Thursday, January 15, 2009


A beauty parlour offers much more than a makeover – it offers a few hours of complete indolence and indulgence, an experience so different from the rest of my rushed/panting life that it is almost surreal.

I’m not talking about the ten minute, pop-in-thread-eyebrows-pop-out kind of visit. There you are made to sit upright and uptight in a chair while a beautician painfully plucks out your eyebrows. All tampering, and no pampering.

I’m talking about longer visits, when I can leave all my daily cares outside the opaque glass doors and enter the warm and welcoming red-and-black interiors, lie down in one of the beds in the cubicles (don’t get any wrong ideas, though, it’s perfectly above board) and surrender myself to being pampered and fussed over.

There’s a head oil-massage, which I totally adore because of the way it relaxes my neck muscles. There’s a l-o-n-g two hour facial, which includes a decent back-rub and many complicated things being done to my face (including a thick mask of gooey stuff which covers my eyes and mouth and makes me feel like a sci-fi zombie for fifteen minutes). I close my eyes and go with the flow, rather, rub. My angel of a beautician takes it as a compliment when I doze off, since the whole rigmarole is supposed to be relaxing (the dim lights and soft music help).

Especially decadent is the combined manicure and pedicure, when you have two people simultaneously attending to (cleaning and cosseting) your usually-poor-and-overworked hands and feet. I feel like a thirty-minute celebrity!!!

But the pleasure comes at a price. And some pain, as well. It is not all unmitigated blissful eyes-closed floating-in-a-scented-cocoon kind of experience. When your belligerent blackheads are being dug out of their trenches, or your cussed cuticles being poked into shape, it is a painful battle for beauty. What agonies we suffer, what waxing of reluctant hairs and steaming of recalcitrant pores in our quest for beauty.

But for me, the pain is just a small part of the beauty-parlour-parcel. Even the ‘beauty’-bit is passé. What I crave is the pampering. And the forgetting of the clock and the phone for a few hours every month. When I step out, my freshly-pedicured feet are still floating on air. Till I reach home and come back to reality with an almighty thump.


Pinku said...

you are so right...these things we can perhaps do at home too and save a lot of money in the process. But the indulgence factor is just to hard to resist.

Also in my fast paced maniacal life a beauty parlour is a unique place to chitter chatter with other women folks. Since my work place is all male.

Lazyani said...

Now I know why my wife never mises her date with the parlour:)

The Scatterbrain said...

I know exactly what you mean...

Every time I've had a facial done (save for that one expennnnnsive one i got before my wedding) I've never noticed a major change... In a day my skin gets back to being its normal unruly self. But the experience of a few hours of sheer bliss & pampering and sound sleep is definitely worth it!

ugich konitari said...

Definitely classifiable as a Maika Moment :-)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi Pinku, Scatterbrain and UK,

since you've been there and done that, I'm sure you'll be there again and do it again.

Hi Lazyani,

Why don't you go once and check it out? Even hardworking men need a pamper-break!!!

nsiyer said...

Thanks for the knowledge as to what happens at beauty parlours. I,for one, have never been to a parlour. Ofcourse! I can only think of those moments when I sit in the car waiting for a long time for my wife to arrive from the parlour. These moments of waiting have never been beautiful, except that for those moments I am in the driver's seat till the time my wife arrives and I become the driver.