Friday, December 10, 2010

Rich me, poor me.....

A friend posted this on FB.

A site with the amazing name of has compiled a list of must-have fashion items for men and women . And they then ask you to indicate what you have and what you don't have , or are dying to acquire or whatever.....

My already open mouth kept getting bigger and bigger (along with the eyes), while the brain gets into a fast reverse mode. I don't even know some of the things.

Till a few years ago, a single pair of chappals was just fine; sturdy enough for daily skirmishes to get a foothold on the steps of the Mumbai buses, and beautiful enough to wear on "occasions". Fashion magazines were what you saw at an upmarket dentist's before he delved deep into the recesses of your mouth, and you ignored all those women shown wearing sarees the wrong way, mostly in what was considered a shameless manner.

The list kind of puts me in my place, socially.

Here is my take on the stuff.

For Women

1. Little Black Dress : Never had one. Little would be a misnomer.

2. Black Flats : But I've always worn flat black chappals or sandals. No heels, mostly out of consideration for other folks, possibly walking alongside. Teetering on heels is not considered smart.

3. Gold Hoop Earrings : The last time I wore them was in class VI. At that time they were not called hoops, but rings. I lost one that year carelessly, and then the earring variety changed in class VII. I now wear them as bangles.

4. Mac Waterproof Mascara : Not that I swim with full make up, but I wear glasses, which actually have a hidden benefit. People on the other side (in front) see my eyelashes automatically bigger due to the lens curvature.

5. A Black Clutch : I don't understand this fuss. Why a clutch ? Why not a decent shoulder purse? And why make a fuss about "hands-free" phones and stuff, when you ignore "hands-free" shoulder-hanging purses ? We always use a clutch when we go buying vegetables, so that we have one less bag to carry, and its easy to use it frequently at the various fruit and veggie stalls. And you can always stuff it amidst the beans and tomatoes.

6. Sling Bag : This is my eternal fashion statement. I have tons of these, in various sizes, and once even lugged a chutney stone by train , from Pune to Mumbai in one such bag, to the amazement and delight of the ladies in the second class ladies compartment of the Deccan Queen Express....

7. Gucci /Hermes-Berkin/Chanel/Prada Bag : Are these the guys who have been copying Linking Rd stuff and selling it in air conditioned shops, with uniformed security, and heavily accented two dimensional sales women ?

8. Light-Colored Cotton Saree : Is this anything to ask ? This is like asking if I have potatoes in the house. Just for the record, I have several. Sarees as well as potatoes.

9. Summer Scarf : In my childhood, this always meant something tightly wrapped around your hair and ears, when you cycled for early morning 6 am PE classes in college. But mostly in winter. While I can see , why someone tearing through Pune's two wheeler infested polluted traffic on a hot day might need one, I've realized today, that loosely throwing one or tying it fancily around your neck, for no particular reason , probably classifies you as smart.

10. Bright Colored Umbrella : We never match our umbrellas to our clothes. Tough and sturdy black umbrellas that fold once, are the ultimate fashion statement , amenable for use as protection from rain, and occasionally as a weapon, in Mumbai. Colored, beautiful umbrellas are OK, but have been known to be stolen from dripping buckets, kept outside Xerox shops, when you go in to get some important work done.

11. A Red/Purple/Blue Handbag - Why not orange and green ? Be patriotic, folks.

12. Over-Sized T-Shirt : Actually , 40 years ago, we started this fashion, when extremely tight fitting tees were considered hurtful to their eyes, by the elders. And we , naturally obeyed. Today this is being abused by folks wearing undersized tees and showing bare midriffs.

13. Pencil Skirt : What an amazing name for a short saree petticoat !

14. Black Crepe/Georgette Saree : I don't know about the "black", but I have an old one that goes under the name of "Binny's Georgette", which was avidly aspired for 30 years ago, and bought on some special occasion. Currently faced with the danger of being recycled into a kurta.

