Monday, July 17, 2017

Of modesty and saving the family's honor..

Cousin E is visiting. We pick her from the airport and on the way back home agree that the weather is far too pleasant to be spent indoors. And so we decide to spend the day shopping - in a mall, where else! Allow me to skip the irony of it all. We reach home, drop the bags and E gets dressed. She swaps her travel clothes -  t-shirt, trousers and jacket for a ripped jeans and an off-shoulder + cold-shoulder crop top. Pari is scandalised, to say the least. She makes a big hue and cry about the dress. We try to calm her down while hyperventilating ourselves. A compromise is struck - the ripped jeans is exchanged for a normal untorn albeit skinny alternative, but the crop top stays. Pari wonders aloud as to what keeps it from falling off, and evaluates at length, the chances and consequences of such a malfunction. Thats when I start getting worried, but E assures us that the top is held firmly in place by her contours and trustworthy elastic.

As soon as we step out of the car, and even before we can enter the mall, Pari is overwhelmed with shame and concern for E mausi. In a futile effort to cover E's exposed belly, she starts pulling down the by now famous crop top, subjecting E to a real danger of undress should the elastic give way. We take great pains to explain to her that it is alright to expose some belly, and even Nani does it when she wears a Sari. I think more than the explanation, what forces her to let go is the sight of many more women wearing similar or worse clothes - ripped jeans and crop top does seem to be the flavor of the season. We are in the Zara store when Pari whispers to me, pretty loudly for a whisper - 'Mumma, this woman's jeans is even more torn than E's!' Fortunately, many women in the store are wearing torn jeans and are too busy shopping for more distressed clothes to  pay attention to a child's honest opinion.

The following day is a lot of fun - E dresses appropriately in shirt and shorts, eats pasta and plays house and monopoly with Pari all day. She leaves in the evening. As we tidy up the house and get ready for bed, Pari walks up to me.
P: Mumma, I will never ever wear clothes like E.
Moi: Hmm.. alright.
P: Torn clothes are so disgusting.
P: (Still hurt and needing to vent) E wears such clothes, other people can see her organs!
M: (Aghast! She is taking it just too far)Organs?? Which organs did you see? You can see her skin, but you can't see her organs unless you have an X-ray vision.
P: Yes, skin is our largest organ.
M: (Appropriately quietened.. thinking of a response which just doesn't come! Finally, I manage to mutter under my breath) Baby.. I only hope you keep thinking like that through the next 20 years!

This post is recorded for training purposes and future use. It will be pulled out for reference the moment I see Pari wearing anything that can potentially expose any of her organs.