* Those who taught me tailoring and life skills.

Recently, I wrote about body measurements & compared them to a saree blouse, & many of you appreciated it. Thanks.

I have no formal training in fashion or pattern making, & whatever little bit that I have learned is because of a few friends, tailors, a lot of books, several mistakes & endless practice. I continue to learn.

One such person from whom I learnt a few finer nuances of blouse cutting is Sanju, my then tailor {he passed away 13 years back due to illness :( }. I am referring to pre-MetaphorRacha days when I used to engage in custom-tailoring in Bengaluru.

Though Sanju had come to me as a helper, he quickly became a tailor & eventually a pattern master. Being intrigued by his understanding of form, shape, & proportions, I asked him from whom he had learnt his skills?

Hesitantly, he had replied - It's from his dad.

With further nudging, he had told me that his dad was a self-learnt tailor who made bralette tops & shorts for 'bar girl dancers' in the early 80s. Apparently, Sanju's dad made exquisite clothes, he would sit all alone in his room, stitch everything by hand, embellish them with various stones, glitters, & tassels, & no one at home was to touch his sacred work. The result - the scantily clad women never looked vulgar, & hence he had become popular amongst many bar girl dancers.

Everything had come to a grinding halt when bar dancing was banned. Sanju's dad was jobless overnight, & he could never fit into mainstream clothing.

I remember Sanju telling me, with a glint in his eyes, that his dad had become very spiritual. As in, he ventured into miniature hand-sewn clothes for gods & goddesses, with all the adoration. Initially, he catered to well-to-do families, & eventually, a few temples approached him to make clothes for their gods using semi-precious stones. Again, no one was to disturb him or touch his work.

Though Sanju's dad wouldn't have allowed me to touch his work, his principles have. It has taught me that every adversity can be an opportunity if one is principled. I thank everyone who has taught me pattern-making & life lessons, especially if it's from a tailor who never sat on a machine & whom I have never met.
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