Sunday, August 15, 2010

Victoria Secret

He walked into the store brimming with confidence. Typical of the male ego, his eyes unconsciously fluttered for a brief second on his reflection on the huge glass mirrors. In his mind, there wasn't anything wrong with the action. It was more or less a reflex move, why did they put up the mirrors in the first place? With his inner-self appeased by the logical explanation for his vanity, he moved on, humming a tune. Like most men, he lacked the innate gift of shopping which all women seem to possess. There were no brief stops to check out the store's inventory, rather he navigated his way directly to his target...the Fragrance section.

Stopping at the huge stand for female fragrances, he stylishly cast furtive glances over his shoulder to scout the scene for reactions. The world is a kinky place he mused to himself, a man can't even shop freely without eyebrows being raised. He turned his attention to the perfumes and struggled to concentrate. Givenchy, Armani, cK, Burberry, Vera Wang...hmmm, even Beyonce was peddling scents now. Trying as much as possible to act natural, he slowly brought each bottle a few inches from his face and tried to 'taste' the fragrance with his senses. Once again he was struck by that timeless dilemma or question all men face..."What do women want?" To answer that question, he concluded that he'd have to think like a woman. He chuckled at his own genius, and squared his shoulders as if to acknowledge the silent applause ringing in his imagination.

At that point, the store attendant walked up to him, with a dazzling smile artistically etched on her face, she asked if he needed any assistance. "No thank you, I am okay, just want to pick up a perfume for my sister", he replied. Unconsciously, his voice had dropped an octave, the bass more defined and the accent polished. It is amazing the effect a random beautiful woman can have on a man. In a second, he had switched cultures from African to Mediterranean, his voice, transformed from D'Angelo to Barry White, advertising that he was single and at the same time showing a loving and caring side. After the store attendant moved on, his brain switched into overdrive, processing her beauty and at the same time trying to match the scent of her fragrance to one of the bottles on display.

A few minutes later, he gave up and decided to go ahead with his previous Einstein conclusion of 'thinking like a woman'. So he picked a bottle of perfume at random, glanced nervously around, and sprayed some into the air. He darted his wrist in one fluid motion through the perfume mist and brought his wrist to his nose. "Hmmmm, not bad", he thought. 10 minutes later and about 10 bottles of perfume after, he looked more confused than ever. Sheepishly, he walked over to the male fragrance section, reeking like King Solomon in the middle of his harem, avoiding the bemused glance of the store attendant. Within 2 minutes, he had picked out a cologne. He marveled at how complex it was to think like a woman in contrast to the simplicity of men. Determined not to give up, he walked back to the female section in a bid to mend his wounded ego.

20 minutes later, both arms tattooed with female fragrances and still undecided, he gave up, a defeated man. The store attendants who had been watching him all along, finally came to his rescue. Flanked on both sides by beautiful women who explained the mechanism of the female mind/personality to him, his ego gradually recovered. Pearls of laughter rang through the store as he regained his bravado and charmed the store attendants with his wit, Mediterranean accent in full gear, he rediscovered the art of subtle flirtation and communication. One hour later, a transformed man, his unique fragrance turning heads and drawing admiring glances, he walked out of the store with his shopping bag filled. On his way out of the mall, he paused by a huge Victoria Secret poster. With his left eyebrow arched and a smug smile on his face, he muttered to the poster model..."Now I know your secret"...Or so he thought...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

La Fruta Prohibida

The Room has been swept clean. Stripped of all pictures and memories. It lies bare, except for the glow of a flickering candle, providing the illusion of warmth. Though an illusion the candle may be, its presence remains the sole link to the past. Once, pictures had adorned these walls. Sweet smelling fragrances once lingered in the air, reminiscent of a summer afternoon. Brightly lit and warm, the room once radiated energy and the occupants never wanted to leave. But that feels like a lifetime ago...

The pale glow of the candle casts faint shadows like the works of an absent-minded painter. The air is still, save for the occasional drift of air that squeezes in from the window. The fragrances have long faded, replaced by the emptiness of frozen scents trapped in the memories of the owner. Every now and then, the wind brings in traces of laughter and faint scents of the past. Like an illusion, it only lingers for a heartbeat, slowly retreating like silent footfalls in a dream.

