Well, Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and what will we write about, if not love? Stores are chock-a-block with red heart shaped thingies, sale (and price) of roses and chocolates are sure to skyrocket, Shiv Sena faithfuls will pounce upon young lovers in parks reprimanding them for abandoning the Indian culture of chastity and purity and for embracing the filthy Western culture (by sitting together in parks and/or holding hands). (How one billion Indians are brought into this world is a subject not relevant at this time and anyway should not be discussed at all, you dirty minded weirdos). Anyway, love is love (lou is lou), and hate is hate.
Did you see the title? And wasn't your interest immediately aroused by it? Did it make you want to scroll down, skip a few paragraphs and see what this love-hate thing is all about? Who is the unfortunate victim? Me or the other party? How many were killed? Were there any survivors? Was the body recovered? What was the cause of death? What were the autopsy results? Was it a quick death? Was it buried or cremated? Or did it go to heaven on a chariot of fire?
I am a kindhearted person, hence will not prolong your suffering, I will try to answer your questions as quickly and as precisely as possible. I am the victim, the other party is not even aware that we are in a love-hate relationship, and no one has been killed (so far). The relationship still continues, and will most very likely continue throughout my life. Everytime I go out shopping it is there, and I see its cousins everyday, in fact several times a day. I cannot imagine living without it and its extended family.
But I do not despair, because I am not its only victim. Many women are in the same relationship. We hate it, but cannot live without it, and everyday our gazes fall upon it most lovingly. We love it so much we carry it everywhere we go, and seek it out wherever and whenever we have the chance. They are a fragile lot, hence we treat them with utmost care, afraid they might break in our hands.
The smarter ones among you might have already figured out what this object of my and other women's collective affection is. In case there are some of you whose thought processes run a bit slower than the average person (and I know there are, as sure as day is day (except in Norway)). Thus being the benevolent, generous, kind, noble soul that I am, let me proceed to tell you what this thing is: It is the mirror. To be precise: the dressing room mirror in shops.
I was out shopping the other day because it is the sales season and there are sales wherever you go, and what is shopping without picking up a dozen items and trying them out and hating them and yourself and not buying a single thing leaving scowling shopkeepers and dressing room attendants behind you?
I went to one shop, picked up a couple of jeans, and made my way to the dressing room. So far, so good. Locked the door behind me, admired the doorknob and the hooks on the wall where you hang your bags and clothes and such ("Good quality steel"). Excellent progress. Removed shoes, and pants. Uh-huh. From there it was downhill all the way (Is it my imagination, or do I use this phrase a lot - downhill all the way). Whatever. Anyway, there I was, standing in a small cubicle, pantless, surrounded by mirrors on three sides. Not good, not good at all. Confidence level skydived. Where did that pillow of a stomach come from, and that too such a fluffy one? And are those thunder thighs? Heavens above, is that a stretch mark on the back? Have I been roaming around with that messy hair? Let’s look at ourselves sideways, maybe we will feel better. Wrong wrong decision. Side view even worse than front view. Sucked the stomach in, but it didn't help. Flat stomachs and lean thighs became a hazy memory from a distant distant past. Looked at the new jeans dubiously. (I don't think those will fit me... What was I thinking, taking them into the dressing room?) Hesitantly reached for the first one, and cautiously inserted one leg, then the other. The jeans were small, waaaaaay too small, so tight I couldn't even pull them up beyond mid-thigh. Hastily removed it. Tried on the other pair. Same result. Threw them down in disgust. Reached for my normal jeans and was welcomed with open arms. Walked out of the cubicle. Left the jeans with the attendant and sulked out of the shop. No wonder those jeans were on sale, who would fit into those tiny things, I consoled myself and went to try my luck at the next shop.
So there you are, my relationship with dressing room mirrors and their numerous cousins. I love mirrors, but hate their frankness, their brutal honesty which sometimes borders on cruelty. And I'm starting to have suspicions that dressing room mirrors are specially manufactured so that everyone will look fat and ugly when in fact it should be just the opposite. Mirror manufacturers and shop owners should work together and produce mirrors that make everyone look slim and pretty so that it’s a win-win situation for all. Except maybe for gullible folks like us who will then buy ill-fitting clothes and wear them proudly and our friends will be embarrassed to go out with us but they will anyway and if they are real friends they will tell us the outfit makes us look worse than a South Indian heroine and we will then change into something slightly better but not so wow-inducing what I mean is a slightly more tolerable outfit and I don’t know how to end this post so I think I’ll end with a lame “Time to look in the mirror.”