Not sure if I can blame my hormones/my day job/March sluggishness/turning twenty five blues or all of what I mentioned for the heightened deliriousness that I have been feeling over the last couple of weeks. I’m staring down at my dry hands thinking about all the ironical incidents that coincidentally occur at so called crucial moments..sometimes they make me want to go back to blogging full time. And Ironically, my imagination runs dry each time I stare at this clean, blank “add new post” interface (maybe they have an option to beautify your dashboard, no?)
So in a last ditch attempt to save a once in a lifetime to do, a friend and I have embarked upon the tedious process of trying to get out of this country (yes, we are so frustrated that traveling within the country just doesn’t help). After rounds of noes and yeses (is that grammatically correct anyways?), some fuck-ups, pangs of disappointments, plan changes, paperwork and calls to travel agents (one of whom has has a caller tune from the movie RDB – “ek omkar” the song that sounds like a Sikh national anthem and makes me want to stand up in attention lest I hurt anyone’s sentiments if I don’t) we were down to our last week of deciding/getting the right documents/figuring out what to fill in certain parts of the forms.
I will skip describing the entire week where both my friend and I bundled up all our patience and tolerance and dealt with each other’s worries in the most polite manner possible (read: without screaming fuck you). Moving on from my habitual descriptive premise..
Last night, I almost blew my lid after a barrage of questions and started doing some information gathering (visa, papers, do’s-don’ts, usual) Curiosity led me to click on a link that said “What is a bio-metric test?” And that is where this story begins. (told ya, I over-do the premise)
So a freak burst of excitement at a friend’s wedding had me enthusiastically volunteering to get intricate mehendi applied. This was two weeks back.
Coming back to the bio-metric test. Nothing about the name indicates what kind of a test it is. For some strange reason none of us bothered to check, inquire, none of the travel agents actually explained what happens. And there I sat, staring at the screen with just a single statement floating around my head:
“ensure that you have no cuts or design (like henna) on your hands..”
First look at my hands revealed faded patches of what can be described as ugly, leftover erased orange coloured scrawls. Shit hit the roof. There goes my plan. There goes my journey. There goes my chance. There comes depression. That bio metric test was to happen the next morning.
Quick google searches, text advice and panic stricken calls later, I settled in my bathroom with various ingredients, if I may call them so, and followed a regime, that I would never recommend to anyone.
Starting with scrubs, liquid handwash, and the pumic stone I scrubbed my hands hard thinking that it would have the same effect that shampoo sessions have on the henna on your hands. No result.Patient Sis advised me to go the nailpolish remover way. Dumping remover directly on my hands, I waited for hot water to fill up a bucket as well. Hunting for olive oil in our kitchen, I mixed every possible oil I found (sunflower and canola) with salt (that’s what google adviced) and started rubbing it across my fingers. Granny adviced me to use Anne French cleanser (she’s quite the brand loyalist). It worked everywhere apart from the regions that I was looking to get rid of the henna from. I got inspired and started applying astringent. Not much. Next up – toothpaste (google outdid itself with all it’s advice, but they seemed innovative only on paper or in this case cyber). Sat under the fan hoping for meswak to dry on my palms. Scrubbed and rubbed, washed hands. Then it started burning. Washed some more, with hot water. My last ditch effort came with a statuary warning – dries your hands. After tasting strange looking white substance and confirming that I had indeed found baking powder, I mixed it with lime juice and waited yet again for the substance to dry.
The rest as they say, is not history but science. The damn thing gave me illusions that the marks had indeed vanished while I was scrubbing. A wash and drying my hands proved otherwise.
As they say, sleep over it. And so I did.
Woke up next morning and doused my hands in one of those tiny shampoo bottles picked from hotels. Walking out of the house, I stood near the driveway, texting..only to be blessed with a pooping pigeon above my head.
Reached the venue, dropped one of the documents in the paper bag i was carrying and blamed my dad for removing documents without asking me. Found them in a minute. (sorry dad!) breathe in breathe out, that technique doesn’t really follow you when you need it.
Two minutes before my name was called out, I was checking my papers only to realize I hadn’t entered my parents’ dates of birth (back calculation saved me)
And the rest, as they say (why don’t they say it more often?!) was a breeze.
Whether I actually get out of this country or not, coming close to it was sure a nerve wreck!
And now, I need to moisturize my dry hands. They were right about the hands drying up bit atleast.