Saturday started off in Pali and ended up at Bonobo later for Mad Boy Mink. I entered just as MBM was hitting the stage. I liked the set a lot, bopping my head to the Looney-Tooney vibe of their hip-hop mixed songs. It was a weird crowd–nights out can be trippy if not approached with a certain amount of realization. I looked around to see a conservative-looking Indian woman in a full-on bordered silk sari, hair braided and all. She couldn’t have just come from a wedding, her outfit wasn’t jazzy enough. I see a group of hysterical white girls in the corner. Tall foreigners stood out. I continue to scope the room when R and I see a man wearing a skirt. Not a dhotti, a girl’s skirt. Confused, we caught man-skirt’s attention and he bustled over to us. R was convinced this man lost a bet and had to succumb to the evils of his fulfilling said bet by wearing a skirt. But this was his own doing: he was throwing a hen party for his girl friend and he was collecting bad advice from girls and lipstick kisses from men. He wanted us to participate in his bachlorette-party games and so we did. We chose from a stack of cards for topic prompts and the boys generously applied red lipstick to their faces. Like I said, weird night. I failed to remember Bonobo was an outdoor bar and the 87 degree weather with 200 % humidity was slowly killing me. The label on my Bud slipped off. Even my glue had given up. Nothing was going to last in this humidity myself included. I called the driver, we headed downstairs and all I could think was ‘thank god for air-condition and I can’t wait to shower.’
Today was the Flea Market–A company called Lil Flea was hosting a 2-day Flea Market on the grounds opposite Lilavati Hospital this weekend. My initial though upon hearing about the market? ‘You’ve been to one Flea Market, you’ve been to them all.” In a way, this is true. But I needed something to do this afternoon and it was an easy way to spend some money. I didn’t over-think, which usually happens when I plan to go to any festival/market/push-and-shove type atmosphere. I stood in a short line for no more than 2 mins before I entered. The grounds weren’t decorated in any ornate way but it was cool to see this sort of thing happening in the middle of Bombay. Sometimes I take certain things for granted living in Bombay–there are so many expats, so much access to foreigner goods and materials, and things like boozy brunches, brie, and gluten-free/vegan/kosher/ stuff happening here that its hard to believe your in India! I know for sure other parts of India have no clue what gluten-free means or that they can even pronounce kosher. I don’t blame them either. Being in Bombay is unlike being in any other part of India–it’s hip, open to new ideas, and always ready for the next big fad. I snatched up kitschy bags and scarves (my weakness), chatted up the Berlin-based brand owners and headed home.
My recent adventures with shopping have led me to discover just how out of touch I am with Eastern Fashion–I’m talking Indian clothes, people. I’ve been on the lookout for a nice Indian outfit for my friend’s wedding next month. I didn’t realize until yesterday how much I abhor shopping for Indian clothes. It’s manic. stressful. overwhelming. tiring. and expensive. I can’t remember wearing an Indian outfit more than twice over before it maintains permanent residence on my clothes hanger. We women try to justify it, saying we will ‘put it too good use’, promising ourselves and others that ‘that outfit WILL be WORN’. Lies. It’s also because I don’t like wearing Indian clothes. I don’t mind a salwar/kurta (basically a long dressy tunic with leggings and an optional scarf to drape over it). But I would take a blazer or shift dress any day. Indian fashion changes faster than it takes to get to Chembur to Colaba on a Wednesday afternoon. I bought fabric from Kari’s store that I could get an outfit stitched (fancy, I know, but custom-made clothes are very common). She took me to meet her tailor which felt like a spy mission. Her words: ‘Good tailors are top-secret info. You never share you’re tailor’s number with anyone!’ Adorable. We walked through the gully, into the tailor’s, also named Kari, shop. As the master-ji took my measurements and we decided how I wanted the outfit to be cut, Kari was quick to call me out on my fashion ignorance. ‘Oh no no no no’, she exclaimed. ‘Short kurtas are out. Long kurta’s are in. No one wear’s short kurtas anymore, didn’t you know?!’ Clearly, I did not. I let her take the wheel on the stylistic nuances of my outfit (not forgetting to add my 2 cents of course: cut the shoulder width, make me look skinny!). I searched for an outfit for my friend’s wedding on Saturday and nearly lost it. Too. many. choices. There is an endless supply of ways to make women look colorful and shiny. I decided to go to one shop later this week and choose whatever was in front of me. Wham bam done.