Dhoti TimesWednesday, June 27, 2012
Are Pranab Mukherjee's everyday dhotis paired with Uttoriyos or sadris a temporary phase or will we have an originally attired President?
Did you notice that ever since Pranab Mukherjee's name was suggested as the Presidential candidate by the UPA, he gave up his bandhgalas for pristine white dhotis? Read it like this: formal, stiff power suits for garments of ease and nativity. Odd? Perhaps, but it makes a curious, comfort-is-style story tucked away on the sidelines of what's playing out and on the nation's mind.
Yesterday, when he went to turn in his resignation to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Pranabdada wore a white dhoti-kurta with a flesh toned sadri (sleeveless jacket) over it, and white leather chappals (see pix). Today, he substituted the sadri too and his crisp white dhoti kurta with an Uttoriyo, a Bengali version of the gamcha or a stole around his neck. Pranabda didn't forget to change his chappals too, today (see pix) it is a neutral coloured pair in the Kolhapuri style but is not a Kolhapuri.
A sudden ease has crept into the former finance minister's manner and the steady refusal to touch his form-fitted, almost choking bandhgalas (mostly black) seems like a metaphor of release, also a time of getting into his skin. What else? One can hardly argue that a potential President can get away with casual ethnic dressing and a finance minister must be all suited and booted. Is this a temporary phase till Pranabda assumes the highest office and then outfits himself suitably? Given that he is the man who in all likelihood would be travelling the globe and shaking hands with world leaders, will he revert to the bandhgalas?
I will be clapping if he leaves actually those bandhgalas in his closets and makes the dhoti his formal Presidential garment.
A model walks the ramp in a Rimzim Dadu design during the WIFW 2012. Indian Express photo: Oinam Anand