Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vesti / Dhoti - not Lungi

This post is about a small incident happened during my train journey to my native place. The train route mapped from Mumbai to Kanyakumari had just reached Tamil Nadu border.

I got off the train at Salem station to buy some average good tea (you know how watery the train canteen tea would be). Of other few stalls on the platform, there was a stall which sells Tamil traditional Dhoti, which is in Tamil called "Vesti".
While entering the train, an elderly woman handed me ₹200 and requested, "Can you please help me buy the Lungi at the stall?".
She appears to be North Indian seeking my help with language to buy. "Why not", I replied. I cheked the stall and asked her "he has 3 different priced Dhotis; which one you like to buy?"
She said, "Whichever is fine, I just need the Lungi".

Being a South Indian I was happy to help this North Indian woman on buying our traditional Vesti (Dhoti) for her, might be for her husband. I got down the train, chose a good quality Dhoti in the middle price, and came back to train. She was happy, seeing which I was happy.

My knowledge sharing instinct insisted me in correcting her innocence on the Dhoti and Lungi. I started explaining, "Aunty, this is plain version, mostly white which is called Vesti in Tamil or generally Dhoti and not Lungi. This will be used formally, a public wear and has varied border line designs. Lungi is different, it's a casual wear in the South, not a public wear and has multiple patterned designs and colours within".

With a sarcastic smile she said, "thank you, this cloth is good to stitch my inner wear, and that's why I wanted this".

I nodded my head in slow motion and returned to my seat with no word said. I said to myself, "you deserve this" :) ;) :p