Everyone assumed that it was a case of ‘Netflix & Chill’ gone wrong!
Like a melodramatic actor in an Indian TV soap, I stood there with the card in hand. “Wow. Lucky you,” said Ruchi breaking the moment. First instinct — tear the damn card and dump the flowers! As I discreetly looked around, I found my colleagues looking at me rather indiscreetly, some even smirking. Was there no privacy here!
Mallika sauntered in at that very moment with a cup of tea. It should have been a dead giveaway but my mind was clouded. Looking at me expectantly as I took a much-needed sip, she asked, “Tired him out, eh?
In that moment, I realised two things. One… that this was really about spilling tea than offering it — Mallika, that snake, had read my personal note and broadcasted it. And two… everyone assumed that it was a case of ‘Netflix & Chill’ gone wrong! Well… no way was I clarifying anything. The idea of a ‘disappointing night’ was far better to live with. So, I stayed silent. Though internally, I was alternating between smacking Samar and whacking Mallika.
We had almost finished the ‘glass skin’ project (an ironic reminder of the previous night) when I was informed that I would be collaborating with my frenemy on ‘trending nail art’. Perfect… another universal conspiracy. Though nails just gave me the imaginary satisfaction of using mine to claw out Samar’s eyes. I texted the girls about the happenings. Becca was sympathetic. Shams was silent. Perhaps at CrossFit with… uurrrggghhhh!
It was time to forget Samar and concentrate on my meeting with Seema Jaswani, the nail art expert, who gave us an engrossing overview of the work on hand.
As we went through the research, one thing became clear — French manicure, whether classic or upgraded, was a much sought-after style. It goes perfectly well with all outfits — an important consideration for women while picking a manicure.
I moved from sheer to clear nails… with an interesting option of spicing things up with transparent chrome gel polish. Mallika, engrossed in the ‘chrome look’ said smiling “Don’t you think chrome nails make for aesthetic Insta posts? “The nude chrome nails, mirror effect nails and the elusive unicorn effect, I want to have them all.” she said dreamily. I stopped her before she could go on further, telling her that I needed a break.
“I personally prefer matte nails. They are a godsend for working women, both on and off the ‘Gram.”
I walked towards the enclosed area in the corner to call Shams. Many eyes followed me on my way there… some envious, some amused. But I saw ND mam was already there. I began turning away when she stopped me and said, “Listen, I heard about the recent gloss…” Before she could finish, I interrupted her, my eyes wide, “NO NO NO… Whatever you’ve heard, it’s not true. I met that man just last night.” Looking confused ND said, “I am talking about the gloss article.”
OMG! She was talking about gloss and I heard goss! Oh stupid, stupid me! Feeling foolish I mumbled an apology and began a hasty exit when she said quietly, “Ice and cold water refresh the skin, not the brain. For that, beauty sleep is what you need.” I acknowledged and quickly left. Part of me was mad at her for her sarcasm, while the other part was in awe of her keen assessment of my skin and the morning hacks that I had used. Wow! She was something.
It was tough to concentrate on the merits of matte and accent nails after that. Mallika immediately offered to work on accent nails. To quote her, “From glittery to geometric to 3D — anything and everything that adds character to a manicure, I love.” However, I personally prefer matte nails. Perfect for working women — trendy yet subtle enough for professional spaces.
As I was leaving work that evening, I gave one blistering look at the bouquet, hoping it would be gone the next morning. I was just exiting the building when the service staff came and handed me the bouquet smiling. “You forgot”, he said panting.
As I took a cab to my Zumba class, I wondered how to get rid of the damn bouquet. Soon I got off the cab, paid the driver and desperately looked for a trash can. Thankfully, I spotted one… only to realise that I had left the bouquet in the cab.
Yaassss! And I walked on to meet my friends.
Megha’s notes on nail art:
Ep01: When I got yelled at and exfoliation was a vacuum cleaner
TBH no one had ever asked me about ‘exfoliation’ in an interview before.
Ep02: When Pinot Noir gave life and Becca learnt about non-touring
We were in high spirits, both literally and figuratively.
Ep03: When I scored at a work meeting, but failed miserably at beauty sleep
"I had stayed up late researching the effects of blue light on beauty sleep. Ah, the irony!"
Ep04: When I big-sissied Divs and cleared the MO of night creams
"If I can't get my sister to understand skincare better, what chance do I have at explaining this to other women?"
Ep05: When a (delicious) man joined the trio and tutored them on glass skin
"Most women did not realise how simple it really was to make the skin underneath makeup the real star."
Ep06: When I successfully woke up tired skin, only for it to lose colour at work
"All I wanted was to shove Samar’s face into a bucket of ice, all I did was dunk my face in it."
Ep08: When Zumba helped my soul and pre-workout cleansing helped my skin
"I began tying my hair away from my face. No way was I going to let a guy give me a zit."
Ep09: When I won at skin fasting, but mom won in life
"My mom was ready with her next plan. She already had the look of victory on her face."
Ep10: When the night started with lip care and ended with endless dancing
"I was busy reminiscing the previous night and nursing aching feet from all the dancing."