Saturday, January 30, 2010

Style down South

I'm a South-indian and a proud one at that. But nothing really stops me from being overly critical about the style choices and fashion quotient of my brothers and sisters down south.

Here's your average south indian girl (if she's not wearing a salwar kameez or casual western wear) - a half sari - which I've never understood. I guess I'm being closed-minded about the outfit, but I just don't get the reason behind it's existence. And to add to the half sari, is beautiful black hair soaked in coconut oil, making it not-so-beautiful anymore. And if the whiff of coconut oil in the air wasn't enough, there's some jasmine flowers in the hair. So overall, you're seeing the brightest colours in the world clubbed together in the form of a half sari and a powerful, just short of pungent, smell in the air caused by the mixtures of coconut oil and jasmine. I always think I'd die of suffocation or an asthma attack when I smell this.

Let's move on to the men. Huge thick moustache, crisp white veshtis - oh wait..crisp white veshtis, folded up above the knee to look like a mini-skirt. Some men go a step further and reveal their striped or checked knickers. Sometimes I feel the men down south have better legs than the women there...well toned rather than thunderous thighs.

And oh, I almost forgot about the Gold obsession. Gold is a part of needs to be around your neck, your wrists, waist (on those occasions where you can flaunt it), ankles, fingers, ears, etc...if you're able to find more places to house some gold, you're respected! The more you have the better. Not only gold, any article of jewelry is appreciated and praised. And it doesn't even have to match what you're wearing. Just wear it cos you have it!

If I'm wandering off the topic, style seems to have it's own meaning down south. I guess its more of comfort than fashion. Maybe comfort is fashion. But I wonder how your eyes are comfortable looking at a purple and yellow combination of silk on your body. And better still, the purple and yellow are in checks, with thick gold threads every alternate check, and a thick band of gold right it the bottom of the sari and on the pallu. I don't know how the eyes could be comfortable seeing a man bend over only to show his knickers and thighs. And I don't know why I'm not yet blinded by the gold bling attack.

Nevertheless, I'm South Indian, and yes, a proud one. Seeing such fashion sense does remind me of everything we've studied about the cultures in India - the diversity blah. As long as I'm not forced to wear what I've talked about so far, I'm fine!! Well, the veshti and knickers are out of question - not cos women don't wear veshtis, but cos the South Indian man will always have better legs than me!

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