Saturday, 16 February 2013

Strangers are alike

One night of blur is all it takes to rediscover yourself. The ones you're fond of but kept pushing away, the torn paper you had used for scribbling and then tucked away somewhere else,the feelings you thought you were done with,the fears you thought you didn't fear any more. One of my most favourite poets had once told me,"I know you never forgot the fear." As the first rays of the morning sun melts my insomniac dreams,I see his chest rising and dropping and I wonder what he had meant. The tricky thing about alcohol is that it makes you delusional. You tend to get a little unsure of yourself. At least that's what happens to me. I look around,tracing his touch along my fingers and then deep down. I don't know what it means. I don't know why I have that throbbing pain rising near my vertebra. All I know is that I'm supposed to go home,take a shower and forget all about it. All I know is that I won't. I've done this way too many times to doubt my stupidity now. I somehow want to run away.
                                                                He drags me closer and locks his lips between those of mine. Last night was a night of dreams and nightmares. I didn't sleep well. But at the same time,waking up to his embrace was comforting,to say the least. I know the other one will call sooner or lesser. I know he'll be happy for me. I know I'd keep wondering whether I'm in love with any or both of them.
                                                                                                                                 As the silent tears stream down my cheeks,I give in to the friend I had avoided for so long! My words. My words are all I'll ever have. Like I faintly remember telling him...the words that followed like open-ended arguments,the dreams I never weaved and never will...I walk the path all alone to see my happiness etherized like a dead beauty-cold,untouched,distant.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Doll-ed up for an evening of all things pretty

Hola readers,how have you been? If you're there in my Facebook friend list or you happen to follow me on Twitter,you must know about the IIM-C cultural fest I had been talking about. Well,we participated in a lot of events-treasure hunt,junk art,fashion times,splash painting,sports quiz,Calcutta quiz,fashion show,group dance,solo dance and what not. Unfortunately,we couldn't win any of the flagship events. We didn't even qualify to the finals in the fashion show. I qualified for the finals in the solo dance but everything went wrong on stage. I slipped,I couldn't reach center stage with my drag(yes,the stage was a hundred times bigger than what I'm used to and we didn't get a stage slot earlier),my music started off beat and a jump didn't happen. Our group dance was better but we didn't win. We only managed to win in minor events like treasure hunt,junk art etc.
                        Anyway,so,the invitation to attend a make up workshop and cupcake party "Doll up" at Scoop couldn't have come at a better time! Nothing beats frustration like pretty,yummy cupcakes! Scoop,a baby of the sassy girl Johanne Mantosh (and one of THE hottest women entrepreneurs too,if I may add)had been open for a while . She started at the age of twenty and now it is ready to take on the big bad world. The baby is ready to rock you. Her parents started this in the early 90s,the name back then was given by the ice cream company kwality. Business was good. So,they kept the name. The decor inside,as she puts it, is pure "eye candy". It's a heaven for those like me who have been brought up on a staple diet of chick flicks. And what's in there for the guys? The bird-watching? Well,she boasts that it's "hot enough". Even though she claims to be a gypsy queen and apparently the restaurant looks like the ideal place for lovebirds or girls' day outs,she says a sizeable portion of the crowd happens to be family. The child,attracted by the weird decor,drags the family in and they keep coming back. Actually,to look at it again,it DOES look more like a family place than I thought. There's something in every corner that talks about the important people in her life. Something that reminds her of her brother,something else for her mom,something for her dog and finally,a LOT of things for her boyfriend. Being a woman entrepreneur in a city where women aren't known to have their best times mustn't have been easy,I wonder. Even the jovial smile fades a little as she remembers the years of  struggle. The family support might have made it easier but nevertheless,convincing everyone that this PYT with spidery long legs can be their boss and "kick their ass" has been difficult. "I grew up in this area and men haven't been the best",she admits. So,according to her,coming to a restaurant like this and having women serve them itself is an empowering experience for the women customers. Does she see herself  leaning more towards lifestyle than hardcore F&B,I ask. Well,you know what,she doesn't care. Because,for her,"every moment is like a shot". Any further plans? She'd like to open a restaurant in Delhi someday,she says. But Calcutta crowd is more loyal,she adds, In Delhi,people have more money than they can manage and therefore,they are like,"what's next?". And with that,I finished my tenth piece of cupcake. Johanne,being the amazing host she is,forced us to gain at least five kilos with the yummiest cupcakes and marshmallows. We were presented with a gift pack of candies as soon as we entered. Then arrived the prettiest bunch of calories I've ever set my eyes on with fresh lime sodas and chocolate milkshakes for company. Before we were done with the sinfully sweet cupcakes,in came the sandwiches,quick bites,pizzas,burgers,paneer and chicken tikkas and what not. The idea of marrying these two ideas came to her when she was visiting Delhi.

