Friday, June 26, 2009

Quelle Horreur!!! Going out without a blow dry?!

"Shit, shit, shit", Tara switched her mobile phone off, hopped off the spin cycle, and scuttled out of the gym into the warm dense morning, up the narrow bumpy path. A breath caught in her dry throat. Sputtering a cough, she blotted her upper lip against the sleeve of her t-shirt and reached her building.

Up the elevator, already feeling rushed and late, Tara quickly washed her gym-sticky hair, dressed hurriedly, slid lip gloss against her lips, and combing her hair with her fingers, ran out of the door, to get into the car. She had to reach the gallery in time for an unexpected meeting with a potential client, some Belgian businessman who had a half hour in Colaba before being whisked away to the airport for his flight back home, and business successfully concluded, wanted to buy a painting he had seen in a magazine review for Saloniere Star as his take home memento. 

With Gul away for  family wedding, Tara was alone, manning the sales till at the gallery. Energised by the thought, she kept drumming her fingers against the back of the front seats, muttering, "Faster, faster", to the hapless driver.

Once at the gallery, she quickly escorted Herr De Vos inside, while his hotel merc stalled along the road, waiting to take him back.  

"Prachtige, Prachtige", Herr De Vos kept repeating as he stood in front of a large abstracted village scene, which Gul had been ruing over- would it sell, would it not sell. The piece by Paras Patel had seemed different in digital image, but on canvas the excessive detailing- the scooping and gouging of layers and spattering of shapes and shades- gave it a psychedelic feel in a way that didn't quite work. But, hey, if Herr De Vos liked it, who was Tara to complain.

"Its a wonderful piece", Tara chimed in brightly, smiling at Herr de Vos, fingering her wet strands, as she looked up into the large moss-green eyes above the broad flat chest encased in grey suit. "Paras is one of our upcoming stars. Truly experimental, yet he retains the ethnic idiom of India.

Herr De Vos had a plane to catch and was already sold on the idea. He simply zipped out a bundle of Euros when Tara told him the price, and walked away, the painting bundled in layers of tissue and brown paper and bubble wrap.

"Hurrah", Tara exhaled excitedly. What a wonderful start to the day. A painting sold. One of the not-so-better-ones, that too! Time for some good coffee, then.

Locking up the gallery again, Tara clattered along the narrow footpath, towards Indigo Deli only to bump into known faces.

"Tara", Maddy called out, hair pouffed into elaborate curls, ropes of funky beads over a skinny dress in palest peach. 

Tara winced, looking at all the sleek women, with tousled curls and flat-iron straight hair, forgetting that she had spent some ten years in the US never bothering about weekly blow dries. Oh to be caught out in Mumbai without a blow dry!!! Quelle Horreur!!! 

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