I am not a shopaholic. Not by any standards. Invite me to go shopping, and I’ll run away before you can say ‘salesgirl’. However, when necessity arises, when I’ve brought myself to the point that I have almost nothing decent to wear to work (blame that on the piles of unwashed laundry in my room), I do condescend to go shopping. I don’t mind it much when I can find everything I need in one single shop, when I’m spoilt for choice, and when the colours are all pretty and inviting.
Cotton has to be the best fabric ever thought of by man. I see heavily made up women on TV, faces powdered and dusted with layers on the verge of peeling off; they wear red-sequined blue sarees with blue-sequined red blouses, bat their eyelids, twist their lips into unimaginable curves that possibly only Yelena Isinbayeva could match with her body. I know I’m digressing way off the mark, but at such moments, I feel like reminding people that there is a cool, comfortable, light fabric known as cotton, and you’d be infinitely better off if only you tried it.
Coming to the point, though, I picked up clothes in quick succession, and it was all done in under 30 minutes. I am one girl nobody would crib about having to go shopping with. The unnerving hour at the tailor’s was also tolerable. The worst part of the entire trip was in fact the journey- the dust, the chaotic traffic and the heat.
On a more serious note, I was conscious of coming across a scene of an accident or an ambulance speeding to one; has there been a marked increase in the number of accidents? What makes us ignore traffic rules with such carelessness, knowing full well the consequences of breaking rules? What gives us the right to endanger the lives of other people? Hopefully, something will knock some sense into our heads and make us realise the folly of our ignorance, if it can be called that.
One thing on a marked decrease seems to be the number of Ambassador cars, the sturdy, solid, once ubiquitous symbol of ‘modernising’ India. Is it strange to miss them? There is something comforting and reassuring about those cars, a symbol of an age that was straddling two eras, trying to bridge a gap and trying to catch up with the more progressed parts of the world.
No matter how much we advocate progress, there is a small part of us that seeks refuge in the permanent and the unchanged, isn’t there?