Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Make-over!

It all started with an "Are you free?"

I've never really dressed up....ever. My current make-up kit consists of a lip gloss and cream (which I use for my face as well!!). The lip gloss I reserve for the 'special occasions' - Christmas, Easter, maybe the odd date(when did THAT last happen?!?); cream for the days my skin starts to peel. My face has never warmed to lipstick (all those school concerts were disastrous) and I havent seen the logic in sticking some black stick up your eye for the 'desired effect'. It's the plain-Jane look that's been mine and people have come to accept that.

Except when they need to release a little creativity. Leah has a great choice in clothes, and when she dresses up, she turns heads. She didnt have much to do today, and wanted to experiment with my hair. Now, I've just cropped my hair pretty short, and its quite uncontrollable. I suffer from bad hair days 5 days out of 7, and I dont really care. Last sem, Sohini decided she wanted to cut my hair and I let her. This sem, Leah wanted to play around with it, so what the heck?!?

When she got started, her tools consisted of a brush, comb, hairdryer, and irons. I've never had my hair ironed and I trusted Leah when she said "its going to be ok". Jesus, its scary to have such a hot thing nearly pop the zits on your face every time it passes by. What if I ended up with singed hair? I'd have to shave my head and look like the sanyasi with the wierd dome. Thankfully, I didnt get the smell of burning hair, so I stopped cringing every time she touched it. She stopped and ran out of the room. Returned with a couple of boxes of gunk she called hair serum and wax. Whatever! It didnt feel all that bad.

When she was done, I had a look in the mirror. It was really neat! Clean, straight and very smart. Then she decided to get a little funky and blow dry my hair. That was exciting! You get the 'just-outta-bed' look which I looove. Unfortunately, in came Sohini with an "ohmigod!! That is so amazing!" After a while, she had to go on "Just do this. Scrunch up your hair. Mess it up. Do that....blah blah." So we did. Trust my verdict: it was amazing! Messy, screaming wild. I wish they did it for something, maybe a club.

And I thought they were done. But no! It couldnt stop there. Not when the guinea pig is tied down between two eager beavers with nothing to do and too much make up in their kits. So they took turns to grab their kits while the other held me down.

It started with this odd fat pencil like thing the colour of light mud. Leah put it in splotches on my face and then rubbed it down. If I thought that was it, boy was I in for a rude shock. A powder puff nearly suffocated me (surprisingly with nothing on it). Then came the eye thingy! Now, THAT was scary. How would you enjoy it if it feels like someone's trying to shove something in your eye? Not good, it does not feel good. Well, Sohini had something white, then something black. I began to think I'd end up with zebra eyes. Not being allowed to see what you look like while people have a go at your face is nerve-wreckingly scary.

Well, they also decided to add some stuff on my cheeks and chin and nose. Now I was so sure it'd be clown staring right back. Who but a jester wears horrid pink goo on their face?! And then they did it. They brought out the lip-stick! It was war. No one, no one gets to put that glop on my face. Never. I refused outright. Sohini said it was "only lip-gloss". Hell, it was lip-gloss! Lip-gloss isn't pink.......(is it?) They had their way in the end and I had to feel like I had plastic lips. Bleach!!

Finally, they said they were done. More like they gave up trying to do any more on such an impossible lab rat. But horror of horrors! Soho brought out her camera and started clicking pictures. "Do this", "stand here", "SMILE, for godsake!", "SHUT UP!! When she was finally done, I ate up the gloss and headed to the mess. I was famished. Trying to slip around corners, zip into the mess, serve and get out like a thief proved difficult. I was caught. But to my surprise, the response was unbelievably positive! They actually thought I looked human! I had to see this!

I sneaked a peek into the mirror. Where the hell was I? There was somebody else staring back, confused, shocked, and curious. Finally, that person smiled. Well, darn me after all! It was me. Dielle. Different....Nice. Actually good to look at. This wasn't bad. Not at all. And to think it all started with an "Are you free?"

Although I did wash off the goop on my face, I didn't wash my hair the next day!

Thank you Leah and Soho. You actually did a good job!! lol :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Goa, mi casa, ti amor....

