A few days back I got an invitation to attend an event for celebrities, hosted by celebrities, of celebrities and for shmucks. I am a shmuck.

Wow, I thought. I have never seen ramp-walk for real, up close and personal. It will be fun. Mrs India like. All the hot babes in swimsuits, the eminent jury, ex Mrs/ Ms/Mr Indias, and an opportunity for selfie with a celebrity. I must go and ogle. 377 egged me on. Now I can stare at girls without guilt.

So along with few more of my amorous friends, I went. Trust me it was tough. I had work at home. Leaving work alone almost broke my heart. But opportunity had knocked, if I missed it (or Mrs-ed it), I would never be able to forgive myself for the lack of respect shown towards all the females who were out there to make a mark in the …. carpet with their high heeled shoes.

Reached sharp at 7.00 pm. And bagged the first row. The event started sharp at 8.00 pm, just an hour late. And with the side-kicks. With the host and dost, Aman Verma, who needed to find a joker in the pack for all his punchlines. As he scouted the audience, his eyes passed by me, paused and stopped …. at the guy next and he became the butt of the attraction for the rest of the show “Hello Sharma ji”, “are you enjoying”, “breathe normally” in the insinuating hosting liberty, the “Sharma ji” enjoyed the attention from the host and the audience for rest of the 4-5 hours and refused to leave his chair, just in case he lost his 15 minutes.

you got a few laughs

The side-kicks continued for a while, taking photos with so many partners, I quickly forgot. I started getting a feel of the event. It doesn’t matter if you are tall or short, thin or obese, if you can speak or not, all you need is your guts and …. the right wardrobe and connections to be right up there looking down at us plebs.

And then there was a break, go have some drinks and snacks before we start the main event, and as we wait for the celebrities who we know are going to be late. Too many hungry people, and not enough to eat. By the time the waiter reached, his plate was hounded and emptied. Once I managed to grab the tissue and a toothpick, yeee! And with all sugary “cold” drinks around, there wasn’t much choice. In my current stuck-on-calorie-count days, when I am counting every morsel, I stayed hungry.

We didn’t want to lose our front row seat so rushed back in 20 minutes, the timeout imposed on us. After half hour, we were asked to “can you pls sit somewhere else” by a girl with a large mouth and a larger derriere. This one is for organisers. Every man around me complied meekly, they were mesmerized by her moving …mouth, what did you think 🙂  And there lies the advantage of the back seat, you can’t be seen watching the backside from the back row.

Waiting and tapping your feet, it will start, be patient, we shall overcome some day, mood. Maybe an hour or so later, things started moving. Few low priced, affordable celebs came in, a former Mrs India, an actress of dubious origin, a singer, a TV star. Trust me, I have nothing against celebrities, they are the ones who have arrived… even if late. People hovered around them, I was somehow reminded of moths. Everyone took photos, their selfies, videos, and they smiled the same pouted smile reserved for such mindless activities.

Finally it started, at 9.30, more than 2.5 hrs later than the scheduled time. Half an hour was reserved for the introduction of the rich and the famous, with Aman falling all over the place reminding them of “Of I know you from so many years” “do you remember when” and “my very good friend”. The falseness was dripping and drooling all over the place. Most pseudo-celebs had a gown on, tight, skin fitted, with fat jutting out unglamorously from a number of places I would not care to describe.

Ah my legs beyond compare

Then the ladies started walking on the ramp. Various shapes and sizes, tall to the short, married women, coming from all walks of life, from Pune and Chennai, from Assam and Bengal. They all looked cloned, wearing a saree with golden blouse, hair tied up tightly into a bun on top of the head, swaying hips, tons of makeup and still angular pose with a hand on the hips. They would all look so much better if real and normal. Mostly they looked stressed out, fake smiles, standing straight but still looking as if they had a back problem.

Interestingly a bunch of software engineers among them. As an engineer myself, all I can say is, nerds and glamour in the same package is rare and the sooner we realize it, the better for the world.

And then some of the divas opened their mouth to speak. Seriously, they should be banned from speaking. Most lost whatever little charm they held, as soon as they uttered their first sentence. Why? Did no one ever tell them, Hindi is also a language, if you can’t handle English, it is ok. Rote learning long poems to introduce themselves, and partially forgotten in the stress. Remember the children that are lined up “son, one poem for uncle ”.And everyone wanting to change the world since Sush did. It was so.. for a change I have no word to describe it, so unreal. To be honest, it was just a “show” (pun intended ) put on that tried to reek of glitz and charm, but ended up feeling fake and hollow.

