Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Blouse Piece Transactions

Whats a Blouse Piece ?

In India, a blouse is a cloth thats worn inside a saree. It is supposed to cover the chest and some part of the shoulders and arms ( apparently the only way fashion designers can introduce any sort of fashion in this thing called saree is by setting arbitrarily varying lengths for the blouse in the arm region).

A blouse piece is a raw piece of cloth that is unstitched. Women take this piece of cloth and stich it to their respective sizes.

Whats the deal with the Blouse piece?

Now in India we have something called "Ladies Sentiments" ( All plural even if it just refers to 1 lady and 1 sentiment). When women in India visit houses of other women, a blouse piece is given as a gift to the guest before she leaves. I have no idea why of all things it was decided that a blouse piece would be gifted to visiting guests. Lets say, there is a lady who is a complete stranger to the whole "Ladies Sentiments" thing and she visits someone's house in south India. How would she feel when the host gifts her and she opens the gift and find that its a blouse piece. What would she think? "Why this gift? Is there something wrong with the blouse I am wearing? Was it so bad that the host shuddered on looking my blouse and decided to jump out of the window buy a blouse piece and come and gift it to me?. Is the host being judgemental on me?"

What happens to these blouse pieces after they are gifted?

Now many caterpillars become butterflies, many boys become men. But the mutation of the blouse piece into an actual blouse is not that straightforward. The probability of a blouse piece becoming a blouse is 0.2. Thats right!! 2 out of every 10 blousepieces make it to the blouse level.

Think about Euros, Dollars, Rupees, Yen. Think about the CNBC advertisements where they show currency getting fastly printed and counted, people exchanging money rapidly in world business centers. You may not have heard of a currency called the blouse piece. This is the curency of south India. Statistics reveal that every minute of the day, 10 blouse pieces change hands. Women all over the world are travelling and exchanging blouse pieces rapidly.

When a blouse piece is receved as a gift, a lady decides what she has to do with it? If its of a color and material that she lacks at that moment, she will convert the blouse piece to an actual blouse (provided there are no further hitches in going and stitching it with a tailor). But this conversion is very rare considering that fact that she has around 500 blouse pieces stocked in her cup board. This is the reason why the blouse piece remains a blouse piece for a long time. The life cycle of many blouse pieces are codemned. They stagnate as gift items for over 5 to 6 years until they are gifted to poor people or domestic maids. There again their chances of continuing as gifts are still bright.

This very moment thousands and thousands of blouse pieces are gifted and regifted. When time comes to a standstill and the yellow sun becomes a red dwarf star ( I think there is no supernova in this solar system and I debated for 5 seconds on whether our sun will becomes red dwarf or white dwarf), when all human beings have become extinct like dinosaurs and a new species begins to inhabit the earth. They will find thousands and thousands of unstitched blouse pieces lying around in the southern parts of the Indian subcontinent. Imagine what would they make of it. If we judged dinosours based on fossils we found, what sort of judgement would they pass on human beings? Even worse, what if the fossils of dinosarous we are looking at is in reality some sort of dino blouse pieces and we completely understood dinosarous wrongly?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

reminds me of politicians' shawl..

Anonymous said...

The corresponding male equivalent is the 'shirt bit'. My dad's collection is enough to start the neighborhood store. If I had to guess, I think this is true of all males above age of 55 in South India. The infinite weddings, festivals etc are never ending source of these unstitched bits of cloth. These again are re-gifted.

War

Teju said...

what a blog....what a blog....

omilord!!! this is a great blend of imagination, awesome narration...and what not....

too too good...

you are simply the master :)

Dhivya said...

Here is my take on it need to be the general opinion

In order to safe gaurd a woman's dignity the Indian society demands all women to cover her chest and shoulder. A woman seen violating this is seen as fast, lewd, and cheap.

In order to honour a woman's dignity especially in the Tam community women gift other women a blouse piece.

I agree with the fact that conversion of a blouse piece to a blouse is rather low. And the blouse piece usually gets tranferred from one person to another until someone is desperately looking for that colour!!!

cheers

Dhivya

Anonymous said...

good one..but hadnt u already writtem something like this b4?

Anonymous said...

Why are you reposting an old blog????

Jinguchakka said...

You seriously think two generations after the present will wear blouses as their day-to-day attire? Already they are becoming passe. And when the world comes to its normal scheduled end, there won't be any. I seriously think, going by the trends, there won't be any dress at all after say 10 centuries!

anjali said...

another reason a blouse piece never gets converted to a blouse is because for some strange reason, the length is always a bit shorter than you need!

Nilu said...

anjali, may I have your number please?

am assuming yout tailor is an honest dude.

Anonymous said...

Even worse, what if the fossils of dinosarous we are looking at is in reality some sort of dino blouse pieces and we completely understood dinosarous wrongly?

What a deeply disturbing thought.... :(
I shudder to think of how wrong we might have been in understanding our universe!!!
If that Steven dude had come to India, he'd have featured "the blouse piece transactions" in Freakonomics

Anonymous said...

I sincerely think that you have run out of ideas... Whatever you wrote was a piece of junk! Considering that you used to write so good earlier, your blogs are beginning to get really really dull...!

tilotamma said...

what is this blouse piece nonsense. I don't live in India and don't ever wear a sari - still people insist on giving me one if I visit.

STOP, people!!

The Desi Nole said...

Hold on, have you not already posted this a year ago http://hawkeyeview.blogspot.com/2005/02/blouse-piece-transactions.html

Anonymous said...

One more voice to the general disapproving/bewildered chorus...why have you reposted an old blog? creative constipation? confidence that you could pass it off as a new one?

come on man, you are bigger than this...let's get the juices flowing and see further fresh evidence of your undoubted talents.

Hawkeye said...

karthik and others,

this is not the first time i am reposting old posts and neither is it the last time. I usually put "redux" on top - this time i just removed it after having it there initially.

i dont understand what the commotion is about. it is to find out what sort of opinions an old post evokes from new readers.

someone even claims that this is not as good as my old posts :-)

The Desi Nole said...

No commotion from here. I was just wondering...

And yes I understand the situation and when it is right, I repost my old ones too.

Always ! said...

This has continued to confuse me, they find it very mangalagaram to gift a blouse piece !

Deepa said...

tell me about it! And whats up with the half-yellow,half-black manjal that is always given along with the blouse piece!?

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