The Hulk was stirring next to me.
I cast an uneasy glance towards where he sat, sprawled back in a leather recliner, hands hanging over the sides of the seat. The green goop on his face was trickling down his neck and his mouth was slightly open. Everywhere I looked, there was an abundance of brawn. It wasn't a pretty sight. But then again, I wasn't Betty Ross. Far from it, in fact.
I was just an ordinary woman who had walked into the salon on a Sunday afternoon for her ritual monthly shearing. Hoping that the place would be empty other than a few pretty young things getting themselves beautified for their weekend parties. Imagine my surprise, indeed horror, when I found the place crawling with men of various shapes and sizes, getting their hair, faces and even nails groomed.
From mud masks to henna, there were men around me in various stages of beautification that I wish to god I hadn't witnessed.
Before I could run out of the place, my hairdresser spotted me, accosted me and pushed me towards a chair near the reception area. "Pliz take a seat madam, I'll be done soon. It's wedding season na, that's why the rush." Throwing me an apologetic look, he hurried back to the elderly man he had been tending to. I could hear the whirr of the blow-dryer as he went back to his business of drying man locks carefully. Sheesh. I looked away.
I heard someone grunt next to me. The Hulk had woken up, and was sitting up in his chair, staring at me. I didn't know whether to laugh or scream in terror. A diminutive salon attendant rushed to his side and started wiping the green goop off his face with cotton wool. "Your face will be much fresher after this treatment sir, all the blackheads will also be gone," the little man was telling the Hulk in Hindi. The Hulk merely grunted and stared at his reflection in the mirror, waiting for all the goop to come off and a fresh new face to emerge.
I stared at that reflection, half expecting Eric Bana or Edward Norton to stare back at me once the green stuff was wiped off. Or if I was really lucky, Mark Ruffalo. No such luck. If you asked me, the bloke looked nicer with the green muck on his face. Yikes. Fresh, my foot!
I was getting angsty now.
Behind where I was sitting, two loud gents, Lucky and Honey, were getting their beards tended and hands massaged. They sounded as though they were arguing with one another but it was a friendly conversation really. One of them, I gathered, was getting married and the other (probably his brother) was telling him that he would be buying several Diesel jackets for him as his trousseau. No, money didn't seem to be an issue. The one getting his hands massaged had an abundance of rings on his fingers, like our own Bappi da. Midway through the hand massage, a tall uniformed chauffeur strolled in and handed Honey a fat wallet. He had left it in the BMW. Honey was all chuckles and waved the driver off.
I didn't want them to think I was staring at them, which I was, so I looked away. From mud masks to henna, there were men around me in various stages of beautification that I wish to god I hadn't witnessed. Enough to give me nightmares for days!
The newspapers have been writing about Delhi's famous wedding season - in fact, one day this month saw 25,000 weddings! Little wonder then that all these men are queuing up to look gorgeous.
Whoever said that vanity was a women's preserve?
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