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... Of Pearls & Palaces
Utterly, Bitterly Beautiful!
Mar 30, 2006 02:24 PM 16177 Views
(Updated Mar 30, 2006 02:24 PM)

GOD!  I look so dull and haggard.  My hair looks lifeless and so does my skin, I don’t look beautiful anymore.”  Uttered my ‘significant other’ one day, not willing to trust for once her absolutely perfect judgement.

“Don’t fret, dear”, I said condescendingly.  “Do you know what real beauty is?” I tried to appease her indirectly by questioning her judgement.

“You tell me!” She shot back, obviously my ruse didn’t work.

“Well, it’s got nothing to do with looks!”  I remarked emphatically.

“Come on, don’t give me that gobbledygook about it being in the eyes of the beholder.  That reminds me, you no longer look at me the way you used to.”  She complained almost nostalgically.

“In a way it is, and more.”  I continued obtusely not knowing where this conversation was leading.

“.And more?” she asked, her eyes forming a squint.

“It’s more of the mind, you see.”  I blurted, knowing I was losing my grip.

“Oh no!  One more of your stupid mind games, I suppose.”  She said despondently in her trademark ‘OK, I am listening’ kind of tone.

“Any person with beautiful thoughts is a beautiful person.”  I stated with an air of wisdom I thought I wouldn’t be capable of.

“Is that so?  Now I know why my friends say I am beautiful which, obviously, you’re not.”  She dropped the bombshell with an air of newly acquired self-importance.

“Your friends are just flattering you. honestly, they are.”  I said, a little sulking.

“You. you are always jealous of what my friends say about

me, isn’t that true?”

“Come on dear, why should I, anyway, not after hearing what they gossip behind your back?”

“Eek!  You do nothing better than eavesdrop, shame on you.”  She said more than a little red in the face.

“Only when people say bad things about you, dear.”  I pacified.

“I asked you a simple and straightforward question on beauty and see what you’ve done now, we are lunging at each other’s throats.”  Her actions almost matched her words.

“All I meant to say was that physical beauty does not count.

You need to be beautiful from the inside.” Was my rejoinder, after moving away to what seemed to me a safe distance.

“I guess you are right, dear.  I’ve heard about this herbal product SAFI which is made and marketed by Hamdard Laboratories, it promises to make anyone, after a bottle or two, beautiful from outside as well as from inside.”

“How on Earth did SAFI get into this discussion?  And the way you have described, it sounds like a bottle of Chivas Regal of 1876 vintage.”  I said, appalled.

“Well, we were discussing about beauty, weren’t we?”  She countered ignoring my comment

“I have a vague idea you were snivelling over the demise of your good looks.  But we were definitely not discussing about expensive liquors.”

“Sorry dear, for interrupting, but you see, Safi isn’t just another product, it is a synonym for beauty.  And, thanks for reminding me about Safi even if you didn’t mean to.  Can you get me one large bottle today?”

“Easy, easy dear, now can you enlighten me on how I reminded you of Safi?”

“Okay honey, when you said something about beauty being from inside. or whatever. it just struck me.”

“Oh, it would have been much better if, instead of an abstract thought, something concrete had struck you.  Anyway, now that you are bent upon throwing this Safi into my face. what is so special about Safi, I ask?”

“Well, everything is special about Safi. and one more thing. don’t give me any more of your stupid sick jokes, and double entendres.”

“It tastes so bitter, and you know that.”  I added desperately trying to bring some lines of genuine concern on my face and failing miserably(never was a good actor anyway).

“Of course I know, my dear, all beautiful things are bitter.  They start bitter and end up being beautiful. unlike you. you started beautiful and see where you’re heading now?  Oh heck!  Safi may be bitter, but it’ll still make me look beautiful in the end.”

“When it comes to really stupid sick jokes, you are far more  ingenious than me, my dear.  What can a bitter tasting herbal concoction do to make you, or anyone else for that matter, look beautiful?”  The cynic in me now fully aroused.

“My mother says it purifies the blood, gets rid of

Pimples and other blemishes, imparts a lovely glow to the

Skin, and improves complexion in general.”

“But, how on Earth are you going to swallow that concoction, it’s so bitter?”  I pegged on.

“I know it’s bitter, and don’t keep reminding me of that every two seconds.  Just 2 teaspoonfuls washed down with milk or fruit juice will do.  I also remember my mother saying Safi has great healing properties.  It protects us from many diseases, improves our immune system, especially, when we can be so vulnerable during the change of seasons.”

“But still that bitter stuff needs to go down your throat first.  And, knowing how bitter you are about bitter things, I can’t see that happen at least in this janam(life).”  I thought I scored a huge point and did a little jig.

“I’m told, it is also a very good weight reducer.  It acts like a

diuretic when taken with warm water.”  She replied ignoring my triumphant act.

“But still that bitter stuff.”

“Shut up dear, and listen. Safi is a herbal medicine. no side affects. nothing!  It cures allergies and skin rashes.  It is also useful against skin diseases such as eczema.  It acts like a mild laxative thereby cleaning the digestive system.  Don’t you remember that nosy Miss. Zany(name changed) who was such a nuisance?  You should, I know because you showed more than normal male interest in her.  And because of you, she often came and borrowed our stuff( from a cup of mirchi to a microwave).  She was overweight and was suffering from all sorts of skin allergies, lack of appetite, general debility, heartburn . “

“Cut the bio short. and come to the point. did she suffer a. er. cardiac or something?”

“She was on Safi.”

“Is she history?”

“No, to me she is mystery. she’s shed almost 25 pounds, all her allergies exorcised. she looks a lot younger than I do, and vivacious too.  There’s a spark in her eyes that I’ve never seen before.  Her long tresses are smooth as silk, and full of life, she looks quite ravishing.  God, I never felt so jealous in my life!”

“How do you know so much about her, you didn’t like her much to keep tabs on her?”

“I still don’t like her, but I happened to meet her in our neighbourhood this afternoon. said, she’s still single and had rented a one bedroom independent house a little further down the road. What!  Where are you going?”

“To check her out.oops. er. I mean. to buy you a bottle of SAFI. dammit, where else did you think I was going?“


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