I walk into the store… it is bustling like it is a weekend and the weather is awesome. The weather part is true but it is mid week. There are 3 festivals lined up, one from each big religion in India. A triple occasion to shop. And it is the season of sales, so every store has big black and red board proclaiming they are offering ‘up to 50 percent off’ where the first two words are almost invisible.

I stopped believing in sales a lot time ago. There is generally crappy stuff in the sale section, they never have my size and the prices aren’t that low anyway. Whatever I do end up picking would be those select few items not on sale.

But as I browsed through the vast selections in a huge mall today, I wondered why I couldn’t like anything on display. Not one single item from those hundreds of designs out there. Salwars, kurtas, kurtis (whatever be the difference), pants, shirts, tops, blouses and whatever other synonyms are there in every possible colour and frill. What I ended up picking was a plain white kurta. I didn’t even try it on.

It didn’t matter. Because, for some strange reason, I just don’t think anything looks good on me right now.

Is this a problem of self image? Or a problem with the clothes on display? My friend says it is the latter. That you really have to hunt for that one special piece of cloth in the hordes manufactured in bulk. That you need spend a lot of time on this and quick forays into the mall won’t help finding it.

Bangalore is a dry place for imaginative clothes. And they are expensive.

But I’ve lived here most of my life, and have even shopped here. And I’ve always been known for that eclectic dress sense… my work clothes tend to lean towards serviceable jeans and t shirts. I’m missing a sense of me with what I have. They seem so similar to what another hundred women on the street have and I suddenly have begun to wear it the same way that everyone else does.

Is that idea of uniqueness and difference only in the mind?

Clothes do not make or break someone. And for long durations I do not even care what I’m wearing. But sometimes, they reinforce your image of self… or the image you are trying to convey to someone else.

Why else would we dress formal for an interview or casual to a party?

I do not know if this is really linked to my sense of identity and the career changes I’m currently undergoing.

Or it could be just that I do not have the patience to hunt out that one single piece of cloth that fits and suits me.

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