To me she was my Jeroo Aunty, fashionable in a time and place where she could have have been sloppy and no one would care. No one was really fashion conscious in this village called Bilimora in the state of Gujerat, India. Today it has grown into a flourishing city. When we visited during our summer holidays, there was a routine of the household which we happily and easily fell into. Sumptuous family breakfasts, equally sumptuous lunches and crowned by dinner accompanied by the local brew.
Through all this my aunt would preside, always smiling, full of fun and I still remember her girlish giggle.
Now comes evening and the fixed “program” was to walk to the railway station, wait for the “Flying Ranee” to thunder by, get all excited and marvel at its bullet speed and then return home. We all wore casual evening clothes but not my aunt.
Striking, colorful chiffon sarees, sleeveless blouses, make-up replete, naturally wavy hair in a short bob, and the exotic foreign perfumes her brother and sister sent to her. She was an attractive woman, walking down the main street of Bilimora from her house to the train station. People’s heads would turn . Women sizing up her style and men staring openly. As a child I was proud to be seen with my fashionable aunt, borrowing a little of the sunshine coming her way.