Chennai Walks – The “nighty” life

Amma and I have been walking in the nearby park at Kamakoti Nagar, almost everyday. I have a huge issue with how the park is maintained … its permanently in a state of disarray. The earth is turned out, no grass is allowed to grow. There are cows and stray dogs and their poop all over the place. Just the walking path is cleaned up everyday so its much nicer to walk inside the park, rather than walking on the streets, where you have two wheelers zipping past from all directions ! There are very few people who walk. The last few times that we have stayed in Chennai, we found walkers only at the Marina. Otherwise most people just zip through the city on a two-wheeler of their choice.

A week back I spotted the first lady walking in a “nighty”. I cringed, like I always do when I see any lady wearing a “nighty” outside the house. I have nothing against wearing the “nighty” at night, but unfortunately in TamilNadu and Telangana I have seen the “nighty” being an all day, all event dress ! I am sad that women from the land that has amazing Chettinadu, Kanchi, Manamedu, Coimbatore, Sungudi and several other Cotton saris to wear, choose to wear a shapeless “nighty”. I saw the same lady a day later dropping her child, driving a car, in a “nighty”. Then I see several other women going everywhere and doing all their work in a “nighty”.

Yes, its comfortable to wear…at night, but right through the day ?? I was told by a dear friend that nighties are seen at temples too ! Thank God I don’t visit temples because I might not keep mum and I most certainly will get into trouble with any lady who walks into a temple in a nighty. I am not impinging on anyone’s freedom to wear anything, but I am simply trying to appeal to a woman’s basic need to look good. Wear a salwar suit or track pants when you step out to walk and for doing your errands, please slip on a salwar suit, if its too difficult to drape a sari. Just as you have a set of nighties, you can keep a set of salwar suits for wearing at home. Why, you could even wear long skirts, but stepping out in a nighty is just doing yourselves a disservice.

The day after Sankranthi, Vasundhara aunty (96 years young) came home (Gurgaon) to wish us and I hadn’t yet changed out of my nighty so I rushed to change into a sari and aunty said “how does it matter? its just me”. But I would not open the door to a guest in a nighty ! It doesn’t matter what “dress” I wear, but it will certainly not be a nighty. For all her advanced age, aunty still turns out neatly dressed for her daily walk -not once have I seen her in a nighty …. and she has all the excuses in the world to spend her entire day in a nighty at 96.

This post is not meant to offend anyone nor am I trying to dictate what anyone should wear. I am presenting my point of view and I certainly wish women present themselves well at all times and a nighty is meant for the night, period. My personal nightmare would be when the nighty becomes accepted as an office wear .. Oh God !!

1 thought on “Chennai Walks – The “nighty” life”

  1. So true Bindu – but it’s not any differetn for men unfortunately. Men here come out in pajamas, and not the nice, crisply starched ones – you can tell they’ve been sleeping in them. And more horrifying is the trend wear boxers as outerwear – really! D you not realize you’re walking around in your underwear!

    I think we’re taking casual dressing too far. Gone are the days when people turned out in nicely ironed clothes. Jeans and shorts are the order of the day. But I absolutely agree – nightwear and inner wear should stay at home


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