Dress Code - A Fictitious Story
Pimmi Aunty Rocks! Ever since we have shifted to this neighbourhood, this middle-aged couple has extended their generous help to us. We have become one big family. And, no matter the age difference between me and aunty, we are best of friends.
That day when uncle passed away aunty wailed bitterly alone. We had gone to console her. Seeing her wretched condition I felt so bad for her.
“How will aunty live all alone?” I couldn’t fathom.
And, the very next moment, when crowds had gathered and asked for the body to be taken for the funeral, Pimmi aunty sternly refused.
“His body will be donated to science.”
As soon as she dropped the bombshell the deluge of derogatory remarks started. It was nauseating. No matter how the people tried to convince her otherwise they couldn’t melt her ‘adamant’ and ‘modern’ heart.
From the very next day, she went back to her daily routine. On her morning jogging, way to the market and everywhere she went she raised eyebrows. She even didn’t miss occasions and festivals. Despite people’s scathing attacks, she was always her buoyant self.
“I’m not wearing the typical white bland saree and carrying a lacklustre, hapless face,” Aunty explained it to me.
But I feel happy that she is still colourful. Wearing a variety of colourful attires, and just not saree, she becomes the star attraction. Her affability is magnetic and she effortlessly appeals to all, especially to those who are willing to transform their lives.
“Oye Pritam! Chal! Let’s go to this wedding.”
“But they don’t know me.”
“Doesn’t matter. Let’s go and have some fun.”
And, so we go to a lavish wedding to be held in a resort in the city’s outskirt. She drives to the spot and startles everyone there.
“Pimmi, tu bilkul na badli.” (you haven’t changed) Comes someone’s observation. Is it a taunt or a sincere remark? I cannot understand.
Someone pecks my cheeks. Someone detects I am too obese for my age. However, I don’t mind, all because of my darling aunt’s fun lessons.
Then, we come across a young lady, around 30 years, clad in a white dress. She appears glum too. Puzzled, aunty immediately goes to her to alleviate her mood. Maybe she is a widow like her, but she has fallen into the world’s weird trap!
“Oye! What happened? Such a function only demands jovial faces.”
“But I am scared of gatherings.”
Aunty becomes serious. She has read between the lines. She has sniffed out her problem.
“I was a child then. In a bright colourful frock, I was eating ice cream at a function. A man cajoled me to go with her and…”
The girl starts sobbing. Recollecting the horrific past is frightening. I am having goosebumps as she is narrating her tale.
“And, from that day I hate colours, especially dresses.”
“Oye! This is not the solution to your problem. I cognise you have gone through terrible trauma as a child. However, the past is over. In fact, you should exercise your experience to help children fight such monsters. Besides, whether you are sad or happy doesn’t affect anyone, except yourself. Why should you stop living? You can also not erase the colours from the world around you. Stop feeding yourself pains. Don’t let someone else steal your colours. Instead, brush off, dress up, decorate yourself and boost your self-confidence. Go, girl!”
She smiles, maybe after a long time.
It is soothing to see her run towards her room like a child, change into a colourful dress, and come back. The nightmare is gone from her entire being in some seconds!
We have a gala time with our new friend. We dance, make merry and create some memorable moments.
While returning, Pimmi aunty tells me,
“Oye Pritam! Remember to be colourful always. The dress is just an alibi. You are way beyond that. Never let your heart be chained by society. And, once you are set, you can sprinkle colours of love, joy and, most importantly hope, to everyone around you. Remember, we all are painters till our last breath. ”
“Yes, aunty, I will certainly apply it throughout my life,” I promise wholeheartedly.