Sumakshi Singh

My naniji, Santosh Sawhney, was quite fashionable in her time. She was attending the Lahore College for Women and would wear fitting Punjabi suits, wear her hair in big puffs called “chirris”, wear nail polish and play badminton. She was then betrothed to my grandfather, Dhanwant Singh Chadha, whose family was relatively conservative and lived in Apatabad. In 1947, the in-laws requested the measurements for her salwar kameezes to make a “yard.” for the soon to be bride. She sent the measurements of her fashionable fitted kurtas.

In Aptabad, the family would wear large loose garments at the time, so when they received her measurements they were confused. “Galtinaalkissibacche da naap phej ditta hhoyega” is what they said and made her a trunk full of loose “khulla” kurtas!