off this crap.

The girl took her time. Preening in front of the mirror or whatever. When she finally emerged with the crumpled blouse in her hand, she had such a look on her face, I just could not believe it. Is a simple blouse so very important, I was wondering. And so young too, I mean, hardly fifteen years old and able to openly scowl at a grey-haired old lady & a frumpily-dressed middle-aged lady for the sake of one top? Seriously upset about the whole thing, we just paid up and left. On some levels I do feel like if it was so important to her I should have just given up on it. If I was picking it up for myself I surely would have done that. But it was a nice top, and so very perfect for my niece, aunt liked it a lot too. You know how I usually avoid going to such places, shopping by itself is such a nightmare, and shopping when there are people like this around is just impossible. What do I care for genuine ethnic embroidery or bead-work or what-the-fuck-ever. I am going back into my hole and hiding for another ten years now...

1 comment:

choxbox said...

this is why you should have picked up some gujju from me. you couldve given it nicely back? arre ben, aa to ame lai lidhu chhe etc.