Cold is the shoulder

Rachna Singh
Sunday, 26 November 2017

Bambie hated wearing clothes. She felt so trapped in that dumb velvet jacket. One day, while chasing a rat, her prayers were answered – the buttons got undone – she wriggled out of it and pushed it with her nose towards the neighbour’s fence. Who discovered it the next morning and shrieked, ‘Oh wow... a plush purple velvet damask-print top!’

She grabbed it, rushed inside and slipped it on. There was only one problem: there seemed to be two sets of armholes. She paused, a little confused. But, then she asked herself what Kate Hudson would do.
‘I know,’ she smiled.

Bambie hated wearing clothes. She felt so trapped in that dumb velvet jacket. One day, while chasing a rat, her prayers were answered – the buttons got undone – she wriggled out of it and pushed it with her nose towards the neighbour’s fence. Who discovered it the next morning and shrieked, ‘Oh wow... a plush purple velvet damask-print top!’

She grabbed it, rushed inside and slipped it on. There was only one problem: there seemed to be two sets of armholes. She paused, a little confused. But, then she asked herself what Kate Hudson would do.
‘I know,’ she smiled.

And, that is how the cold-shoulder top was born.

And, soon it was a hot rage. It still is. Till the fashion changes. You see, fashion for women changes every season. And, with global warming, altogether new seasons have emerged — like that monsoons-won’t-stop-till-all-rivers-become-one season — giving fashion designers more canvases to play with. Currently, its fall season. No, that’s not models falling on the ramp. It’s the one in which trees shed leaves. That is nature’s reminder to us to shed what we are wearing.

The fall season comes with its own recommendations for stylish wear demonstrated by models who look like twigs. The rest of us, who look more like tree trunks fall over each other in a rush to copy them. Now, men, on the other hand, have made only as much progress in fashion as they have in understanding women. Simply put, not much. Trousers went from flares to pipes. Then, back. Not that it mattered ’cause most of them have not bothered to buy the latest fashion. They have been telling their spouses that they’d do it next weekend.

Normally, I find it very difficult to keep up with changing fashion. But cold shoulder-ed females have simply swarmed the place in a 1:1 ratio with the lucky mosquitoes who are welcoming their style. So, I succumbed and got me my own yellow top with extra armholes. But, when I slipped into it, the holes did not cooperate with my skull and limbs. Coordinating their entry needed a sophisticated algorithm that I possibly lacked. With the result, I was caught in a trap — my head sticking out of the shoulder-hole and one hand trapped next to it, in the adjoining hole. It was both uncomfortable and humiliating. I stood there, bleating pitifully till rescue came.

Will women take this to the next level? One more hole at the elbow? Holes where the femur joins the hip? What if they take it to other parts of their life, too? Rotis with two fashionable holes? Project reports with stylish holes? What about the women working at ISRO? Will they insist that rockets not be launched till trendy holes are scooped out above their engines? Scary.

What is it about this hole craze? I just can’t get my arms around it! Maybe, we need a national debate on it. I am game joining it. I think I will wear my yellow cold-shoulder top. If I can manage to.

(Bestselling author Rachna Singh is a sit-down commedienne)

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