Breaking the Laws: I didn’t feel Sorry


“Oh my God ! You have come in a salwar suit?” was the first reaction of the co coordinator of senior wing of a missionary school where I was teaching.

I felt embarrassed, I looked around to find some of the colleagues giving me a puzzled look. The female teachers were wearing sari and the male counterparts were seen in their formal suits, some wore combinations.

“What’s wrong in this dress?” I asked her.

“Don’t you know?” she almost shouted at me. “Today is the group photo session of all the classes in the school. Weren’t you informed well in advance about the dress code?”

“Yes, the circular was being sent to us regarding the photo session. According to it I am dressed in my formal dress( I was wearing a formal coat on top of my salwar suit) it was never mentioned that I had to wear sari only.” I said confidently.

“I was least expected a sorry from you to break the school laws. Don’t you know whenever the formal dress code is mentioned in the notice it is always a sari with pin up pallu on the right shoulder…no flowing pallus for the lady teachers. You mean to say you even didn’t notice in the last year’s photos displayed on the soft board at the reception?” she said with a stern look in her eyes.

“I didn’t notice it.” I looked straight into her eyes.” Since I have broken the rules and can’t participate in today’s photo session anymore therefore I must go and sit in the staff room.” I said.

“Who will sit with your students? A photo cannot be clicked without a class teacher.”

“What should I do then?”

“You can always go back home and change.”

“What? I come by bus. You want me to take a auto or taxi to go all the way back home just to make me wear a sari?”

“So …er…why are you so surprised? We can’t postpone or cancel the whole photo session because of your stupidity madam !”

“Well in that case… I would like to resign now at this very moment. You will get my resignation letter on your table.”

That was the end of our conversation. You see I was innocent, breaking the laws was purely unintentional but still it happened and I couldn’t helped it.

I chuckled… Rules are meant to be broken, no?



14 Responses

  1. Many years ago when I came to Switzerland, I lived with a half Pakistani family (father Pakistani (bihari) and wife Switzerland). They also had an Indian restaurant in Zürich and now and again I would help out and, yes, I would wear a sari. I found it such a useful dress, just wrap it around you with a long petticoat beneat to tuck it into and you were dressed. I also had a chawli (I think that is what it is called – the blouse) to go with the sari. I learnt the standard sari style, but apparently there was a modern version called “coca cola” style, in the form of a coca cola bottle. I don’t know whether I could still do it today.

    1. Wow you know so much about Indian dresses, food and culture ! Yes you are right it is so cumbersome to wear a sari when you don’t want to wear it. Though it looks gorgeous on women but it is so time consuming. In some schools it is compulsory to wear it daily.

  2. I forgot about tradition. So many rules there … and all of them unwritten so we don’t know we’ve broken them until we go crashing right into that wall. I’m glad you stuck to you guns 🙂

    1. Sometimes you feel as if the management body itself is a big game spoiler. They have big egos in the name of ethos and workplace culture. I feel suffocated and can’t accept useless rigidity.

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  • Hidemi Woods
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