I define tragedy as the condition I am in when my stick of kohl gets exhausted, and I’ve forgotten to buy a new one already.
Kohl is one absolute essential in my life. I don’t think I’ve passed even one day in the past seven years without the application of this particular cosmetic. I vividly remember dragging myself out of bed, a little more than three years back, when I was down with typhoid, just to wear kajal- people were coming over to visit me, and I could not afford to let them see me minus kohl.
Diamonds are said to be a girl’s best friend, but mine is my stick of kohl, without which I can’t think of stepping out of my room. I can’t even bear to look at myself in the mirror, plain-eyed, even at midnight. Ask Sabrina Tauro with whom I shared a room when I was on a trip recently. Shocked at seeing me apply kajal at about 11.30pm, she asked me if I knew I was going to bed soon!
And so, when last month, I realized one morning when I was getting ready for college, that my kohl stick was over, and my reserves were empty, I decided to bunk- until I hit upon the novel idea of lining my eyes with non-toxic felt pen- an emergency measure only!
Yeah, we all have one thing we’re mortally scared of! I thought until recently, that my weak point was pain- but then I happened to spy a cockroach- and SCREAMED! The ugliest creatures on earth (my personal opinion, of course, with which I’m sure many people would conform)- roaches- dark brown, with their disgustingly bristled legs, and creepy feelers, have the capacity to elicit from me a scream so piercing, so scary, it would put a heroine from a horror movie to shame! Having to dissect a cockroach in my Biology laboratory was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do, and hopefully, I ever will! I’m sure my classmates remember me running around the lab when one of the specimen roaches escaped from the jar in which he was stored. Bless the lab assistant and my teacher for not reporting my antics to the HOD!
My classic question of all time: Why didn’t Noah kill those two roaches when he let two of all God’s creatures into his ark?????
Recently- just last week, to be precise, my good friend Vidya Ramamorthy and I embarked one of our frequent karaoke sessions- the kind that we have 9 out of 10 times we meet. Both of us are Bollywood music enthusiasts, and we start belting out our favorite tracks, rather, MY favorite tracks during such times. Vidya (who, BTW, is the ONLY person on the face of the planet, who thinks I’m a decent enough singer to join in with), is one docile lady, and gives in to my insistence when it comes to choosing songs!
And so just imagine my embarrassment, when after all my insistence, I screw up, midway through a song! Be it forgetting the lyrics, losing my voice at the high notes, missing the beats, or messing up the tune- you name it, and I’ve done it!
My cheeks tend to take on a rosy hue, and my head hangs with shame as I hear Vids say, “Maine kaha tha Arpi, yeh gana nahin.... mera wala aasan toh tha kam se kam - ho jata, without any interruptions!”
To top it all, if we’ve been (un)fortunate enough to have an audience when this disaster happens, my shame knows no boundaries as my reputation as a good singer goes down the drain! But mind you, I haven’t yet learnt my lesson, as I keep pretending I’m a broken juke box for about forty minutes everyday!
When I get to eat what I want to, without counting the calories! Yes, I know, healthy is in! Kareena had to gain some kilos before Saif fell in love with her butt all over again! Yet, irrespective of what every girl says about the futility of ‘the size zero fad’, and how she says her boyfriend likes her curvy, secretly, she’d love to be counted in that list of stick thin ‘hotties’ , who’ve ‘achieved it’! Every thin woman loves rubbing in the fact that she’s got the body that makes her the envy of the rest of us! And as far as the feminist who goes on about how it’s only the inside that matters, is concerned, it’s just a classic case of the fox believing that the grapes were sour anyways! In fact, I think this was the feeling that mothered feminism in the first place!
And so, the ‘pleasantly plump’, and ‘well rounded’ girls like me have two options:
a) to stop eating our favorite foods (which invariably are fries, chips, pizza, burgers- anything mayonnaise based), and pretend like food anyways was the last thing we cared about, and that it hardly ever made a difference to our lives (like hell it didn’t!!)
b) to give a shit to what people say about our figures, to be super-comfortable in XL sized clothes; to be able to convince that well-meaning aunt not to worry, some guy would surely see what jewels we were, and marry us, despite the fact that we might not be able to accommodate our bottoms on their bikes- and to continue eating what we love eating! (Kudos to Mahi of Mahi Way!! for celebrating the lives and desires of such women!)
I, unfortunately, am of the former kind! Good food, honestly, far from exciting me, now freaks me out! A platter of my once favorite food now makes me run away!
So, occasionally, like during Pujo, when I let myself forget the fat, and focus on the feast, I binge; and for me, on those rare days, binging=BLISS! Pure, unadulterated bliss!
God has made human beings special... He’s given us myriad feelings!! My favorite four are up there, and you have just wasted some of your time reading about them. But if you’re a girl, you’ll probably know what I’ve been meaning to say. A breakup with your boyfriend might appear to be the most intense feeling you’ve ever felt; but a little thing like shopping goes a long way in alleviating that pain... Sometimes feelings are not defined by the flowery language we see in greeting cards, but by the tiny instances that remind us of who we really are... look out, you just might be surprised!