September 23, 2010

'Try'al Rooms

I hate shopping per se, especially for clothes, especially in India. Of all the annoying things about it, the most trying bit is the trial room experience.

Opening the door:
It takes a bit to figure out how to...push or pull? What if there's no handle? It's hilarious to see people try it one way, feel terribly embarrassed and do the opposite. Sometimes even that won't work...why? Because there's someone inside and the sign on the knob that says 'occupied' or 'vacant' (just like in the aeroplane loos) is jammed.

Hanging the clothes:
Why is it that most stores have just three hooks or less to put the hangers in? Yes, the rules say 'only three garments at a time' but come on, this is India. No one follows rules so they might as well remove the sign! Even if you do take only the prescribed three garments, where are you supposed to put the clothes that you are in? On the floor?? OK, they may be old but definitely not that bad! These are times when it pays to own a large makes a good floor mat substitute. (All you designer handbag owners, disregard this...I'm sure you will first run out naked than put your precious bags on the floor)

I know stores are trying to maximize display space but that doesn't mean that the trial rooms should be built so tiny. But all credit to them for fitting all four sides (including the back of the door) with mirrors to give the false impression of space...and to positively horrify the 'trier' if the outfit should look ghastly! If you think you look bad, look again and be certain of it!

The fan:
It's hot in India...very hot. But is there a need for a very small but extremely high speed fan to be placed on the ceiling that's not that high at all? It's almost scary to raise your hands up to put on the outfit lest it get stuck...and cut off! And let's not forget hair flying into your eyes, mouth and everything else...especially for those with wavy hair that becomes unmanageable with humidity (ahem)

The companion:
The most irritating part of the trial room experience is the jobless friend who's job it is to bring different sizes of the same outfit to the 'trier' should the size not fit. And invariably, it won't. Back and forth they go bringing different colours, sizes, patterns and so on. It doesn't stop with just that either. Comments and critiques galore...yes, no, maybe, definitely not, awesome, blah, blah...until someone (usually me) glares at them first..and then, if the hint is still ignored, yells at them. There is a supervisor for the trial rooms but these are usually helpless people who just roll their eyes and sigh at all this drama. All they do is fold the discarded clothes really.

The queue:
Mums with kids in-tow (ahem), dads with cell phones ringing (ahem ahem), college kids with bored expressions, elderly couples trying to manage rowdy kids...everyone's in line but not everybody is actually waiting to try on stuff. No, they are holding spots for friends and family! The great Indian reservation system in full force! of the few things that I miss about the States...

September 14, 2010

Circle of Life

"You were so little when I saw you last! Look how much you've grown now! How time flies!" - heard this before? If you live in India and are surrounded by a roomful of family or 'family friends', you most certainly would have. I've always found it quite hard to react to such statements. Or, I should say I don't think my reaction would have been tolerated! Yes, its been long, yes I've grown (duh) and yes, time does fly! Stating the obvious and expecting an equally enthusiastic response...difficult, especially when its a frequent occurrence.

The other day, I heard that a little boy I knew from a long time ago just had a baby. And my first thought was, "What? He had a baby? My god, I remember him as a brat! HE had a baby??" And that's when it hit me! I had become them...the ones that I used to make fun of not too long ago!

This either means that I have aged, considerably, or that I have not made an effort to stay in touch with people and keep up with their life updates. In today's world where technology makes it oh-so-difficult to not be in touch by some means or the other, all signs point to the former of my two conclusions.

I vaguely recall some song...'age ain't nothing but a number' but I don't remember too it my age?

September 5, 2010

Happy Teachers Day!

Patience, persistence, perseverance, passion, knowledge, commitment - it takes all of this and more to make a good teacher. We’ve all had many teachers in our lives. Some have touched our hearts more than others but they all meant well. To all my teachers, too many to name but not too many to remember, Happy Teachers Day!

You taught me all you know to the best of your ability.
You encouraged me and believed in me when I doubted myself.
You cheered for me when I did something I wasn't the best at.
You were patient and understanding when I stared blankly back at you.
You made me believe that anything was possible.

I didn’t realize the importance of all of it then. But I do now. You’ve shaped a huge part of me. What I am is because of you. Thank you for everything, especially the wonderful memories.