Monday, June 05, 2006

New Pinch

Yesterday, as I drove into the parking lot of the community recreation center (CRC) where my fitness class is located, I saw that it was rather crowded. The reason became apparent when I noticed a whole bunch of costumed kids. Some performance had just gotten over at the theatre in the CRC. The kids were mostly little girls - probably between ages five and eight. Most were dressed in cute costumes of various colors.

My eyes fell upon one little girl wearing an extremely frilly, pink- colored short frock which flared below the waist. As she hopped and skipped her way over to her friend, I could see her looking down checking out her cute frock every so often. And everytime she looked at the frock, her face would light up with happiness and pride.

I could SO totally empathise with what she was feeling. I was once there. One of my all-time favorite snaps was taken in Nainital. My sis and I were about 8 and 6 years old then. We both are sitting on a stone parapet at the edge of the road with mom and dad seated on either side of us. Behind us is a stunning backdrop of mountains and just below the parapet, on the other side, a lush green valley is falling away from the edge. But neither me nor my sister are looking at the scenery. We are not looking at the camera either. Instead, our attention is completely, entirely, focussed on our feet. You see, we both were wearing new slippers bought especially for the vacation. And our favorite activity then was admiring our new footwear :-)!

Getting new clothes/new footwear used to be quite an event when I was small. There had to be some occassion for new clothes - typically, birthday, diwali, pongal (if we got lucky), a close relative's wedding (if we got luckier) and a summer dress or two. Footwear typically got replaced only when the older ones got completely worn out.

So, whenever I wore new clothes, it was an occassion. The clothes would invariably have been chosen by me with lots of care. Before getting to actually wear the dress, I would have admired it in the cupboard several times. As the day to actually wear the dress approached, anticipation would build up and the excitement would be almost too much to bear.

When D-day finally arrived, it was time to go and flaunt the new clothes before everyone. Also get "new pinch" from peers. And of course, cast stealthy looks at the clothes myself from time to time and sigh in satisfaction. Oh yes, I know what exactly the little girl in the pink frock was thinking last evening.

Nowadays, of course, wearing new clothes or new footwear is no longer a special event. I don't restrict myself to buying new clothes only for some specific occassion. I buy clothes when, hmm, let me see: there is a sale or I am bored or I am happy or as a cheer-me-up or for no reason whatsoever or oh, because summer/winter/spring/fall is here. So wearing new clothes has almost completely lost its charm. Only very rarely do I even notice the new footwear or the wearing-it-for-the-first-time top. While it is very nice to have a big closet filled with clothes and shoes, I think I have lost something in the process.

Isn't it true - we appreciate nice events which happen ocassionally a lot more than nice events which happen all the time?

Archana B.

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