Triton's online fashion sale had been a life-saver for both Nina and Nik. Nina received the dress on Friday and rushed to try it on. It fit her perfectly, in a lovely shade of dark mauve that cleverly hid the bulges while managing to look pretty! And the best part - she had all the right accessories to go with the dress, she did have her moments of brilliance!
Now all she needed was a visit to the beauty parlor and she was all sorted and raring to go!
She debated whether she should go to her regular one, a homely place with 'beauticians' who were like good old friends spending more time updating her gossip-wise than beauty-wise or to visit the classy new Enhance that everyone had been raving about!
Her reflection in the mirror gave her the answer, I need some serious help, it said!
To Enhance she flounced off, already imagining herself enjoying all the gorgeous pampering, the hushed reverential voices, the smart beauticians and hairdressers all working on her to create a goddess....err, maybe demi-goddess of her!
"Hello ma'am, how may I help you?" enquired the perfectly coiffed, polished, petite angel at the elegant reception.
"Hi, I am here for the complete works, I mean I have a party to attend tomorrow and look at me, huh?" The angel looked Nina over and when she nodded her head in vehement agreement, Nina felt chagrined. She avoided looking at the mirrors, tough considering the place had mirrors on every vertical surface!
"Could you tell me your name and what time are you booked for?" the sweet angel whose name tag read Svetlana asked.
"Ermm, Svetlana I don't have an appointment, I just thought I'd take....a chance?," Nina fumbled nervously.
"Ma'am we never take anyone on without a 24hr prior appointment. But seeing you..," a quick pitiful glance at Nina she continued, "I think I'll try and squeeze you in."
Nina acknowledged with a grateful smile. "Hmm, ma'am I would recommend especially for you our special and exclusive 'Sparkle Head to Toe' treatment, you'll be stunned at the results. Please make yourself comfortable in the lounge while I get you some herbal tea or some coconut-water?" "Coconut-water please," Nina firmly replied.
Nina congratulated herself on her decision to come to this beauty palace instead of her usual shabby and primitive ol' Khoobsurat Ladies Only Parlor.
Soon she was ushered into the actual salon and was surprised to see it practically empty with only a heavy-set bearded man getting his hair-cut.
A young boy, probably south-east Asian with blonde streaky, spiky hair, pierced nose, ripped, super low-waist jeans and transparent net tee under the apron emblazoned with Enhance in fluorescent yellow approached Nina with a cheerful smile.
"Hello mam, me Jinzu your hair stylist. Come sit la," he said in halting English. "How quaint!" Nina thought.
Jinzu tucked Nina into the salon chair and proceeded to examine her hair. She watched as his smiling face in the mirror switched to one of distress! "Ohh, not good, verry baed, you got veery oily scalp with danduff la." Nina slipped lower into the chair and hoped the neighboring fat man hadn't heard that. "You shud use special shampoo for you's frizzy hair la, then it wil shine an' danduff go la!" He whipped out a limited edition bottle of 'Enhance Hair Elixir' and thrust it into Nina's hands. Nina was overwhelmed by this caring young lad!
Jinzu proceeded to wash her hair once, mutter something like 'too oily' and redo the whole process again.
Next he proceeded to select weapons - instruments of his choice from a side trolley full of the most sophisticated gear known to barber-ship, brandishing them with practiced deftness. He turned Nina's face this way and that and remarked, "I do the signature Jinzu style for you," and started snipping her hair. Nina waiting with bathed breath was about to remind him to maintain her hair's length, when Jinzu announced, "Done, now only setting la!" She couldn't believe he had finished the haircut in less than five minutes! The setting however took the better part of an hour with Jinzu sparing no effort to coif her hair into the most beautiful array of curls.
Nina was delighted with the dazzling new her; profusely thanking Jinzu, she thought deliriously - this is just the beginning!
Jinzu pressed her to try out Enhance's conditioner and serum too as he escorted her to the beauty therapy room.
