A Visit to the Tailor… Not my cup of tea

via Daily Prompt: Tailor

tailor 2

“Yes“, the tailor, a man in his late fifties, looked up, over the bi-focal glasses, as I pushed open the glass door to his world, a little uncertainly.

“I have a material. I need to stich a salwar -kameez (Indian dress with a long top and trousers) and I need it by this Thursday for Diwali“, I almost pleaded.

It was the festival season. All the tailors were busy around the festival season and  “NO” was the expected answer, if the delivery was expected in less than 14 days. I had avoided the popular ones and entered the side-lanes hoping for a tailor, any tailor who wouldn’t be as occupied. I had experienced that impatient frown, disbelieving eyes, knitted brows, where the tailor hadn’t even bothered to respond and had looked at me like I had lost my head making a request like that, a few years ago. I had stepped out of the shop then, promising myself that I would never put myself into a position like this, where I had to put up with tailors calling the shots. “Who did they think they were?”. But here I was again.” Old habits die hard”, they say, not without reason.

“Yes”, he replied again, allowing me to heave a sigh of relief. I had had heard more than a lecture from my husband who was now waiting in the car, on how I needed to avoid doing things at the last minute, how it created unnecessary stress, how there was no parking, how he had given up his afternoon nap for this…

I lay the material on the table- top. “How do you want it stitched?”.


Looking straight at him, with clarity I replied, ” I want the kurta (top) short and the trousers in Patiala  (loose with pleats) style”. That was the new rage and even if one did not have the perfect figure,  it still made one look graceful.

Lifting the material for the trousers, he measured it with  the measuring tape that dangled around his neck. “It can’t be done. There’s not enough material”, he passed the final judgement, expressionless.

“Is there absolutely no way? You could reduce the number of pleats or the width. There must be some way…”, I trailed.



“You can make a churidhar (tight trousers which are long so they crease around the ankles) or parallels (straight trousers like western pants). Which do you prefer?”

I had never been good at making impromptu decisions on matters that were not based on facts or figures. “Parallels”, I mumbled since it seemed the closest to what I had in mind.

“Ok, stand straight”, he ordered He lifted the measuring tape to my shoulders and then from behind his ears, like a magician, pulled out a pencil to scribble the measurement on a little chit. “Arms. How long do you want your sleeves to be?”. Answering that wasn’t tough, “Full-length”, I said with no hesitation.

“Do you want it bell sleeves, or just straight and slightly loose around the wrist or do you want long churidhar sleeves, which crease around the wrist?” . “Long and loose around the wrist”, I whispered, almost hoping he didn’t hear me and did whatever he pleased. “He must have made hundreds of dresses like this”. “Why the hell was he asking me? Shouldn’t he have some idea what kind of sleeves go with a material like this. Isn’t he the expert?”, I pondered, a hint irritated.

neck designs

“Now for the neck, do you want a V-neck, a round neck, a square neck, a star, a boat neck or a closed neck or …?”. There seemed to be no ending to the volley of questions and choices being shot at me. Only a left-brained person would understand how stressful situations like these are.

That’s when hubby dear came to my rescue. “Round neck”, he said with not an iota of doubt, as he stepped into the shop. It felt like I had just been pulled out of quick-sand. Grateful for his intervention,  I looked up with renewed strength and utmost relief. “Is it done?”.

“How deep should the neck be? 1 inch, 1 and a half, 2..?”, he ignored my question. “3”, I said, loud and clear, hiding the impatience and lack of competence in the matter. “3!”, he repeated incredulously. “Isn’t it too deep?”. Damn! I felt my cheeks turning red and covering up the embarrassment, with all the dignity I could muster, I replied, “2. Make it 2 inches”.

“The kameez (top), do you want it knee length or above the knees?”.

“Above the knees”.

“Straight or flair? There’s no material for Anarkali”. “Straight”, I said without a second thought. That was an easy one, I mused.

How much above the knees- is this ok?”, he held the measuring tape over my knees. “Yes“, I responded. Anything to end this session was welcome.

“Now, for the salwar (pants)”

“Parallels “, I interrupted. Surely, there couldn’t be any more questions to parallel trousers. They obviously had to be long, a little below my ankle and they had to be loose because for heaven’s sake, they were PARALLELS.

“Do you want it to be side-buttoned at the waist, front-buttoned or do you wish to have the string to tie it?”.

“Side”, I answered, totally exhausted with the quizzing.

“So, when will it be ready?”, I asked thrilled that the viva voce had finally ended.

“You wanted it by this Thursday. It will be ready on Wednesday night”, he replied, not bothering to look up as he continued with cutting the material that he was working on, before my entrance.

There was no reason to complain. I was getting my dress on Wednesday night.  Like they say, “No pain. No gain”.

How did the dress turn out?

The dress was ready to be picked up at 9.00 p.m. on Wednesday night, just like he had promised which is a great thing because like everybody knows, lawyers are liars and tailors never keep their word when it comes to the dead-line (at-least that’s true for tailors that I have had the luck of dealing with). The dress itself was perfect and it got a lot of compliments.

Do I want to do it again?  “NO WAY!”.

Will I do it again? Who knows? (given my fetish for doing things at the last moment and if my deep need for compliments far exceeds the trauma I experience at the tailor) Maybe“.


Copyright©, 2017. lifeateacher.wordpress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Thanks for reading.If you like this post, you can check out some of my favorite posts by clicking on the links below:

My BYOB List 1- My favorite Posts

My BYOB List 2 – My Favorite Poems




12 responses to “A Visit to the Tailor… Not my cup of tea”

  1. Manja Mexi Mexcessive Avatar

    Ha! Happy end! I bet you get a little flustered each time you read this account. 😀 Sounds incredibly life-sucking out of me to me too. But stick to this guy! (I know, this is an old post. Who knows where he is now.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Lol…I try and avoid tailors as much as I can😀. It’s good to know you feel the same too…You guessed right- who knows where he is now. I’ve left the country and here in India I haven’t ventured out.😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I started a business and I didn’t even know – Eúnoia Avatar

    […] dresses tailored – I had written all about my dilemma at the tailor’s in a older post A Visit to the Tailor… Not my cup of tea . If you read this, you’ll understand my […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. viewsofpreethib Avatar

    This happens with me too 😛 gosh….. too many options and its quite confusing…. 😛 And I am very particular about the length of the split too. 😛 So, its tough to explain and get dress switched according to your preference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Ha ha…I know it’s quite a nightmare😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bhavana Avatar

    Omg🙄…all that queries…..visit to tailor is like unprepared interview….
    Nice post Smitha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks Bhavana. I wonder, is it only with me or is it because I go so blank, the poor tailors have to ask 🙂


      1. Bhavana Avatar

        I guess it happenes with everyone. 😔Mind get confused seeing so many choices & options .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          You’re a kind person Bhavana😊


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks Umaima😊


      1. umaima12 Avatar

        Most welcome 😊

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply. I love comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: