The word simplicity can be superficially misleading…is that an oxymoron? Well the word describes a quality or condition of being plain or natural, a freedom from artificial ornament, pretentious style, or luxury. It is usually associated with dress, style, language, diet and generally a simple way of life.

There is a great deal of difference between simplicity and pretensions. I can pretend to be simple while the whole thing can be pretty complex. This is especially true, I think, when it comes to behaviour and trying to be somebody in society circles.

The aim in Vedic culture is to pare down your life to the bare basics, to accept pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow with equanimity. This can be achieved when our life is simple with minimum needs and expectations. In fact the aim is to function in a life structure that is like a pyramid—start with a broad base and taper until there is only the ultimate truth, a pin point of awareness. However, the human psyche keeps building on blocks, vertically, horizontally until the simple structure is modified beyond reason and recognition into a tower of Babel, a fortress of relationhips, a silo of tastes and sensations and a turnstile of attire and styles.

Henry David Thoreau demonstrated this by immersing himself in nature. He hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau’s other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy. Thoreau’s cabin was not in the wilderness but at the edge of town, about two miles from his family home. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”

Simplicity to my mind is an instant recall of sewing patterns that I used to tailor my kids and my clothes. In fact I learnt to sew with these most detailed patterns…..a DIY guide to stitching tthe most complicated designs in a basic and easy way!

I must let you all into a favourite way we have in India—especially the South—of answering why’s with an answer ‘Simply”!! So if somebody would ask me ‘Why are you writing this blog’ instead of dishing out the chapter and verse about Friday LBC, my brother, Grannymar and gang and how I started writing for the group (missing the Friday usually), I could reply, “Simply” and get away with it! Isn’t that simply cool!

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, AshokDeliriousGaelikaa,  GrannymarMagpie11,  Nema, Noor, Ordinary Joe, Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get seventeen different flavours of the same topic.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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8 Responses to SIMPLICITY

  1. Rummuser says:

    Simbly brilliant!


  2. Grannymar says:

    I was a great fan of Simplicity patterns in my day! I enjoyed your post.


  3. padmum says:

    Absolutely Grannymar–using Simplicity patterns and sewing clothes was a way of living. Just as knitting, crochet and baking from Woman and Home and Women’s Weekly was an important part of hobbies. Are there people in Britain who still use them? There was an American brand of sewing patterns too–I forget the name….got it Butterick and McCalls too!!


    • Grannymar says:

      I think I tried them all. Simplicity (my shape), Burda and New Look are now all under the one banner.
      Butterick, McCalls & Vogue are also part of one company these days. I don’t know of anyone that makes their own cloths in the way I did down the years.


  4. Delirious says:

    In some ways I long for that life Thoreau sought, but I have to admit that I love my modern conveniences! 🙂
    I always choose “simplicity” patterns because they really are more simple to sew than other patterns. 🙂


  5. Great answer. Covers a multitude of situations. My favourite catch all answer is ‘I suppose so’, or else ‘this is routine’.


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