A few days back, I went to our local shopping centre, “The Galleria”. The atmosphere was festive, with Holi just round the corner. I spotted quite a few people strolling around in their shorts and tees. My corduroys felt rather overdressed. “Why? It’s only February” I mused aloud to the husband.
Of course by now I was feeling mildly disturbed, I wanted to wear my shorts and tees too, weather be damned. So what do I do? I spent the entire weekend (two whole days to be precise) trying to unpack my summer wardrobe. Actually it’s a pretty complicated procedure. When you are living in a high rise apartment, space is the first casualty. My parents live in this huge three-storied bungalow and there are dedicated rooms and cupboards to store clothes that haven’t been worn the last twenty years. This is not an attempt to be funny, for a change I am dead serious. The kilometre long loft is used to store Diwali gifts accumulated over the last decade or more. Now that I have my own nest, I no longer have this privilege and my wardrobe has to be split according to seasons.
To unpack, one has to pack away stuff just to create space. And when you put away stuff, you can’t help but wonder at the sheer volume of apparel you have managed to accumulate in just one season. How the hell did I manage 4 pullovers in rust, even though it’s my favourite colour? Fine, aubergine (the colour, not the veggie) is hot this season, but did I really need that wrap, boots, dress and a bolero jacket in that colour? Actually I blame Gurgaon, the mall capital and my credit cards. The millennium city unleashes the shopaholic in you. The glittering stores with their tantalizing displays beckon at you, you walk in hypnotised, feel the textures, feast your eyes on the new collection, spot a pair of Jodhpurs in your favourite colour, try it on, it fits you like a dream. Ah, Nirvana! I loathe need-based shopping, it seems so mundane. For me it’s about surrendering to my impulses. Sauntering into a mall, inhaling the fresh aroma of coffee, sniffing at tantalizing jars and tubes with exotic ingredients at a Body Shop store, gently filling that enduring little basket with knick knacks and opening my eyes wide in horror when the cashier finally presents the bill to me. For such indulgences, thank god there’s always MasterCard.
Confronted with a pile from my latest indiscretions, I make yet another “no more shopping, I have enough” resolution. Every year I follow this ritual. Silently curse myself, wonder how I can create space for my ever expanding eclectic wardrobe. I weed out stuff and look for unsuspecting individuals I can pass on to - usually my maids.
So it’s that time of the year again, I am atop the ladder reaching out for the loft making careful pyramids of attires from a season gone by. I lug the 100 kilo (at least it felt that heavy) mattress off my bed and stuff some more woollies in my divan. But the incorrigible me is already plotting and planning my next conquest in the shopping precincts. I could definitely do with a few more skirts this season and I need a pair of tracks for my dance classes, should I make a quick trip to Mango to check out their spring summer collection? Thank god my cramped closets can’t hear me think or else they would have collapsed in frustration by now.