Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Life of a Blouse Piece: Spares Apart
I am Blouse Piece; like other threads of cotton, I too was spun in the same textile mill and I was dyed with a single color that defined my identity from others. There were many unique yarns in that particular fiberland, out of which I was sent to the outer world called, Saree Emporium.
I was never the first choice for people who lived in cultural retreats. Instead, I came as a spare to those who never wanted me in the first place. I was just considered as a mode of exchange in the ‘haldi-kumkum’ ritual which was more of a formality. To some of them, I was the most prized possession. They never let me go away from their cupboard even though hundred other fellow-mates crowded my cradle-shelf. I was never worn out for years together, but when the day came of another such ritual, I was taken out from the cupboard, dusted off the spider-webs and lizard poops, asphyxiated me with the odour of naphthalene balls, and wrapped me in a filthy polythene bag. I never felt that I’d see myself being cut with care and precision by a ladies tailor and bordered with sponge to finally cover the woman’s assets. That was a despondent dream, yet I lived to see that come true one day or the other.
One day, while I was being transferred from one hand to another in one of such ‘godh-bharai’ (ritual for an expecting mother) I was being handed over to the expecting mother and I suddenly felt a warm aura getting diffused into my body. I finally felt that I’ve got my sole proprietor. I lied useless again for few months in her cupboard this time, but I kept my cool and convinced myself that this is ‘The’ place I am meant to be and I’ll be taken to the tailor someday. While the lady delivered her sweet little baby angel, I could hardly weep happy tears because I didn’t have the fate to be her handkerchief or the baby’s bib. I waited for my time and it finally succumbed. She took me to the lady’s tailor and my life’s purpose was about to be accomplished. The tailor took her measurement, made the chalk markings on my body and I was ready to be carved to fit her body.
She left me in the tailor shop and went back to her home. I was shining bright under his CFL bulbs and he pleasantly took out his scissors to cut me to shape. I was filled with joy and with the first swipe of his sharp scissors; my threads began to rupture seamlessly. The tailor didn’t bother to get them in place; he continued to cut me until all the markings on my body was completely done. He then trashed my unwanted parts into the dustbin and took the precisely cut parts to the sewing machine. This looked like a gigantic tattooing machine that poked huge drill bits on my loose ends and put my hanging threads in place. I was then sent to a person who strapped in an embroidery hoop and was heavily tattooed floral art on my body. I was at the pinnacle of ecstasy when I was finally ready to be worn and the tailor had called up the lady. She had a glitter in her eyes while she saw me and it was the first time I was so much loved by any person. The lady put me back in her polythene bag and took me to her home to try me out whether I fit to her size or do I need some alterations. When she opened me out of the bag, in her room, with doors closed, she was standing in front of the mirror. She held me with both her hands close to her breasts and that was when I met my first friend, brassiere. When the lady wore me with her brassiere on, I was in an intimate position with my new friend. We just started talking so as to avoid the strangeness of the hour;
“Hey”, I giggled.
“Wassup bro?” he congratulated. “Kudos that you finally made it here” he added.
“Thanks”, I almost was on verge of nervous breakdown.
“How’s life up here?” I asked in curiosity.
“It’s never cool. You’ll never know how much responsibility you need to hold” he replied with a drooping face.
“Is it? What do you do daily?” I took the conversation forward.
“I am the Treasurer here in this area. My job is to see that I never get wet and never get YOU away from me while she’s out. I am the senior and you are just an assistant.” He had an authoritative tone while he described his job.
I felt a bit demeaned after going through all the pains of being tortured and tormented by the tailor on the sewing machine for hours, I am still an assistant. “Is this the real purpose of my life?” I questioned my own existence.
“So, Mr. Brassiere, do you get any benefits?” I asked with a blank face looking for so many answers.
“First of all, nobody calls my full name. You can just call me Bra!” he interrupted while I wasn’t done asking my questions yet.
“Do you really think I’d expect any more benefits from her? I live in heaven” there was a smirk on Bra’s face.
“I am so….” The lady took me off her breasts and threw me on the bed as soon as she heard the baby cry. She put on her night gown and slept with the baby while I was lying unattended on the corner of the bed.
“Hey” I now started talking to the bed sheet.
“WHAT!” it screamed and yelled at me.
“Chill! What’s wrong with you? Had a bad day?” I again ignited a light conversation.
“What else do you think huh? The baby pees everyday on me and I am left to dry with it till night. Now suddenly you show up and guess what, you’re asking me if I had a bad day. I had a wonderful day. Care to introduce yourself Mr. Whatsyourname?” he gave a precise dose of his daily daycare.
“I am so sorry, I am Jhumper. It has become my nickname ever since I got stitched as a Blouse.” I gave a complete introduction too.
After talking with him for some time, I came to know few things about bed sheet.
Mr. Bed Sheet had served the bed from past 5 years and he had a good image in the family. He was the proud witness of two of the First Nights in the family and had welcomed thousands of guests’ rears and absorbed their silent farts. He was looked-up hygienically very well by everyone at home, but was subject to lot of pressure every day. I fell asleep talking to him and didn’t realize when the dawn broke and I was lying on the pressing table.
There was a wedding function where the lady had to attend and she wanted me to stick around for the whole day today. I was very much afraid of the heated iron anvil rubbing my body to make me straight and wrinkle-free. It was my first experience of being raped by a hot metal. I was scared what would happen to me if the metal was too hot and burnt my body with patches and holes, I’d die the very moment.
She gently sprayed a cloud of steam over me and I got mushy all over the place. She slowly started rubbing the hot metal on my body and my body was getting stiff and straight. After few strokes back and forth, she took me up and wrapped me around her. She was feeling so proud in introducing me to other friends of her and that made me smile. My curves were enhancing hers and we were being flooded with compliments from all over.
What else could I expect from my life? The happy moments went on and on as long as she found a new Blouse Piece better than me. She grew fatter in years and I was no more a complimenting clothing to her. She had to get rid of me and one day and I was passed on to an old lady who’d come to sell aluminium utensils. In my last days of life, she took care of me because she didn’t care about her personality, behavior or attitude, society or culture, but she needed a piece of cloth that covered her body and I just served her very purpose. I had defined my identity now when I served this old lady and that is why I decided to be a piece of cloth rather than a blouse, or bed sheet or curtains. They have a life in an isolated place called home, but a piece of cloth like me, can serve anybody anywhere and you are still not a wasted material.