Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Ann's comment about Sudhir being handsome like a Movie Star reminded me of an incident we had on a Delta Flight to India.On our way back to India we boarded our return Flight at Atlanta---and the Stewardess received us warmly before doing a double take as soon as she saw Sudhir. She then escorted him to his Seat and as he seated himself,inquired very coyly with great warmth if he was an Indian Movie Star!!!I was enjoying the amusing interaction---because Sudhir was blushing furiously---turning purple with embarassment------the lady was gushing that he reminded her of Humphrey Bogart and continued giving him extra attention for the entire duration of the Flight!!To me it merely reiterated a point--that I had a very handsome husband--who himself had a very negative opinion about his own appearance!!
In India being fair complexioned means being beautiful---and since I inherited my maternal Grandma's milk white skin, people would exclaim over my skin tone.Till I put on weight I had a big nose which would get sidelined just because I was fair.The worst thing was when Sudhir himself would ask me as how I married him--seeing that I was so fair and he so dark!!He always referred to us together as "Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce"!!I am not fishing for Compliments when I say this but honestly between the two of us he had a much better facial Bone structure--and that's why he aged so well!!Like old Wine he matured into a very striking individual who somehow never really realised just how elegant and charismatic he actually was!!He exuded a persona that was witty,charming and so very well dressed--without prejudice he was one of the more impeccably dressed Lawyers in the High Court!!
Outside the Courts
He was very particular about the Whiteness of his Shirts--and mostly wore double cuffed Dress Shirts with a winged collar to Court.His White Shirts and Bands contrasted dramatically with his Coal Black Coat---which was the deepest Black I've ever seen--buying all these at Brooks Brother or Menswear Shops in New York and Los Angeles.A friend of his once asked him in Court whether he rubbed a Charcoal Stick over his Coat to maintain the colour!!!People say that it is Women who take time to make up their minds--they should have been sent out with Sudhir---shopping for his Coats,Shirts and Pants was very tiring and time consuming!!Besides he had very definite views about what really looked good on him--maybe that's why he never let me buy him anything---whatever I bought was either too dull or too loud--never exactly what he wanted!!
He belonged to a family that really loved Clothes--all of us are possessed of overflowing Closets!!When we got married in 1970, despite the hot,humid,sweltering Bombay Weather both he and his brother Milind loved wearing 3 piece Suits!!They'd leave the house dressed thus everyday for the Court--and change into their Black Coats and Gowns in the Office just before leaving for Court.The Weather did not deter him from wearing every conceivable Fabric for his Suits---there are many days I've spent bored out of my mind at Rao's--his Tailor's shop while he discussed the various Styles and Cuts as well as the various qualities of the Canvas used in those Coats---me and later both the Girls learnt to treat his Coats with respect--almost as if they were human--for if the canvas got crushed the fall and line of the Coat would be damaged!!So we crushed ourselves but made space for the Coats flung over the Seats---we'd all three iron out--but they wouldn't!!
If I was to sum him up I'd say that he was a very finicky dresser---who really planned the Outfits he wore meticulously and the care he took, showed!!He loved dressing up--and while I've given away his Shirts,Pants and Ties I still have a large Collection of his Coats----ranging from Tweeds to Linen----which I can't find in my heart to just give away.Sometimes I bury my nose in these to catch his scent--which unfortunately is fast fading away!!