Dress Your Age

At the Sari Shop

We’re at the night market. I’m with my Indian colleague and one of his friends, an eloquent man of about 70 who lives in Bangladesh but self identifies as a British Indian. He’s simply charming, regaling us with stories of his life in academia and development work. We’re buying sarees, me for myself, the men for their wives. I ask to see a brilliant purple piece of silk with gold embroidered flowers. I’m oohing and ahhing and admiring. The elderly gentleman clears his throat and speaks.

“I think this is a bit, ahem, gaudy. Perhaps more appropriate for a young girl of 18 or 20. Wouldn’t you prefer something more elegant?”

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