We’ve been doing a lot of travelling the last few days with more travel ahead of us so I’m a bit behind in blogging, however in spite of that, I’m not going to catch you up to date on this posting but rather talk about our last day in Khanna.
This day was special for two reasons: 1) We went shopping and 2) It was Sanford’s 66th birthday.
One of the biggest thrills for me now that I have lost a significant amount of weight is that I can fit into “normal” sized clothing. No longer a 3X plus but rather a size 16ish, a whole new shopping world has opened up. Over the past few years I have often gone to countries and noted a certain jacket or pant that the women would wear and would have liked to go and buy for myself, but it was never an option. Now it is and I have decided to take full advantage of that!! I have decided to purchase an Indian pant outfit known as a salwar kameez.
A salwar kameez is the second most common outfit worn by Indian women after the sari. This outfit is liked by Indian women for its comfort and ease of movement and requires little maintenance. A salwar is a pair of loose pants held together by an elastic or drawstring at the waist. The particular style I would get is a Patiala salwar which falls around the leg in innumerable pleats. The tunic is known as a kameez and can be either loose or tight-fitting and comes in a straight line or A-line shape. It is slit along the sides to allow freedom of movement. This outfit is made complete with a dupatta, a long piece of cloth to cover the bosom but mostly used like a scarf.
Besides the clothing we are also shopping for jewelry. Although I don’t often wear jewelry, I enjoy it. I have usually bought one piece from every country I visit. I have decided to buy a bracelet here. In addition, Sanford is buying me a ring. I told him I was leaving my ring from him at home as it was way too big at the moment and I didn’t want to take a chance on losing it and I wasn’t going to have it sized until the weight loss is complete. He volunteered to keep that finger covered by buying me a new ring. Who was I to refuse!
I’m really looking forward to the shopping experience because both the daughter-in-law at the villa and the next door neighbour’s daughter-in-law are taking us. It is nice to go with locals as they know the shops and the prices. As a foreigner it is often difficult to figure out what is real and what is not and also what a fair price is.
So off we went and the first stop was the tailor. It was decided that to get the best fit possible I should have my outfit custom made and we first ensured the tailor could get it done within the day as we were leaving the following morning. He agreed and took my measurements. Next it was time to shop for fabric. That was interesting. The market is filled with fabric shops and they were all packed at this time because there was a huge sale on. The daughters-in-law had their favourite shop and we worked our way in through the crowds. You don’t actually go through any of the material yourself. You sit on a bench on the floor and then on a stage area in front of you the salesmen stand in front of shelves stacked from floor to ceiling with fabric of every colour and texture. The fabric is in sets, enough fabric for the pant, tunic, and shawl. There are two men helping each client. One picking out the desired colours amongst the stacks and the second opening each parcel of fabric and spreading it out for display. It was a difficult choice but in the end I chose a yellow fabric with beading on the tunic and a pink shawl. The fabric cost $39.
The fabric purchased, it was time to go to the jewellers where I chose a gold ring and a bracelet with diamonds. Sanford surprised me and bought both items for me. Thank you Sanford!
Our last stop was back to the tailor’s to drop off the fabric. By now it is probably about 1:30 pm. Not a lot of time to sew a complete outfit. However when we went back about 5 hours later the outfit was complete!! The cost for sewing? $3!!
I wore my new outfit and new jewelry all evening for Sanford’s 66th birthday celebrations. Sanford had actually wanted to treat their entire family and extended family for a dinner out to thank them for their hospitality in addition to celebrating his birthday but instead they surprised him with a cake and encouraged us to eat at home. Many of the people we had spent time with during our stay came by to wish Sanford a happy birthday and to say their goodbyes.
It was a lovely day and a fitting end to a great stay!