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Wizards of the wardrobe

I have never been a keen follower of fashion, preferring to stick to bland, familiar, tired but safe choices. Which is why you’ll never find high heels or leather pants or halter necks in my wardrobe. You’ll find me in salwar kameezes that would look good on a pillow, jeans two sizes too big, baggy tee shirts and basically anything that would make me blend with the background. In what I call, ‘wall paper clothes’. In fact, I even have a couple of shirts that match what’s on the wall. Anyway, one day my cosy world of sartorial dysfunction was rudely shaken awake by two women. Two straight-talking, no-nonsense and downright rude women.

Trinny and Susannah (of ’no last name’ fame), stars of the show ‘What Not To Wear’ on BBC1, pull any poor old, haggard lady off the street and give her a makeover that would put most plastic surgeons out of work. And this they would go about doing in the most outrageous manner. The twosome would strip their hapless victim to her underpants, shove inside a trial room fitted with mirrors on all sides and then go about systematically dissecting her. Then they’d make her wear a number of new outfits (some frankly, ridiculous) before deciding on a final look. While I do not agree with their modus operandi, the results that these women wrought were fantastic. Honestly, there was a world of difference in the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots with the participants walking away with a spring in their stilettoed step and a swing in their newly-coloured hair.

So when I had an important meeting coming up, I cast my beige coat aside and decided to put Susannah to the test. I bought their books, tried on clothes that I’d never dared to before and finally bought something that would have been as natural a choice for me as say, speaking Finnish.

The morning of my meeting was one of the coldest days this winter and my long cardigan was hopelessly inadequate. Still, I braved on. I hoped that no one would comment on how great my trousers were or ask where I bought my shoes or say anything that would make me confess to my sins. My fears were unfounded and the meeting went quite well. So well that they offered me the job. There’s just one small hitch, what do I do with my mountain of frumpy clothes?


dogmatix said…
Hey ive seen the show. Brit babes can be cruel!! If someone stripped my trousers in a mall, i would make them pay for new clothes and the hours of therapy i would need to regain my self esteem!
ggop said…
Neat! I never knew if these style makeover principles could be applied to people who dress like wallflowers (moi included)

But I think they definitely have some good basic rules. The American version of the show is more kind.

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Married for 31 years, 2 months and 17 days
Six cups coffee a day, brewed everyday of marriage
Three meals a day,
At least two dishes cooked, each meal-time
One snack for every Sunday
Big basket of clothes ironed every Tuesday
Average 18 items of clothing washed per day
Three children
1 miscarriage
One mother-in-law suffered
900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
One caesarean endured
3 chicken poxes, 2 measles, 2 fractures, 8 diarrhoeas, depression, conjunctivitis every summer, 1 tonsilitis and countless common colds and flues
1 job held for 29 years
6 hours slept every night
Sex tolerated every 2nd week
Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.


Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

Lost in Post

To a little boy

It cannot be easy being you. A follow-up act to your more devilishly charming, flamboyant older brother. Before you were born, I was convinced that no child could ever take the special place your brother had come to occupy in my life. I used to argue with your father you would always be a second-born. A runner-up. A bridesmaid (or a best-man, as you turned out to be). That you could never be the prized, cherished, celebrated apple of my eye that my firstborn child was. But how easily you tore down my flimsy little conviction. The minute I saw you, I knew I was gone. What was worse, I succumbed willingly.

My fears that you would be overshadowed by your brother have proven unfounded. Over the past year, you have come into your own as a person. Your brother demands and challenges our love and attention. You, on the other hand, are much more accepting of our distractions with him. It is almost as if you understand that he is used to being the star of the show for much of his…

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What happened when young Padmavathi was drawing water from the well to wash her clothes, early one Margazhi morning?

Annon's story

One morning when Padmavathi was drawing water from the well, she found Pettai Rowdy # 1 Govindarajulu inside the bucket! She dropped it at once and Govindarajulu went down and down and hit the bottom of the well with a Nung sound. His upper and lower teeth fused together and since then he has been fed intravenously. Pettai Rowdy # 2, Ragothaman Iyengar, who suggested this to Govindarajulu, now rules the roost.

After marrying Padmavathi, he is inviting all of you to a water drawing ceremony at the new well they dug in their house.

Jai Ragothaman Iyengar! Jai Padmavathi! Come one, Come all!


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What happened that made young Meenakshi change her mind about the parrot green saree she had originally chosen and go for a …