The poets lied to us all. Time doesn't heal all things. Though the room may be bare of pictures, the holes left by the picture hooks still remain. When darkness falls, the ghosts of the past whisper softly from the holes. Why do we fall prey to our minds? Why are we held captive by our hearts? How do you wake up from a dream when your eyes are wide open? How do you open the door to a room locked without keys? Why was the fruit forbidden?

The Stigma of the Forbidden Fruit...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Armani Code & Restroom Chronicles

Newark, Saturday
Spent the weekend in solitude listening to Michael Buble and working on my presentation slides for the San Diego project. There is a pattern of sobriety and calmness that can only be experienced in isolation, not that I recommend it all the time.

Somewhere over the Mississippi...Sunday 5.05pm
Cocooned in between a cute Indian chick and a mother with a cute curly haired kid clad in a red Aeropostale shirt. Not the classic seat I'd say, gotta upgrade to Business class! On a side note, my body wash and body lotion never made it outta Newark, had a flight restriction slapped on them. Curly hair is raising the volume on his screams, so I tune out the noise and drift into pseudo-consciousness whilst basking in the fragrance of Armani Code

Parenthood is not rocket science but it sure ranks close to it. Deciphering the whims and screams of a child can be nerve-racking. Curly hair is throwing a mini tantrum! When I was 9, my best friend was aged 2. It was tough at first to understand his gibberish speech, it wasnt like the Navi language of Avatar, it was more cryptic. But I did learn and we developed our own communication syntax. His eyes could almost see into ur soul, I believe he spoke alot more with his eyes. Sometimes I think thatz why I avoid eye contact till date. He passed away before he was 4, I never really understood why he had to leave earth but he left me with a gift. I never realized it, people say I am a baby/child magnet. Dunno why, I just understand kids.

I often dream about fatherhood even though I am single. Don't ask me why I am single. In the depth of the different shades of excuses lies a hidden truth unknown to me. In a previous lifetime I was called the "Forbidden Fruit". Never understood why either. In a few days, my niece Kyla will arrive. That may be the catalyst I need to finally look down the aisle.

I really don't understand why people have to use the restroom so frequently. My music tastes are quite eclectic. In my dreams I switch from Michael Buble to Maxwell to Nat King Cole and back to John Legend. Throw in Coldplay as an intermission. Air hostesses are human angels. Up in the clouds, with an ever-present smile, attending to the needs of mortals. I respect them alot.

The exodus to the restroom is amazing. You'd think the crew members were hiding chipmunks in there as an attraction. Curly hair keeps running up & down the plane aisle oblivious to the quizzical expression on the faces of other passengers and ignoring the controlled frustration on his mum's face. How I miss the bliss of childhood.

There must be a fetish about taking a leak way up in the clouds! I simply cannot come up with a logical reason as to why so many people have to use the restroom! It seems I am the only person who hasnt made the trip yet. Maybe I am a robot. Or there might be treasure hidden in the restroom. I'll start watching the facial expressions of the "restroom treasure hunters" for any clues.

One thing is certain, I am definitely not peeing in the clouds, thatz uncouth! Some poor dude may get splashed down in St Louis. Dunno if we are still over Ole Miss.

Mayday, Mayday, the cute Indian chick just joined the exodus. I am the last hope for humanity. Currently activating "bladder-lock mode". Curly hair is smiling at me, more like grinning with evil intentions as if to say "U r next!" Let the mind games begin. I am not losing this battle! I'll rather pee in my mind than step into that restroom.

Time seems to be crawling...

The exodus continues, the tough looking "David Carradine" lookalike fella a few seats away, just gave into the pressure. By my count, there are only 2 mortals left: Yours sincerely and an elderly looking Indian man whose family apparently switched sides to the exodus hours ago.

Make that one mortal left. Gandhi just fell...

I hope the pilot doesnt go to the restroom!

Touchdown...Phoenix, Arizona. See y'all in San Diego!