I am off to Kerala for a wedding in the family and was obliged to rush off to shop at the last minute (!) when I realised that my wardrobe is hugely inadequate for the normal requirements of such social occasions. To begin with I am not much of a dresser. I never find the clothing that I truly desire, and so end up with uniforms of black outfits that have nothing much to differentiate one from the other, except subtle details! This suits me fine because for the opening of my exhibitions the walls of the gallery are drenched with colours from my palette that disallow me to pursue any rainbows for myself! The austerity of black fits in perfectly as the moderator within the kaleidoscope of colours that make up my art, and in any case I love the simplicity that this colour offers to my life.
On the occasions when I want to wear a sari, I have a selection of plain black crepe silk sari's that I have designed with pallau's that are in different colours. My "foreign travel clothes" are even simpler: slit skirts, pants and non crinkle tops - all black!!! So none of this fits a good old fashioned Nair wedding where black would be seen as the worst ill omen to be paraded on a festive and auspicious occasion!
To boot the weather is wet and humid, and oppressively hot in God's own country!! So a traditional kanjivaram sari is out of the question too! So with three functions to be suitably dressed for, I have diligently combed through every shopping mall in Baroda and feel like a limp rag at the end of it all! The good news is that I bought a nice dull yellow sari and was pleased as punch till I got it back after they did a "tassel job" on it to find it has been crush-pleated on some "polishing machine"!!!! Disaster!!! This discovery was made at 7 pm!!! I fly out at 7.20 tomorrow morning!!! Well James Bond isn't the only resourceful character !!! I have my own agents too!!Well angels really and one has braved the pouring rain and trudged off in a rickshaw to get to the sari shop where "salvage" job is the mission of the hour!!!
Well the story doesn't end there. After a million trials in poky changing rooms I have succeeded in getting two outfits that hide my love handles and spare tires, and hopefully make me appear decent and appropriately attired for a traditional family wedding. I shall of course on my return carefully store these outfits, with mothballs, in the back of my cupboard for the next rainy day that needs me to shed my black veils, and come out into the spectrum of colour again! Black rose of Memphis, you have a friend in me....!