(New Delhi airport. Arrivals lounge)
Sometimes it’s not until you’re in the thick of a situation, when it smacks you square in the face. At the moment you realise it wasn’t until that very moment that you realised...I arrived in Delhi on my own, having flown from Dubai with no one to meet me. And you know what, I hadn’t got mugged, might have been slightly ripped off with a more expensive prepaid taxi. We re talking £15. To me that’s worth it to be safe to get to the hostel, in the dark. Tomorrow in day light I know I’ll feel braver.
And don’t think too much of it. My friend is arriving in a couple of hours, time enough to get mugged I guess while I wait, I’ve even made her a Welcome sign, on Weleda paper and have Citrus Deodrant in case of much needed armpit refreshment.
One thing I’ve noted is how similar we all are. People meeting with welcoming embraces, departing with tearful goodbyes, sharing a funny story and laughter peeling through the echoey airport corridor. And if in fear, just find the families. Even if a lot of them are all on their smart phones and not talking to one another, there is safety in numbers and easier to merge in, even if I’m the only one on my own for now.
I think the term is “while I was fixing my hair” in the ladies toilet I was joined by a lady who stood next to me “to fix her make up”. Henna on her arms she proceeded to also fix a spot that was emerging on her chin. I was going to offer Weleda skincare advice, as well as sharing my products, although thought twice due to the potential language barrier and didn’t want to interrupt what was clearly a pleasurable eruption.
Spot suitably administered, lipstick of the deepest red matching the blackest of black mascara, her natural beauty framed by perfect application.
She then proceeded to cover her full head of sumptuous hair, cascading over her shoulders, with a habib, and her hennaed arms, only her piercing eyes visible to the outside world
As I left I pondered how in different degrees we all hide beautiful aspects of ourselves in our own way from prying eyes. How we fix ourselves for our own pleasure, not for admiration from others, how I celebrate my femininity as a woman by wearing beautiful underwear, and no, it wasn’t the brightest of red on this occasion.