We all tend to discard ideas and move towards newer horizons, so much so that the old ones seem redundant and are sometimes found ridiculous.
If someone walks on the road dressed in leaves, it is going to cause a lot of furore. But hell, that was the 'in' thing a few thousand years ago !
I am one of that endangered minority of peope who still believe that some of the old is gold. And it's indeed very amusing to see people's reactions to my personification of old.
When I fancy it, I wear half-saris to college. My idea of a half-sari is a snazzy long skirt with a cute top, and a dupatta. Yes, I can claim to have 'reinvented' it.
Every time I wear it, I have an exceedingly humorous day. This is what happened yesterday, when I again chose to indulge in my passion for the old.
Right from the time I stepped out of the house, every functional eye was on me. Since I'm pretty used to the stares that come along with this, I don't bother much.
The first hilarious instance was in the train, when I entered the first-class ladies compartment. After a minute of unabashed, silent, flabbergasted staring, people had decided that I was a Banjaran who just landed from Rajasthan or someplace like that ( thank you Vara ma'am for the 'Banjaran' !) . Every single lady in the compartment wanted to be the self-righteous protector of her first-class status and hence every single one of them was bursting to tell me 'Yeh first-class hain. Second-class compartment aage hain.' (Translation: This is first-class. The second class coach is ahead.)
When I removed my cellphone to answer a call, it only compounded their worries. A Banjaran with a cellphone ?
Not that it quelled their doubts completely, on the contrary, it left them all the more intrigued.
At Dadar, a ticket collector entered the compartment asking for our passes. Again, every single eye, this time both functional and non-functional was on me, while I fished out my pass and showed it to the collector, who moved on with a satisfied look.
This totally sent them into oceans of confusion. A Banjaran with a cellphone, a first-class pass, and she also speaks English. They realised that, if they want to addle their brains any more, it was best not to dwell on me for even a second more.
While walking along the roads of Marine Lines, the old reactions of incredulity were replayed time and again. As I entered college, I noticed the scores of junior college aspirants standing around with their equally nervous parents. An already harried mother at the end of a long line of students noticed me and was shocked to death when she saw what I was wearing, she immediately started arguing with her kid that this was why she should not study at St. Xavier's College, it was full of weirdos.
My class is pretty much used to my capers, but they still felt it could 'match' a little more. To hell with matching. Who said red is to be worn only with yellow and so on ? In the foyer, many people actually came up to me and asked me what I was wearing, with this big look of disbelief on their faces.
The same thing repeated itself on my way home, albeit in a smaller way. When I passed through a slum shortcut to reach Smitalay, a group of women who saw me stopped chatting and one of them actually lamented about how Bombay was going down the dumps with its insanity within my hearing !
We need a dose of ancient Indian culture, don't we ?