Bwahahahahaha! Snorting laughter! Laugh your as**s out! Isn't that the most incredible and funny thing I have EVER said!!! :D :p
The truth is, I belong to the privileged class of those few people who are utterly unbothered about their appearance. Every strand of hair on my head curling in contradicting directions, nails filled with cowdung, bringing up blackheads like my babies, perpetually covered with a microfilm of dust; that is just describing the days when I appear a tad bit "better" :p On my so-called bad-days (all days), I closely resemble Nakusha... :p When I wash my hair, I look like this:
And then like this:
Yeah right, keep up the goofy smile :p I remain unaffected. I will most often than not be the proud tomboy amongst a sea of pruned and groomed girls. The only thing I believe God created for comfort are a pair of jeans. Heels? Devil's creation. Cosmetics? Oh please, I'd rather save the Chinese from dragons while hanging from a cliff over boiling lava. Bracelets, pendents, accessories, what are they for? These things happily eluded me until the time for...hold your breath...LADIFICATION!!!
Let me elaborate.
Ladification # noun # verb: to ladify/ ladified/ ladifying. # adverb: ladily. # adjective: lady-like.
Definition: Ladification is the gradual and brutal process/ritual in which young innocent tomboyish girls are forced to change their ways in order to become a lady in their appearance, manners and conduct. Ladification is generally brought about abruptly, the irony lying in the fact that the victim is expected to adopt the changes as soon and as graciously as possible. The primary agents of ladification include peers (girls who started waxing their legs as soon as they grew out of diapers), friendly neighbourhood aunties (the ones that look like juicy cooked turkeys, the only difference is real turkeys don't apply deep magenta lipstick), relatives ("haye ni marjani, ab toh college mein aagayi hai, kam se kam ab toh ladkiyo jaise kapde pehen"), male classmates ("Dude, look at her legs and look at her legs"), etc.
Examples: 1) "Mrs. X's daughter is a teen now, it's high time we ladified her."
2) "Did you see Mrs. X's niece? She carries herself so ladily."
3) "You are right, her daughter is a junglee in comparison, nothing lady-like about her."
(Mrs. X in the above examples might be my mother :p)
So, though I knew about this cruel, highly prevelant practice, I never really had anything to worry about. Simply because I can be utterly stupid and absent-minded as and when it suits me :) For instance, in ninth standard, when Zahira came to show me her newly waxed legs, I just couldn't figure out what she was trying to show me. And no, I wasn't trying to be stupid, I really couldn't figure out what the big deal was. Not wanting to disappoint her eager face, I finally blurted out, "Wow...Zahira...you, er, look...um...FAIR!!!" Correct, that's what I said, that her legs looked 'fair' :p But she was a very sweet girl, she understood I had failed to notice, and kindly told me about waxing (that was how I became acquainted with the word and the procedure). And when she suggested me to undergo the same 'thing', I was horrified.
Zahira: "...so that's what it's all about. Don't I look nice? Why don't you get it done?"
Me: "Yeah, you look very pretty. But I really don't want to..."
Zahira: "Why? It'll be great! You must!"
Zahira:"Scared? Of your mum? C'mon!"
Me:"No idiot, I'm scared of the idea of a woman pulling hair out of my skin, and all that for the hair to grow back again! Now just SHUT UP!"
We reconciled soon :p
But the result of that incident was that the first time she had her brows threaded, the first time she had a facial, the first time she straightened her hair, the first time she bleached, the first time she strutted in heels, and the other first-times-that-are, she did not come up running to me eager with anticipation. It would be me who would finally notice when half the day had gone by and say to her, "Zahira, you look different, it's nice!" She would then smile, and then explain to me what was different. The truth is, I did need those explanations, because I never managed to figure out on my own what was different, other than the fact that something was different :p
That was how it was untill school, but college life brought a deadly shock.
(-to be continued)