I never imagined even in my wildest dreams the humble dhoti would hit the headlines and become a topic of discussion among Chennaiites. However the dhoti is a kind of unifying force among the four corners of the country with only the style of wearing being different. The Chenniite wraps his veshti tightly around his waist, wears a belt to keep it in place but the priest at the temple needs no such ‘band’ to hold his panchkatchham because the style of wearing it itself facilitates free movement apart from adding dignity to the wearer. Talking about dignity, Chenniites irrespective of their age and occasion have taken to wearing panchakatchham to keep pace with changing fashions and my husband I found is no exception. He wears it to the manner born and feels very proud when people notice his attire and ask him who is his ‘mentor’
As an answer he whispers the name of the shop from where he has picked it up. Long live the no longer humble and old fashioned panchakatchham which is paired with an equally elegant looking jibba. Can women lag behind ? Certainly not as they too can keep up pace with their counterparts , that is, if they choose to!
n.meera raghavendra rao