Shopping travails…

Ever tried shopping for ladies clothes, or even shoes at exclusive showrooms of international brands in India? No? Well, you are lucky. Don’t. Chances are, you will get out of the shop feeling like a baby elephant, a pregnant blue whale or a combination thereof.

Scene 1 – A few months ago – Attempted retail therapy – Reebok showroom, Nungambakkam

I walk in, eyeing the cute tops on display. After all, what better way to get over depression that to go shopping? My conversation with the salesgirl is something like this.

Me: I would like to see that purple top there.

Salesgirl: (With an air of nonchalance) Sorry ma’am. We don’t have it in your size.

Me: But, can’t I just look at it? My size is L.

Salesgirl: (Now, annoyed with me for having interrupted her afternoon siesta) I told you. We don’t have it in your size. The maximum we have is XXL.

Me: And I told you, I am only an L.

Salesgirl: But Ma’am, our size L won’t fit you. You can take a look if you want.

I pick up the size L, and indeed, it wouldn’t fit. How would it? The size L you find here is equivalent to size S in Europe, and size XS in the US.

Scene 2 – Levi Signature Showroom, Spencer Plaza, Chennai.

As soon as I walk  in the salesman comes over.

Salesman: Welcome ma’am. May I help you?

Me: Uh, yes. I am looking for lycra jeans. Mid-rise. Boot cut.

Salesman: Sorry ma’am. Ladies jeans, the maximum size we have is 32.

Me: What the &!#&%#!!

Scene 3 – Woodland showroom – Anna Nagar, Chennai

Me: I am looking for sandals. Suede finish. Size 40/41.

Salesman: Sorry Ma’am. We don’t have that size in ladies’ footwear.

Now, tell me! What am I supposed to do? They don’t have bigger sizes in clothes nor in shoes. I realise that this is mainly because we, in India are clubbed along with the Chinese, the Japanese and Koreans as Asians. Reebok, Nike and other big brands import Asian sizes. This, is a huge problem because most Indian women are bigger, and larger-framed than the average Japanese woman. Why can’t these brands get this? It’s bloody annoying! And no, I am certainly not obese, or even overweight! I don’t appreciate being made to feel like an elephant!

Too blasé for love?

Almost echoing my train of thought on love, is this post by Julie. Sometimes, I wonder if I share some sort of psychic connection or something with her. And she wonders the same. Anyway, Julie wants to know if we are ever too blasé for love. Maybe we are. But that’s not the only thing that strikes a chord. When she speaks of being a loner, an only child, not having, nor desiring human or even animal company, something resonates in my heart. The feeling of being alone. But unlike her, for me, it was never a pleasant feeling.

But, as she says, wanting to be alone, or preferring solitude to company is probably a sign of cowardice. I have been guilty of that myself. Sometimes, I don’t want friendship, nor love. Because I wonder if there is some such thing as true love. But, I also know that it exists. Julie calls people who still believe in true love as having the audacity to hope. I know I believe. I believe in love. I believe in the innate goodness of humankind. I still trust unconditionally. But unfortunately, I only end up getting hurt. Every time. But I don’t think I want to change. Ever. I will still believe, despite getting hurt many times over. I will not give up! And yes, I will still continue to have that audacity to hope.

PS: Yes, I am still not out of that philosophical mood…

Love…???

I am in one of my philosophical moods. I don’t know how long this will last. Maybe it will go away tomorrow or maybe it will last another week, another month…no idea! But when I am in such a mood, it becomes a bit difficult for me to write humour, or anything else non-philosophical for that matter. Yesterday, I was reading Ponniyin Selvan. Again. Kalki describes the meeting between Vanthiyathevan and Kundavai. And here, he talks of that famous story of Adam and Eve being created on either sides of a mountain. They had everything they needed but something was missing. They finally burrowed through the mountain and discovered one another. They fell in love and lived happily ever after.

When I first read this story at the age of 14, I believed it. Perhaps because I was still a naïve and stupid teenager. I genuinely believed that someone, somewhere was made for me. That one day, he would come to me, on a white charger and take me away. Movies like Dil To Pagal Hai and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun only fed my already overactive imagination. But today, when I look back, it seems stupid. Stupid to believe that one call fall in love at first sight, that when you look at someone you know he is the one for you. Maybe I am too much of a cynic, but I look at hundreds of people every day. At best, if I found a guy attractive, I would tell myself he is attractive. Or that he would make a potential candidate for husband. I don’t think he is the only one for me. And I definitely don’t fall in love.

To be blunt, I don’t think love at first sight exists. People may agree or disagree. But, to me, it’s a myth. It’s a product of overactive imaginations of millions of teenaged girls fed on a staple diet of black and white heroes and heroines of the Mills and Boon novels. Just like I will never find a tall, dark and handsome Greek business tycoon to get married to, I will never fall in love at first sight. Because, as they say, appearances are deceptive. People are not black or white. We are all simply shades of grey. Some dark. Some lighter. We are all flawed because we are human. And to judge human beings, even a lifetime is not enough. We are that complicated.

So, am I saying that love is non-existent? No. Most definitely not. Love exists. But love is what we feel for an abandoned pup, for our parents, for siblings, for our partner of many years…Love is when an 80-year old woman still gets up at 5 in the morning to make hot coffee for her husband of 60 years. Love is when the husband of 60 years feels lonely and lost the minute his wife falls sick and is in hospital. Love is felt…and almost never explained. Because, to me, love is inexplicable and indefinable.