Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fit to a T

Two days ago, I sent out a flurry of mass sms messages. No, it wasn't the "The end is near, we're all doomed!" kind of message but more like "Do you know where I can get a personalised T-shirt printed?"

Baby Aish is going to turn 1 soon, and I wanted to send her a personalised T-shirt from Viv and me, complete with a picture of us posing with her. The text below the picture said, "Mausa's and Mausi's most favourite person in the whole world... ME!!!" Last night, I made poor Viv go thru 50 different fonts for the text, till we found one we both liked.

Then we had an argument about whether we should remove the word 'most'.

"Favourite is always 'most favourite', isn't it?" He argued.

"But then favourite is always 'in the whole world', isn't it? If we remove it all, there's nothing left, isn't it?"

"Hmmm... that's true."

"Let's not get too editorial about this," spake the ex-editor, "and just try to get the emotion right?"

He agreed, but he did suggest that we change the spelling of 'favourite' to American English. Finally, it was done, just the way we wanted it.

The picture was ready, but the T-shirt wasn't. For the last few weeks, I have been wandering around the malls of Singapore, trying to find a white plain T-shirt on which to print the picture. It was a painful process, as I discovered that plain white T-shirts for babies are not really common.

Here's what my typical conversations at baby shops would go like.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for a plain white T-shirt for a 1-year-old baby girl."

"How about this one?"

"No, this has some tiny patterns on it."

"How about this one then? This one is white what!" said the sales assistant.

"No, this has some text. I want a plain white T-shirt."

"But this one is nice what! It says, "Little Princess". Nice what!"

"No, I don't want 'Little Princess'. I don't want any text. I just want a plain white T-shirt."

She gave me a polite smile, but I could see the thought bubble hovering over her head with the words, "So utterly boring, this new mum!"

At the same time, I was also looking for a printer who would print the T-shirt for me. Fortunately, I got tons of replies to my sms message. Most replies indicated that Queensway was the best place to go to, but it's really far from my place. I know I know Singapore is only 47 km wide, and no place is actually 'far away' but relatively speaking, it is far away, okay? Okay.

One of my friends gave me the number of a printer located close to my place, and I called the guy up.

"This is Mr. Tan."

"Hi Mr. Tan, do you print T-shirts?"

"Yes, we do. How many you want?"

"Uh... only one."

"One only ah? Cannot. I give you my neighbouring shop's number - he prints small quantities. His name is Mr. Sam."

So I called up his neighbour.


"Is this Mr. Sam?"


"Hi, Mr. Sam. I got your number from your neighbour Mr. Tan. He said you print small quantities of T-shirts?"

"Yes, how many you want?"

"Only one."

"Okay, bring T-shirt and whatever you want to print to the shop."

"Okay, where is your shop?"

"It's the one next to Mr. Tan's shop." His telephonic thought bubble had the word 'Duh!'"

"Err... And where is Mr. Tan's shop?"

"How come you dunno? You got my number from him, right?"

Uhhhhh. Anyway, nothing much came of that conversation, and I decided to go down to some of the other places suggested by my friends. Today, after my volunteer thingy, I had a couple of hours before I was meeting my ex-boss for dinner. So I decided to walk around Funan mall, Excelsoir Plaza and Peninsula Plaza to find my printer.

First stop Funan mall.

I walked past all the shops on level one but could not spot a printer, the mall directory or the information counter. Then I walked past all the shops on level two. Then I walked past all the shops on level three. And then I found the information counter. Sheesh.

"Excuse me, are there any shops here that print T-shirts?"

"No more oredi."

"No more?"

"Yeah. Used to have. Now no more."

Oh man. I didn't find anything in Excelsoir Plaza either. Finally, I found a shop in Peninsula Plaza that had 'T-shirt printing' printed on its glass door.

"Hi, do you print T-shirts?"

"Yes, how many you want?"

"Just one."

"We only do bulk orders, sorry."

So I went next door which had a similar sign on their door.

"Hi, do you print T-shirts?" I asked. "I need only one." I quickly specified.

"Sure. What size?"

"Uh... baby size?"

"Baby size?? Hahaha! Sorry, we don't."

I was on the verge of total depression when I happened to spot this photocopying and binding shop and decided to give it one last try.

"Excuse me, do you print T-shirts?"

"Yes yes. You got your own T-shirt or you want to buy from us?"

"Oooh can I buy the T-shirt from you??"

"Depends. What size?"

"Uh... baby size?"

"Baby size??? Hahaha! How old?"

"Two years?" (I added a year cos I wanted Aish to be able to wear it for another year at least.)

"Okay, let me look for it. I've never printed a T-shirt that small. Hahahaha! So cute!"

