lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In praise of the monkey cap

When people sneer about Bengalis, there is inevitably a mention of their winter attire and that accessory they sport, the monkey cap.

I wonder why? It is a perfectly sensible thing to wear if you are going for a morning walk in winter and the breezes are chilly. The monkey cap, as it is called here, is widely used in other parts of the world too. It is called a ski mask in America, a Balaclava helmet in other lands and was issued as standard winter gear for military forces.

Sweaters and pullovers keep you warm, but unless you are wearing a hoody your neck is always exposed to the cold. Mufflers and scarves are needed for this region and they are fussy. The monkey cap takes care of this. It covers the whole head and neck, including the ears, and in some varieties can be pulled up over the lower part of the face too. It is an ideal accessory.

Bikers wear them under their helmets to keep warm and to keep the inner lining of their helmets clean. Ski masks are fashionable. It makes sense to keep warm after all. So why sneer at the Bengali Babu with his monkey cap?

Oh, it must be the pompom.



Blogger TheQuark said...

I hate the monkey cap (and still do) even if it gives practical benefits. I would refuse to wear it in my school days. Even muffler when it was tried across the cheeks going over head. With a minor modification the latter configuration of muffler can make you look like a bunny rabbit.

Muffler tied in neck used to be smart, i never like the tie thingy anyways

5:51 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

As an advocate, do you wear one?

7:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short witty and lovely. Good post, Grammar Nazi.


9:13 pm  
Anonymous vivek kedia said...

I think thats becoz of the name itself "Monkey" Cap !!

if it had some cooler name, like the "ski mask" maybe things wud have been different.

I remember i used to make fun of anyone wearing monkey cap, bcoz monkeys wear money cap :-)

But now i am old enough to understand its value and thinking of getting one for myself. But the colors and design are too old no one is working on its design, i hope some good designs/ shapes comes out for it


7:35 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

the quark- Sigh, it is clear you are living in climate that doesn't require you to bundle up. I have a lovely scarf, but I think I will buy a monkey cap. :)

Ash- Read above comment.

Anon- Dear John, I didn't realise your grouse with my blog was with the length of my posts. All is clear now.

Vivek- Let's call it a balaclava and wear it proudly. It certainly will keep us warmer than those to sneer. :)

9:34 pm  
Blogger Raj said...

One thing we will never need in Chennai is the monkey cap!

7:42 pm  
Blogger dipali said...

Ah, but when Chennai has its apology of a winter, infants and old men are seen wearing monkey caps!

7:53 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Raj- I remember wearing woollies in Madras. :)

Dipali- Exactly!

1:59 pm  
Blogger Anamika said...

Ha ha...I confess, I too have been guilty of mocking those who wear it :)

I think the joke lies in watching a Bengali couple stroll by with the gent wearing a monkey cap on a Bombay November evening.

10:17 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anamika- Better to feel snug than cold, no?

8:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks amazing!!!! /I look forward to your feedback /thanks for this man it was very helpful.


3:33 pm  

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