When Kumar, our Indian driver, was taking me home from the Islamic Arts Museum, he told me that he would take us to Little India this weekend. "And madam, you should buy a sari!" "But what would I do with a sari?" I protested. "Sure, they are beautiful, but I would never wear it." I dismissed the idea. A sari? Ridiculous!
But on Sunday, Kumar was as good as his word. He picked us up and drove us to Little India, near KL City Center. This is the second time I've been to a Little India, having also gone to the one in Singapore. There are actually several Little India's in KL. There is also one in the Klang Valley, but this one is closer to our apartment.
Little India is bright and colorful, and LOUD. Indian pop music blares from almost every store. The sidewalks are crowded with Sunday shoppers, buying fruits and vegetables, spices, flowers and clothing. We pass a couple of sari shops, and Kumar looks at me expectantly. "Madam, would you like to go in and look?" but I resist. I know once I'm inside one of these shops, I'm a goner.
Finally, I give in, and you can guess what happens. Before I know it I'm placed in front of a mirror, and yards and yards of pink spangly fabric are whipped out in front of me. It really is pretty, how did they know pink is my favorite color?
First I put on a pink cotton skirt. The salesman cinches it tightly, too tightly I think, until I realize that it has to be tight for what follows. Then the sari fabric is wrapped around my waist firmly several times. THEN the salesman gathers the remaining fabric, from the point where it is wrapped around me to the point where the spangles start, into pleats about the width of his hand. He ends up with maybe 15 pleats, and THIS is tucked into the waistband of the pink skirt, which is why it has to be so tight. Then the remaining spangly part of the sari is draped over my shoulder, and wa-la! I am wearing a sari!
It's very pretty, but I feel a bit like Indian Barbie. I check the price. 165RM, divide it by 3 to get the price in US dollars.... And Kumar gets them to take 5RM off the price...and they add a pink Indian blouse and some bangles....and what if I DO get invited to an Indian wedding someday....or a Halloween party....oh, what the heck!
Kumar is very pleased. I don't really understand why he was so hell-bent on me buying a sari but the deed is done. I hope I DO wear it sometime. Maybe I'll start a trend in New Hampshire. Who I am kidding. It's hard enough there to find an excuse to wear a dress!