Missing style



It’s been more than 20 years since I have moved my base from Kerala to New Delhi. Now, as I toured through my home state, slowly one thing got convinced in my mind – that fashion or style is not something that got evolved in this place. It’s just exactly there where it was two decades ago.

My trip to Kerala began with Cochin (or Kochi as it’s called now). Cochin is a bigger city than Trivandrum, the capital and with the sea and the lake on one side and buildings on the other, while walking around the streets of this city, not even once I came across to someone who is stylishly dressed. Of course, by saying that I mean the kind of youngsters that we get to see in Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore. Everyone is casually dressed… young woman in salwar kameezes and men in jeans and tees or in somewhat formals. Even at night clubs (not that there are many here) I found shabbily dressed men and barely any girls (I had a look at the Ava Lounge at the Dream hotel) lounging around with arm around each other’s neck. Shopping malls too proved to be the same…

Trivandrum is even worse. Shabbier clothing and no style sensibilities appear to dominate. Baggy jeans seemed reluctant to make a retreat from this area and over sized shirts seem to be making a statement here for some reason. Style or fashion seems to be something that is a taboo with most youngsters’ minds. This is not just an observation. This is something that has come out whilst talking to a few youngsters and I was surprised when they said that they do not believe in “stylish’ clothes… when I asked them why no one had an answer… just that they didn’t care.

This surprised me. Wondered why in this state where there are more women than men, still there is no attempt to dress stylishly. Of course, style doesn’t mean just modern clothes. What I looked for was an overall appeal – well kept hair, nicely made clothes even if they are salwar kameezes or men’s outfits, nice shoes, etc – but that itself seemed to be abandoned. I wonder why…

Of course, I saw some beautifully dressed women too in their traditional Kerala saris – ivory saris with broad gold borders – and I thought no other state can beat this outfit in terms of traditional glamour and style. Sigh, atleast that part is still intact when it comes to style here!

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  • Sumit Bose

    I am inclined to recall the rousing speech (televised live by Doordarshan) by late PM Nasimha Rao during a crucial vote on a no-confidence motion and it did appear, then, that the government could fall; he ended the rousing speech with a statement that had me puzzled: “Ita na bhuliye, maine aap sab ko crorepati banaya hai”.
    It was only later it dawned on me that he had given at that time a “discretionary” budget of Rs 1 crore to each MP for “development” of their constituency. I am so pleased to note the MPs and now MLAs too, have imbibed the true spirit of the development mantra and are beginning with their own households. How better can one begin?

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  • HINDUSTANI

    WHY UP MLA DO NOT MOVE IN MARUTI 800 BEST AND CHEAP CAR IN WORLD , THEY ONLY WANTS TO SEE THE DEVELOPMENT , WHICH WE ALL KNOW , HOW MUCH % IT WILL IN LAST 60 % .
    JAY HO

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  • Logic RK

    Every elected member declares his asset, whether he has car or not.

    In case they dont have car, let them buy Comfortable Jeeps on Loan from Govt at 1% interest from his own salary, he can take his jeep anywhere but govt will pay only for diesel for this much per month as allowance.

    When he/she already has a car declared in his affidavit of election, the govt will pay him the standard depreciation as per Income Tax law at the end of his tenure + Allowance for diesel.

    Why to give them car , boss ? It will affect their self -respect.. !

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  • Ramesh Kumar

    WHERE DO YOU POSITION YOURSELF IN STANZA QUOTED FROM ‘MACBETH’.
    NO WONDER SHAKEASPEARE RIGHTLY COMMENTED,’ FRAILITY THY NAME ,O WOMAN.’
    COMMENT EXPECTED DEAR AUTHORESS.

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    Kushal Reply:

    I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean, Ramesh. Is there are problem with quoting Shakespeare?

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    Ramesh Kumar Reply:

    I have no problem of Great Shakespeare being quoted.All i had asked was in what phase ,do you find yourself.
    The state of mind depends on the attitude of a individual. With your permission i will quote Dr.Viktor Frankel,” every thing can be taken away from a man,except his attitude.”
    The kind of state you have mentioned in your blog is brought by a person herself.

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    Kushal Reply:

    What you’ve said is exactly what I wrote, Ramesh. “I’m feeling particularly cynical today.”

  • http://twitter.com/onsanjana Sanjana S

    I woke up early this morning. At 3am. Couldn’t sleep so I turned to my iPad for comfort. Tried to watch some shows, but, fortuitously enough, none of the links were working. So I decided to read one of the iBooks in my collection. Great Expectations.
    That poor wretched boy, born into that wretched life, so confused, so scared and so hungry all the time… that poor prisoner who escaped into the freezing cold, with chains on his legs and dressed in rags with nothing to keep him warm, no food nor drink…
    When it turned light, I looked outside to a beautiful wintry morning sky, able to appreciate its beauty cos I was warm, inside an insulated house, cocooned in a blanket and a cup of hot tea in my hand. Counting my blessings came easy today. :)

    Hope you feel better.

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    Kushal Reply:

    Oh, this is just one of those futility of life phases that I go through every now and then, Sanjana. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but in the meantime, I’m wallowing.

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    Sanjana S Reply:

    Chocolate helps! The darker, the better! :)

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    Kushal Reply:

    Hahahaha!

    Nutella is my poison.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kanikadhupar Kanika Dhupar

    I am becoming this person who is not affected with murder, rapes, kidnappings etc. We wait for murders to our page 1 now, so yes, journalism makes you cynical (and emotionless). As for Indian men, they have some serious anger management issues and they are the reason behind most of our page-ones. The big-bloated ego’s are good-for-nothing.