15. Louboutin Shoes/High Heels : Suffice it to say, I don't move in high circles, Louboutin or otherwise. I am so very down to earth, sometimes I even sink.

16. Le Smoking Jacket/Suit By YSL : Please. I don't smoke. Even if I did, I wouldn't need a jacket for that; shirts on which ashes fall can always be washed in Surf Ultra/Ariel.... And no suits, YSL or Raymonds or whatever, .....

17. Trench-Coat : NO. NO. NO. We have enough trenches dug on the road outside. Wearing a coat to fall inside them is a totally bad idea. Besides sweating buckets in the trench, you wont be able to climb out , using the girders.

18. Crisp White Cotton Button-Down Blouse/Shirt : Contrary to what folks at 99 labels say, my mother and mother-in-law actually had a monopoly on that , and it almost became a fashion statement since you wore it on just about any Kanjevaram silk saree, with a great disdain for "matching" . While shirts are not my kind of style, crisp white cotton kurtas may be seen in my part of the cupboard......

19. Solid Wash Jeans : While I haven't worn some for quite a few years, I must emphasize that they were always solidly washed. It surprises me that people don't wash their jeans, and they finally develop slits and tears, which are then flashed as fashion by shameless girls and aging heroes who should know better.

20. Leather Jacket : Are you mad ? Decent, God-fearing, law abiding ladies driving 38 year old Fiat cars, don't need leather jackets.

21. Pair Of Black Pumps : In my time, these were installed in gardens , and water gushed out of them. Maybe some can wear it in the Mumbai monsoon, and enjoy the water that will gush out as they walk. I have nothing more to say about this totally unnecessary footwear..

22. Knee-Length Boots : I give up. You will never understand the need to scratch the feet, and remove footwear so many times a day, when you visit folks, temples , kitchens etc. If all you do is oscillate in discos, then I can understand the need to have a weighted base.

23. Silver Earrings/Baalis : These are pretty, and always so delicate. I like to see them on younger folks, who carry them so well. But I am from the old-is-gold generation.

24. Leather Gloves : See item no 20. And no, I don't garden. because there isn't one.

25. Sexy Black/Red Stilettos : I always thought stilettos were weapons. Umbrellas are so much better. Besides, I challenge anyone to notice and describe my footwear in a general crowd. My one-of-a-kind chappals stand tall.

26. Turquoise Stone Bangles : I do have an antique one, from my late mother, which also has some other shades.

27. Ipod : Personally , no. Though the children always have one of these stuck in their years, to avoid hearing when I call....:-)

28. Platform Shoes : No. God has given me such a wonderful natural platform, I don't need these shoes. Then there is always the nearest suburban train station, and I am hoping they soon have the new Metro station near us...

29. Sexy Swimsuit : Hanging on to sides of the pool, drinking stuff, making eyes at similarly behaving men, and being photographed at stretching angles necessitates this item. One swims, but in decent Speedos (conservative cut), and once in the water, no one knows what style you wear. And one must have consideration for what other folks see. Cant inflict shocking visuals .

30. Toe Ring : This isn't fashion, it is tradition. Next question.

31. Tattoo : No. My obsessions are in my head.

32. Black Tank-Top : It occurs to me that sometimes a shorter version may pass off as a saree blouse, but haven't tried that as yet.

33. Hot-Pants : Hot or cold, an emphatic NO.

34. Kajal : Of course . Since childhood, Though folks keep saying it doesn't suit light typical Chitpavan hazel eyes.....

35. Banarsee/Kanjivaram Saree : Now you are asking ! Finally , something I love. I have many.

36. Beach Sarong - I think you got my name spelling wrong. And forget the beach.

37. Oversized Sunglasses : No. An oversize person must economize with photo sensitive prescription glasses of normal style.

38. White Salwar Kameez : Again, now you are asking ....yes of course...

39. An Evening Gown : You mean a night one ?

40. Classic Leather Belt : Belts imply waists . I think they are , in my case, also a waste.

41. Lingerie By Victoria'S Secret : You mean so many years after the East India Company, they still haven't figured out her Secret ?

