By the way, Mi, remember I told you about my mini-forced shopping during Navratri?  So those Kalamkari blouses were one size larger than I wanted. I had suspected it, but thought I could manage. But then I thought why not see if the next size would be right since the shop guy urged me to exchange it if it didn’t fit. Also, imagine passing up a chance to walk down that street. The next day, I went back, exchanged the blouses and bought one more in silk cotton with an ikkat print. Oh, it looked so gorgeous and I happily walked back home, bag in hand, fantasizing about which sarees to match with the blouses, because ya know, kalamkari is so versatile. And I was thinking of all the plain chiffons, the handloom sarees, and oh, I reached home before the fantasy ended.

So imagine my disgust when I found that the blouses had been tagged the wrong size! Arrgh. And the lovely silk? The sleeves were too short for my liking. I am just not a fan of wearing those super-tight tiny sleeves. I packed up the blouses, intending to go to the shop the next day but the rains prevented me from stepping out. Two days later, I overcame the ennui and headed out again. This time the fella at the counter acted smart.  Can you imagine—he wouldn’t accept that the blouses had the wrong tag in spite of proving it to him with his tape. You know how they hold out the material as if it can magically fit a sumo wrestler’s girth? Bah!

Now I was stuck and feeling stupid about adding an additional blouse to my exchange woes. I managed to find the blouses I returned and added one more since the guy wouldn’t refund.  I trudged back home, soon cheering up, thinking that it is better to run an extra stitch to make the blouses fit than burst out of them.

Can’t say they are prêt-à-porter just yet, though because I have to alter them.

I am giggling thinking of another day, Mi, when I was 14 and alone at home. You and Mama had gone to work and Paati was in Bombay for her annual visit. It was summer vacation and I pretty much spent the day by myself at home, tackling chores and entertaining myself. During one of those times, I saw a cute blouse in a magazine—one of those v-necked things that tied at the midriff. I enthusiastically chose one of my kurtas—that red one with the little dots—and got to work. By the time you came home, my blouse was ready and I had visions of pairing it with that black and white checked wraparound skirt. I still remember the look on your face when you walked in and saw me sitting and working on my DIY blouse with the bits of fabric strewn around me. Of course, your initial reaction was one of wonder and curiosity, until you realized which kurta I was working on! You had recently stitched it for me with that cute applique of a swan in front. But I admire you for getting over your annoyance quickly and appreciating the fact that I had actually produced a wearable garment! he he.

How funny it is that we also realized I had a knack for alterations!

I will miss you so much when I sit and work on the blouses, you know, but I’ll pretend you are here, laughing, egging me on and offering me endless cups of coffee.