I wanted to title this post as the name of a well-known Indian actor of English and Scottish ancestry. Good sense prevailed and I have given it a boring name. Humankind has survived the various ages: Ice Ages, Dark Ages, Iron Ages, etc (Don’t get technical on me and be pedantic of when humans existed and such; go with the flow). The one age, that I think we will not survive is Outr-age. Everybody gets upset about everything, nowadays. Fifty shades of grey, and every shade is outraged at the other 49. So, yeah, good sense has prevailed, and I am not going to mention the celebrity’s name.
I’ve lived at one place for 14 years. That’s about 32% of my life. Well, technically, 25%, because of those 14 years, I was living in London for 3 years. But, I had this place, even when I was living in London. So, your call @ 32% or 25%. London, plays an important part in this post. We’ll get to that soon enough. Of the rest of my 68% (or 75%, depending on how you have looked at it) I have changed homes at an average of 1 home per 3.33 years. Even when I was in London, for 3 years, I changed home twice. Perhaps the correct word would be house, but every place has been a home. So, again, #YouPrefer.
There’s a shop that sells clothes, just below the building I have lived for 14 years. Outside that shop works a young man with a sewing machine. He is a tailor, but not really. He alters. (Perhaps, now you know of the celebrity that I didn’t mention). And he knows me. Way back, when I came and started living in this neighbourhood, he was just a kid, who couldn’t stitch in a straight line. I know, because once, my Mom, told him how he wasn’t managing the tension, or the pull of the cloth, on the sewing machine. Unfortunately, that’s also the reason he remembers me.
Depending on whether I have taken care of myself, I have grown fat, and then, I have grown slim. (Well, not exactly slim but it sounds better than saying less-fat) Here’s the London context: I walked a lot in London, took the public transport, never owned a car. Which means that after I came back from London, all my trousers were loose. So a heap of trousers were laden on him: reduce by 1.5 inches, per trouser. Rs. 15 per trouser. I was back in India, slim and sexy. Even my once-upon-a-time double chin had merged and was a single chin. Good days. Then I bought a (lovely) car, didn’t walk, started eating junk food. Two years later, many trousers were heaped on his sewing machine again. Increase waist by 1.5 inches. Rs. 40 per trouser, this time. It’s been a while since that day. I am taking care of myself, eating well, doing some exercise (keyword being “some”) and am close to a waist like when I had returned from London. The trousers need some work again. Reduced waist, i.e. I am sure, he’ll say Rs. 100 per trouser. Inflation and all. I found a better way. It costs Rs. 5, to punch extra holes on your belt. There are more pleats on the trouser than I’d like, but hey, I saved Rs. 95 per trouser. I hardly tuck my shirt.
The guy from the pharmacy who’s been around before I came to live here, notices and asks if I am on a diet. The chai tapri fellow tells me I am looking good. The security guard at the ATM is concerned, asks me if I am well. I blushingly take all the compliments. They all have seen me for 14 years. The alter-fellow says not one word.
I was walking along the shops, the other day. I sensed he was looking at my waist, as I walked past the store.