A trip back to India is something I anticipate and plan for and wait for. I love going back. I love being there. India is my country..of birth..where I grew up..which I call my own. And I love everything about being there. The people and the warmth they have (and their nose in everyone elses business). The food which actually has some spices added to it. The sound of music heard from the neighbor’s house. The clothes which are vibrant and beautiful and fit the Indian women’s body structure to hide all its flaws and enhances all the best features.
So it was with a lot of excitement that I embarked on my last trip back home. Buzz was a tiny three-month old then and I was heading to India in the peak summer months and my travel companion was Buzz alone. A lot of people voiced a lot of trepidation on my travel plans but not a thing could bring my enthusiasm down. A trip to India, where I get to show off little Buzz to all, and get to eat all the Mangoes I could (lost count of after how many years), was my trip to make and I could not wait.
I had a wonderful, relaxing, joyous stay surrounded by family and friends, where I gorged on awesome food, ate various species of Mangos in varied forms (Milkshake, Ice-cream, Panna, cut in pieces) and tried to shop. This is where things got a little crazy. I was looking to buy a couple of sarees and a few Salwar Kameez. I entered shops and I left shops without buying anything.
Indian fashion these days I would describe as: Take the cheapest, flimsiest cloth you can find..and I mean the cheapest and flimsiest ’cause the cloth they are now selling as the material for Salwar Kameez is the material I used to buy for the duputta at one time..dye it in some color, put some print in another shade of the same color on it, then finish it off with a block print in the shiniest silver or gold and sell the material for an unheard of price. A quote in one of the shops pretty much summed it up as it went something like ‘Fashion ke daud mein kapde ke koyi guaranty nahein hei’. Really? People are paying good money and there is no guaranty on the cloth you buy? Everywhere I look women were dressed in mirror work, gotta, sittara, jardosi. I mean what happened to the simple cotton kurtas, understated elegance? Why was everyone dressed as if they were heading to the great Indian wedding?
Relief came in form of a small shop in the very corner of a very busy shopping complex. Pure cotton, the khadi, the baatik prints, the beautiful colors, no shine, no shimmer. Added bonus – no crowd. I took my time looking around and selecting what I wanted. Phew..