Joined: 20 April 2012
The life in a village is very different from life in a city. The everyday attire is influenced by culture, convenience, comfort, availability, and price and of course public opinion.
For example, shirt and trousers may be a very convenient and comfortable dress for a woman who works in a factory or in super market in a city. But for a woman who works in fields in a village, a loose and long cloth covering full body, with dupatta or pallu is perfect work wear. There are many reasons.
- The more they cover body, it gives more protection against sun(Sorry. No sunscreen), insect bites, unwanted looks from people.
- Can use the extra part of the clothes(like pallu), to fan when its hot, to cover when it drizzles, to cover the body while nursing baby(many women carry young babies to fields), carry home wild fruits or seeds(women make a small pouch with the cloth around the waist). Sometimes they fold a part of the cloth and keep on head and then carry heavy stuff on head.
- Another import factor is, lack of sanitation facilities. There are practically no toilets near their workplace and home may be quite away. In that situation, women are left with no choice other than using open air. A sari or long skirt helps a lot to preserve their modesty.
Then we have to also consider the availability and affordability of clothes. There are so many women who had never stepped out of their village. Going to a city for shopping is totally out of question. Women wear what they get in their village. A cloth seller may come once in a while with a bundle of clothes and people buy from him. If the cloth requires stitching they go to the village tailor. Tailors will stich it the way they know! That's the reality of life.
Suppose, that a woman got new type of dress(something which they don't wear in that place) as gift from somebody. She wears the new dress on a special occasion. That might surely give her the ever lasting title of being too headstrong..This is especially true for unmarried/widowed/abandoned woman. Some people in the society perceives the new type of dress as a green signal to take more liberty with the woman. It is sad but true that these people interpret the change in attire as a willingness of the woman to stand apart(in a bad way), be different, open to new advances, an invitation to break conventional barriers etc. Normally family members will be against their woman dressing in a different way that is simply to avoid embarrassment and future troubles. So for somebody to attempt to try new attire, they need a valid reason or a very good motivation. Without a reason or desire, why to change style of dressing and get into trouble!!
In Anandi's case, Singh family is rich enought to buy any cloth and Anandi doesn't work in fields. So technically speaking, she can wear anything she likes. But look at Dadisa, Sugna, Gehna, etc, they are all wearing traditional clothes. They have been like that from childhood, because, simply that's the norm. Anandi is not beauty conscious. She is into serious things. Even if she is like Sanchi, and if we imagine she had a fascination for modern clothes, when she could have changed her style of dressing?
-She came to Sings as a balika vadhu. Dadisa dictated her what to wear. She reluctantly followed it. There is no chance she could wear anything different.
-Then she stayed with her parent for a few years. Will Anandi's parents would have allowed her to wear modern clothes. I'm sure, Bhago would have given Anandi a super lecture on how not to upset her in-laws.
-She came back to Jaitser. As a young bahu where was a chance to even try a different dress? Dadisa would have eaten her alive!!
-She went to Mumbai for honeymoon. There she wore Salwar-suits and she didn't cover her head. She didn't have a problem wearing that there.
-Jagya went away for studies. When husband is not around, which girl in a village in their right senses will switch to new type of clothes!!
-Then Jagya left Anandi and married Gauri. Is it an appropriate time to change Anandi's dress style? No way. That would be like giving ammunition to people to talk bad about her.
-Jaitser became a district and collector sab arrived. How would it have been, if Anandi started wearing new types of clothes when eligible bachelor Collector Sab started working in Jaitser. But please note that she didn't have problem wearing sport shoes!! Bhairon gifted it and Dadisa insisted. So she had no problem in wearing shoes for morning jog.
- Anandi got engaged. Imagine, after seeing Shiv's mom and choti mom, Anandi discarding her gagras and switching to sari without pallu covering head. People would be really amused!! Please note she didn't have any problem wearing Sari for Shiv's birthday. But she couldn't do it daily.
If Anandi really wanted to dress bit modern, she could have done it, same way, she stood for the Dayan lady when everybody in the village was against her. When Anandi stands against the society, it is for a great cause in which she believes and which is her priority. Probably trying different types of clothes, may be the least priority thing in Anandi's mind. Why to fight for a cause which anyway doesn't matter.
After marriage, Anandi might try some different clothes, depends on the place and situation, if she or her loved ones feels it is necessary. She will be in a better position to take a decision. It won't be a big deal.
Sorry. It is a long post. Actually, I want to get this thing out of my mind. Have been wondering for sometime, why people think Anandi's style of dressing is entirely a matter of her choice...
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