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KIRAN BEDI

Do you ever wear sarees?Kiran_big.jpg (7153 bytes)

My clothes are completely utilitarian. They should cover
me, allow me to run or sprint if required and leave my
hands free. They are not attractive or glamorous, but
then, they are for me and not for others. They are a
personal statement of convenience.



I never wear sarees. By doing so I'm not making any statement, either for or
against sarees. It's just that a saree is not part of my dress habits. Just as
skirts, minis or skimpy tops are not. I can't wear something to please somebody or by compulsion. My clothes are completely utilitarian. They are decent and pleasant for me. They are not attractive or glamorous. But then, they are for me and not for others. They are a personal statement of convenience.

My clothes are dictated by my needs, of which the primary one is to cover myself. This is why I normally wear full-sleeved pathan suits and jackets; I wear half sleeves only as part of my uniform. My other requirements are that I should be able to carry my clothes with the least effort and they should allow me to run or sprint if required. Besides, both my work and my attitude warrant that my hands be free all the time. Some people could find all these attributes in a saree, so they wear sarees. I don't.

I also find unnecessary accessories very bothersome because I want to save time at work. This is why I never carry handbags. The wide pockets of my pathan suits or uniform carry my handkerchief, pen, credit cards and whatever else that I need to keep handy.

My clothes also indicate how I feel about myself. I believe I should not be a distraction to people. So I can't wear anything which might make people stare at me. My clothes not only have to be simple, strong colours are ruled out, too.

What you wear depends on what you want to highlight. For instance, while the saree doesn't change, the kind of blouse a woman wears is a choice she makes. Take Indira Gandhi. Her blouses always slipped into her sarees and she was as comfortable and dignified in a saree as you can imagine. If she
occasionally wore sleeveless blouses, especially during her overseas visits, it may have been to highlight her physical attributes without undermining her professional abilities.

In any case, I don't think femininity is about showing your body; it cannot be restricted to purely physical dimensions. For me, it is all about being a complete woman, about showing the woman in you with all her traits and not just an outward appearance.

Ultimately, dress habits are a reflection of one's beliefs, values, attitudes and lifestyle. When we dress up for social events, we want to look good, attract the attention of people around us and make them notice us. This is on a physical level. If consumerism is your priority, then you dress for that purpose. Your dress style also indicates your state of mind. For instance, I think today's fashions are those of a confused youth, reflective of their state of mind. If you are simple, consistent and not hypocritical, your dress habits will convey the message. I continue to wear one kind of dress as it meets my need and have not felt the need to change my pathan suits for anything else.

Anju Govil

Courtesy:
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