“Have you seen Madhu, Rani’s daughter in law? Such a lovely girl, totally a laxmi buaari (daughter-in-law)!” Rashmi’s mother in law was talking loudly to her hubby while sipping the morning cup of tea. She was giving her full effort to send this message to Rashmi’s ears.
“She is an ideal Buaari…..totally covered. Always she wears Saree…and you will never see her without ornaments. I heard she works in a large corporate….but still see, she is so down to earth! And look at our buaaris…….!! Rani is so lucky…!!!” She continued her praise for Madhu who lives in a metro and came to spend 10/ 12 days at in-law’s house.
Rashmi, who was in Salwaar suit felt awkward, though she kept quiet. She was busy in making breakfast. There were so many household works she had to finish before going to office. She was just trying to ignore all those words and sentences floating on the air that time.
“Our village buaaris always look for a chance to wear jeans, or skirt if they get a chance….Rakhi’s buaari, I heard, she even wore a half-pant while she went for honeymoon….How disgusting!!!!”
Rashmi tried to finish her work faster, so many tasks she planned today! The main task is to download few photographs of Madhu wearing skirts, half-pant, jeans, frock and one pic without ornaments to show her mother in law in the evening…….
Have you experienced or heard about this kind of incidents? Yes! This kind of thought process still persists. People still think wearing saree/ mekhela chadar or any other traditional dresses after marriage is extremely important.
Some people think, “fashion means exposing”. One artist was not allowed to perform as she was not wearing Mekhela chadar on the festive occasion, though she was in decent Salwaar suit which even had traditional print on it. One girl was sent back home after marriage as she did not know how to wear Saree. Why this kind of mentality still endures?
Ideally, if I talk about Indian traditional dresses, they range from kurtis to sarees to churidar-Kurta sets to the dhoti. If men can wear pant and shirt or T-shirt, so why women cannot wear half-pant, frock, skirts, jeans etc.?
Today, the world is spinning at a very fast pace and so, our culture and traditions too. A mayhem fight between the traditional values and the western values is clearly noticeable, specially in the styles of clothing and draping by the people of the country. Now, people are seen to be more attracted by the western values and especially, adapting to their styles of clothing.
When there is immense variety of Indian clothes available in the markets, the western dresses on the other hand, are also seen to take the front seat in the fashion industry with easy availability with mesmerizing designs and styles. So, as India is a democratic country, everyone has the liberty to pick the piece of their choice, ofcourse respecting the occasion or place we are visiting. For example, ideally, we should not go out to the market wearing nighty, or wearing Saree to dive in the swimming pool or wearing salwaar suit to track on a hilly area.
Now, the question is why some people still think and comment on western dresses as “fashion means exposing”?
I believe, may be because they are still inside the shell of orthodox mentality or wanting to show-up shallow dignity or wisdom. Or, may be because of some people, who don’t know how to carry their dress or do not wear respecting the occasion, made some dark marks on those people's minds.
Because, if you see the below pictures, if I compare both traditional dresses and western dresses, both have scope of exposing and maintaining decency. So, all depends how one carries it.
However, I feel western trends have a tendency to offer freedom of expression. As they are quite classy, attractive and stylish, one can add his or her own tastes and ideas to them. Also, they are convenient, comfortable and give us the option of flexibility. For example, you do not have to clutch your salwaar qameez or hold on to your dupatta every time a breeze blows through or pull up the Saree while boarding on a bus.
Following new trends help people, especially teenagers, cope with peer pressure and also, even results in the acceptance among liberal and contemporary people. Furthermore, it shows that you are up-to date and from a polished background. Also, modern clothes make youngsters feel confident as they know that they are portraying a modern image of themselves and help them in strengthening self- confidence. Infact, stopping your boy or girl to wear jeans or any other western dresses may develop some hatred feeling for you.
I believe that we should keep a balance in everything. One should not completely set aside their traditional clothes and become a total follower of western trend, or vice versa. We can follow western trends, but should not shy away from our traditional clothes. This way, we will be following new trends, but at the same time, promoting our culture and be very much attached to our roots.
Watch a video of a girl who walked 10 hours on Delhi roads and markets wearing western and Indian dresses. You will get to see it’s not the women clothing that provokes the bad comments/ catcall/ eve tease, it’s all about mindset that leads to objectification of women.