BANGALORE: According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” On the occasion of World Towel Day, a tribute to Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide, we take a look at this ordinary, yet essential, piece of fabric and the role it plays.
Most people would agree that a towel is handy to have at hand; as Ruby Chakravarti, well-known actor and comedian, puts it- “Towels are as necessary as tampons and condoms.” However, the days when towels were just a scrap of cloth used to dry oneself are long past.
Now, towels, are also considered to be a reflection of someone’s personality and taste. Customised towels are all the rage these days, with towel lengths, thickness and texture being tailored to the customer’s preference. Some towels are monogrammed, or embroidered, reflecting the owner’s identity. For some, towels may be an expression of individuality, for others they are a must have at all times.
Fans of Friends will recollect how neat-freak Monica categorises her towels into 11 categories, for different occasions, with the categories encompassing everyday use, fancy, fancy guest and several others. , The idea of people walking around with towels on their person is ridiculed by many as an absurd idea. However, the gamccha, a thin cotton towel often worn on one side of the shoulder still remains popular in the northern part of the country, today.
Gamchha is the local term for sweat towel, and Fashion guru Prasad Bidapa says, “The gamccha has been part of Indian culture long before World Towel Day came along. It is used as a head scarf, bib, napkin and several other things.”
It would be unfair to speak about towels and not mention some of the most memorable ‘towel scenes’ in Bollywood. Right from Aradhana, where we saw Sharmila Tagore draped in a towel, to Kajol in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, it is mostly female actors who have managed to carry off towel scenes with aplomb, the notable exception being, of course, Ranbir Kapoor’s much hyped song in Saawariya which had female viewers gripped as they waited for the towel to drop. Chakravarti declares, “Salman Khan in a towel will always be my personal favourite.” Towels are probably one of the most useful items in your arsenal. If you know where your towel is at all times, then you can't go very wrong!