Sunday, 13 July 2008

Uptightji

What type of garment do you wear to bed?

Depending on which part of the world you are coming from, I’m sure the answer would vary. Talking specifically of India, if you are a man and coming from the southern part of India, chances are you would wear an old dhoti and singlet to bed. A variation to this nocturnal sartorial ensemble could be a lungi and a half-sleeve ‘banian’. If you are from North India, a set of soft kurta-pyjamas could be your night dress. If you are a lady, probably you change into a loose and comfortable nightie before retiring for the night or maybe a worn-out top and skirt.

To see what is the common thread running through all these different attire, one needs only look at the adjectives used to describe nightwear generally: Soft, Comfortable, Old, Loose... all attesting to a certain high degree of informality, relaxation, and cosiness.

Introducing Uptightji.

A deeply religious person and a strict vegetarian, Uptightji followed an unfailing routine every day. Once he reached home in the evening from office, he took a shower and with the wet towel wrapped round his waist, lit a lamp at the small shrine by his bedside. Then leaving the upper torso bare, he changed into a dhoti and lounged about the apartment reading the newspaper or watching TV till bedtime, the epitome of informality and relaxation.

The transformation took place just before bedtime when Uptightji changed again, this time into a pair of trousers. The trousers were obviously old but stitched at a time when the waist size of Uptightji was at least an inch smaller than what it was now and he had to literally hold his breath and pull in his stomach before the waist of the trousers could be brought together and buttoned properly.

When quizzed about this strange behaviour, Uptightji once explained to me that he was horrified at the thought of someone finding him in an undignified posture while sleeping. For a moment, the thought of Uptightji sleeping in a dhoti and carelessly turning over in his sleep with the dhoti astray and exposing his crown jewels almost made me double up with laughter.

But I controlled myself just in time. Uptightji was several years elder to me and a very nice human being and would have been deeply hurt if he thought I was laughing at him.

6 comments:

Vijay said...

lol.. can understand his fear.. one of my uncles (who now wears pyjamas).. apparently he used to sleep in a lungi.. except that one day he got up and started walking without realizing that the lungi was still "in bed" :-)

padmaja said...

Wearing a pair of tight trousers to bed!!! That's so weird!!!!

Rada said...

Vijay: As we all know, the lungi is a trecherous garment! :-)

Padmaja: Yes. Weird indeed. But then, we all have our eccentricities, I guess! :-)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

(tries to resist and cant help herself) ..maybe he expected to see someone hot in his dreams la la

(Ok you can shoot me)

Rada said...

Cyn,

You perv!

To be honest, such unholy thoughts did cross my mind too at that time! :-)

Arun said...

rads, wht abt his mysterious finger signs in the air and too much crossing the legs when harichettan narrates some imaginary shady exploits yes? -bisque

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.