When we moved to India, we had so much stuff to pack – I decided that I would just take 3 of my jeans and rest I can always buy them here in India. I usually get my jeans from Gap because they fit me so well. So, after I got here one of the jeans started to develop a hole in the back pocket area. May be it’s the wash here that caused it so I decided it’s time to buy a new pair of jeans.
There is no Gap in India(yet). So, I went to one of the fancy store here which carries all the major brand names. I got a bunch of them I like and wanted to try them on. So, here is the thing. My jeans size is 32. I take pride(sometimes) that it has been 32 in the past 7 years or so. Anyhow, I was trying this fancy Levi’s jeans of size 32 and I couldn’t pull it up above my knees! I was surprised and checked the size – it was 32. So, I asked the sales guy that if he had given me a ladies jeans. Nope. So, he asked me to try the next size – 34. Now, this I couldn’t get it past my hips! Whoa, did I put on so much weight in India already? So, after thinking a lot about it I reluctantly asked for next size – 36. Now, I was really embarrassed. I couldn’t get this past my hips too. I almost cried in the changing room. I kinda got pissed off at the sales guy, may be he is playing a trick on me. Finally after swallowing a lot of pride I chose size 38 and dang, they fit me. But fit me in a sense, that it got past my hips, but the waist was so loose that I had to hold it with my hands.
Now, I have a theory about this. Please bear with me:
1. Indians somehow like the jeans which fit them tight. I mean really tight. I am not just talking about girls, even guys too. All the Indian jeans are kinda …. ummm….how do I say this without getting in trouble? Anyhow, all the Indian jeans are kinda tight in crotch area! That’s very true. Here we like it to keep our ‘stuff’ kinda warm and sweaty by wearing ostensibly tight jeans where the center of focus is ‘package area’. I don’t know why? Seriously. I hate to wear those jeans, neither here nor in US. It’s already so hot here and sweaty and itchy. Aw. Let’s not go there.
So, one of my conclusion is that those ‘clutch my crotch’ jeans don’t suit me well. So in order to get some air in there, I had to buy 38 size jeans. Well, you wouldn’t know that if you look at that jeans because out of utter shame I tore apart the label on the back of the jeans!
2. I believe, we Indians have wide hips and wide feet. I blame it on all the squatting, sitting, shitting we do. Everywhere people squat or just plain old sit on the floor. Not many Indians wear shoes unless they are going to an Interview. We wear a lot of chappals growing up and our feet can get out of limits. Also we do sit down or squat a lot. Chairs & furniture were luxury items pre-1990 era when the Indian markets opened up for Globalisation. So we all sit down and are happy about it. We are so happy about it that we invented our whole Yoga, Meditation system which wholly supports the sitting on the ground thing.
So, anyhow that was not the story. As I was having trouble to wear 38 size jeans, I decided to get the old torn Gap jeans fixed. I asked my sister and she told me there is a tailor nearby who can fix it. One day I went to “Hanuman Alterzations” to get my jeans fixed. There was a old man sitting a pile of clothes mostly jeans with his hand run sewing machine. Even before I explained to him the problem, he took a sharp knife and slit open the torn gap in my Gap jeans! This is a very smart trick which most Indian business people employ – making sure that you won’t go to other tailors, now that you see the work has already started here even before you spoke a word.
So, this guy told me that he will get it fixed in 3 days. I got busy with my work and I didn’t get a chance to go to him for next 2 weeks to collect my jeans. Finally one day I went to him. The conversation went like this:
Me: Hi, I gave my jeans couple of days back for alteration.
Tailor: Huh? Who are you?
Me: I gave my jeans to get a patch on my pocket place where it was torn?
Tailor: What color is the jeans?
Me: Blue, kinda faded blue.
He looks around, you won’t believe me – his room is filled with blue jeans and theres jeans stuck in every closet, corner. He is actually walking on top of some of them.
Tailor: When did you exactly give me the jeans?
Me: Ummm, about 2 weeks back(?)
Tailor: Was this before holidays?
Me: Yes ( I was horrified by now, because I was worried may be his son/he used it for the holidays?)
Tailor: Long time back. Let me see.
So, he starts his search and after 10 mins of search he finds it lying in a corner with some million jeans on top of it. I made a mental note to wash is before I wear these jeans.
I take the jeans and open it up to see the horrifying thing on the back of my jeans.
Me (completely disturbed by now): What? What is this patch you have here?
Tailor: It’s not a patch. It’s a label.
Me: But I asked you to patch it up with some blue & white thread.
Tailor: I did that, on top of that zig-zag I put in a label so that it looks good.
This guy had put a piece of cloth on the back of my jeans which says ‘Golden Star’. I was shocked and pissed.
Me: Why did you do that? I didn’t ask you to do it?
Tailor: It looks good with a label.
Me: I DON’T LIKE IT!
He was taken aback. I am guessing no one said anything like that to him before. He is kinda very popular ‘jeans alterzation’ guy in our area.
He looks squarely at my T-shirt and says –
Tailor: Well, I don’t like your T-shirt!
Tailor: You don’t like this label, then I don’t like your T-shirt
Me: That doesn’t make sense, both T-shirt and Jeans belong to me
He was very upset by now, he took that long, sharp knife which he used in the past and reached for my jeans. I knew that he is going to do something more bad this time and I hate pulling my jeans up every 30 secs in those 38 size jeans. So, I stopped him and decided to just take the jeans away from him.
Me: Ok, Ok. How much for this?
Tailor: (mutters something)..35Rs…(mutters again)
Now, that’s how I ended up with a jeans which has a patch on my bum which says ‘Golden Star’. Sangita calls me by that name whenever I wear it. When our friends Sarah, Lisa were here – they pretty much pulled my leg for it all those 10 days and called me Golden Star. They referred to it, whenever any sentence they uttered had a word ‘Gold’ or ‘Star’ in it. As for Sangita – she just calls me Golden star now. I am kinda used to it and sort of like it now. Here is a visual of my Golden Star.