Malini a Hyderabadi girl was waiting there and put her at ease with her disarming chit-chat while she changed out of her clothes into the salon bib behind the screened partition.
Malini told her to lie down while she examined her skin 'type' to ascertain the best treatment for her! "Madam, very dry skin you are having aah, lot of dot-dot and pigg-mentation! Why you not taking goodu care of your fair skin? I will do bleach and super deluxe Enhance Vitamin Therapy and Mask madam, sooper you will look!"
Nina agreed meekly, wondering what an ogre she must have looked with bad hair and worse skin!
After a brief scrub, Malini lavishly applied the bleach all over Nina's face and neck and placing rose-water soaked cotton pads on her closed eye-lids said, "Madam keep bleach for 15 minutes, I will come back."
Skin burning, eyes pricking, for a good half an hour Nina lay in her state of déshabillé, wondering why she had been abandoned so long! She finally gathered her guts and wits to call out, "Koi he?" feebly at first and then more vociferously. Someone came to her rescue, "Malini why did you leave me alone so long, my skin and eyes are all burning," cried Nina plaintively. "Madam, don't worry its normal, you'll be just fine," said a curt new voice. "Malini gone home early today, I am Sona, I will do the rest of your treatment."
Sona apparently preferred to work in silence as she slapped on one cream after another with practiced indifference. Before Nina could relax and relish the facial massage, they were done with the therapy! Nina mused, the supposed 1.5hr therapy included an hour of abandonment with the bleach, steam, mask and a collateral damage of mussed hair setting!
Again superficial Sona, pressed Nina to try out Enhance's bio-revitalizing cream for its miraculous beautifying effects but Nina wasn't too convinced after catching sight of her reflection in the mirror - a haggard bleached vampire with puffy eyes looked back at her.
Sona led her to the manicure/pedicure section when Nina's phone buzzed. It was Bobby calling from Mrs Joshi's place. She'd forgotten all about him! "I'll be home in 10 minutes baby, just coming!" How could she forget about him! Darn this party!
Hurriedly changing back into her clothes, Nina reached the reception to settle the bill. The peerless Svetlana raised a perfect brow in surprise at seeing a full-package client rush out so soon and Nina explained her quandary.
"Hmm, I see," she nodded her head in sympathy and added, "I'll make your bill," while subtly conferring with the beauticians over the intercom. She promptly calculated and handed Nina the bill with a distracted smile.
A large obscenely bejeweled and accessorized lady/new client had just walked in, followed by two miniatures, sporting equally audacious gear.
Nina glanced at the bill and practically staggered! She squinted at it again, wondering whether that darn Sona had managed to massage cream into her eyes! OMG, WT$ and a whole lot of choice words sprung to her mouth, but she waited till the new entrees were done with their Beauty Consultation and seated in the lounge.
"Hey, Svetlana, can you explain the Cancellation fee for M/P bit?" Nina started weakly. Without looking up from her screen the infuriating girl replied, "You cancelled the manicure and pedicure sessions didn't you? So it's a 50% cancellation fee - Enhance policy."
Nina wondered about each of the items, who was the bally senior stylist, when did she have her beauty consultation and, and, and....! She would have taken it all up but for the disapproving, snide looks the three goons in the lounge were giving her.
She was decided. She dug out her phone and dialed, "Mrs Joshi, Nina here, can Bobby be with you for the next hour, I have an emergency I need to sort out, thank you so much."
To Svetlana she dished out, "You'll have to revise the bill dear, chuck the Enhance beauty products from it and I'll be taking my manicure and pedicure after all!"
READ PREVIOUS >> Party Time - Wardrobe Woes
Read other stories from Nina's World:
1. Sunday - Happy Day
2. A Change of Heart
3. Delirious Dilemma
4. Holiday Ahoy - Part 1
5. Holiday Ahoy - Part 2
6. Party Time - Wardrobe Woes
7. Party Time - Beauty Woes
Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.
Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI