Preetha stood near the display rack in the departmental store and wondered. She was confused. She had thought buying a good shampoo would be an easy job. But there was such a huge array of shampoo bottles on display that she did not know which one to buy. There were imported ones, the made-in-India ones, shampoos for oily hair, dry hair, normal hair, strong hair, silky hair, colored hair, shampoos for dandruff, shampoos for regular use, herbal shampoos…..what not? She picked up a few of them and read the description. Each one boasted to be superior than the others. Which one should she buy?
She had always been a simple girl with simple tastes. She had never been fussy about things in life, not the least over a bottle of shampoo. She had always used Shikakai powder for washing her hair, which her mother ordered specially from Madras. She had naturally long and jet black hair. She had never actually worried about her hair, but now…..Now, well, things had changed….
Now she wanted to make her mane look glossier, more silky, more beautiful…..His words had had a really deep impact on her.
She and Paras had been sitting in the garden near their office, when he had suddenly leaned closer and touched her thick plait. “Wonderful, beautiful hair…Preetha baby, I love your hair…” And her heart had skipped a beat. Paras had been a good friend, but now…..Now she wanted to look her best for him. She wanted him to have eyes only for her.
She was brought out of her reverie by the sales girl standing next to her. “Can I help you, madam?,” she asked. Preetha stiffened. For how long had she been lost in thought and been staring into space? No wonder the sales girl had intruded.
“Ummm…..I want a good shampoo which would make my hair look glossy and beautiful,” she said.
“We have just the right thing for you, Madam. Take this…..” She took out a bottle from the rack and handed it to Preetha. “This one has special conditioners which will make your hair look like you have just stepped out of the beauty parlour every time you use it. Your hair will look so silky and shiny…..”
Preetha looked at the description. It seemed to be an imported brand, promising everything that the salesgirl had just told her. No harm in trying.
“I will take this. Thanks.”
On the same day, a few hours later:
A girl and a boy were sitting side by side in the municipal park. They were oblivious to the curious stares of passers-by. Suddenly the boy reached out and touched the girl’s cheek gently.
“Rajvi, baby, I just love your dimple. It makes you look so pretty. …..I could look at it for ever and ever…..,”he said.
The girl blushed and lowered her head in shame.
“Oh, Paras, you are so naughty…..,” she said smilingly.