Sunday, October 31, 2010

Loving Vanity

Spend the day going to bed at dawn (as an evening of films beginning with Dances with Wolves was followed up by an automatic-switchover to The Silence of the Lambs before the credits could even roll – a feat made possible by the Made in China DVDs that come with well intentioned-titillating titles. This one was called “Last Century of 46 Greatest Movies” or 46 in 1 as it’s chipped). That immediately gave way to Hannibal before I could even say “… and I ate his liver with some fava beans over a nice glass of Chianti.” But it was nice nonetheless, to continue on with the fine dining tastes of the charming doctor as the film’s so engrossing you wonder what’s gonna happen to the shrink Dr Lecter’s tailing after the Lambs go home.
The evening in my apartment had become a midnight run as Lt John J Dunbar slowly but surely transforms into Dances with Wolves, starts to speak like the Sioux and begins to look like one. By the time Special Agent Starling makes her debut with Dr Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill, the night had stretched until I was caught up between the changing faint lights outside the Mipham windows and the nefariously methodical wits about Hannibal.

When the second installment rolled on its own and ended with the doctor flying in a plane with a pre-packed lunch of the Justice Department’s Spokesman’s brains, the corn-pussy loving Paul Krender, I drifted off to a sleep of my own where the doctor was back in all his mental, verbal and incisive glory – surgically removing layers of confusion to interested students to the simplicity of doing what he does best, eating rude people.

So when I did get up, dare I say I felt a bit like the upright doctor. A late visit to the Ambient Café, a cappuccino upped by a pot of masala chai and the rudimentary visit to check the emails and statuses on the F book. The slow Internet was a turnoff, together with a feeling of stupidity when glancing around to see most shops had closed. What was it? Figured out it was the Descending Day of Lord Buddha (there is no ascending day, for the record). Have I been turning atheist lately? The self-interrogation began. It felt odd that I hadn’t a clue to what is a holy and sacred day here in Bhutan. Anyhow, Buddha came to mind and with that, mindfulness and impermanence.

We went to the 8-11 grocery, picking up a Highland Whiskey for the mates that were gonna drop in later to stretch the Uzu-Wrong-Pa jokes (and this time I’d readied myself on taking them head to head with Girling-Pas). I placed the whiskey at the check out counter and there it was, the trusted-homeopathic Indian vanity brand called “Parachute” – infamous for its flying parachute hair oils. This was a real tempter - a stylish-silvered bottle with the captions “Hair Revitalizer”. I picked up the bottle, a tad unconvinced and proceeded to read the rest of the labels: “hair fall is caused by stress, bad diet, sleeping disorders, depression etc.,” yes! Sounded just like me! The product had me here but it was further cemented by what the Parachute could do “use it 2-3 times a week. Massage the scalp thoroughly and in 42 days, see the difference!” I couldn’t believe it! Only 42 days and I was gonna be Samson again. You see, I’d given up on the nail-to-nail polishing as it looked more than a tad OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and the fresh and raw ginger rub on the head was just too dusty and uncivilized. I looked at the MRP and it was a reasonable Nu 180. So I parachuted out of the 8-11 with this newfound resolution to an age-old problem as natural as ageing. But then again we love fighting the natural order of things. I don’t know what is what anymore but if anything, I guess I wanted the balding process to halt a while and keep it pausing there.
Its like what the Pacino character tells the young lawyer in “The Devil’s Advocate” – “Vanity – I Love It.”