Of Facials, supermarkets and the clown

The first time I heard the word "facial" was in 8th standard. It was my cousin's wedding and all of us had gone to Hassan, a town near Bangalore. I can tell you the exact distance if you want, but unfortunately this post is neither about that, nor am I interested. Anyway, it was my cousin's wedding and he (yes, he) was forced by all the aunty-party that had gathered, to get a facial so that firstly, his face will glow like Gold or diamond, depending on the influential power of the parlour aunty and how mental the impending wedding had made him, and secondly, it will become soft like a baby's bum. So, off he went, with full excitement, for his first facial and probably his last.

One hour passed. Another went by.

We were waiting in the hall, hoping that our averagely average cousin will turn into Shahrukh Khan miraculously. Then another hour passed, and he came. Nothing had happened. Nothing.

We enquired, "Eno, heng hodyo hange bandidya" (What dude! However you went, same way you came back).

He told us that the parlour aunty told him that it would take three days for the glow to be seen.

For all the people who are wondering why my cousin went to an aunty's parlour. let me clarify that the aunty was our family friend and now that I think about it, I can call her a pioneer in the field of unisex salons in small Karnataka towns. My cousin was her first customer, a pioneer in his own way.

Three days passed, the wedding finished, it was too hot to care, and no one remembered about the facial or the glow.

As we say in this side of the country, "Dhod Topi", can be roughly translated into "Big hat", which means she ripped him off royally. I'll use it in a sentence for you.

Ramesh went to that new mall to buy shoes, Macha, He paid 500 bucks for some dabba shirt, Dhod Topi Hakskonda. (Big Hat, they put on his head)

The origin of the phrase can be traced back to the advent of clowns of Gemini Circus in Bangalore. They wore big hats. And inspired the future generations with an indispensable name. Even now, I know a person who gets Dhod Topi on her head every time she heads out. Guess who? It is yours truly. The biggest hat that can ever be, can be easily put on my small head. And I'll gladly shell out how much ever you ask me, and in fact more if you smile a few times and say good things about me.

I realised this horrible fact when I went out to buy clothes long long ago, may be five years ago. It was a new shop in my neighbourhood and I walked in to see if there's anything nice. The stuff was ordinary, but the prices, over the bloody top. But Alas! The shop was run by an insanely cute fellow, and I ended up paying double for clothes so weird that I haven't worn them till date. I swear one of the shirts was torn the day I got them home.

Dhod Topi!

I thought it was a  one time thing and it'll never happen again. Then, you know what happened? Around the same time, supermarkets started popping up in every road. They just killed me. I had to go in, the colours, the food, the flyers describing all the amazing stuff inside, they just beckoned to me. Every time I passed a supermarket, my mind would go,

Paanch rupai ka maggi lao, paanch rupai ka maggi khao subah shaam do pahar me khao maggi maggi maggi, Pepsi, yeh dil maange more, thandoorusti ka raksha karti hai lifebouy, lifebuoy he jahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

Thats it. I'd stop my bike, go in and go crazy.

"Hmmm, maggi..No let me try Top Ramen this time, there's a new flavour. No, but I want maggi..Okay let me take both"

"Who wants lifebouy? I'll buy dove"

This would go on for hours and hours together. This addiction is still going strong.

The feeling of taking your own trolley, picking up your favorite things from the millions of brands available, reading the labels, and comparing things for hours together, the way my hand trembles when I pick up a new product, coming back home with a big cover, ripping up all junk and the food tasting session that ensues..Aaah.. How can I give it up?

I don't even cook, but I want every cake mix there, I still force my mom to buy all new products and cook something exciting. She is selectively deaf, so unfortunately she keeps us selectively starved.

But the craziest I have gone is when I went clothes shopping in Bombay. By the end of one day, I looked like a Dhobi carrying the whole neighbourhood's entire week load. Super Dhobi, I was!

The clothes seemed all cool and funky there, but when I came back and showed it off to my family, they started rofl-ing.

All I could think of was the clown and his big hat.

And this time, I literally looked like him and got ripped off. A first. Maybe I'm a pioneer too.

Somebody, please remove this hat and put it on their head. I'm done with it.


  1. hahaha......There is a term in hindi also 'topi pehnana'
    Loved the Super Dhobi thingy!!
    We already have hats in our head dear, We don't need yours 'sigh'

  2. He He He... Your writing is as direct as having a conversation...Brand"Pits" are aplenty!

  3. Hahahaha...lovely post I was laughing...nice way to start a Saturday ...I am like you I go crazy in supermarkets....can't resist...but unlike you I am the bargain queen...:-)

  4. DHOD TOPI...:o
    never knew the name...hahaha...lol...:p
    i'll take this as an informative post...facial is of no use for me and other sikhs...most part of our face is already covered with beard...so where u gonna apply facial...???:p

  5. I love coming back here. So much humor into a day's life.. Loved this post.. I am still smiling:)

  6. For me you are the best writer !! I don't read novels and I don't think any other writer can entertain me like you do. I finished reading this post in 3 mins.. that's what amazes me everytime I read your posts :)

  7. @CD- Please take it, please please!