42. Summer-Hat : A few of these. Some saying Indusladies, some saying Cricket India, and one panama style cap. There used to be a wide brim straw hat, but someone stepped on it in the rush once.

43. Chanel/Hugo Boss/Dior/Ysl Perfume : I have some stuff from Bath and Body Works. I don't really go for those mentioned here....

44. Silk Stockings : Pointless.

45. Iphone : All you grammatically challenged folks, it's My Phone. And mine is a basic Nokia. And it is just fine.

46. Kundan Choker - I have an heirloom thing from my late mother. Could be classified as Kundan, I don't know. It doesn't matter, too.

47. Pearl Necklace : Yes of course. In various traditional styles.

48. Faux-Fur Outerwear : Are you serious ?

49. Halterneck Dress/Halter Top : Contrary to what you think, I have sufficient blouse material.

50. Body-Piercing : We stop at ears. Might go as low as nose. No further.

51. Silver /Junk Anklet/Bracelet/Armlet : I don't wear these, but the daughter maintains a collection which I admire from a distance.

52. Clinique Set : Yeh kya hai ? Isn't besan and ambe-haldi the thing ?

53. Churidaar Kameez : the cupboard is full ....

54. Platinum Band/Ring : Like I said, old is gold. Or should I say Gold is old ?

55. Bracelet Watch : I have a wonderful one, belonging to my late mother, which is like 60 years old. and Swiss. I keep it in a box and admire it since it doesn't go around the wrist anymore....:-(

(fatigued from explaining....)

.....I've just realized that I am probably likely to be classified as Poverty Stricken, by these 99label folks.

Its OK.

It is so much more fun being rich in ideas ...:-)


  1. Rich in ideas indeed :D You simply rock Surangaji :)
    m grinning from ear to ear. Loved these
    'i am so very down to earth..i sometimes even sink'
    'Beach Sarong - I think you got my name spelling wrong.'
    And the white blouse.. my granma too wears one with all kinds of sarees :D

  2. You've outdone yourself in this one Suranga! I've been guffawing and wiping away tears of hilarity...I'm as down to earth as you, I sink too :)


  3. OMG! Such a big list.. nobody will have all these things in ONE life I guess!

  4. Beyond hilarious. And even though I am not 60 something, I am there on all points with you. Except the sari (like it from a distance) and the iPod. They luckily have earphones that don't have to be stuck in deep...though I am pretty sure it is not 'cool' to have earphones that don't damage hearing - I guess it is better than the silencerless autos that harmed my hearing this morning!

    This list is so funny.

  5. ROFL! U r just amazing SurangaJi. U hv such an interesting way of putting things down :)

  6. Just loved ur answer for Mascara btw :P

  7. My comment is gone! Anyway, in brief I said this one is classic!

    Pencil Skirt : What an amazing name for a short saree petticoat

  8. U many nt believe I am reading ur post so many times so that I remember ur funniest answers ;)

    Beach Sarong - I think you got my name spelling wrong. And forget the beach.

    LOL! Awesome!

  9. Are you mad ? Decent, God-fearing, law abiding ladies driving 38 year old Fiat cars, don't need leather jackets- This is my favourite !
    Suranga, You are absolutely brilliant ! re-read this post many times !

  10. Saw this tag on FB and blogs, but this is the best take ever on it!!! Loved your post. As for the answer to the 'belt', I soooooo understand ;-0

  11. Definitely, a brilliant post Surangaji!
    "Ipod : Personally , no. Though the children always have one of these stuck in their years, to avoid hearing when I call....:-)"
    I became nostalgic at this point. ha ha ha...

  12. softypinkngloriousred Thank you ! :-)

    starry Thank you. Glad to bring some mirth in a world beset with leaks...

    aativas Thats why we have reincarnation...

    Sangi Thank you and welcome to the blog ! (I kind of know you as Starry's friend :-)

    Swaram Thank you ! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!.....:-)

    Ruchira Thank you. For some reason, I too read and reread this post many times..:-)

    writerzblock Thank you !

