It’s big, shapeless and ugly and is always hanging-out with her. Yet, she clings as if her life depends on it. You wonder, what she sees in that monster that refuses to leave her side. You’ve often noticed her hands caressing its soft folds. Oh, how much it disgusts you! You’ve often wondered what it holds in its dark cavernous folds. Admit it! You’ve been tempted to take a peek inside, when it’s alone, on its own. But you dare not! What if its mistress finds out and swings it like a mace and fells you flat like a dehydrated tree!
Crrunnnchhh. You can almost hear the sound of your bones cracking.
Looks can be deceptive. How can a big, wobbly, soft thing be capable of such menace? Blame the possessive mistress, who guards it “the handbag” like a lioness guards her cub.
The lady has a symbiotic relationship with her bag. Right since she was a little girl, who loved draping herself in her Mom’s dupatta, trying to balance herself on high heels, peering at her image in the mirror, her lips smeared with lipstick, adjusting her pretty little purse on her shoulder, trying to look all ladylike. From school socials, to her college days, to her first date, her first interview, through the ups and downs of her life – her shoulder bag was her constant companion.
Her handbag is her blanket of comfort that protects her from the unknown and the unseen. It’s dark, cavernous folds crammed with her most intimate possessions, stuff she might have to use if she…..
1. Has onions in her salad – mint
2. Breaks her heel while running too fast – slip-ons
3. Someone falls into a pothole and is looking for tender loving and care – first aid pouch
4. She’s feeling ugly and the world’s most gorgeous man chooses that inappropriate moment to make an appearance in her life – makeup kit
5. The clouds have had enough and cannot hold the water any longer - umbrella
6. She gets stuck inside the metro for 4 hours – cereal bars and a bottle of water to keep her from perishing of hunger and thirst.
7. To kill 99.9% germs on her hands - Hand sanitizer
8. What if her mobile dies just as she's updating her 345 friends with the latest antics of the new bitch in office - Mobile charger
+ the mandatory wallet, mobile, house-keys, box of cleansing wipes, nail filer, tampons, moisturizers, diapers, pens, pencils etc etc…
It’s not just a tote but her survival kit for daily life in the urban jungle.
She learnt her lessons while watching umpteen number of disaster movies, where a bunch of good-looking men and women get stuck in New York State Library, while the world outside looks like the Arctic Circle and hungry dogs are trying to break in for a snack of warm meat on the bone.
She wants to be prepared for any disaster that might strike – like floods on MG Road, her office doors auto-locking themselves for 6 days, Mishka wanting to do potty, Sameer complaining of headache….She wants to be their angel of mercy, the knight with her roomy handbag saving helpless souls in distress. She loathes being caught off guard. She shudders at the thought of getting stuck in a traffic snarl without a book to read.
She hugs it tight, when she feels distressed/ alone/ sad. She holds it against the man trying to get his cheap thrills inside a crowded bus. Sometimes when it gets unbearable, she pokes him with a safety pin from the outside pocket of her purse. He mumbles a few obscenities and moves on.
She hates feeling helpless. Why should she, when all she needs to do is pack her needs and wants inside her purse!
Yet, you wonder why she carries such a BIG handbag?
Now, will you stop staring at her big green bag! Swallow that snigger, sit back, heave a sigh of relief and ask her if she’s carrying mints. Chances are, she’ll have them in at least six different flavours.