Wednesday, December 27, 2006

nose job

Desi ghee ya phir rye ka tel laga lijeeyega. Pake ga nahi phir aapka naak”, advices the portly sonhar when he sees me wavering.

It really was my idea to get nose pierced. A lark, a whim, a fancy. But mostly for vanity, let me not deny that. Four thousand years ago somewhere in the Middle East, Rebekah was gifted a nose ring, a tribute to her ‘enchantingly beautiful’ nose. In ancient India, nose piercings were regarded as a mark of beauty and social standing.

Who am I to fight these strong winds of chronicled culture? Happy I am, to submit to them.

Amorous possibilities is what I had in mind. In reality, I had no clue what step one should be. It’s kind of easy to go to the beauty parlour and let the ladies sting you with a gun shot and some cheap metal. But that’s so pedestrian and I’m in a mood for some serious love song here. Besides, the only metal my precious skin can adopt as its own is 22 carats.

Some one suggested Zaveri Bazaar. It’s not far from office and my boss is not in. The planets have aligned.

Not so much actually. In the middle of the afternoon, I go from jewelry shop to jewelry shop – large showrooms to 5-foot shacks, and whilst they’ll sell you all sorts of ornaments to decorate your nose and ears, no one, absolutely no one does the job of piercing them. Backward integration to provide customized solutions – this market ain’t believers of that axiom.

Walking in the heat through narrow crowded by lanes, I’m hungry, thirsty and my 1 inch heel threatens to give up on me. Maybe today’s not the day? Maybe it’s a sign? I almost hail a cab when someone takes pity on me and tells me to try Mumba Devi Mandir.

Situated in the midst of one of Bombay’s most herded alleys, Mumba Devi temple is crowded with devotees, their prayers and offerings. The temple is alive, Mumba, commanding goddess of Mumbai, sits proudly dressed in aesthetic robes with nose studs. I figure I can at least pray to her to make it happen somehow.

As it happens, there are still some gods I may not have yet displeased. Around the temple there is sweet smell of jasmine and orange marigolds and worshipers sell copper bracelets, rings, rudraksha necklaces, incense, saffron, and more. Seated amidst this chaos are two portly men, one eating lunch and the other beating flat one piece of yellow metal.

I stop and hesitatingly ask them if they’ll be able to pierce my nose. Silence for 2 minutes.

Chaandi ki taar se?

Nahi, sone ki taar se. I venture hopefuly. Aap karenge, please?

They again measure me out. Samay lagega sone ki taar banana mein.

Theek hai, main wait kar sakti hoon. I’m not going to give up so easy.

Aisa keejeeye, aap apni taar leke aaiye. They dismiss me.

Lekin…hum kahan se taar laaenge. Aap bana dijeeye, hum wait kar sakte hain. I’m desperate now.

Nahi, aap taar leke aaiye. Hum phir ched kardenge. No more debate on this. I’m finally brushed aside.

Worn out but still hopeful, I take my case to the court of Zaaveri Bazaar again. Fruitlessly I wander around till a tiny shop Tara Chand (TC) Jewelers agree to sell me a 1 inch long, 22 carats gold wire. Bless them!

Yeh leejeeye. I pronounce triumphantly to the sonhar duo.

Again they measure me. Kitne paise diye iske liye.

300 rupay. Kyon zyada hain kya?

I’m not sure if they smirked at me, but one of them finally nodded. Hum aapse ek sau ek rupay lenge is kaam ke liye, apne labour ke liye.

Woh theek hai, lekin kya hume dard bahut hoga? Second thoughts in my mind. Am I crazy for doing this?

Arre nahi. Koi dard nahi hoga. Aap sab humpe chod dijeeye ab.

Only too happy to.

The wire is taken and sharpened. He gets up asks me – kaunsa side? Left? Right?

Ummm right side. I have really no clue.

Waise to log left side par karte hain.

Hang on. I quickly call a friend and she confirms. Left it is.

Theek hai bhai saab, left side par kijeeye.

My head is forced to the left, some one catches hold of my nose and OUCH! It hurts. There’s no blood but my eyes are watering like crazy. People gather around to view this spectacle. For almost 5 minutes he uses pliers to knot the wire. I’m balancing between wanting to shut my eyes because of the pain and wanting to keep a watch what this chaps doing to my nose

Then it gets done. A lovely piece of gold wire pierced through my nose.

Right now it’s enveloped in a weird concoction of soframycin and desi ghee, but it feels sexy as hell.

Maybe i will get my love song after all.

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chandra said...


'a nose job' is so very indian, and somehow looks so beaytiful on indian women ... i am sure it looks superb on you too.

come, lets meet at my place ;

warm wishes


Desiknitter said...

So did your piercing heal and are you still with-gold-wire-in-nose? Funny post - I came to it through various searches for what to do with a painful nose piercing. My sonar (in Pune) told me to apply cow's ghee only, and it's a bit painful, but hopefully since it's only been three days it will be okay...