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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clothes maketh the best man

One advantage of getting married is that I get to do a lot of shopping. I detest shopping...but scouting markets is an experience I tuly relish. I was in Baroda recently, looking for stuff for my fiance when I stepped upon the concept of packaged shopping. We were at Bob Tailors at Alkapuri. Bob started off as a local darzi who would tailor suits and sherwanis for men. Slowly, his clientele expanded to other parts of Gujarat and even to Gujaratis in New Jersey and London. Bob isn't Catholic. He hails from Jamnagar and speaks English with a slight Gujarati accent. In his low-waist tight blue jeans, fitted T-shirt, designer belt and Adidas sneakers, spiked-haired Bob tries hard to project the image of a cool-dude designer who is at home with an audience that ranges from Mumbai to Manhattan. Bob showed me pictures of clothes he had designed for NRI weweddings in New York and London. In most pictures, the attires of not just the couples also the entire baaraat were carefully coordinated. Bob said, "NRIs have many foreigner friends who don't stock up Indian outfits. So we do a whole batch bf 20-25 uniform outfits for all the grooms friends and relatives so that, in the pictures, only the couple stand out. We make a killing in December. But here in Baroda, we do only the groom's outfits. People here like to invest in their own wedding clothes. They all want to stand out." Bob's right. Baaraatis in uniforms would rob Indian weddings of all the colour.

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