    Soumyaranjan dash Thank you !

    Quaintkal Bowing right back....ouch that belt hurts....:-)

  13. Suranga,
    I belong to the next generation and have some of those items:-))) But I loved your retorts/remarks more - wished I had some of them to write about:-)

    I'd rather have your 99lables list:-)

  14. :) he hhe loved ur answers .. i guess as long as we are happy who cares ...

    the remarks :)

    and I havenot got ANY of the items :O

    he heh ehe I know it says women :)


  15. am laughing at Victoria's secret and the rest too :) super liked your collection or take on the must have's...

  16. LOL..this was damn hilarious..I was laughing through the post..some questions are indeed too stupid..and stupid questions deserve sarcastic answer :D

  17. First of all, I cannot call you Suranga, I want to call you GuruMa...

    There are reasons...
    1. A voodoo witch doll will always need a mentor, ideally one who flies on a broom
    2. You're an inspiration for sarcasm, and command over creative rhymes
    3. I am notorious for pet-name christenings :P :P :P

    Okay, now the post... You're a complete riot!

    Two-dimensional sales woman!!! ROFL! I had a stylish colleague I'd call 2-D tee hee

    The sarees as well as potatoes bit... i had to pause and finish laughing...

    Bright coloured umbrella.. you are right GuruMa!!! I had a black one, only trimmed on edges with red trimmings that has black polka dots (polka dots were the reason i bought it) It was flicked from one such bucket!! WAIL!!!! *wiping nose on Guruma's cotton saree pallu, not realising she's reaching for her belan*

    "I'm so very down to earth, sometimes I sink" *time to pause and laugh again*

    Hats off on reply to tattoo! May i use it when ppl ask me why I don't consider getting one?

    "Beach Sarong - I think you got my name spelling wrong"
    *bedroom tiles leveled after rolling*

    It sure is more fun being rich in ideas!!! Ones that lead to these replies...I VOTE!!!
    If I do this tag, 99labels will probably do a fund-collection drive for me! :D

    This was a lovely read! Hugs!

  18. Phew!!! I realize what all more I need to accumulate. :-S I am below poverty line as well :-(

  19. :)
    I liked the answers to light colored cotton sarees and tattoos the most. :)

  20. Minal I am just amazed that if there are so many must-haves in clothes, what about other things in life ? Like Aativas commented, one lifetime will not be enough. But I have a suspicion that these things are necessary for those that thrive on being in the public eye.....its OK.

    Bikramjit Actually what gets me mad is with the amount of variety we have in our modes of dress and fabrics, this site specifies a list based on westren standards; viz little black dress, leather belts, hot pants, faux-fur outerwear ? How unoriginal, na ?

    tarabhatt Thank you. and welcome back !

    Neha Now you know what to wear for the next bloggers lunch na ?

    Insignia Thank you. Best of luck on the collections....

    Chandrika Thank you.

    Crafty Control ! Control ! And I already have a blog pseudonym , so please dont guru-fy......and I am sorry for creating floor havoc in your house. I suppose it will now help in remaining more down to earth, so to speak...

    Thanks for all the appreciation ! Feels nice in my old age. Which reminds me , the broom needs a checkup...

  21. ROFL i have really rolling laughter no kidding this one is brilliant just brilliant

  22. it should be illegal to be this funny :)

  23. Monu Thank you!

    Chandni I thought I saw Ms Radia in that Faux-Fur Outerwear....

  24. Such simple and powerful wisdom. Love the post!

    And yes, I fell over laughing too... like everyone else.

  25. This was fun. I think I have the oversized tees. Tatoos were definitely not the in thing. And thanks to the glasses, I sometimes put off a trip to the parlour to get my eyebrows done for months altogether!

  26. Brilliant and such fun. Thank you ! Although I love my ipod ( Not a real ipod - just a cheap imitation ) and enjoy listening to music and talking books that nobody else appreciates .