my senior friend and mentor Siva mama was writing about moving about the street with bare body...
I galloped on the horseback of my imagination in the reverse direction.
Even today I present myself in the agraharam with open upper torso.. After bath and sandhyavandhanam, I walk upto the Ganapathy temple nearby, with a dhothi and an angavastram tied round the hip, the face and body adorned only in Vibhooti, painted all over like perhaps the stripes in the body of a tiger..and with a three into three poonal..
But most of us in our agraharam do that even these days
I am remembering about my childhood.. No dress of any kind up to about three years.. Running along the streets in birthday clothes was natural for small boys. No one saw anything amiss.. Girls of that age might wear some sort of gown.
Then we get introduced to what is called Valli. or slinged trousers or knickers.. Two cylinders of clothes of any size stiched together and two long tapes of clothes attched to the two cylinders... the cylindrical part to be slipped in with the legs and the tapes to be adjusted on the shoulders.. and sometimes there will be an opening in the front portion of the two cylinders meeting in the front, and some cloth button and a hole to secure it would be provided.. We would slip into the trousers and run along the streets, often forgetting to close the "Post Office" and some strict eyes would catch us an give warning that if the post office is not closed, the crow will take away the contents..
Then when we reach third or fourth standard, the Valli of the Knicker would be an embarrassment.. So the bands would be removed, and the knicker would be secured around the hip with aranakkayaru, or even poonal..
Every boy would have one or two shirts, to be used only if they are to go to school, or if they are going outside the boundary of the village..
In our Sekharipuram.. there was one tailor, whom we called Thaadi.. because he sported a long white beard (his name was subramanian pillai, I came to know much later) and his trouser measurement for all would be the same.. So also the shirts..If anyone complains, Thaadi will say that the boy is growing.. so it is always good to make big shirts and trousers.. The whole material would be coarse cotton..;Black, Brown or Blue for trouser and relatively less coarse white or striped cloth for shirts.
The boys would beg Thaadi to provide two big pockets to the trouser. and additional ones if possible (the second request would be refused). |
they can store ghotti(marbles), pambaram(tops), nellikkai(Amla berries), small mangoes, some eatables.. all in these pockets..
And one boy just picking the sumptuously filled pocket of another was a usual incident.
This would lead to quarrels and fist fights..
But quarrels would be settled between friends.. If the complaints reach any elders, both will get only some slaps in the buttocks.. and to give slaps, the elders need not be your parents.. any mama or mami, anna or akka of the village will do that and there will be no issue..
I remember I started wearing shirts on a regular basis only when I was eighteen or nineteen and wore a pair of chappals and pants when I appeared for interview as an Inspector of Income-tax..