The Things We Do

People in the picture: Unknown. Probably batch mates of Dad or his sister. Location where this picture was taken: Unknown. Probably somewhere in South India. Very likely some kind of college trip. Probably in the early 1950's. 

Vintage photo - Indians in cowboy hats
Of course I love this picture. Check out those hats!

About 40 years after this photograph was taken, I would go off on my own college trip. A traipse around South India for what was quaintly - and rather imaginatively - called an Educational Tour. A course requirement at our university, the tour would take in Ooty, Mysore and Bangalore before ending at Goa - which is, strictly speaking, not South India but that's neither here nor there. 

Coming from our college town in Southern Kerala, Bangalore was The Big City. It still is, but back then the contrast of Bangalore's Big City Lights with our One Screen Town back in Kerala was stark. Pubs, Brigade Road and a mandatory visit to ISRO to tick off the educational component of the tour made for a very memorable trip.

On that trip to Bangalore, I would buy this cap from Brigade Road: thick fabric, floppy almost like a fuller, thicker skull cap for the whole head. All the rage back then, I thought it was cool. And it probably was. At least in the Bangalore winter. But then on the following night, we would lift anchor and make a 14 hour bus trip to Goa where thick fabric, floppy, fuller skull caps were probably not the best idea for the humid climate. I didn't care though; I thought it was the coolest cap I had ever had and wore it all over town.

I would discover this photograph years after that trip.
Clearly other people in other times and other places, had the same idea.