Uniforms and Dysfunctional Laundry


The school was a big quadrilateral, and the assembly ground in between. During monsoon, the corners would be filled with water where student made paper boats. All this before they filled the ground with interlocks. This was where I had to spend the last two years of my schooling. My best friend and I, we used stand right at the beginning of one side, near the corner, and look down at the ground. We commented on the patterns they were making with interlocks, and the colours they’d used. How we both liked the smell of polish. How we cursed every time others occupied our place. How we laughed at people who tried to be like us.
My uniforms were like these big lohas. It was salwar kameez, but just the kameez was like a nighty only as long as below the knee. No slits, they said in the piece of paper which explained how to stitch your uniform. On top of the light blue and white checked kameez was the blue waistcoat. The same grayish blue as the salwar. The waistcoat could do a lot of repair to the kameez, but mine only enhanced the weird look. It was short, and lacked the pockets it was supposed to have. It looked, weirdly enough, at least a size larger than required. All this because the tailor who stitched my uniform didn’t know to stitch waistcoats. Thankfully, I had a pocket in my kameez – I cannot live without pockets.


My best friend’s tailor on the other hand, knew stitching. Her waistcoat was long, had pockets, and had a straight line at the end. While mine had 2 triangles facing down – the only thing my tailor had copied from the uniform diagram. We had to wear the white uniform not once, but twice a week. Extremely irritating especially when you’re in the school hostel, with a dysfunctional laundry service. But as if they cared, we were still held responsible if we were in the blue uniform due to shortage of the white uniform. I thankfully had 2 blue uniforms and 2 white ones, my mother was very farsighted you see. I had to wear blue shawl (my house colour) on Wednesdays and white shawl on Fridays, with the white set. More like the brown shawl, since it gets dirty so easily. Thankfully, they changed the Friday uniform to blue waistcoat with the white set, in my second year. Only, we then had to wash the waistcoat twice. Still better than washing that stupid white shawl.


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