My elder daughter, hence forth referred to as Eldau, bought some lovely babyish kurtas, so cute that I would have gladly traded my hard earned silver on my head for the coal on any ones head and the mounds of gradually accumulated fat for a flat as a washing board tummy! She wore one of them with an old pair of tailor stitched pajamas and the ill fitting pajamas promptly made a churrr… sound and tore. It seemed as if the pajamas had decided to give me a hint of how the fitting ought to have been. It looked as if a triangular piece of cloth was missing!
A churidar pajama is a piece of art as well as science and if one saw the making of it one would marvel at the ingenuity of the person who first invented it. If I were a churidar wearing person, I would take off my hat, if I wore or owned one, and salute the guy or the gal who invented it. As it is, I do admire that person every time I see a churidar or think about it, which is about once in two years, but considering my age, it would make it about 27 times in my life, give or take 2 or 3, since I probably admired nothing but myself and my mom as a baby and young child.
A churidar is all about diagonals. Nowhere else would diagonals hold such pride of place other than in pipings (these are stuff found on the edges of necks in blouses and kurtas.) as they do in a churidar. A churidar pajama is an almost skin tight thing and it fits so beautifully only because of the elasticity accorded by the cloth cut and stitched diagonally. If the cloth had not been cut diagonally, no power on this earth could have succeeded in putting a pair of legs in the pajamas.
Well, when the pajamas gave way, Eldau handed them to me to mend. I am the mom of Eldau as you may have guessed and moms cannot be moms unless they do stuff for their kids even if the kids are post doctoral research scholars or themselves moms or even grandmoms. So, I promptly offered to not only mend the pajamas but also stitch another pair for her.
The cutting and stitching of a churidar is something that the best minds cannot remember without a draft. I am an old and forgetful person and without the required draft. All I remembered was the diagonals and the stitching of a bag. One has to make an envelope kind of thing and stitch a funny bag first so that the legs come all diagonally and hence elastic and there is no wastage of cloth. As I have already told you it’s an amazing art or science depending on which amazes you more. Or if voodoo amazes you better then it is a piece of superb voodoo.
When I decide to do something I always do it. That’s why I never decide to do anything worthwhile but only mundane stuff like pajamas. So here I was trying my hand at churidars on the sole basis of diagonals and no wastage formula. But the bag was an elusive thing so I decided to use my imagination and cut the pajamas thinking I was cutting them out of a bag and imagining where what would join. Believe me , I did not waste a cm of cloth! I imagined and cut and stitched and the pajamas are ready to be delivered. I am as proud of myself as a peahen. The only thing is that no peahen has ever had to possibly contend herself with fitting her Eldau into any pajamas, churidar or otherwise, in the long history of peahenhood.
I am all on tenterhooks till the Eldau says, ‘yeyyyyyyy,( or more likely, yubbyyyyyy…) they fitted.’ It would be extremely amazing if they fitted her and extremely amazingly hilarious if they did not! Anyway, I have mended her old pajamas and added the missing triangle piece of cloth that the tailor had forgotten. Now, that sure is some consolation. Wish me luck please. Tomorrow the Elsil( also known as elder son in law) comes and collects them for my Eldau.
Note: You could also wish Eldau luck, less for getting into the pajamas and more for managing to successfully get out of them. Don’t they say.’ the proof of pajamas is more in getting out of them than in getting into them?’ Or was it something about a pudding?
A guide to Hindi words:
Churidar= tight fitting pajamas worn in India and Pakistan
Kurta= shirt, here it refers to one worn with salwars and pajamas
Salwar= kind of trousers worn in India and Pakistan