Dubai’s white, cool, sparkling-clean sands (almost always) screamed at me each time I stepped out – dig in, they said.
This one time (the only time I braved a walk with a pair of hawai chappals) in DSO, the thought entered my quirky head – the distance is, mathematically speaking, shorter if we crossed the sand. The sand patch looked rather small, visually.
Deepak wasnt going to be the one to fall for such juvenile indulgences.
Shocking as it maybe, he agreed! The ununpredictable man that he was.
I placed my foot into the soft sand dunes and it sunk in so deep that it was lost, then the next. And steps happened. I realised – it takes considerable core strength to work this out. After the first few minutes I knew that this experience will have to be camouflaged with the facade of being a self-curated desert safari. It was nothing like walking on the Elliots beach.
Deepak was busy on a call the whole time (which I am very thankful for, else he would have rubbed it in my face a lot more!) and I was, pathetically, hanging on to his elbow dragging my feet in and out of the slippery sand.
When the road looked considerably closer I was so relieved, the sip of water seemed to make it all go away – until I looked down and saw what had happened to my feet.
Knees down, they were covered in fine white sand leaving a mark protected by the ribs of my flip-flops. My undone toe tails had bags of fine sand filled up in crevices – a painfully long pedicure was due. To top it all, the sun had left a tan too. This was a perfect ostritch moment. The bad news was that we were going into the city from there and not back home – amidst people who step into a salon before sipping their morning coffee!!
The two of us got into the metro. My knee length skirt wasn’t going to save me from the dirty looks of well-groomed co-travellers. I was brown and dirty! All I could do was hide my legs under the seat and look outside.
We stepped out of the metro and zipped towards the mall – lest people notice the fiasco down under.
The best part of the eveing was yet to come! I ran into the ladies room and performed the unforgettable act.
I lifted my leg up above the closet, pulled out the health faucet and sprayed the sand off it, knee down. Then the other leg. I scrubbed my nails too. And then the chappals. With a tissue I neatly wiped the ribs and soul of the flip-flops so that I dont leave squishy pug marks all over the neatly maintained restroom. After those intense 15 minutes, I noticed that I had left the floor wet – much like the effect of letting a bunch of indian aunties into a dry bathroom. So much for my comments about them. Karma is a bitch. Shame. Shame. Where was the invisible cloak when I wanted it the most!
With no other option, I sheepishly slid out of the closet and there she was – the cleaning lady – right behind the door. I couldnt even look her in the eyes apologetically, for the mess that I had made. I heard them- the sweet cussing words. I couldnt follow her language but it wasnt exactly romantic poetry that I was missing. I shut my sense of hearing, zoned out and zipped out of there as soon as I could.
Outside, I breathed the longest breath of conditioned air. Now, I felt normal – neat, with tanned feet and hands, no dirt looks, no stares, judged only for my brown skin.