It’s when I went to buy some dress for the month-long holiday I’m planning that I realised the stupidity of what’s called fashion. I couldn’t get a single readymade pair of trousers which made me feel comfortable. Fashion has got rid of pleats from trousers altogether. Get into the showrooms of Pantaloons or Raymond or even my usual, humble Big Bazaar and you will realise how uncomfortable they want us to feel in the trousers they are offering.
I asked the Pantaloons boy whether they had any pair of trousers with pleats. And which were fairly loose. He looked at me as if I was some creature descended from another planet. I explained to him that pleats were invented in order to make the wearer feel comfortable around the loins with a lot of air circulation. Thank my stars, he didn’t ask me what my profession was. Instead he asked me whether I had heard of anything called Payback cards. He said he could offer me one which would entitle me to some reward points for shopping with them. When I tried to fish out my Payback card from among my other similar cards including the driving license, he understood that I was a damn fool who didn’t deserve more attention from a dealer in wares.
I ventured to tell him, however, what a psychiatrist told us, teachers of a public school, in a workshop. “I asked my teenage daughter who was wearing a tight T-shirt and even tighter Jeans whether she was feeling comfortable in that dress. She said, ‘What’s comfort got to do with it? It’s the dress code for today, decided by friends.’” I told the Pantaloons boy that I had passed the age for dress codes and peer pressure and wanted to feel comfortable wearing whatever dress I wore. And I love loose clothes for summer. Any season, for that matter.
“What’s comfort beyond the fashion of the time?” he asked me. Not in the same words, of course.
I couldn’t get a single pair of trousers of my choice from any of the stylish, fashionable, branded outlets. So I got them stitched.
There are a few old-fashioned businessmen still selling readymade shirts which are comfortable to wear. Most sell shirts which look like straitjackets. And most youngsters wear them. Any wonder why we find around us so many people who are uncomfortable with themselves?