City Style – The Classy Delhiwalla, Tilak Nagar
Searching for the stylish.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The Delhi Walla saw this young man on a street in the western neighbourhood of Tilak Nagar. He was selling apples. The sleeves of his white shirt were rolled up to his elbows. His hair was dyed to a shade of brown. His right ear had a ring. A metal pendant was around his chest. His white trousers were held tight by an orange-colored belt. There was no one dressed like him.
The man’s sartorial approach was different from most fruit vendors, who are caricatures in vest and lungi. His outfit suggested formality, though it was far from the regulation uniform of office goers. Where a purely-white crisp clothing would have been cold and intimidating, his embroidered shirt was deliciously crumpled; its white dulled by smog and dust.
The too-short shirt was unbuttoned from the top. The white vest showed underneath. Casualness was the man’s second skin — he was in slippers, not shoes. His dusty feet, his sparkling earring, his N-shaped locket, and his black hand-band pointed to the more intimate aspects of his character.
His most noticeable accessory, you will agree, was his orange plastic belt. What a dare! Yet, the flamboyancy remained within the limits of decorum.
Indeed, Delhi would be a less vulgar city if all of its fruit sellers, bankers, shopkeepers, journalists, clerks, doctors, bureaucrats, carpenters, bloggers, politicians, rickshaw pullers , writers and other etceteras dress like this man.
Off-white and semi-formal