Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Perfumes & Backaches

“I hate people, when they use perfume, especially men!”.
The remark came from my niece who is all of fifteen years. It was summer and my sister with her family came down from New Delhi to spend few days with us in Kolkata. Now Kolkata does not exactly excite you as a summer holiday proposition, but family ties can change many perceptions.
If you are troubled by heat and sweat and struggling to keep your body and soul attached, what best place to pass your time, but a shopping mall. Shopping mall world over is best place to do window shopping, some popcorn munching and good time pass in air conditioned environment. I am yet to meet someone who actually goes into a shopping mall to shop. Agreed, I am yet to meet Britney Spears, too.
Coming back to the point I asked my niece, “Why do you hate perfumes? They smell so good”. “It is not the perfume I hate per se’, it is the idea of using a perfume”. “Why what’s wrong with the idea of using perfume?” I was still puzzled. ”Guess, why do people use, perfume? They use it to hide bad odour, in other words, they stink”, pat came the reply.
It took time to sink in, but I was not going to give in easily. “Do you think, it is a good idea to get into a meeting when your armpits are dripping and odor is bad enough to awaken a dead man? Little perfume can help your cause so much”.
I was unwilling to elaborate much on what help a middle aged man wants from a perfume or a deodorant; she has definitely seen those “Axe effect” ads.
“Imagine a Royal Bengal Tiger, coming out of Sundarban with Calvin Klein smell”, she was laughing. I tried hard but couldn’t, men are anyway less on imagination, whatever they have they tend to loose it as fast as their hair, especially if one has two kids and a wife to boot.

At this point of time she was Lady Yuvraj Singh, South City Mall was looking like Durban and I was Stuart Broad getting slaughtered for sixes.
But that was 2007, this is 2009 and equations must have changed, I was hopeful of a turnaround. Asking rate was pretty high, young blood was winning it hands down, but I was determined to take it to the last over and then it could be anybodies game. ”Eh! Going by your logic, you will soon ask people to walk on all fours”? “Try it. It will help your backaches and you don’t have to hire people to do some cumbersome body twisting stuff called Yoga”. For a fleeting second I thought I had her on the mat, after all she is advising against Yoga, but before I could collate my thoughts and go on a counter attack she said, “On all fours, you can walk faster, run faster, you don’t need cars, world can be so green and you save money too”.
“And by the way today I saved you some money so spend some, on getting us ice-creams”. Wise men know when they are beaten; they accept it and move on. I decided to do just that, not questioning where and how the money was saved, I was sure she will have the answer ready.