So the lady dug through drawers and drawers and finally showed me this T-shirt. It kinda looked all right for a 1-year-old but maybe not so much for a 2-year-old.

"Do you have anything bigger?"

"I have nothing else for a baby! You think this one too small for your baby?"

"Well, I'm not sure. What do you think?"

"Hahaha! How will I know? It's your baby lah! You should know what!"

"It's not my baby, it's my sister's."

"You should still know what!"

"She lives in the US."

"Hmmmm okay..."

She called her colleague over and passed him the T-shirt.

"This one too small for 2-year-old or not?"

To my utter shock, the guy put the T-shirt against himself! I kid you not! Then he said, "Okay what! Even I can get into this!"

"Huh? Are you sure??" I asked.

"Hmmm... Your baby fat or thin?" He asked.

What the...?!

"My baby neither fat nor thin, she's fine, just fine." I said indignantly.

"This looks okay for a 2-year-old. But it will become small for her very soon." He said.

"Oh that is fine. Cos she's actually only one. I just want her to be able to wear it till she's two."

"Oh she's only one ah???"


"Then how come you said two?"

I explained.

"Then okay what!" Both of them exclaimed.

So I picked the T-shirt and examined it.

"After printing, can it be washed in the machine or must I handwash it?" I asked.

"Yes, you can use machine. But you must turn over first."

"I must turn over??"

"Yes yes, must turn over first."

"Oh! You mean I must turn it inside out before washing it?"

"Yes yes, you must turn inside out."

The next stage was to transfer the image from my thumbdrive to her computer. "Miss, you don't mind waiting? Our computer is very busy." So I waited and waited and waited till the "very busy" computer was free enough to take on the new assignment.

She plugged in my thumbdrive, opened the folder titled 'T-shirt', saw that there were four files and asked me, "Which one?"

"Oh I saved it in four formats, .jpeg, .tif, .eps and .psd. You can pick whichever one is suitable." I proudly said.

She smiled at me sweetly. But I could see the thought bubble hovering over her head with the words, "Sheesh, what a geek!"

Anyway, after doing the Chinese equivalent of 'Akkad bakkad bambai bo' in her head, she pointed to the .psd file.

"I'll use this one."


"Hahahaha! So cute this will be! I cannot tahan (bear/tolerate) oredi!" She said when she opened the picture.


"But your image too big for the little T-shirt! We need to make it smaller."


So she folded a piece of paper and put it against the T-shirt. She kept folding till it was just the right size for the T-shirt. Then she measured the piece of paper and said, "Okay the height of your image should be 120 mm."

She opened up the file and went to the image attributes.

"Wait wait, you must check the box marked 'Constraint proportions' first!" I interrupted her before she could type '120' in the 'height' box.


"Because if you don't, the image will get truncated."


"One side cut off."

"Oh. So I tick this box here?"


But I still wasn't sure.

"Can we print this on an A4 sized paper so I can see if the text has not become illegible due to the reduction in image size?"


"Can you print this on paper?"

"Now you want me to print on paper ah??"

"Yes, paper first, T-shirt later."


"You can print in black and white. I just need to see the actual text size."

"Oh black and white can??"


So she printed it out and looked at it again. "So cute I cannot tahan oredi!" She said again.

The printout looked fine. I asked her to go ahead with the printing.

"Miss, you will need to wait some more. Our presser is not here."

"Your who?"

"The presser? The guy who uses the presser to press the image on to the T-shirt?"

"Oh you have another guy to do that?"

"Yes, none of us here has the strength to press the presser. I press until my arm hurts and still cannot press. So you have to wait for the presser."

I couldn't stop laughing at how adorable this lady was. So I told her I didn't mind waiting for the presser to press the presser. She didn't laugh at my bad joke. Sheesh.

Anyway, she said she'd give me a call once the presser turned up to press the... ufff... you get the drift.
She taped the printout to the T-shirt and kept it aside while I wrote down my contact number.

"Your baby so cute I cannot tahan oredi!" She said. Again.

"Actually it's not my..." I started off and then stopped. That was not the point.

"Really cannot tahan oredi! You know what I mean ah?" She was still admiring the picture.

I smiled at her. Hopefully she saw the thought bubble hovering over my head with the words, "I know exactly what you mean. I can't tahan oredi either." :)


Unknown said...

cuteeeee :) was remembering smthing similar three of us did for our frnd when she was leaving to US after her marriage and u knw wt she just burst out crying seeing that.......

Neihal said...

"Yes, you can use machine. But you must turn over first."

"I must turn over?"

"Yes yes, must turn over first."


very cute actually, I cannot tahan oredi . (what does that mean, again?)
:P :P

Iday said...

