So I had a shoot yesterday….

…be still my beating heart. It was me. In front of camera, light boxes, and with people fussing over my hair, my make up, pinning sleeves in place, being gentle with me in case I lose my good humour and start tantrumming. Let me sit down for one long moment and absorb that.
I’ve always been on the other side of shoots. The fetch and carry girl. The one who goes scurrying out to fetch whole wheat chicken sandwiches because the model felt like eating that and not the regular unit food that the rest of us minions were downing, and ending up travelling to a different ward in order to locate an outlet selling said chicken sandwich and rushing back huffing and panting with it, to find the entire shoot held up and major tantrumming on because of the delay in the fetching of said sandwich. Given that this shoot happened at my house, I had no scope to tantrum for a chicken sandwich, but it did feel rather surreal to submit my face to the ministrations of a professional make up person and my hair to the hands of a young girl who was surely zygote in utero when I was young girl.
So there I was sitting on a chair while stuff was daubed, brushed on and powdered onto me. The eyebrows were filled in, the eyelids painted on, the liner and mascara applied and the cheeks contoured, the lips lined and filled in. Yes, when I caught a peek of myself in the mirror I did wonder if I could just take the face off, hang it on the bathroom peg and put it on again the next time I felt like looking all glam. Given my everyday make up routine is liner and lipstick and mascara has never made fleeting acquaintanceship with my eyes given my innate squeamishness about everything concerned with eyes, a fear born from years of putting in semi soft contact lenses and infinite occasions of them traversing into remote corners of the eye and emergency visits to eye doctors to get them out. (I confess, I blinked so hard a couple of times when mascara was being applied that I managed to get myself panda eyed and the poor soul working hard on making me presentable almost sat down and sobbed into his make up paraphernalia). Then there were the changes and the fussing over my look. And best of all, someone folding and draping my scarf perfectly for me, and another ensuring that the damn hair stayed out of my eyes. Given that on good days, the scarf is thrown around the neck as an afterthought and on bad days the self is thrown around the scarf as an afterthought, this was the height of hedonism for me.
The entire process took a few hours. Change outfit, Make up hair, change outfit, make up hair, change outfit make up hair. At the end of it all, I emerged with new found respect for models and actors and people who do this on a regular basis and doffed my metaphorical hat to them. Sitting still while make up is being done takes courage and a quietening of nerves which would require little pills dissolved in water. I have since resolved that anyone who does this on an everyday basis is nothing less that superhuman and I so need tips on how to look at the camera without a “I didn’t do it” guilty expression on my face, worthy of a police station shot with placard bearing name up front.
Thankfully, this terrifying experience happened with much hand holding by an old and dear friend who was in charge of the shoot and was considerably less traumatic than it might have been. I even, gasp, looked at the final images and wondered who the doppelganger was. And crossed my fingers that photoshop would be used extensively in the manner the Good Lord Intended It to be used on stuff that marred my perfection, of which there was plenty. To start with it would be nice if they morphed my face onto Monica Belluci’s body, but a similar attempt using Monica Belluci’s face and body together would be much appreciated. Nonetheless. The shoot is done. The pictures will be out in print in a bit, and what the hell, its me there.Not the regular me of course, but you’ll forgive me the war paint, won’t you.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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12 Responses to So I had a shoot yesterday….

  1. Kanchan says:

    Pics please ! Atleast a sneak preview 🙂

    Dont have them, you’ll have to check New Woman in MArch.


  2. Shruti says:

    🙂 How very exciting..

    Sure is.


  3. Anu says:

    Congrats Kiran

    A proud moment indeed !!!

    warm wishes


    Thank you Anu.


  4. Nirupama says:

    Yes plz. Do post the glam fairy results.

    ( BTW you should be made aware that you do come with a near perfect combination anyways – a very beautiful face with a highly intelligent mind connected to an incredibly good heart! all three make you a remarkably sexy woman and glam now is just the lil cherry on the top)


    Cheena, darlink, you’re a friend and ergo biased. 😉


    • Nirupama says:

      oh well! mates are allowed to be biased , they are also allowed to be truthful 🙂 so i know regarding you, truth shines brighter than bias :)!!


  5. Sue says:

    You won’t need Photoshop, you doofus.

    You have not seen them pics, tyres and multiple chins.


  6. Kiran, you’re rib-tickling funny, you know! Glad you’re enjoying the ride 🙂

    I’ve chewed off half my nails already you know. Am tempted to start on my toe nails now.


  7. mukhtarsblog says:

    The experience must have run adrenaline very fast in the blood of your other contemporaries. It is tricky combination Kiran Manral, killing competition and managing pious and personality gracefully. Good bless u.

    Thank you.


  8. Taa's mom says:

    And where can we see these pics ?

    In New Woman, MArch issue. 🙂


  9. dipali says:

    Yayyyyyy, you:)


  10. nmaha says:

    Sounds terrifying similar to sitting through make-up for pre-school programs 🙂


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