January 2, 2009
There are some extraordinary good sides to living in India.
One of them is that the beauty-lady comes home.
Mine is a gem. She is sweet, soft-spoken and polite. She always wears saris. Georgette, subtle prints, covering blouses. She is a Rajput, you see. Conservative dressing. Makup is minimal: only kajal (kohl) on her eyes. She is on the curvy side of slim, and it suits her.
What really fascinates me is her hair. It is thick, wavy, jet black, and it comes down to her butt. I would give my left arm for such hair. She looks after mine, but despite all the amla oil and head massages in the world, it is pale and lifeless compared to her mane.
She tells me if I look after it it will become just like hers. She tells me she wants hair like mine. They all say the same thing, these gorgeous, dusky Indian beauties. They want our skinny figures and shitty hair.
When she leaves, I am a new person. She rubs, polishes, presses and softens. She doesn’t talk unnecessarily. She doesn’t ask questions about the price of everything.
I keep her number preciously and give it reluctantly.
I was thinking of her today, longing for a head massage.
But this is Paris, my friend. Fend for yourself.