First of all - hilarious post, and the lady is really adorable :)

Tell u what - personalized gifts are AWESOME :)

Baby Aish is lucky to have such a sweet mausi and mausa ;)

And yeah - happy birthday to Baby aish from me too :) I am sure we'll celebrate it well in the bar!

Sakshi said...

That is such a cute gift :)

Pst - A twenty something year baby would not mind a belated brith day present T shirt :P

Navya said...

Awwwww... thats soo pretty. I wish I had a mausi like you :D.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Your baby fat or thin?" He asked.

What the...?!

"My baby neither fat nor thin, she's fine, just fine." I said indignantly.

LOLLLLL!! cute t-shirt re! aish will treasure it! :-)

Bivas said...

"Yes, you can use machine. But you must turn over first."

"I must turn over?"

"Yes yes, must turn over first."

Can't imagine how dat wud turn out...or turn over or watever... :D
D conversation was so tahan orediously hilarious ;-) (hope the usage is rite:-| :P

creepa said...

So sweet! :)
-Deepa! :P

Thisisme said...

sooooooooooo sweeeeeetttttttt!

really a great gift for a great niece :):)

ah..missin my niece already!*sigh*

Nandya said...


sayesha u are the best....but the thought bubble above my head midway through the second para when mr. sams address was being discussed "where is the damn photo" i skipped the rest and scrolled down to check it out...hahahaha...i am an impatient man.....:D...


Nandya..(by the way)

Kokonad said...

Ha ha! This is hilarious! ROTFL! :))
You log a lovely blog.

Tejal said...

okhaaayy...first things first.. nobody claimed their medals.. so Tejal walks off wit all three.. gallantly showin them n smirkin away to glory.
yea now for da t-shirt thingy.. heheheh.. adorable.. hey u hav so much fun thinkin bout fun things n doin them also.. Hmph. wen wil i get time for all this.. college seems nevr endin :(
Tee luks sooo adorable! da pic is really cute.. u're lukin fab in da whole saree luk ya.. Aish wil surely keep this wit her foreva n remember her mausi (n mausa )for makin it such a special gift :D
can i hav one toooo????
yes n i scrolled dwn in da second para to luk for da photo tooo.. knew u wud put da pic! atta grl!
(no dear..if u think i'm gonna mention how cute Viv is lukin in dat suit.. :P i wont ok?)

Sayesha said...

Hehehe... I think Aish may also cry when she sees this, though her crying could be totally unrelated to the T-shirt. :P

Hehehe... it means "I can't take it." or "I can't bear it." :)

Thanks! :)
ps: Yeah, 25th ko bar mein ispesal party hogi! Baby Aish will be joining us via videoconferencing! :D

Hahaha! I dun see no baby! I see one budhi amma who wants to wear T-shirt! Hai raam kya zamana aa gaya hai! :O

Thanks! :P

#Ipanema Gal,
Hehe... thanks! :)

The usage is totally totally wrong, but the meaning is totally totally clear! :D

Thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

Hey welcome back! Long time no see Nanduram! :D

Thanks! :)

Hahahaha! Yahan hungama macha hai aur tujhe gold ki padi hai? Hahaha! Typical Tejal! Hahaha! I cannot tahan oredi! :D

//Hmph. wen wil i get time for all this.. college seems nevr endin :(

Naan sense. College ka excuse is nonsense. If you really wanna do something, you will find time to do it. Chal mere next budday ka surprise gift plan karna shur kar abhi se! :P

//no dear..if u think i'm gonna mention how cute Viv is lukin in dat suit.. :P i wont ok?

Hahahahaha! Itte chhote se pic mein Viv clearly dikh gaya tujhe? Magnifying glass lekar baithi thi? :P

R said...

wow sash!
This is a classic example of a'thoughtful gift' u cud have gotten her the most expensive of tees et al but you go ahed and get her something that is much more valuable than the most expensive of dresses.

*maxxxx fond type luk*

You are ossum, I really mean it.
*maxxxx wadda waala hug*

Sandip Chaudhuri said...

The final shop where u got the T printed was in Peninsula Plaza right ???

Cute Cute idea though and I thought u said ur sister was creative while u were the Geek in the begining.

Ritesh Nadhani said... you have the patience and energy to write such long posts.

t said...

Now this is a great idea for the gift! Am sure she will treasure it :)

Btw, does your sis know what you gifting the baby? If she doesnt, then that would be a neat surprise for her as well!

S-H-A-D-O-W said...

enjoyed the slang of singapore ! Nice post lah!

Prya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prya said...

