Wednesday, May 17, 2006

New pinch

Yesterday, as I drove into the parking lot of the community recreation center (CRC) where my fitness class is located, I saw that it was rather crowded. The reason became apparent when I noticed a whole bunch of costumed kids. Some performance had just gotten over at the theatre in the CRC. The kids were mostly little girls - probably between ages five and eight. Most were dressed in cute costumes of various colors.

My eyes fell upon one little girl wearing an extremely frilly, pink- colored short frock which flared below the waist. As she hopped and skipped her way over to her friend, I could see her looking down checking out her cute frock every so often. And everytime she looked at the frock, her face would light up with happiness and pride.

I could SO totally empathise with what she was feeling. I was once there. One of my all-time favorite snaps was taken in Nainital. My sis and I were about 8 and 6 years old then. We both are sitting on a stone parapet at the edge of the road with mom and dad seated on either side of us. Behind us is a stunning backdrop of mountains and just below the parapet, on the other side, a lush green valley is falling away from the edge. But neither me nor my sister are looking at the scenery. We are not looking at the camera either. Instead, our attention is completely, entirely, focussed on our feet. You see, we both were wearing new slippers bought especially for the vacation. And our favorite activity then was admiring our new footwear :-)!

Getting new clothes/new footwear used to be quite an event when I was small. There had to be some occassion for new clothes - typically, birthday, diwali, pongal (if we got lucky), a close relative's wedding (if we got luckier) and a summer dress or two. Footwear typically got replaced only when the older ones got completely worn out.

So, whenever I wore new clothes, it was an occassion. The clothes would invariably have been chosen by me with lots of care. Before getting to actually wear the dress, I would have admired it in the cupboard several times. As the day to actually wear the dress approached, anticipation would build up and the excitement would be almost too much to bear.

When D-day finally arrived, it was time to go and flaunt the new clothes before everyone. Also get "new pinch" from peers. And of course, cast stealthy looks at the clothes myself from time to time and sigh in satisfaction. Oh yes, I know what exactly the little girl in the pink frock was thinking last evening.

Nowadays, of course, wearing new clothes or new footwear is no longer a special event. I don't restrict myself to buying new clothes only for some specific occassion. I buy clothes when, hmm, let me see: there is a sale or I am bored or I am happy or as a cheer-me-up or for no reason whatsoever or oh, because summer/winter/spring/fall is here. So wearing new clothes has almost completely lost its charm. Only very rarely do I even notice the new footwear or the wearing-it-for-the-first-time top. While it is very nice to have a big closet filled with clothes and shoes, I think I have lost something in the process.

Isn't it true - we appreciate nice events which happen ocassionally a lot more than nice events which happen all the time?


Prabhu said...

Wow! If nice events happen all the time, dont know if we will be able to cherish.
Gooing ga-ga about new stuff - been there myself. My cousin is still in my bad books for pouring 'paayasam' accidentally on my diwali shirt.
New pinch - and u forgot the no back pinch :)

Ahhh, maranthutten - blog 'nalla irukku'.

Thanu said...

This is so true... the amount of new clothes we buy, new is not so special anymore...

Things are only special when they happen in rarity.

Archana Bahuguna said...

Your post has reminded me that there used to be something as a "new pinch" (even an "old pinch" remember? :-)). I dont even remember when I last "new pinch"ed someone ... maybe when I was less than half of my current age :-)

I agree with what you say. Now ever since we have started earning, we know we can get whatever we like whenever we like, it's not that much fun anymore. New clothes on a birthday would be something I would look forward to the whole year. That anticipation added to the fun.

Prasanna said...

When we were 5 somebody had to make us unhappy...cos all the time we were I guess somebody has to take extra efforts to make us happy...

Saranya Kishore said...

Last line is totally true. I have wondered about it _all_ the time.

Nice things involve even going to a resaurant for dinner, having icecream, buying favorite chocolate, choosing just one book to buy among the hundreds you would like to own, watching a new movie, apart from new clothes and new sandals. :) We got excited at a fancy pencil or pen or pencil box also at one point I suppose.

As we grow up our priorities change, I suppose. See now we get excited about an iPod, or HDTV, or a new car, or a new home! No? :)

T said...

I guess,
grass is always greener on the other side.
things are great only until the point where you cant get them easily.
things are always nice when you struggle for them and get them. adventurous life is always better than a easy life.

all the small stories taught to us when we were kids, like the one's where dad throws son's money into the fire and one fine day son jumps and grabs the money back( the day he made the money on his own) . all of them taught us the same thing in a very subliminal way.

you got me thinking... :-).

Rahul Obla said...

You got me thnking there..... and....I am still thinking ! :)

kuttichuvaru said...

aaha, u hav reminded me tat its been a long time since I got a new dress!! now its time for some shopping!!

madsies said...

"nice things" are so relative!
Now I wish I can just get up in the morning to c my parents :-)

Shilpa said...

Thats so true Arch !

I think as kids, getting a *new* dress was only during occasions and so we would just get so excited abt it.

As we grow older, its like just another dress unless there is something special about it.

But I still look forward to wearning new clothes esp if I really liked it.
Same rule for shoes and bags too :-P

Calm & Serene said...

Oh wow! How I identify with this post? In fact, there were some years when my Diwali and birthday dress were rolled into one, and I have cursed myself for being born so close to Diwali :)

True....I really miss that joy now!

Archana said...

Prabhu - lol :-)! I still haven't forgiven some friends/cousins for some childhood transgressions! Ah-ha - same pinch, no back pinch :-)! Nanri!

Thanu - so true!

Archana - hmm, haven't used this "old pinch". I think I last got a new pinch from my friend A about a year ago (yeah, we are still kids at heart ;-)). Soooo true! Birthday dresses used to be extra special because you were the only one who got to wear new clothes :-)!

Prasanna - yeah, it took so little to make us happy in those days!

Saranya - yeah, ipods make me drool now ;-)! I guess the charm of childhood lay in the fact that it was very easy to feel excited/happy/contented!

T - yup, I remember that story. Things which are hard-won will be treasured the most!

Rahul - done with the thinking ;-)?

Kutti - lol :-D!

Madsies - I wish too...

Shilpa - yeah I know - thats why used the word almost in the last but one paragraph :-).

Saumya - welcome aboard! Ah, Diwali and B'day dress rolled into one??? Poor you! I remember pitying all my friends/cousins who suffered the same fate!!