Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I, ?

When I was in the 11th standard, my sis had just moved to Pune as a new bride and mother. She would send me clothes from the Big City, and once mentioned feeling out of place in a store. At that age, I could not picture the child on her hip, her being tired after a full day, and with the day's stains on her clothes any more than I could imagine the effect of these on her. I knew she was still my spunky & chic sister, how could she be out of place in a department store?

And then, like other things, I learnt this too. These days, I guess that I look like..well, like what I am. A conservatively and unimaginatively dressed , sometimes frumpy, sometimes frazzled woman. I generally wear a salwar-kameez, always crumpled and generally faded. My hair is gathered in a ponytail, and the escaped bits stick straight out. I wear glasses, flat sandals and no makeup. This means that if I ever enter anything other than a grocery store, I am looked down upon. Trendy salespersons correcting my pronunciation and assuming I can't afford what I am looking at happens pretty often, and I don't mind it. I was a salesperson once, and had made the same mistake. 'Paying for my sins,' I think and move on.

The other day, I entered an 'adventure goods' store in Dun to look at camping stoves. The other (male and six feet tall) customers had clearly just come off a cliff, clad as they were in mountain gear-from the shoes to the hat. When an overweight salwar-kameez clad woman with vegetables sticking out of her bag entered and asked to look at 'um..camping stoves..something that runs on butane, perhaps?', he came to a very understandable conclusion. 'Gas stoves are down the road' he said, pointing to the household goods section of the market.

Ouch. Considering that this is my favourite photo of myself:


4 comments:

Unmana said...

All of us judge by appearances, and we all make mistakes. But my mistake is MY mistake, so if you're at the receiving end, don't let it get you down! You know you're awesome.

Grumpy Granny said...

I love this photo! I have a number of similar ones of myself. ;-)

GG

nadi said...

about this writer's 'salesperson days'
she has moved away, i live in the same town where she did a summer job at a bookstore.
now, this store has an annual exhibition and a girl gets an extra discount because she is related to this writer.
and "Chicu Knew about books..."
the sin-
gently guiding someone thu choices of books, educating about an author's name is different from looking down upon someone who does not know the pronunciation of the name of a french brand!
and yes, that woman has found her two shopping places-
1.on Oct 2nd- the Gandhi Khadi bhandar- "That's not for you Tai, it has a synthetic thread"
2.the "the green , 'old style' men's shoes for Madam- size 40"
as for special occassion dressing-
she has two duppattas and two shawls
that her sister sent-
from the hills to the big city

gina said...

I like such pictures when my toes are nice and dirty sticking out of sandals. those feet could out walk any of those gear heads :)