Awwwwwwwwwww.... that was so very cute... got me out of my 'iam feeling so low' moods.. :D
Iam back to commenting on your blog after a long hiatus.. burrowed in work.. though Iam a loyal reader.. ;)

//"Yes, you can use machine. But you must turn over first."
"I must turn over??"
"Yes yes, must turn over first."
"Oh! You mean I must turn it inside out before washing it?"
"Yes yes, you must turn inside out."

heeheehee... ROTFL!!!!!

and its evident that Aish is mausi's fav person the way u have held her in the pic.. :)


Chanchala said...

wow... so cute..

from 3 days i am nothing but reading ur posts... enjoyed it a lot..

Tejal said...

aur nahi toh kya? poora magnify karke viv-ogling chal raha tha.. but i shudnt b tellin u this ok? :P
yea.. mayb i'm givin excuzes college k naam pe n not makin much effort.. chalo next bday done.. but u hav to gimme bday treat ok.. :P free mein kuch nahi hota.. (n can v bring along viv to da treat also???? please??)

Sowmya said...

Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuttttteeeeeeeeeeeee :)

I was thinking it would've been better with you people wearing casual clothes instead of wedding clothes :).. Don't get me wrong, that was only a suggestion.. Am not nit-picking :)


Sayesha said...

#Raam Pyari,
Thanks! Maxxxx hug back to you too! :)

Yup, PP it was. And yes, she was always the creative one while I was the geek. Now it's the opposite! :P

I have no frickin' clue! :O
Likhte likhte louu ho gaya maybe? :P

That's the other brilliant part! My sis has no clue I'm sending it! :D

Hahahaa! The usage of 'lah' is totally wrong, but at least you tried! Hahahaha! :D

Hey, thanks for resurfacing! :D

Thanks! :)

Saali aadhi gharwali and all? Hahahaha! :D

Hehe... I don't agree. :) This is not only my favourite picture of the three of us, but it's also significant because our wedding was the first time baby Aishu interacted with both of us. I wanted to preserve that moment for her in the T-shirt. :)

Sakshi said...

Hmph. I am also neither fat nor thin, just fine :P

Unknown said...

How cuteeeeeeeeee! Her budday is on or arnd 15th? OMG! Time flies man!!! Great gift n awesome convos. Upar se thought bubbles! hehehe

ROFLLL convos b/w that lady n you haan. And yeah, I laughed at your bad joke.. more on the statement you made just after the joke! :P

Iday said...

//Yeah, 25th ko bar mein ispesal party hogi! Baby Aish will be joining us via videoconferencing! :D

But how do we 'bewdas' get budday cakes???

Manasi said...

beautiful! amazing idea and the Tshirt is looking really good. Wish Aish Happy Birthday on my behalf too :)

Unknown said...

Ahhwwww bless. What a lovely idea:)

Crazy Dhakkan said...

ROFL! I loved the Tee!

Yeah, Aish is one lucky niece! :D Has a wonderful Masa! :D :D :D

Amit said...

As much as i hate sounding repetitive, unoriginal, girlish, banal and almost boring...I have to say it...

This is SOOO CUUUTE...!

Unknown said...

@ CD
//"Has a wonderful Masa!"
Wot do you mean CD? Her maasi is not nice? :P Dekho Sash bhai, dekho! :P:P
Bache log have also started line marofyin on apna Viv now!!! ;):P
khi khi khi khi ;)

Sayesha said...

Hahaha! Getting all defensive eh? Hum mein se toh kisi ne kuchh nahin bola! :P

Hehehehe. It's on the 25th. :)

Bewdas will go to cake shops and buy their own budday cakes. :P

Will do, thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

#Crazy Dhakkan,
Wonderful masa?????? Wonderful masa????????!!!!!! Hmmmph! :/

Hahahahha! :D
Thanks! :)

Egg-jactly, is crazy dhakkan ki toh... :/
ps: Is bar mein only bacha party is crazy abt Viv, baaki log samajhdaar hain na, maaloom hai Sash Bhai se panga nahin lene ka! :P

Iday said...

Bewdas will go to cake shops and buy their own budday cakes. :P

Not fair :( :( :(
Phir bhi, aish baby ke liye sab kuch chalega :D

Just Jane said...

vairy cute idea for vairy cute niece :)

Sayesha said...

Hehehe! Aur agar tu cake khareed hi raha hai toh save me the trip - send some for me, ok? :P

Thanks! :D

X said...

Nice post! :) would have been a much easier option though!

Sayesha said...

Thanks, but doesn't ship outside India. :)

X said...

Oops, didn't know that. :)

Sayesha said...

Hehe... No worries, buddy :)

Kanan said...

Hey Sayesha, did you know you can actually do this yourself. No need to get it done outside. I will share the info with you soon. This calls for a whole new topic now. :) I love this gift idea a lot!