About ten days ago, I had put the following update as my FB status: "I find a most peculiar practice in Chennai - women wearing their nighties all over the place - from strolling around the apartment complex to supermarkets. I understand it maybe on grounds of comfort clothing - but nightie? really?!!"
The numerous comments that followed that update made me realise that not only is this a pan Indian phenomenon, it has crossed Indian borders into Bangladesh and even gone as far as the U.S.of A! Women across Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kanpur...all seem to favour the nightie as their preferred item of clothing.
Need to pop downstairs quickly to buy veggies from the the bhajiwala? No sweat! Just throw on some lipstick to brighten your face and run down in your nightie. Surprised? Don't be! I'm told that women in Bhopal do it all the time.
In Bangalore? Not sure if you're nightie shows you up in good light? Set your mind at rest. Just grab your bath towel and drape it over your shoulder and you're all set for a visit to the local super market.
Expecting guests for lunch and don't know what to wear? Relax. Throw on your nightie - a casual and welcoming look if any. Draw the line at appearing in front of guests in the clothes you wore last night? There is a remedy. Bathe and exchange that nightie for a fresh one. You would be emulating our sisters in Bangladesh and Kerala.
Want to step out for an evening stroll with your better half? No problem, put on your nightie and set off. If its good enough for the women of Sunnyvale, USA, its good enough for us desis!
So you see, the nightie is really a versatile item of clothing.There is no need to turn up your nose or point the finger of scorn at women who wear this wonderful garment, even in the most unexpected of places. In fact, let us join them and make it a movement. Let us demand that nightie be included as part of the dress code in offices. Team a well washed nightie with hawaii chappals, and watch your confidence soar. I'm sure you can 'climb every mountain and cross every stream' - but be sure to hitch up that nightie to your ankle lest it get wet or trip you up!!
PS: This post is written in jest. No disrespect is meant to those who wear nighties. I believe and advocate that women should wear what they like and feel comfortable in. I'm an inveterate nightie wearer myself - although I have not yet found the courage to wear them in the public domain.