Man With No Collar By Avinash Roy

What I have learnt through experience is that more than the color of the collar, it is about whether you have one or you don’t. I, for one, have led a collarless existence most of my adult life. Well-wishers have often suggested that I should get one, if I want to move up in life but somehow collars don’t go well with me.

A man with no collar is often viewed with suspicion. Most recently, I was politely told at an elite establishment, in the national capital, that collarless men are not welcome at their premises. Fortunately, they decided not to throw me out and graciously allowed me to dine at their hallowed precincts. However, as I tried to swallow my pride and the food along with it, I could imagine several pairs of eyes boring down my collarless neck. While the plate in front mocked my bruised ego, I was left wondering.  

Great walls have crumbled, the world has supposedly changed, yet the petty dress code continues to sit pretty and taunt the winds of change. Why should people having intellectual conversation on the neighboring table suddenly feel threatened by a humble round neck t-shirt? What is it that makes them insecure?

I guess a collar symbolizes adherence to a certain way of life. Anyone who falls outside the purview of that worldview is considered a threat. A single bad apple that can infect and disrupt the already fragile balance!

In a world where roles and identities are rapidly changing and getting redefined, dress codes definitely sound anachronistic. How do you ask a gender fluid person to dress, how do you define the appropriate length of the hemline and most importantly how do you decide who fits in and who doesn’t?

Well, I love my round neck tees. They allow me to breathe freely. So if a roadside dhaba allows me to eat without collars, I would surely feel more at home there. I believe that the winds shall continue to blow and in a matter of time, even the last bastions would crumble. And like Ozymandias, the mighty would be left stranded in the ruins of time.