    @Vijay- Thanks! :)

    @Suchi- Sometimes, I turn into that too..maybe I'll write about it some other time :)

    @Cynosure- Hahhahaha..good thing, they cannot rip you off!

    @Kajal- Thanks :D

    @Raja- Wow! You made my week with this comment!..Thanks a lot :)

  8. Nice Post!! What u said about Supermarkets was like reading about my own self....Last week after a visit to the supermarket i kept looking at the bill again and again trying to figure out how it came up to almost $100 when the purpose of my visit was picking a couple of immediate necessities!!! Sigh!

    1. Same thing happens to my mom when we tag along :D

  9. I used to be a Dhad Topi too but that's changed with time and now my problem I can't make the decision "to what to buy now" - I guess Dhad topi again

    1. Hahahaha..Its Dhod topi, Dhad topi means "a dumb hat" :D

  10. Hahahahaha :P.
    Sariyaagi Topi hakiskondiddera :P :P.

    Thank god, the only thing I like to SHOP is for ICE CREAM b-) :D :P. Otherwise I hate shopping :D.
    So Topi hakiskollo chance illa ;) :D :P.

    1. Aiyo ee kaaladalli ice cream allu topi haakskobodhu gottha?

  11. Seriously funny...A smile was there on my face throughout the post and it is still on my face.and learned a new word in the process :)
    Dhod Topi FTW! :P

  12. rofl, naav iruvudhe topi haakuskolakke :P .. even i get ripped off like anything. be it a clothing shop or a food mart. I end up buying stuff I dont really need. ad yaavaag nange buddi barotho gotilla :O :P
    and nice to know this topi thing originated from those circus clowns, I always use the phrase but never asked myself y we say "dhod topi hakondya" anta :D

  13. ROFL!
    One more post which is just HILARIOUS!
    Hehhehehe cant stop hehehehhe
    P.S :- A small appreciation from my side :

  14. hahaha!! Another gem :D Your literal translations from Kannada to English had me in splits! :D

    1. Yes, Kannadigarige special entertainment!

  15. Everyone wears that topi at various stages of their lives. But people don't really accept it on blogs. That way, your blog is very different :)

    Destination Infinity

  16. :) I learnt a new phrase today :) ..

    we all have had TOPI's on our head no matter how clever we are or what we think we will find someone clever then us and rip us off..

    I get ripped off each time i visit india, its only when i come home i get lectures from friends nad family next time i go shopping I need ot keep my MOUTH SHUT, let them do the talking , the shirt of shoes i bought for thousand , they cna get the same for much lesser..

    Recently I got myself a MEXICAN topi, when i was sold the pure Sandal wood bracelets etc, they had said the smell never goes away , the elephants or whatever i bought suddenly dont smell at all now ..

    so you not the only one welcome ot the gang :)


    1. Hahahaha..sell it to someone else saying its pure sandalwood that does not smell!

  17. have to agree, you look super cute with the hat on :D
    Atleast I have company!

  18. Family & friends are always the first to rip us off. Sad, but true :D

    1. Yea, they'll ask us to treat them for every small reason, and some ppl wont even give a gift!

  19. well written. topis are common for the people who are new to the product,area,city, state. new to the country? then you will get a nice,decorated and a huge Hat. whenever we friends go for trip we usually get ripped by the lodge fairs, guide fee. And Ana_treek, no need of shifting the hat,coz already every one has there own big hats(many of us are scrape-goats but no one reveals!).

  20. Hahaha... :D
    Been wearing that hats since years..
    Its always fun to visit your blog. :)

  21. LOL. my mom preferes taking me for shopping. I pick somthing then she picks some other brand. We then compare our choice. Then finalize what to pick.
    At the counter, the pack man usually asks : ''shall we pack it in a sac?''
    When we reach home, the ultimate realisation occurs when my dad and mom starts unpacking the sac.
    How much ever big the hat is, wearing it is kinda fun. I enjoy it.

  22. LOL! Hilarious Ana! :) That second pic looks downright awesome-funny!!! :)

    Dhad Topi is not for me ! I almost always choose the best outfit for me or any of my friends!! :)

  23. That was a rib tickling post again. You are the best when it comes to humor. :) On a (slightly ;)) serious note, supermarkets have successfully managed to put dhod topis on our heads (extent may vary)! ;)


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