Retro is Back
From Nehru jackets, Fab India kurtas, and a brief flirtation with a monogrammed suit, India moved to mufflers. Much has been made of Arvind Kejriwal’s mufflers. So much, in fact, that the astute man turned it into an advantage. He found a way around the Supreme Court ruling that chief ministers cannot feature in ads –he got himself shot from the back wearing his trademark muffler and pullover, while promoting AAP’s odd-even drive. However, that look is so yesterday. Fashion pundits are bubbling with new predictions. Here goes:
The Reserve Bank of India Look: Who knew that when Harvard unceremoniously kicked current BJP member Subramanian Swamy out of its faculty for a terribly vicious article on India’s minorities a few years ago, he would be bitter, twisted and jealous of every other Indian who taught in the West. He barked about RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and accused him of being ‘mentally not fully Indian’. This, of course, led to many frothy giggles on social media because it is a truth universally acknowledged that Swamy is, erm, fully mental.
After a month or so of being barked at non-stop, Rajan has finally mopped Swamy’s spittle off his face with a towel and thrown in the germ-encrusted towel as well. He has decided to go back to the world of academia in Chicago – India’s loss is America’s gain. I promise this: if any Indian whines about brain drain again, I’ll tell him to blame the BJP. I suspect the Dear Leader did not ignore Swamy possibly because Rajan has never worn saffron underwear, carried a trident or celebrated riots with champagne.
And so, the age of sharp suits and classy ties are over in the RBI, sigh. The retro look will be back. Men will mainly sport safari suits, possibly nondescript beige, dull grey or boring khaki (I must point out here that I could have said Boring Beige, Gloomy Grey and Khadoos Khaki instead but, heck, I don’t wish to be associated with juvenile alliteration-holics who rename old UPA schemes for the BJP). Facial hair speckled with bits of stale upma and poha will be back too, of course. For women, it is traditional Indian wear. Shiny bangles that jingle louder than all the coins in the mint. And, I’m guessing, man-hole sized bindis like Sushma Swaraj’s.
The Hindu Sena Look: Prepare yourselves for a dramatic makeover of the Hindu Sena if Donald Trump does indeed become president of the United States of America. Yes, those charming men who celebrated Trump’s 70th birthday in New Delhi with silly party hats, lovingly fed cake (eggless, I bet) to his picture and hailed him as the saviour of bigotry (well, they said humanity, but we know what Sanghis really mean). They will rush to beauty parlours and get henna jobs so they can sport orange hair just like their beloved saviour.
Fashion Runway Look: So what if the NIFT Act of 2006 says, “the chairperson of the statutory body under the Ministry of Textiles is expected to be an eminent academic, scientist or technologist or professional to be nominated by the Visitor of the institute, who is the President of India”? A former cricketer, Chetan Chauhan, has been hired instead – reward for his unshakeable loyalty to the BJP. Fashion pundits are wondering whether India will go back to the good old crisp cotton whites from the days when Chauhan was a cricket star or today’s stretchy blue track pants and sweatshirts. Fancy helmets, caps and other headgear will probably be in as well, so men too can look like female members of Britain’s royal family and perhaps, just perhaps, Hindu right-wing goons will exchange their ancient tridents for cricket bats. Work just as well in the maiming and killing department, you know.