                        After a mouthful of the finger foods,we decided to talk makeup with the co-host of the event,Mou. Her make up studio at Hazra called Studio 84 was born three years ago,thanks to a personal setback she had had. She was down,she did a little makeup one night and she realised that she "was good". She "was good to go". Finding a name for her place was equally random. She decided to go with numbers because "numbers are always lucky". And 84 happens to be her birthyear. So,what better than 'Studio 84'? The X factor of her place is that it's dedicated to ONLY makeup. No facial,nothing else other than makeup. And her makeup is "not regular makeup". She has certified thirty women in Kolkata and more than hundred in the villages,thanks to her connection with an NGO. She gave them one month sessions and seeing ALL of them working now inflates her with pride. She has switched to more workshops now since she has a little time to spare and she has seen many people don't have the time to go through a dedicated course. "I don't have makeup secrets",she says with a cheeky smile. She teaches whatever she knows and keeps nothing to herself. And that's probably why she has such a personal relationship with her clients that she has women calling her up when they are pregnant after getting their bridal makeup done by her. She says she has learnt seventy percent from academics and she is thirty percent self-taught. She is always on Youtube and uses a lot of international brands in her makeup. However,while teaching,she promotes people to use any kind of makeup because,as the Bengali saying goes,"naach na jaanley uThhaan bNyaka(if you don't know how to dance,you'll find the stage faulty)",she believes "if you know the naach,you can do it with anything". She has always been an "emo gothic person" interested in fashion,makeup,photography but she never knew it'd be her career. Even Johanne is one of her loyal clients and that's how they came up with the idea of a tea party cum makeup workshop. Since I'm not a very makeup person,I ask her three makeup tips for someone who knows absolutely nothing about makeup(without telling her who the person concerned was of course). Prompt comes the reply,
i)The foundation has to be exactly the same shade of your complexion. If it's one shade lighter,it's wrong. If it's one shade darker,it's wrong.
ii)You cannot wear eyeliner or kohl that is not smudge-proof.
iii)Young girls shouldn't wear dark colors. They make you look older. And none of us want to look old,right?
However,Studio 84 is anything but your regular beauty parlor. You don't go to her just because you want a makeup artist. It's only by appointment and you go there because you want to share a piece of your life with her. You have to see her work and be comfortable with her style before you get your makeup done by her because,well,she's "very scared of criticism". Where does she see her baby after ten years,I ask her. "It will be THE place when you think of makeup",she replies.

After the hearty chats over heartier food with these two ladies,it was time for the workshop. The live makeovers,a lot of handy makeup tips and some more mouth-watering delicacies later,I left for home since I was in a hurry. But the gracious host didn't forget the discount coupon I was 'entitled to' for my participation. Well,I had a blast in there(the pictures say it better than I do).
Blazer-Simpark Mall,maxi dress,yellow sling,blue ring-B.K.Market,silver cuff,silver rings-Old New Market,gladiators-Metro Plaza

And the next time you're shopping anywhere near Esplanade,you know where to go for a girly gossip session or a quick bite. And when it's time to flaunt what you've bought after hours of rummaging through clothes,you know who'd add just the right touch of perfection to your look.
                                 If things go my way,I'll be back with some very interesting details about the party I'm supposed to go to on 14th(no,I still don't have a boyfriend,people,in case that's what you thought). Till then,take care and keep it stylish.