Modicum Of Modesty
I'd been told to wear long skirts. A matter of modesty they said—to cover myself should ever an urgent need necessitate that I squat to pee in a public place.
Indeed. On finding myself in India for the first time, I began a very long journey, boarded a 3rd class Indian bus, and squeezed through a mass of sweaty travelers of meager means. Men filled the front seats. The overflow stood, arms overhead to reach the leather hoops. My body rubbed against their bodies. Brown eyes surveyed me, head to foot and back again. I shuffled toward the back of the bus. Stifled giggles rippled along behind me. I blushed and shrunk in stature, embarrassed. Colorfully clad women cackled and covered their toothless mouths. They exchanged glances with laughing eyes. I lowered my head, ashamed without knowing why? As I reached the back of the bus, a gentle hand reached out and pulled me into a seat. A slight breeze cooled my cheeks and a kindly voice whispered in my ear. "Dear, you are wearing a white skirt…well…actually a slip. You are wearing the underwear of a Sari."