Miss ‘Islet of Langerhans’ & the Fashion Trilogy

Humour, Media & Entertainment

That (minus ‘the Fashion Trilogy’) was the title of an article in The Times of India, some 10-12 years ago. It was a funny piece by Jug Suraiya, that was parodying the surfeit of beauty contests in the aftermath of Indian girls winning the Miss Universe and Miss World beauty titles.

It was but natural for the focus to shift then to the contest that sent these contestants to international paegants — the Miss India contest, which soon became a sell-able television show.

Then started the city-wide contests (which incidentally had no role to play in the Miss India selection/participation process) — Miss Bombay, Miss Delhi, Miss Chandigarh etc.

This trickled down to Miss Ghatkopar, Miss Janakpuri, and thereafter Miss Sector-39 and Miss M-Block kind of contests.

There was just one dimension to this trend — scale of space.

And on this, Jug Suraiya put a very simple premise: Since we can’t go bigger than the Universe, the only way to go was to breach the scale frontier by identifying smaller and smaller entities of space, that theoretically would end in cells, molecules and atoms. And somewhere on this continuum were the Islets of Langerhans!

So, where are the Islets of Langerhans?

Inside our bodies!

Islets of Langerhans are a part of the liver-pancreas combination of organs involved in our digestive process! (Why they are named thus is immaterial in the current context.)

—– End of part one —–

A few months later I was watching television, and there was this panel discussion on the fashion & beauty-paegant industry. A typical discussion where everybody would take the politically correct stance that beauty is not physical. I would have let that pass but for this esteemed participant, a fashion designer by the name Rina Dhaka, who said, “…while we had heard about contests like Miss Beautiful Skin, Beautiful Eyes, Beautiful Smile, I recently read in the papers that they are having contests like Miss Beautiful Liver and Pancreas…” This was accompanied by an expression which wanted to say, ‘How ridiculous is that!’

Any guesses which article could she have been referring to?
Ok, the cynical amongst you won’t agree it was the Jug Suraiya article, and the fact that she had missed the drift of the article completely. But think about it — would the fashion fraternity read anything but the TOI, even in those days?

Some days later in the weekend magazine section of a news paper (sadly I am not sure about the name, but poetic justice demands it be the TOI) there was a feature on ‘celebrity couples’. One of the featured couples was Ms. Dhaka and her hubby. The only worthwhile part I remember was Mr. Dhaka (or whatever his name was) mentioning that his wife was quite a dumbo! Wow! I was not the only one with such an impression. And I started believing there is justice in the world afterall.

—– End of part two —–

Again on TV around the same time. JJ Vallaya was being asked about his latest show/collection (whatever) and what he said conceptually (not verbatim) went something like this:

“It’s a tribute to the contemporary woman.”
“So how would you describe the contemporary woman?”
“The contemporary woman is vulnerable, yet strong. She is modern yet traditional. She is sexy, yet sacred. She is cold, yet hot. She knows what she wants, yet is lost. She is worldly-wise, yet innocent…”

You get the drift, right? “She is blah blah, yet opposite of blah blah…”

I remembered this as a template of how-to-bullshit-your-way-through when your-saying-something-is-more-important-than-what-you-say — and I must confess, I have used it successfully on quite a few occasions!

—– End of part three —–

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