Sunday, 19 June 2016

SAREE, A FANCY DRESS?

On the occasion of Shiv ratri when I came to office in a traditional wear saree, I remember a funny instance happened with me few years back when I was in USA. I was new to the place and was still in a habit of wearing traditional clothing on any Indian festival. Although I did notice that there was no festivity in the air, nothing special about those festivals when I was in California or in Virginia or any other place in USA. Even on Holi everyone was going to work, the colony was empty after 10am, kids were off to school and it was more like pin drop silence in communities. Once on such an Indian festival I decided to wear saree. I had to go to grocery store for something urgent so I went in saree itself. I noticed Americans glare and people looking at me, some in praise, some in hatred and some were looking just out of curiosity. People in America are very cautious about their looks and expression especially when there is anyone from a foreign country and in their native cloths or getup. There could be two reasons for that, law which makes it easy for everyone to keep their dignity and freedom of expression without getting insulted or bullied and the second more genuine reason, they think everyone is a human and it doesn’t matter how they dress up, they have right to express themselves and we should respect everyone’s space. Now this later fact comes from within, no one can implant this notion in anyone, it has to come from inside to respect the humanity and everyone’s space. So well I went inside the grocery shop, collected whatever I wanted in my trolley and stayed in line for the payment. All these big talks and laws are for adults right? How could you force a baby? Guess not.  While I was waiting in queue, a young kid with her mother was also standing in line and was looking at me with a big surprised or confused look rather on her face. After sometime when she could not figure out what’s wrong with this woman (me :O)), she asked her mother innocently, Mommy what is she wearing? Is she going to a fancy dress?? I could not stop myself smiling on her innocency, but her mother got red faced, totally in an apologetic mode, she feared I might just sue her over the racial comment her little kid made. She whispered something in her kids ear to satisfy her curiosity and pointed out at me and said “isn’t she looking pretty honey?” and came to me and said” you are looking beautiful” . I said thanks but I could read her fear. It’s very common in usa for people to ignore these kind of situations to avoid getting sued over these things. The law there makes everyone so strong that they do not take anything wrong or bad from others. In a way it’s good to maintain the standard of the country, but sometimes it feels like it takes the fun away from life. When I came back to India, I couldn’t stop myself from making fun of this thing and mostly used “I’ll sue you” in almost every situation with friends. But the reality is, that law what makes people of America respect everyone from any country, any ethnicity or any religion. To avoid many bullies and situations like this, we should have these kinds of laws in country. It’s a human tendency to look at whatever is different from the crowd, when foreigners visit India, we also can’t stop ourselves from looking at them, may be a harmless glare but we do. If we also have any law of this kind we could have forced those people from bulling foreigners on our land, who have bad intentions.

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