Pants from grave

Pants are singular at the waist but plural as you go down.

When my wife said ‘Look, the pants are 3,000 years old’, I was shocked. Because the one that I was wearing was stitched just previous month and she dates it back to 3,000 years. ‘No, not yours, the one they found in a grave in China’, she explained.

 Pants in a grave? I was perplexed. She explained that archaeologists, who were excavating an area in China, dug a grave and found the remains of a body but the pants were intact. And carbon dating tests indicated that the outfit was that old. That set me thinking.

When there are pants, can the tailors be far behind? Talking of tailors, were there stitching machines then? But then these machines are of recent invention. Then, how were the pants stitched, I was curious to know but the archaeologists’ curiosity is different. They are not as inquisitive as I am. So then obviously there were tailors, because each man would not have been his own tailor. Now that we have tailors, this breed must have also practiced the usual habit of making the customer do several errands to the shop to get the stitched material. 

We are all familiar with the tailors giving all sorts of excuses to justify the delay in executing the promised work. We all know how, when he has not even cut the cloth according to the length, glibly telling us that only button work was pending and would be ready the next day. And the next day, of course, the button boy would have played truant and so ‘would you please come tomorrow when it will be ready?’ We trudge back home helplessly but living on the hope of ‘tomorrow’ offered by the tailor. 

I am sure the chap whose pants were found in the grave must have gone through all these phases while getting them stitched. Or, wait. Is it possible that he had bought them readymade? Possible, because when there were pants, there must have been readymades too. If it is a readymade it must be from a mall, no?

That means there were malls too in China some 300 years ago. Probably, some day these archaeologists, whose future always lies in ruins, will dig up a mall that might have sold these pants to that chap. But how will they be able to link the mall with the pants? Who knows they might even discover the purchase receipt or a bill that might be intact too. Afterall, if the pants can be crisp why not the bill too? Taking the argument a little ahead I am sure the malls would have made several offers – like ‘buy one take one free’ – to lure the customers. 

By the way, who was wearing pants at home in China some 3000 years ago? I am sure our grave diggers will find some clue in their excavations. It may not be important for them but for nosy parkers like me they are vital bits of information. Let me conclude with this titbit: Pants, whether in China or elsewhere, are outfits that are singular at the waist but plural as you go down. Check it out!

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