The Screaming Closet

1

Creak, crack, burst and snap,

Screams my wardrobe, threatening to unwrap,

Numberless clothes stuffed into the bends,

Jeans spurting and tees stuffed into the ends.

“ Is this a garment factory ?” the closet pleads,

“ A shop for your greeds or an auction for proceeds ?

How can one person need so many clothes ?

Even if you wear a dozen, layer and superimpose.”

 

I smile sheepishly and try to reason,

For a woman needs attire for every season,

Western and ethnic, casual and formal,

All necessary, straightforward, and normal,

Work clothes, evening gowns and a night dress,

Scarves and accessories, but nothing excess.

 

“ Hahaha !” the wardrobe cackles in amusement,

“ You are serious and this, is your excusement !

Let me break this down, and make it simple to understand,

How about an impromptu Q and A in this garb(age) wonderland ?”

“ Oh sure, let the war begin,” I retort in reply,

“ I will burn you in this tete-a-tete and silence you into a tongue tie.”

 

“ Let’s start with the tops and tees; how many do you have and how many do you need ?

Coz they never seem to stop and only multiply and breed.”

“ Oh please !

You only tease,

A miscalculated notion,

Always blowing things out of proportion.”

“ True, I have tops of every hue and colour,

But would you rather I dress up pallid and duller,

One needs them in different prints, and fits – slim and loose,

And of course, in every fabric, collar and sleeve length I can choose.”

“ That’s balderdash, and you know it well,

Why do you need twenty-odd purple tops, pray tell ?”

“ As usual, you exaggerate,

They are not twenty, as you narrate,

And not just purple; but mauve, lavender, aubergine and lilac,

So do your homework properly,” I protest in a comeback.

 

“ Well, I may not know the palette a-b-c’s,

But I know you have a hundred tees,

And these you don’t even wear to work,

They lie there, staring, in every corner with a smirk.

And let me not spill the beans,

About your dozens of dresses and blue jeans,

Waiting to be worn on that elusive weekend,

Which you, in bed and torn shorts, most often spend.”

“ Oh my God, you’re funny !” I fake a laugh,

Thinking of an answer and escaping a gaffe.

“ You may joke, my dear, but a day may yet come,

When I can afford a vacation, or a weekend getaway, from my unspent income,

And then I shall wear these clothes proud,

Crop tees and distressed jeans, unbowed.

This, my lovely, is what I recommend,

Stock up on things that are in trend,

For you never know when you’ll find,

Those jeans – tattered, embroidered and boyfriend, ever redesigned.

And how do you know I might not go on a date ?

When that midnight blue dress I bought yesterday, would look great,

Or indulge in a trip to the park in that floral skirt,

Which, filtered into an Instagram pic, would never hurt.”

 

“ You are the queen of excuses, I bow in respect,

An amiable foe, in every aspect.

But let us now digress,

Look in the ethnic corner and reason a guess,

Why, after so many tops and trousers, do you want ?

These kurtas, kurtis and suits to flaunt,

And don’t even get me started on the bottoms,

Leggings, palazzos, pants and salwars in viscose and cottons.”

I close my eyes as I try to compose,

An argument to counter and propose,

“ Surely, you can’t only wear foreign brands,

And need to support the local artists in our lands,

Look a little desi, once in a while,

Wear a bindi with a coy smile.

And have you noticed, that Indian clothes make you look mature,

Taken more seriously at work, that’s for sure !

Do you think in western clothes I’d be heading,

To the family friend’s daughter’s wedding ?

Or to a prayer, meditation, bhajan or some such meeting,

In a tank top or shorts with a Namaste greeting ?”

 

As I see my wardrobe begin to lose ground,

And find my confidence rebound,

“ What’s with your matching obsession ?” I hear her squeak,

“ Matching coats, matching scarves and matching bags,” she speaks with tongue in cheek.

“ Well, with the garments come accessories,

And with them, I must fill my treasuries.

Wearing a black coat every time wouldn’t be proper,

For I’d dare not be known as a miserly shopper,

Nor would a brown bag go with every dress,

Not if you wear to impress.”

 

“ Can I ask you something,” the closet lifts up her head one last time,

“ Why am I filled with clothes, of all conceivable sizes of the size chart paradigm ?”

“ Oh you innocent fool !

I don’t mean to ridicule,

You know nothing of these clothes’ history,

And hence the perplexing mystery.

You see, Small are the clothes I wore in college,

And that they inspire you to lose weight, is common knowledge,

Medium are the clothes that carried me in masters,

And the best size I could dream to reach, claim the forecasters,

Large was the size I was, a few months back,

And I promise to reclaim it before you come up with a wisecrack,

Extra large is to accommodate the present girth,

And is flowy and comfortable, for all it’s worth.”

 

“ O Khaleesi, I cannot win this war !

There is truly, nothing, you can’t answer for,

And that I’m cramped for your need,

Is something I’m willing to concede,

But don’t you fret or stress,

And let not the sprees take a recess,

For I’m sure that in your house, you’ll find,

A family member’s closet, to raid, you mastermind,

And none, may dare, counter your claim,

You, the greatest guru of this game !”

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