    I sum how wonder, am I doing any good by editing all this **** each day or just getting more cynical each day?

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    Kushal Reply:

    Yes, I know. It becomes a story.

    Dunno how this helps except perhaps brings justice to SOME victims.

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    Abhiroop Reply:

    How else are we supposed to know about ‘things’? Doordarshan? BBC? Amar Chitra Katha?

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  • NSG

    well said …..

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  • Deepak

    Well said – Indian leaders and leadership is full of BS – nothing moves em. If India wants to be respected as a Leader it needs to take care of its own dirty laundry. Take lesson from israel and US – clinical attacks are the way forward, provided leaders understand the word “Clinical”

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  • ad

    And what when you turn a blind eye toward activities Jihadists aka Pakis? Gandhism will not stand up against rabid dogs. The only solution is to cull them …all

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  • BVSat

    Love for your eye will leave you blind and the other guy with sight. Sounds fun? Take your Gandhian logic somewhere else. Won’t apply these days.

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  • Magoma

    It is the task of the Government to respond. And if you have a Government, consisting of lawyers and politicians with unpatriotic attitude, ridden with Himalayan corruption led by not an original person from the land who would have some nationalistic feelings, this is to be expected. It is a tragedy that such a Govt is ruling for 10 years with the help of corrupt people and parties coming to power by hook or by crook. Still there are parties like SP who believes that organizations like SIMI is not a bad organization. When we have half of the voters BPL, what can a democracy do in this land.

    Unless there is regeneration of the nation through intense education including moral and ethical according to the teachings and message of Swami Vivekananda, there is not very much of of a quick improvement of the present situation.

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  • MMR

    Bull Shit. Tell this to the Americans and Israelis. They will tell you how they got Osama to the hell where he belongs. That is the only language these animals will understand. Grow up you are dealing with barbarians who deserve no mercy.

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  • himalaya

    Not only USA, even China and Israel silently knock off high value enemies in other countries that attack their countries. Chanakya neeti also favours such covert operations; but present day Indian leaders are so timid.

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  • Dr.RAJ

    if only some follow what ever you say, then it is the non-violent who would go blind while the rogues will rule the world.

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  • Oglipogli

    “Badle se badla nahi jaayega, Badla to barbadi hi laayega”…!!!

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    Pakorachai Reply:

    Well said….I shall come and f**k your mother. No “badla” ofcourse because it will take you to barbaadi.

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  • Prakash

    Vir, covert action against who? Pakistan military? Isn’t that a war?

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  • koushikgrs

    whenever thereis a fight between 2 children in the class they may beat each other, but they will never go ask their parent’s permission for retaliation this is
    simple ,let our goverment not complicate matters when pakistan has dared to
    kill our fouji naujawan , we shall not keep quite no waiting,,let’s not think of consquence,it is this conquence that is creating fear in our leader’s mind not
    prompting for action, enough is enough Pakistan should be taught a bloody
    lesson of their life.

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  • Sameer

    Pigs deserves only shit…not fruits.. they never understand the value of our big heart.

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  • Mr. India

    Take out Hafiz, things will change on the ground soon.

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  • Raj

    Vir, Did Nira Radia dictate this story?

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  • johnD

    corrupt, discredited journos taking the easiest path to redeem themselves, “patriotism”, demonizing a fictional ‘enemy’ and war mongering!

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  • jagsharma

    Stop all trade with Pak and close the Bagga Border. No more cricket matches with Pak.

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  • Bharat

    Good analysis, Mr. Sanghvi. It is so sad that no humiliation, no matter how severe, stirs our leaders. Even the public would protest for a few days and then get back to focusing on their own interests. Nationalistic fervor is all but dead..woh kehtey hain na..”khoon paani ho gaya hai”. You are absolutely right about them only huffing and puffing..it is really very sad and unfortunate. Some of the comments (here) on using Gandhian approach are the most ridiculous ..they have their heads stuck in sand for the past 6 decades. How many eyes do they have to sacrifice before they become totally blind..more than two? ..there was the parliament attack, several bombings in cities, attack on Akshardhaam, 26/11, and on and on… Kab tak saho ge?

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  • piyush

    very true

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  • Sumit Bose

    Zia Mian, what could possibly be your motive for this mataam over community based voting?
    It has been on ever since independence from the Brits.
    Can you please explain why the Muslim League, that was primarily responsible for not only partitioning the country, but its “branch” in Pakistan, was responsible for the largest extirpation of humans perhaps since the dawn of history of civilizations; yet in Kerala , in two muslim majority districts always in unbroken succession has sent in ONLY Muslim League candidates.
    The interesting fact is that for nearly 15 years the MP from that district was one Banatwala, a Gujarati convert who spoke no Malayalam!
    There was absoloutely no “security” issues for the muslims of that district, rather the few Hindus and Christians were the ones to subjected to brutal insecurity. there.
    The quintessence is that Muslims will ONLY vote for Muslims, barring a few exceptions.
    This coming elections are going to be very interesting, because, the usually fragmented Hindus are appearing to coalesce into a voting block, and that puts up all the alarm flags for the political parties that thought had their calculations as reliable as mathematical formulas..
    This event, if it does occur even marginally, totally emasculates and subsumes the Muslim block vote, and that is very troubling to this Mian,

    The tap of preferential dollops the Muslim community has been inured to would run dry.

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  • engrich

    Muzaffarnagar riot was engineered by SP/ Azam khan
    submit any proof.otherwise accept that lie is staple food of you jansanghis.

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    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Bhaiyye,
    bahut dinon ke baad aaye ho. What kind of proof you want. just let me know. I will GIVE YOU THAT PROOF.

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