Dress to kill

Please do not embarrass us is basically what the Ministry of Health seems to be trying to convey through the Roving Bandit.

Those of us who work in the ‘sector’ are familiar with the liberties some people take in the name of being non-conformist or anti-establishment. In India, the ‘kurta and jhola’ are standard NGO-wallah symbols. Add to that a stubble and open sandals – and you are sure to be known as a left-leaning intellectual. Sure enough, I have played to the stereotype, but it also helped that I had been wearing kurtas from long before I started working for Gram Vikas in Orissa.

I do agree that some people literally dress to kill. But then, I am also as vehemently in disagreement with over-dressing. For instance, I see men wearing suits and ties in the hot and humid Ghana. Sure, if I walk into their offices here even wearing a loose shirt and jeans, I would feel terribly under-dressed. However, it is official etiquette…wonder if they will ever be relaxed.
But there is hope – whenever anyone wears any local fabric, the official dress code vanishes. From colourful prints to over-sized gown-like attire…it is seriously casual, but smart. Much like the kurta-jhola look back home…


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