A Weird Knot

Necktie Cross knot

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I am finding it difficult to start writing on this topic as it has captured my imagination for a long period of time and since there are too many

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dimensions to this matter and satisfying all of them adequately might not be possible, so I will slightly touch upon the critical ones and leave it for the readers to imagine further on their own. I do not mind confessing my limited eloquence too. They say apologetic notes at the beginning of a presentation are not helpful at all, hence should be strategically avoided, and disclaimers often make job difficult for critiques. Let’s see how true these notions really are. Also I sincerely believe that ‘A Weird Knot’ is a better title than ‘The Dress Code Maker’ as I am not much hopeful about the outcome of this naive attempt from change-of-the-heart or notable social-ripple point of view.

Being a management graduate I am clearly aware of the fact that management systems in Pakistan have not evolved following a normal course. Mostly legacies of British raj have been continued without realizing their

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rationale or efficacy in the post-colonial schema of things. We have clearly failed to translate the organizational systems as per our local context and this gap can be generalized as one of the major reasons why our organizations did not come out of the excellence-wise mediocre performance syndrome sixty plus years after independence.

It is disturbing to realize the urge of educated class to adopt colonial outfit i.e., look like ‘Gora Sahib’ (‘Gora’ in Urdu means white & ‘sahib’ means mister, used to refer to a white English Colonial Officer – I am inclined to using ‘Sahab’ instead of ‘Sahib’), hence eventually settling down as ‘Brown Sahib’ (term attributed to local people who act like Gora Sahib – brown is the color of skin generally Pakistani people have :).Black Friday Ugg Boots

Normative references in most of the organizations clearly state pant-tie-coat as the only acceptable corporate dress particularly for officers and sales personnel. It is customary for employees belonging to non-officer cadre to wear shalwar kameez, although generally it is considered quite backward to wear the national or regional dresses in official fixtures.www.atlantafest.com/Uggs-Black-Friday.php

The weather in Pakistan is not conducive for wearing pant-tie-coat at all. It is hot and humid most of the time. Another aspect is the energy crisis due to which it is mostly not possible to keep air conditioners running continuously. Some organizations use thermal power generators to cope with electricity load-shedding problem which increases operational costs and takes away a considerable chunk from the bottom line. So we can assume that changing the dress code might be a good cost-cutting measure.Uggs Black Friday

In most of the organizations people are

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literally forced to wear a tie. As a result of that you will see people wearing out of fashion ties with wrong selection of knots. People even do not care if the length

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of the tie is appropriate or there are dirt marks on the knot. Also people tend to wear either un-reasonably loose or tight collars. Type of collar and appropriate tie knot are also a rare phenomenon, leave alone the texture of the shirt or shape / color of shoes. Selection of buttons is also poorly made.

Generally tailors do not know how to stitch summer dress suits. The buckram used is so thick that the end product becomes only suitable for winter wear. There is thin German buckram which is comparatively expensive but only few tailors know how to use it or where to procure it from the market.

There is no doubt it is hard to deny the fact that the treatment you get is better while you have pant-tie-coat on compared to when you have national dress on, thanks to the ‘Ghulamana Zehniat’ (slave mentality) people still hold around generally. There is a drawback also of wearing pant-tie-coat i.e., higher prices and rates are quoted to a person wearing pant-tie-coat considering being a little well-off financially. This is the reason why street smart people wear ordinary shalwar kameez and speak rough language to get good offers.

In some offices, the officers wear shalwar-kameez on Fridays to avoid inconvenience as little time is left after pack-up time to reach a mosque for Friday prayer via home or change cloth and then head for prayers.

During Zia regime shalwar-kameez and waist coat was recommended as official dress but the idea somehow did not gel well with the masses. May be waist coat is not a suitable substitute for dress jacket or it would take a while for people to cross the

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mental barrier. It depends on how you implement an idea; keeping in mind that liberal and progressive class was not much receptive of Zia’s ideology, as a result they used to find ways to show disliking for him in a passive way since he was a coercive military dictator.

Recently many designers have revived the fashion of wearing shalwar-kameez. Notables are veteran pop singer Junaid Jamshed’s and the expensive Amir Adnan’s collections. Interesting to know that quite a number of garment varieties have become in vogue and folks in even rural areas are becoming choosy in terms of selection of outfit & class of clothing. It might not be unjust to say that silently our national dress has progressed remarkably over the last couple of decades. Globalization has different implications and one of them is the loss or erosion of originality in different cultures and civilizations. This must be gauged and controlled otherwise the world will become a color-less place.

There was a time when people used to wear safari suits as alternate to pant shirt but sandals are still a big no-no in formal official scenario. Considering the colorfulness and comfort and cost implications it is recommended that the dress code at least in formal or official settings may be revisited in order to make life easy for the working class.

If we can ignore the context, the following lines from a famous Faiz Ahmed Faiz ghazal may summarize the whole deal:

The rich had cast their spell on history:

dark centuries had been embroidered on brocades and silks

Bitter threads began to unravel before me

as I went into alleys and in open markets

saw bodies plastered with ash, bathed in blood.

I saw them sold and bought, again and again.

This too deserves attention. I can’t help but look back

when I return from those alleys — what should one do?

There are other sorrows in this world,

comforts other than love.

Don’t ask me, my love, for that love again.

(Translated by Agha Shahid Ali, picked from


  3 comments for “A Weird Knot

  1. mashaikh@hec.gov.pk'
    May 3, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Good one!

  2. mashaikh@hec.gov.pk'
    May 3, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Good one.

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