06 December 2011

Earmuff season is here

I bet whoever the person is who invented earmuffs never even considered for a second that India would be a good place to market them. I’m sure he (or she) never imagined that sultry South India would be the perfect place to make a killing with earmuffs.

Yes, it’s earmuff season in South India. Now that ‘winter’ is here, the earmuffs are out. Winter in Bangalore is ‘cold’ afterall. In the early mornings and at night, temperatures dip to a very cool 20 degrees Celsius – and sometimes even down to a ‘chilly’ 15! Warm sweaters, shawls, blankets, woollen caps and yes – earmuffs – are for sale everywhere. Winter is definitely here!

The earmuffs I see here are a bit different to the ones I knew while growing up in Canada (where your ears would get frostbitten if you didn’t cover them up!). Those earmuffs were connected with a flexible piece of plastic which was adjustable – and were placed on the top of the head. Indian earmuffs are somewhat different. They loop behind the neck. Top of head or back of neck, the result is the same. They cover your ears. But the really sexy thing about Indian earmuffs are the crazy patterns and colours. Camouflage. Ladybug. Tiger skin. Polka dots. Plaid. You can make a fashion statement with your earmuffs.

Only 25 rupees and many patterns and colours to choose from.

Picture the scene. I was at a wedding. Two aunties walked in and sat down just in front of me. They were dressed in resplendent silk saris and covered in gold jewellery. And they were wearing earmuffs. Camouflage pattern. How's that for a statement?

And Bangalore, where the weather is cooler and drier than most South Indian cities, is not the only place where earmuffs are all the rage. I’ve seen them in Chennai too, where they say there are three seasons: hot, hotter, and hottest! But the early winter mornings can have a slight nip in the air. And what better way to keep your ears warm then with some fuzzy camouflage-pattern earmuffs!


Thea said...

Hahah... this is way too funny, I can really imagine the aunties with the earmuffs :) But in Canada you can get now the behind the ear versions,too; as well as the adjustable version which you mentioned(even with integrated earphones) Have a great winter ahead, Thea :)

Mike Streib said...

Too funny Isabel. Same thing in Bangkok. A friend went to her home province for a few days to see family last weekend. I took her to the train station Sat AM. In transit she got a call from Mum who sounded frantic (could hear her voice from phone) telling her to bring heavy clothes..., sweaters, pants, etc. The nighttime temps were dropping to 18C. Mid 60s in Fahrenheit.

My family in US would love those temps about now

Isabel said...

Integrated earphones are a great idea Thea. Is camouflage pattern available too?

Goes to show Mike that everything is relative. One person's warm is another person's cold!

Anonymous said...

The earmuffs you see nowadays are I think Chinese stuff and not very effective. Years back, people would use what were called mufflers, wrapped around the head, or even wear monkey caps. You can still find people from the older generation wearing these.

Thea said...

Camouflage earmuffs are available, but more for a purpose, for hunting to reduce noises... otherwise there are many variations available like Nordic designs, some look like flowers or Pandas etc. :)
I haven't seen any polka dot versions, yet.

Suraj said...

Hahaha... Loved reading this blog... Camouflage pattern! that is a hit with south Indians. Often used as a statement for being adventurous, being a cut different from the rest around... I am sure, even the earmuffs is more of a statement for being different than actually a requirement to ward off cold... :) Can tell from being a Bangalorean myself.