The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

A Sartorial Lesson That Went Wrong
by Vijai Pant

While getting ready for a social do one fine evening, my better half (‘better’ in every sense) interrupted with, “Dear, you are not going to wear this tonight, are you?”

“Why? What’s wrong with it?” I asked, somewhat peeved.

“Now look darling. Four months back when the Mehtas had that grand celebration of the first birthday of their son, where all the who’s who of the town had come, you had worn the same dress. You see, it would be a needless repetition, when you have a variety to choose from,” she coaxed, while handing me the bandhgala.

“But who would remember what I had worn four months back?” I countered.

“Now don’t say that. Everybody does, except you. And in this case you had that Mrs. Arora accidentally (or was it deliberate?) spilling her drink on you. The incident drew as much attention as the recent faux pas at the Oscars,” she made her point.

Honestly, I’ve always lived in wonder at the way women remember who wore what and where, at least in this part of the subcontinent. With my wife too I’ve never been in doubt of her sartorial savviness. So, I decided to leave matters at that, but not before this parting shot in a vain attempt to get even with her, “I think I also saw you wearing this same saree not very many days ago.”

She looked at me contemptuously, like a veteran of a game looks at a novice, before setting the record straight.

“There, you are confusing this ‘blush’ pink with ‘brink’ pink. (When it comes to shades men are supposed to be colour blind). I have worn this ‘blush’ pink just twice ever since I bought it in the Deepawali sale two years ago. The first time, last year when the Aroras had called us to their Housewarming party. It was a very low key affair with just the presence of their neighbourhood and immediate family. The Joshis had not been invited.”

Incidentally, it was the marriage anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Joshi for which we were getting all dressed up. Her point was that for the Joshis as well as the invitees today, it would be a first look at ‘blush pink.’

“And second time, when I had gone to Mrs. Sodhi’s place three months back to discuss Jayati’s (our daughter) admission prospects in a Canadian university. She’s also among the guests today, but, when I bumped into her in the Mall the other day she told me that she’ll not be able to make it. Their son’s flight is due from Canada this evening, you see,” she informed.  There was that air of supreme confidence about her like a political party has after sweeping away the polls.

She gave herself one last look at the mirror and off we went for the party at Joshi’s place.

The hosts warmly welcomed us at the entrance and pleasantries were exchanged.

Just when we were slipping into the party mood, a familiar, husky voice greeted us cheerfully with, “Hello Mrs. Pant. Isn’t it wonderful to meet again so soon?”

And there was Mrs. Sodhi at her radiant best.