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Sari for the trouble

The phone rang, shrill and raucous, breaking into me late evening reverie.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 22:42 IST

The phone rang, shrill and raucous, breaking into me late evening reverie. A suave male voice at the other end asked to speak to my wife. Neither relative nor friend, I was intrigued to know why this stranger (to me) wanted to speak to Sarla Gupta.

My wife took the call, recognition in her voice, several questions on my face. Thanking him profusely, she agreed to ‘be there’. A rendezvous, no less, I observed. Taking pity on my puzzlement, she offered to identify the caller. He was from Greenways Emporium. As a ‘privileged customer’, she had been invited by the store to be among the first to make her selection from an ‘exclusive range of saris and dress materials, just unpacked’. Such novel sales tactics usually spell doom for spouses like me, especially because these traders support their business on the strength of rapport with its clientele, ever ready to be impressed by marketing gimmicks.

As for women and saris, lesser said the better. No occasion is too insignificant to reward oneself with a new sari. Marriages, birthdays, anniversaries, even kitty parties, and of late, just impulse driven by a fleeting glimpse of some new exotic creation tantalisingly displayed at a bright shopwindow. My wife’s even broken into eloquent lyrics when gushing over just such a vision. “It was just out of the world. Exquisite in its colour combination, a texture so delightfully soft and luxuriant. The floral design set on pink had a lovely hint of shadow.

Above all, its classic elegance has the right accent for any occasion, casual or formal.” I got the picture. After a week of badgering I gave in. She was delighted and rushed off to buy her heart’s desire. Consider my bafflement when she returned empty-handed.

“Was it sold out?” I asked, relief tinged with sympathy. “Well, no. But it’s been so many days since I last saw it. It was still very much there in the display window, but looking miserable and gathering dust. So I figured out that if no one else wanted it, neither did I,” she explained, giving me a refreshingly new dimension to feminine logic.

Till the next sari throws up some other extraordinary insight into the wide world of women and their saris.

First Published: Mar 12, 2006 22:42 IST