Nostalgia can be a great leveler. For example, when you meet up with friends from school, it is nostalgia that brings you together.
No matter wherever you are now in life, no matter how much you earn, what car you drive and how many credit cards you own, there was a time when you were on par with your peers - at least, you were told to believe so - and the solitary unifier between everybody in class, was the school uniform.
The fucking school uniform.
Its made fortunes for detergent companies, given our mothers sleepless nights over its cleanliness and has proved to be an excellent resting bed for dust, dodgeball stains and scars from our Physical Education class.
Without a doubt, we looked much hotter on Traditional Day, and we took our chances in admiring our classmates. The women suddenly looked prettier, the saree firmly accentuating every sign of hormonal change.
I remember, it was Teachers' Day, I was in Class X and my classmate, who was my first ever crush, walked into the classroom wearing a black saree, necklace, earrings, et al. It's one of the most gorgeous sights I've ever seen and one that I'll probably remember on my death-bed, when life turns into a swift slideshow.
In summary, we really relished every opportunity to wear 'civil dress' when we met the same classmates outside school, even at tuition class.
When I meet the same classmates today and compare what we look like with what we used to be, I realize that we've indeed come a long way. I see this not just in them, but even while browsing random Facebook albums. Try this exercise sometime - compare their latest profile picture with the their oldest picture in their Facebook photos. The human body, you'll see has a strange way of reinventing itself. And this is true, despite a deliberate make-over done at a salon. Sure, external influences play a huge role - straightened hair, Brylcreem are things we wouldn't see in school - although its different with kids these days - but there is no denying that the human body has an in-built salon triggering change.
It is this process of constant change amazes me. Every second, some muscle is making way for the other, some skin is giving way to new, some hair strand is getting bored with the jungle it is in.
The process is similar to the formation of the earth and its continents. Europe and Africa were probably interlocked at some point of time, but now they are separate. After we touch puberty, our hormones are in a constant state of Waka Waka, making us hotter, fatter and if we treat ourselves well, more sexier.
But while the body is working so hard at it, passing through various stages of development, we've covered it up in clothing that has also passed through various levels of 'tolerance'.
I call it tolerance, because when I look back at the photos from my college days, I see what fashion disasters we all were.
''Shit. How could I wear that trouser with that shirt. They just don't go together!''
This is more or less, my reaction everytime I go through my old photo albums.
Part of the reason could be that during those times, we wore what our parents bought us. And now, thanks to our employment, regular pay-cheques and a debit card to boot, we do our own shopping.
If we had a chance to go back in time and change something, I think most of us - the working professionals at least - would completely change our wardrobe.
(I'm talking only about clothing here. Given a chance, we'd like to change many things, wouldn't we?)