Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport completed in April installation of a magnificent sculptural composition of an elephant and its calf, in the spacious departure hall of Terminal 3. The eye-stopper in brass or bronze casting is strategically located with a few well-composed lines on a convex metal scroll, citing the attributes of the Indian elephant and its significance in our country’s fauna.

Public sculptural installations of this magnitude do not happen often ~ and naturally evokes the curiosity of beholders. Departing passengers rushing to the check-in counters pause to click and carry away with their “been there, done that” collection of location pictures. But one is left wondering how the theme of such an impressive composition was conceptualised, who the sculptor was as well as how and where this massive casting was achieved! There is no information available at the site of the sculpture nor is there any literature. One only wishes the airport authorities would promote this beautiful sculpture, that represents an animal so much part of the country’s culture.

The Mask

Like everything else in life, modern make-up has also become easy and “off-the-shelf”. Harking back a couple of generations, women spent long hours preparing cosmetic items. For instance, Kajal was made by painstakingly collecting soot over an oil lamp and then mixing with a few drops of oil. Similarly, sandalwood paste would be dried and passed through a muslin cloth to serve as face powder. Soapnuts were soaked overnight and boiled to make shampoo. Today apart from the range of cosmetics one can get ready-to-fix items like false nails and eyelashes. Looking at a young lady’s purchases, which included nails, eyelashes and a hair-do, a middle-aged lady in a cosmetic shop quipped that a day may come when one would not have to spend hours applying make-up. One may perhaps just pick up a fully made-up face off the shelf and fix it in a trice!

Murky world

The lure of having one’s face on a hoarding or an advertisement, in addition to the good money it fetches as well as the fame that goes with it, is often too good to resist. Unfortunately, fraudsters are out to exploit this, as a colleague found out the hard way. It started with her Instagram, where a profile that was very persistent caught her eye. A pop-up soon emerged, “If you want to have a paid photoshoot just revert back”. It obviously excited a 19-year-old and our colleague got in touch with the person. However, she was uncomfortable with her conversation with the man and decided not to go ahead. A few days later a “media” organisation got in touch informing about an audition being held at the Dwarka City Centre Mall. Since this offer had a semblance of genuineness and also because it was a public space, our colleague decided to try her luck.

However, as she entered the Metro station to head for the mall, she got a call from the person asking her not to go to the venue and insisted that he would personally pick her up. As he argued further and gave a wrong address for the mall, our college smelt a rat and she promptly took the Metro back home. Saved by the skin of her teeth, was all she could think as she felt rattled by the incident.

Tailpiece

If one were to believe the Met department, Delhi monsoons have arrived, but it looks little more than the antics of a few clouds over the city.

 

 

 

 

 

Contributed by: R V Smith, Nivedita R, Samir Pal, Vishakha Joshi and Asha Ramachandran