Is there grit behind every glint of glamour? My first experience on and behind the runway suggests so.
It’s close to 10 am. I’m at the tent of make-up gurus Jojo and Yatin. Just when I wonder ‘where’s the drama?’, I hear a voice screaming at a posse of ladies: “Yeh hajaam ki dukaan hai kya? (Is this a hair salon?) Can just anyone walk in for a blow-dry?” Ah, it’s Jojo.
Next, we’re in a dressing room, which is packed with 20-odd models and designers and about 10 backstage helpers — all making do with one over-worked AC. I dread that the make-up we are all caked under may just start to melt! Things get faster and hotter. A coordinator warns at the top of her voice: “If anyone wants to empty your bladder, now is your time.”
The firang models have it worse. “Who told you to sit in your costumes? And you, you guys never seem to listen.” The models go about business nonchalantly, flashing an occasional smile at a designer.
The show’s on. Despite the madness backstage, on the ramp it goes like clockwork. So there’s a method, after all.
I hear my cue. It’s all swish and chic along the runway. The battery of flashbulbs at the end of it makes a psychedelic frame. The front row is all oh-so-serious. Some are taking notes when not looking up and checking the models with surgeon’s eyes. At the back there are cheers, gossip and hoots.
I have always wondered why models have such deadpan faces on the runway. Well, now I know.