Here's a sartorial challenge: how does one dress fashionably in 44C, dry and dusty weather? Must nod to the conservative mores of the environment: no singlets, nothing too tight nor revealing, nothing transparent, and no clingy polyester.
Trinny and Susannah would run screaming from this one. Hah. Amateurs.
That's the daily conundrum I face here, now summer has hit with a vengeance (and early, which does not auger well for the coming months). I don't have a car, necessitating the conservative bit: try standing on a street corner for 15 minutes trying to hail a rickshaw dressed in shorts and you'll quickly realise why.
It doesn't help that there seems to be this major disconnect with what's available and what the reality is outside: shops are full of thick denim jeans, polyester leggings and puff-sleeved tunic tops, when all I want is a vast choice of long linen shorts and gauzy yet opaque blouses, or sundresses that fall below the knee that can be cinched in with a belt. I should just go and get them made by one of the many ubiquitous tailors, but I'm tailor-shy after a recent bad experience. Plus, the heat is making me lazy and somnolent, like a desert lizard that can't seem to move, and the thought expending all that energy in un-airconditioned surrounds doesn't doesn't fill me with glee.
Compounding the misery is that girls here all seem to be completely oblivious to the weather and get about in tight skinny jeans and black t-shirts. How do they do that?
All senses point to succumbing to the salwar kameez, which would be the sensible option, but I just can't do it, it's an outfit not made for highlighting my best. There are some very nice ones around, and I did spend an hour at Anokhi yesterday working my way through the various styles of cotton harem pants, only to come to the conclusion that they make me look like I'm wearing nappies. Salwar kameezes are great if you have a willowy North Indian silhouette, not so great if you bear the curse of the South Indian rice belly.