Oxygen for my soul

Impromptu plans with friends provide a breather amidst life’s crushing pressure.

The other day, I was supposed to meet two of my friends for shopping. One among us took the meeting time a little too seriously. She was there on the dot. Frantically, she kept calling us as two of us were travelling together. My travel buddy kept reassuring the restless one that we were just about to reach. Actually, we were far from the destination. What a smirk she had each time, thinking she had narrated a convincing tale! I sat and wondered how much was being bought of what she sold that day.

A collection of blouses

Oh, by the way, did I tell you what prompted us to shove aside our work and arrange for an almost impromptu coming-together that afternoon? The pursuit of some perfectly-fitted, voguish good-to-go-with-almost-anything blouses. Yes, you read that clean. A blouse is an upper garment that accompanies and complements the traditional Indian garment called the saree.

The mentor knew which style, pattern, colour...texture..for...which kind of saree

The urge, I believe, had emerged due to one friend’s lined-up wedding invitations and family occasions and the other one’s expertise about the garment. In addition, the latter’s unwavering claim in fetching the best ones at the least prices. An irresistible temptation for sure! Anyways, I was just happy to be there.

The hunt began with a distraction. Spontaneous window shoppers that women are! Our eyes kept roving from bed linens, kidswear, gothic-dress, purses to accessories. In fact, it required a reprimand from the mentor to get us back to our mission.

The first shop. A lady flaunting a bust-decoding air about her welcomed us. Her forthright glances seemed to have the accuracy of a measuring tape. In no time, two stacks of blouses were placed in front of us. Both my friends and I plunged into the task at hand. Aware of the furtive glances of the seemingly coy, middle-aged man behind the cash counter, we kept sieving through the heap. All the while, holding on to every word uttered by the mentor.

Indeed this friend, whom I have named the mentor, is a natural. She knows which style, pattern, colour or even texture would align with which kind of saree. We couldn’t help but drool over her skill set. After a good deal of prompt advice and a great deal of deliberation, my friend fished out two blouses. I held on to a single piece. However, there was a valid takeaway. It busted my preconceived notion that style comes with a high price tag.

The second shop. A more promising and professional one. Here we had an inconspicuous make-shift trial room. Our happiness knew no bounds. Again, the mentor confidently stepped in. Here, not only guiding us in making the prudent choice but also playing peek-a-boo to approve of the right fit. Meanwhile, I came across a blouse. The present trend of a ‘cold-shoulder’. Keeping up with its rather bizarre name, was its look. As if chunks of fabric had been ripped off from its two sides! Ouch, …apologies to those who took it to heart.

My friend ended up buying three. I stood like a defeated warrior, miserably failing to select even one. Didn’t matter. Made a ludicrous discovery. Price and fabric used (in metres) are inversely proportional to each other.

Contended and consumed, we settled down for tall glasses of iced tea and grilled sandwiches at a quaint tea-shop, sandwiched between rows of blouse-peddling stores. What followed was filterless fun! We merrily gorged on the food as well as the conversation.

I had a great time that day. Such little packets of delightful moments act as oxygen in my life. Interestingly, the instant I experience a shortness of breath, life presents me with one more such packet. Amazing. Isn’t it?

By: Promita Banerjee Nag

This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.


  1. True..n friends are ppl who keep d child in us Alive

    1. Absolutely Shreela. All the crazy things that we do with our friends! Wonder, what would life be without them!


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