Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I succumbed to straps

I finally succumbed to noodle straps. No, not the Mandira Bedi variety, but the ones that clothe our windows. The strap curtains, the kind you just buy off the shelf and hang up in a jiffy. No curtain rings, no visits to the tailor, no fuss. I always hated them, or maybe hated is too strong a word, I just didn't like them. I think one of the reasons was that they suddenly sprouted all over the place, in every shop and in every suburban flat. Reds, yellos, purples, India suddenly seemed to be in the grip of a colour riot. Plains, checks, textured finish, matching with bedspreads, cushions. Single people, bachelors, newly marrieds, they were all buying them en masse on Saturdays at malls and voila, their house, bought on a home loan, the EMIs paid by their salaries, was suddenly a home.
To me it meant no exclusivity. It was like a mass production line, and everyone had the same. Like tomato sauce or Maggi or sugar. Except, a home wasn't meant to be that, it was meant to be a reflection of your personality, a statement of your individuality, and each room and window was a chance to express your mood.
To me they spelt convenience, and a short cut. Somehow, I was always used to the regular, stitched curtains. You go to the shop, select the upholstery, measure your windows and then have the curtains stitched. Call it some sort of snobbery if you will but I think it has more to do with being house proud. With wanting to make that extra effort for your home, go that extra mile.
That was Delhi.
This is Mumbai. Here, when you have to shift homes in less than a month and you need curtains asap, and you're working, there is really hardly any time to go scouting for curtains, not to mention the patience required for it. And honestly, at some point you just give up. There are so many other, more important jobs to be done, and something's gotta give. And stitched curtains are far more expensive as well. In a rented home, do you really want to spend that kind of money, especially if you are moving every year?
So in my case, the curtains bore the brunt of the compromise. Off we went to Fabindia and after a first, unsuccessful trip -- both of us don't like the strap curtains -- we finally came to terms with them. So we picked a typical strappy curtain, in a textured beige, for the TV room, and a non strappy - Fabindia has a new variety which slides into the road but look Ma, no straps -- red, half sheer for our room. I like the colour, it makes the room look really cheerful, but hey I miss my regular, stitched curtains.