Archive for July, 2009


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Dorian Darcy

Toobaa tried to draw Dorian Gray but it ended up looking like Mr. Darcy. There is no need to quote Oscar Wilde but I’d like to, anyway.

“But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.”
– Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray Ch. 1

dorian greysmall

As outlined in my previous post:

Face plant n. a serious fall which culminates in one landing on his/her face; the involuntary act of plant impersonation with one’s face as its roots; from the colloquial = ‘when trying harder does not make you a winner, but makes it funnier for others to watch you lose’.

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This particular episode occurred by no means near the beginning of her search, and it is impossible to say that it was nearer to the end, either.

Despite the fact that Toobaa’s front door was fitted with a camera which, when activated upon the Knights in Various Armour ringing the doorbell, would show in each room of the house who was at the front door, obviously including how they adjusted their clothes and if they muttered to one another unassumingly, she still preferred to get a pre-preview by peeking childishly through the window at the top-most room of the house.

For fear of being accused of hastiness, she wouldn’t admit that this trailer was where she pretty much made her preliminary assessment: who drove the car; who got out first; how many times did they drive up and down the road before identifying the correct number; did anybody assist the elder lady of the house out of the car; what was their expression upon first seeing her un-selfishly giant abode, etc, etc.

Anyway, on this particular day (the particular-ness of which hasn’t actually been outlined so, one day), having already seen pictures of a new collective from Kent and dramatised the compulsory (and somewhat genuine) reluctance, Toobaa awaited at her lookout point and, everything short of laying her hair out the window, Rapunzelled the time away.

So, she existed at the window for a quarter of an hour. Then she noticed the car. It slowed as it neared the top of the hill. Needless to mention, Toobaa had by now moved to a more discreet spy-point and even held her breath for good measure. Then, three wheatish-brown complexions peered from the windows of their blue car. Blue is the only description Toobaa was able to register before she saw, quite clearly, two of the three jaws drop, a self-conscious hand waving at the house and then at the driver (unconfirmed reports on which member of the family this was). Then there was a chortling engine sound and the car spluttered off down the other side of the hill.

It is said that Toobaa’s abode was perhaps too big for the Knight of Kent. Or maybe they were actually the royalty of a long lost empire that continues to exist under the English Channel and our home seemed to them a chunk of seaweed or a cracked sea-snail shell – of the two it cannot be said. What can be said with certainty, however, is that that is no way to behave. The misfortune of presuming the beautiful to be arrogant or air-headed; the ugly as incapable of passion or being loved; the poor as jealous and crafty and the rich of being miserly and haughty falls both ways. This is probably how we miss the precious, hidden gems we pray to find.

Face plant n. a serious fall which culminates in one landing on his/her face; the involuntary act of plant impersonation with one’s face as its roots; from the colloquial = ‘when trying harder does not make you a winner, but makes it funnier for others to watch you lose’.

What excited Toobaa about Shelina Zahra Janmohamed’s memoir, ‘Love in a Headscarf‘, was that she didn’t have to read it to know that it would be all the superb things it could be: witty, relevant and familiar. It was enough to know that an abundantly common experience and oft thought tedious process was being, by and large, universally acknowledged and celebrated. The story of many was being told – even a bit of hers.

Her own voyage was, however, hardly characterised by the austere head dress, although austerity was intended as a sort of obligatory form of transport from freedom to Freedom 2.0 (and a head dress was worn at all times). No, the prevailing flavour of her expedition was a fizzing in the nose, a scrunched up forehead and blotted out vision as she metaphorically, verbally and physically face planted her way (in an assortment of manners) through each and every alleged-able bachelor her Mother could filter through the customary barbed wire sieve. Until, of course, she ran out.

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An unmistakable face plant.

An unmistakable face plant.