The book was good, and the bus was late. The music was my favorite sing-along-in-the-bus-kind. But I could see that sheet of blue glinting in the heat of the day and I had to stop. I took a deep breath. Through the air-conditioner, the doors and windows shut tight, I smelt the warm salty breeze of a summer sea. "I'm going home" ran through my mind, over and over and over again.
It's quite irritating to be late when you're getting to a place you love, when you know what's in store for you and what you want to do. When the driver trundled along like he had all day, I wanted to get out of the darned bus and push! I willed the bus to go faster, overtake the bullock-cart and get on with it. When we passed the border into Goa, I smiled. The first thing I saw was a well-stocked bar!! That's the problem with tourists. They think the bar signifies being drunk all-day, and when they come to Goa, presume they shouldnt be able to walk straight until they leave. The 'taverne' is meant for your afternoon 'cop' and pre-dinner shot, not for guzzling anything that floats by in a glass!!
Finally, at Panjim bus stand, four hours later, I spotted my brother miles away. He stepped out of a red van with a white jersey saying 'v.Persie' and walked to the wrong bus. I knew then how much fun he's been having without me. He'd grown conspicuously wider and he grinned! Brothers do not generally do that when they have to play chauffeur. The ride back was amazing. I couldnt stop taking deep breaths of clean air and an even deeper breath when we passed the fish market.
The vacations seemed like the shortest one ever. I had so many things to do and people to meet. It felt like I was coming back after years and I was so excited to say, "Hey! This was what it used to be!" or "Wow! That's changed", even though the building just had a new coat of paint. My cousins were there to greet me at the door and scream "Hi! Dielle!! We got fed up waiting for you and had lunch already!!" I had to pretend that it was ok. How could they finish MY lunch? Fortunately, my mother remembered I was coming home and kept some fish, curry and rice for me. I walloped the lot.
Food was my main agenda during the hols. The 'sorpotel' with that hint of feni that goes so well with the 'sannas' with the hint of toddy, the yummy fried fish in 'reicado' masala, Goa rice and prawn curry.... I can still taste the 'ambot tik' dripping from the hot 'unde', the bombay ducks, and the prawns done every mouth-watering way possible. Jonathan graciously funded our trip to Pastry Cottage, that favorite place in the world where you must never go if you are even thinking of a diet. There's something I've noticed about all Goans. Even if they are away from home for a week, they'll come home and gorge on food like they've been starving all their lives. And I'd been away for six whole months!! Maybe now its easier to imagine the kind of work my oesophagus was going through.
And what is home without the beach? You twiddle your toes in the dry sand and let the wet sand get all over your feet before you strip down to your swimming costume and run down to the inviting sea, the sea that's cool to the skin and once you're in you never want to leave its warm caress. The sun falls on your face and you turn towards it, wallowing in its rays. Then you leave for a snack of yummy chutney and cheese and ham sandwiches, go down to the sand to play. There's a golden tan that you can get only if you enjoy all these things at the beach, not the kind that comes of lying in the heat all day getting parched and spotted, only to have your skin peel off two days later. It gets to be a rather reptilian feeling then. What's the difference then, between you and a croc? You sunbathe all day and when the hunger pangs call, waddle your way into the nearest restaurant and eat your fill until you waddle back to the beach and sunbathe until the sun goes down.
I was fortunate enough to get a chance to attend a wedding too, where you dance to all the 'mandos' and sing along when you know the words, you see people you know and when you're tipsy dance with those you dont know. It's family! Meeting up with friends makes for more great memories, when they look at you and say "Wow, someone's putting on weight!" while you try very hard to suck your tummy in!
Goa is a place you enjoy only when you know how. I wouldnt like to be a tourist there. It's so fake, and the clubs, night and flea markets, cheap drinks and hippie life-style are only a small part of it. You have to live Goa to feel the true 'sussegado' spirit. I had the best time I could hope for at Home. It's a pity I had to leave so soon.
'Dev borem korum' to Mum, Da, J, Nans, A Lee, U Hue, TnTnT, U Selwyn and family, Pete, James, Lori, Dharmesh, Neha, Kim, Keith, Jesh, Karl, Licio, and the rest of those who made my vacation something I still speak about and will till I'm home again! I love you guys....