Tuesday, April 13

The Changing Uni-form

The other day I was amusingly dressing up A Junior in his first ever school uniform(which is very vibrant with a bright yellow shirt and navy blue shorts and red collars and pockets), and I couldn’t help feeling nostalgic and going down the memory lane, remembering the very essential part of our school: our school uniform.

The first sign of identification that one looks out for to comprehend which school you belong to is your uniform. During our time there wasn’t much experimentation with colours and our uniforms looked very bland and boring. The colour was a strange shade of brown; girls wore a frock which had a belt around the waist, while guys had a shirt and shorts of the same colour. Secondary students wore a maroon coloured tie.

The school norms for beautiful mehndi designs on hands, girls showing off their stylishly cut tresses in pony tails or better still leaving them open, and the length of the frocks getting dangerously above the knees were not very strict, hence it was fun to watch the college years already descending upon some of us. Also, it added some spice to the tasteless rag that we had to wear every day.

Passing out of school I felt that uniforms had finally left my life for good. In Junior college I breathed a sigh of relief when I wasn’t forced to don the same washed and rewashed clothes again and again the whole week. I had the freedom to choose from the countless dresses that I had lying around in my closet and which were crying out to be worn! But my joy was short-lived, to say the least.

When I was an engg student we again (!) had a uniform (can you believe it!): white shirt and blue jeans. The specifications were very clear; both guys and girls had to wear a buttoned shirt (for girls the expected length of the shirt was well below the waist) and a decent pair of jeans (meaning no holes in them and no threads hanging out of anywhere).

The crowd of any college being an ensemble of students from varied backgrounds, geographical locations and level of financial conditions, these criteria were obviously very rarely met. The fact that these ‘uniformed’ people were now adults and had a rebellious quality that was ready to show itself at all times became a hindrance in regulating them. So yet again, the uniform became a fashion statement.

Looking back, I feel they weren’t that bad either. It’d have been a punishment to decide every night what to pick out for the next day and get the selected dress in order, not to mention the accessories and embellishments to go with it. Now, when A complains that I take a hell lot of time to decide on what to wear and almost empty my whole closet to find what best suits my mood, I feel I could actually make do with a uniform for going out with my husband!

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