I have a backache pose

By the time it was almost 10.30 and I was hungry. I needed my daily dose of calories so decided to pass on rest of the evening for those who have the right level of interest in page 3. I had absolutely no inclination to continue for the rest 3-4 hours without food. The more amorous continued to wait with bated breadth for the Baywatch round that never came.

P.S. No intention to discredit any individual, the glamour industry involves tons of hard work and effort, just imagine the hours in the gym and parlours, and it is easy to find faults, maybe not everyone’s cup of (very sugary) tea.

Hair, Hair

The problem with haircuts is that it never turns out the way it is expected. You look at various weird hairdo’s on the Internet ( type haircuts for 40+ females on Google), choose a few, use your phone’s 8 mega pixel camera to click and then land at the salon. Then you tell the guy with the scissors, I want a change. He looks a little stumped. What kind of change? Cautious question. I want to look different. He looks perplexed. Probably wondering what has got into her and how to best appease her. My thin straggling shoulder length hair does not give him too many ideas or options.

I close my eyes and all my past hairdo’s flashed before me one by one. I always had thin hair, when I was small, they were oiled well with mustard oil or heated coconut oil, tightly combed and finally tied into two tight tails with black or red ribbons. My dad would take me to the same roadside barber who used to cut his hair. The wooden chair on the side of the road, and a small shaving mirror hanging from the tree in the front, he had to put a plank on top of the chair for me to reach the mirror. For many years, I only went to him but slowly as I grew older, I realized this was totally down-market and I started insisting to be taken to a proper hairdresser.

The oiled baby
pigtailed in school

My hair grew in length with my age and the pigtail became thin braids. The ribbons remained in their place. My school uniform demanded red ribbons ( and red socks too). I never figured out how some girls always has great looking hair, polished, suited them, perfectly in place even in the windy city. And mine, even after the oiling and ribboning, a few strays would find their way out and I would end up looking as messy.. And when some girl would flick her hair so, ufff, why could I not have hair like that, how can Gods be so unkind to me. My dad discovered a hairdresser, a unisex salon for me on the station road. Considering my awesome knowledge about hair styles, I found him reasonably ok.

the thin braids sans the ribbons

I loved Buns, loose buns ( Rekha kind) or top of the head kind but could never achieve similar results unlike some of my friends despite hours of efforts. My bun would look like a small black woolen ball tied with a rubber which would keep opening every few seconds and finally, getting tired of it, I would tie it so tightly, my head would start aching. In class XI, I suffered from typhoid. And my lovely hair started falling. A great excuse for cutting it really short. And I did. It actually looked good for a while, you know any Sheela, Rekha, Jaya or Sushma would look good at that age.

the extremely short look right after typhoid
the post marriage short hair

My illusion about the hairdresser was shattered in college, when a girl from Jaipur joined our college. Now, for the ugly ducklings in Jodhpur, Jaipur was where all style divas existed. She asked me for a place to cut her hair and I recommended my unisex fellow. Disaster struck. She came back and told me, you go to HIM for your HAIRCUT???. He doesn’t EVEN know how to HOLD hair. With all capitals emphasized! I was ready to sink into the ground as I stood looking guilty in front of the girl-who-came-from-Jaipur. Finally she discovered a better and costlier place for me. To be honest, there did exist some girls who would also fall into the category of my-hair-is-like-this-only with whom it was always easier to form a kinship.

messing with ponies

When I came to Delhi, my eyes popped open at the beautiful hair of some of the hostel inmates. I learnt you could press your hair, curl your hair, perm it, and get gorgeous styles. I experimented. For some reason my hard perms looked good after 3 months only. The first time I permed my hair, my son ( must have been 2-3 years old) refused to recognize me and howled loudly when I tried to hold him. He stayed away from me for 2 full days and when he came hesitantly towards me, he sat in my lap and kept looking at my hair like an alien creature had taken hold of my head.


My husband always supported all my weirdos hairdo, every time I came home and look expectantly at him, he would look at me and say, looking good. What choice did he have anyway? A different response to a different style would have made any conversation with me impossible for a few days.

when I don’t comb

But then I opened my eyes and came back to the present. I showed the-guy-with-the-scissors the photos of what I wanted. He looked at the photo and looked at me. I won’t be exactly like this, he was still hesitating. No, I want this only, I was firm. Ok, I will try and then he started on the journey with his scissors. Twenty minutes later, he flicked the comb, stepped back and said, done. It looks ok, with confidence. I looked at the photo, and looked at me, it doesn’t look like this? I said hesitatingly. No it does, my confidence seem to have migrated to him. I looked at it for a while before finally realizing what was different, the face. The photo has a beautiful face and the mirror showed mine. Well, gotta deal with the same face for this life, might as well smile at it.