Just a year ago, the word “fashion” coupled with the name “Harish Alagappa” would usually lead to a few raised eyebrows and an uneasy silence which would eventually be punctuated with the highly obvious statement that they’re not meant for each other, i.e. I can never be fashionable and no-one in fashion would ever be associated with me. To say that there exists a Wolfgang Pauli-esque Exclusion Principle applicable to fashion and Alagappa that states, “It is impossible for anything in fashion and anything to do with Alagappa to exist simultaneously in the same quantum and/or classical (macro) state”, would make a lot of sense and result in you being held maybe not in the highest of regard by your associate social contemporaries, but in some elevation; perhaps as “Someone to look out for. He/She/It speaketh the truth”.
But fashion has a way of infiltrating my life which would make the Kargil Invasion look like the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Invasion. It’s not as loud, (though I’ll admit, like the Kubrick film, there are quite a few semi-evolved simians involved) which is why it took me by complete surprise. 2007 is the year of Fashion Proliferation. This post documents how a guy on whom bookies would’ve refused to accept bets for a “Least Fashionable Man Alive” contest, suddenly found himself surrounded by fashion in the matter of a year.
My tryst with fashion has always been a strange one. It is said that it’s tough to say who’s fashionable and who’s not in an Indian school (thanks to uniforms). But I was the guy in school who famously:
- Wore the dirtiest pair of canvas shoes on a sports day where he was supposed to lead the house in a parade. They were green, as opposed to white, and hadn’t been cleaned in nearly 5 months, if not more.
- Never wore his collar button. Ever.
- Could never be trusted to look “decent” before any occasion. I always had to report half-an-hour before anything in school so that the organizers could make me go from “shabby” to “passable”. I hated those thirty minutes.
- Worst tie-knot. Ever. And if the proper position for it was taken to be the origin, my tie knot was usually located at 1.5-2 cms in the +ve X-direction and 3.5-4 cms in the –ve Y-direction.
- Bethany High has a pretty strict sense of fashion discipline. I was never caught. Why? I was with the fashion police. (Prefects, etc.) That was my teachers’ only solution. Part of the problem became part of the cure.
to be continued…