"Hi guess who?
said a voice on the other end and jolted me back on to the pillow that I had just risen from .
"hello! hello Rajs can you hear me ?"
"a..a... yes" I replied , my voice sounded feebler than what the attack of viral fever had made it .
"Hi sweetie I am in town and am coming over to your place keep lunch ready and don't forget my favourite masalabhindi and boondi raita --no one can make them like aunty does -...and blah blah blah....and blah blah blah ...."she went on I was hardly listening to her and then the connection snapped .What was it? had she disconnected or had my phone played truant ?
I rang her back and asked what had she said before the conversation had ended " I said I am coming over to your place for lunch and I also said save this number its my new connection only for very close friends---got it ?"
"Maa Anita is coming over for lunch " and I sank into the chair
"Good she's your best friend and she will cheer you up --you look so drab and down after this fever it was a little bit too nasty"
"yes mom and that is what I am worried about you do know !! how particular she is about her skin and hair and looks and all that , what will she say when she looks at this dead skin of mine ?uff I am sacred of her reaction she can be bitchy and catty both ,"and I looked at my mom with desperation .
" Rajni I think its you who is more bitchy and catty, talking about your best friend like that ---she has always been a good influence on you, had you not become friends with her you would have remained the tom boy you were it was her friendship that taught you how to take care of yourself and look more lady like ---my Asha parekh ( that was my mom's compliment for me because Asha Parekh the actress of yester years in most of her movies used to be a tomboy in the begining of her role and then would become absolutely coy and ladylike and pretty )
Well if she was coming she was coming and I had to prepare myself for her onslaught .
My fears were not unfounded the deluge of her inquiries and reactions came in torrents .Mom said "don't Anita don't harass her she has just recovered from viral fever and hence this state give her a weeks time and she will be okay "this calmed her down like the day after the tsunami i.e. after having caused all the emotional damage ,madam began to apologize .
But her buoyancy returned and she said "don't worry honey ab mai aa gayee hun na sab theek kar ke jaoongi --but lets have lunch first hope the boondi raita and bhindi are ready ?...."and she began to sweet talk my mom "aunty aapke jaisa khana koyee nahi banata" etc etc No doubt she is my mom's favourite .
After lunch as we sat in my room with our favourite dessert 'caramel custard with cream' she told me that she had come to invite me for a get together that she was planning the coming Sunday. I said I would have loved to but was in no mood to join a group of known and unknown people with this kind of scaly skin. As it is I was no beauty queen and with this frightening look I didn't want to be the target of curiosity , ridicule and sympathy .
Anita looked at me menacingly" how dare you refuse ----and what have you to worry, mai hun na ? your fairy Godmother my CINDERELLA "
"But what can you do?"
"Why? don't you remember how I worked at your skin with besan and cream and neem and tulsi to get you ready for the college annual function after you had ruined your skin playing holi with the worst of colours and varnish, you wild cat !!!!!"
And we burst out laughing .
She had been a big source of help whenever it came to my looks --and she and me together had played pranks , harassed our teachers ,bunked classes to see cricket matches and movies ---in fact did all that which gave our teachers cause to worry .Once it so happened that just as we came out of the movie hall it started to rain and we couldn't get any transport so by the time we reached home it had become very late and we were completely drenched , my mother was at the door worried and anxious but the only thing she said was ---" in future please let me know of your escapades so that I will be able to tackle any situation arising --there is n't any harm in bunking classes etc we have all done that but don't make it a habit " and this reaction of her's had both of us floored"
""But there's very little time between Sunday and today Anu!!! and no amount of your LOVE will bring back the shine on my face "
"Come on shut your eyes and sit still as I work on your face and she brought out a white pouch with a pink ribbon and two soap cakes of DOVE
She applied dove soap on one of my cheeks and after gently massaging it for some time she washed it and and asked me to see and feel the difference between the two cheeks ---and GOD !! I just couldn't believe what a lot of difference !!!! this cheek which had received the DOVE treatment was smoother and softer and glowing
"So Madam !! how does it feel ? .
"Unbelieveable Anu what a difference this soap has made" I said as I kept on touching and admiring my cheek and comparing it with the other one
"I had said na ab mai aa gayee hoon sab theek kar ke jaaoongi" she winked and gave me a wicked smile .
My mom came in on hearing my shrieks and giggles ,one look at my face and she immediately noticed the difference ---she touched my cheek and exclaimed at the softness --she was full of admiration for Anita " thanks Anu you do love her better than any other 'best friend ' you have always helped her ---see Rajni this is what is called LOVE"
"No Aunty this is not called LOVE
It's called DOVE"
She took out the pouch with the two cakes of sweet smelling beauty bars and when I asked her what was the pink ribbon for she said" it was actually to blindfold you while I played the "guessing game " so that you wouldn't know which cheek was washed with Dove but we didn't need it because I wanted you to see the miracle with open eyes ---you doubting Jane"
( Jane was her female counterpart for doubting Thomas. She had this habit of changing the gender of all characters in proverbs eg peeping Tom would become peeping Jane )
If one wash could do this !!! one week of regular treatment would surely work wonders --and I began looking forward to attending the get together .
I hugged Anita as she handed me the white pouch with the soap cakes and the ribbon "you don't have to blindfold yourself with this ribbon instead use it as a hair band while washing your face hahahah"
As she left us ,I waved at her with GRATITUDE and LOVE and also two beauty bars of DOVE ,eager to face the world armed with beautiful skin .
And the miracle did take place my skin was soft and glowing and some old friends complimented on the improvement they said my skin looked better than always .
with lots of Love
this is my entry for the http://www.dove.in/en/Products/Bar-Body-Wash/default.aspx---contest on indiblogger
#DoveFaceTest --------is the hashtag