Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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The perils of wearing shorts in a conservative place


With summer in full swing, it’s time to bring out you shorts and hot pants (ahh, finally!). But you’re mistaken if you think that wearing shorts comes without its fair share of troubles, especially if you live in a conservative place. And God save you if you go to a government university office in shorts.

The struggle begins even before you put the shorts on. Fresh out of a shower, your legs are still damp, and heaven knows it is impossible to put on anything even remotely well-fitting at such a time. The shorts cling to your legs at weird places before you finally put in all your might to pull them into place. A little out of breath, you almost had a good workout session right there. Half the battle won. You waltz out of the house in good spirits, and the only thing that’s missing is a Carrie Bradshaw-esque voiceover. Oh, the drawbacks of real life. But we’ll save that for some other time.

The real trouble begins when you enter the university office. In a place as as drab as this, girls with short hair and short clothes are as out of place as a sardarji in Chennai. The staff scowls at you as if you have personally offended them. But maybe that’s just because you disturbed them during tea and gossip, for my dear friends, it is always tea and gossip time in government university offices. As you approach a clerk and put your request forth, he looks at you with such utter bewilderment that you want to shake him by the shoulders and ask him what he has been smoking! When he does reply to you, it is to guide you to another table (Because if you get your work done without travelling to fifteen different desks, then shame on them!). The lady behind the next desk greets your legs in reply to your good afternoon. Oh and how can I forget the roadside Romeos of the university? They think girls dress this way to claim their attention. Obviously, as if us girls ever do anything without keeping them in mind. By the time your work in the office is over, you are self-conscious and paranoid. Congratulations.

Waiting in the line at McDonalds’ to pick up your lunch, you wonder what Ronald would say. He would probably shake his head in disappointment and go “tch tch, beta.” But then you pacify yourself by reminding yourself that he is American and probably wouldn’t mind. However when you do place your order, you begin to wonder that if they can put ‘masala’ and ‘aloo tikki’ in burgers, why can’t Ronald go Alok Nath on you? This is the Indian McDonalds after all!

The only solace is when you come back home and the heat stops messing with your brain. And yet you wonder if the stray dog outside looked at you funny…


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