The P&P Project

Much Ado About Knoting

I’m too hot (hot damn), called a police and a fireman, I’m too hot… (What, we are no longer doing the Uptown Funk? Okay.) But really I am so hot, feeling so hot (hot hot hot, sorry, child of the Eighties here) that I am two seconds away from melting into a puddle leaving behind a sopping wet EKA linen tunic that once valiantly held my body.

It is not like I haven’t lived in Madras before (I did, over two decades ago), or that I haven’t been in the city since (every December for the last eleven years) but I did forget what it is like to survive, brave, no, suffer humidity in June and July. (there, I just Geotagged myself.) The weather has brought out sides to me I didn’t even know existed. Like me being capable of murderous rage. Or take a fatalist worldview, “Is anything important anymore really?”. Or slipping in and out of consciousness-bending hallucinations. Or having the ability to throw my hair in to a mean top knot. Now you know what this is going to be about (that is if the title didn’t tip you off already, in which case am guessing you are as miserable as I am).

Fact is, I can be as cotton clad as I want, heck, be a walking catalogue for Anokhi days on end even, but there is no greater feeling of relief than when you throw your hair up in a knot and feel that vague excuse of a breeze on your neck again. (Okay, taking off your bra at the end of a long day comes mighty close too.)

Not having the luxury of celebrity or time, the only way to survive this humidity is to do everything one possibly can to stay coool and hair is a big part of it. (Less ‘yo’ and more ‘yo hair stays up so nicely, tell me how?!’.) AC-Car-Curb-AC works but hair IS still a very big part of it. Having mastered the basic top knot, the option to try different kinds of knots and updos was both quickly considered and then abandoned for sake of my sanity and the safety of those around me. You know how you either have an aptitude for something or you don’t? Turns out complicated updos and simple math… Not my thing.

After watching multiple Youtube videos along the lines of ‘The perfect wispy knot in under 10 minutes’, ‘Get a halo braid in eight easy steps’ or ‘Double-knot updo for beginners’, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all a sinister plot to just make me feel utterly incompetent. (The fact that I haven’t yet blinded myself with a bloody bobby pin is no minor miracle.) So what if I juggle two jobs (the blog is one), a home, social life and some semblance of a functional marriage- I can not make a braided updo in eight easy steps, I have failed at life DAMNIT! (Hey Youtube, stop taunting me with recommended videos already.)

Today was especially difficult. After a quick cold shower (and an irrational desire to shower again after toweling off), I stared at the mirror long and hard this morning. Cotton dress by Péro, check. Cute kolhapuri chappals with neon pompoms, check. Then, on to hair. Much like every underdog sports team coach before a big game, I looked me in the eye and told myself I could do it. “You are a fashion blogger for Chrissake”, I yelled. Thankfully the madness passed and I realized, if there’s anything I’ve learnt, the one fail-safe trick I’ve mastered, it is how to work a top knot. I am a fashion blogger for Chrissake! So after throwing my hair up in a neat and efficient knot (today marking seventeenth day in a row), a quick spritz of perfume, some kohl and gloss, I exited the room feeling mighty fine. Only to be greeted by the mother-in-law who in a quick once-over seemed to question my ability to keep her son happy going by my inability to twist and tie my hair in to one glorious updo she and the ladies of her parayanam group could be proud of. Such colossal disappointment I say!

Sigh. Tomorrow is another (muggy) day.


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Mayville. Shop the artist’s prints here.

Dear Freud, the Interweb has me in its deep, deep clutches. We blame my mother, yes?


It is not the diet. Not the getting-a-wee-bit-too-snug tee after a vacation. It definitely is not the what to buy on sale, the item with the bigger mark-down or the one with the lower price tag. Nor is it the ‘Bag or Shoes?’ predicament. It is not the you-just-found-out-your-hot-yoga-instructer-bats-for-the-other-team. What it is, is the little yellow-orange flickering light on your modem. Nothing haunts, gives you anxiety or brings your world to a crashing halt like the three ominous words- Connection is down.


Were there Internet Gods and there are of that am sure, my mother-in-law would ask me to fast on a Wednesday, wear yellow on Sunday, check the vaastu of where my modem is and maybe feed fifty poor unclaimed domain names to appease the WWW. But deeply engrossed in her game of Temple Run, my pain is dismissed with a “Wait one second!”. So much for divine intervention.

By the way, has rahu-kalam passed?

And what is a Blogger to do, without having a Blog to do?

Frantic to be connected, on moves on to the next then. The ubiquitous coffee shop. Who like the Witch with her shiny red apple, has me bite. For a simple reason- Free WiFi. And instead of falling asleep for a hundred years, I suffer through loud generic pop, a populous of age-group I long left behind and terrible Lattes. Headphones on, I proceed to stare at the blinking cursor on my blank screen. In my best pensive, angst-y writer look. Wait, no one saw me checking my Facebook page, right?

(On these coffee-shops, I have a lot to say. But that’s a rant best saved for another caffeinated day.)

There’s only one thing worse than waiting for him to call after a first date. (What, I remember!) Waiting for a picture to upload.

Ah the woes, will they ever cease? (It called for a melodramatic moment.) For a blogger who has often bragged “If there’s WiFi, will blog”, the curse of only one or no bar seems to haunt me every time I travel. Last time, the forced two day e-detox chalked up to one Marni top on sale that I couldn’t get my hands on, two abandoned games of scrabble, beginning Franny and Zooey (again), one squabble, two fun lunches, a bottle of wine and a brief moment spent considering self-medicating.

Hashtag YOLO. Right? RIGHT? Sigh.

Okay, so once back on, I will grudgingly admit, my world didn’t come crashing down. But best not to make this a habit, yes? My closet has feelings too you know? And besides, I don’t want my credit card lulled in to a false sense of security.

As a blogger, online shopper and social media lurker, this post really was going to be about the severely dependent relationship we have with Internet. How it validates, gratifies, proves and cements our social existence with an intensity that just can’t be duplicated. It really was. But now that I see signal strength, I really must go Instagram my Latte and make that ever important pick- XPro or LoFi?