I walked into the workplace today wearing dungarees, a kurta, floaters and a jola. Smiles and smirks greeted me along with raised eyebrows and nudges.
While I’m not a self-conscious person naturally, I was forced to introspect. This attire that had been a part of my writer’s garb for so long was suddenly alien in a corporate set up, even in a geeky corporate set up where it was OK to wear Croc loafers, tattered Levis and CK Ts.
When in Rome wear a Toga. That is my grandpa’s fav adage and still holds good as he prepares to turn 94 this coming year. You will never catch my grandpa go wrong with his sense of style and dressing. A formal occasion deserves nothing better than a crinkle-free trouser/shirt & pressed suit and if it is an Indian formal do than his best silk dhotis and kurtas are out along with the Rajasthani chadawas. His shoes have to sparkle till he can see his own reflection while his handkerchief stays unsoiled even after he has mopped his brow on a hot, sweaty day.
A walk to the neighborhood barber means wearing his old shirt and pants on since he still believes going to a barber is Ashudh. While I understand the hygienic connotation behind this belief what I’m yet to understand is the elaborate ritual that goes with a visit to the barber!!
While I have tried to emulate my grandpa’s immaculate dressing sense I have utterly failed in meeting his exacting standard. He cannot fathom how any grand daughter of his can go dressed in dungarees to a corporate meeting, and not even my by-now-standard line of “Be true to thine ownself” helps!!!
So does this mean being a career journalist = sloppy, lazy & indisciplined or is it a mere excuse for having a straight-out-of-bed look & making it look smart 😉