Friday, March 05, 2004

Do clothes make a man?

I boarded a passenger train from Madurai to Tuticorin on a hot sunday afternoon. Unfortunately it was the day of a political meeting and the train was crowded beyond imagination. I was struggling with a handful of luggages and saw this moron sleeping in the luggage rack. I shook him and told that luggage rack is not meant for sleeping and asked him to move. He shouted back at me that it was none of my business. I was really pissed off and shouted back. Now I am normally very self effacing, call it cowardly, when facing a crowd, so it was unnatural of me to do such thing. My mother who was with me was shocked at my anger I should say.

The interesting thing was, after my outburst, this guy looked at me strangely and moved over without a murmur. After dumping my luggages I was thinking what prompted him to go silent. Then it came to me, I was clad in a veshti (dhoti) like other party workers in the trains, that was it, he must have thought me as one more politico.

A little more thinking led me to asking myself " Did I shout back because I was wearing a dhoti, would I have reacted the same way if I was in my trousers?". Do clothes make a man?