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When Manolo tamed a Manuel

Certain women have been known to embrace dumbness. A girl in a Manolo does not, especially with the Manuels of Goa stuck in a time-trap. Goan fashion writer Ethel Da Costa blogs on women who want more and know how to get it.  


“Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free till they find someone just as wild to run with them.” Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City.


I'm on a private Concorde jet, ensconced in the luxurious comfort of mahogany leather and white suede upholstery, caressing a tall crystal flute of chilled Moet et Chandon. Black six-inch Manolo stilettos (yup, I can do a fox-trot in them); a Donatella Versace mini dress in pale ivory; bed hair unclasped; a huge emerald rock on my little finger; a Louis Vuitton handbag carelessly thrown on the settee, giving the over-enthusiastic six-abs-and-no-flab flat-board male cabin crew a sneak-peek of my Christian Dior 'Audacieuse' sun shades, my digital satellite Sony pocket diary and 18-carat gold cased Nokia cell, still in beep overdrive.  A dozen gleaming platinum credit cards are dying for their next fast and furious swipe high! I'm idly twiddling a Mont Blanc fountain pen languidly between my fingers, while the other hand is busy caressing keys to the summer villa overlooking the bay at Monte Carlo. I'm looking forward to a soiree in the South of France with an appointment card for high tea with Sting. I like rock stars. And Ferraris. After the interview, followed by a 20-minute appearance at Vogue Fashion Awards in Los Angeles, Sting promises to party with me till dawn… 


A nine-hour flight is too much time for a girl like me to sit around doing nothing. So, I pull out my Sony compact laptop and do notes on the venom barbs I’m going to shoot at the ageing Mick Jagger when we meet for cocktails at posh Bungalow 8 in New York. Get him drunk and photographed with a Brazilian high stakes madam accompanied with a nasty juicer in print (how we settle old scores!). Must remember to send a copy to his ex wife Jerry Hall (evil smile). I like this blonde Texan who cooed long distance post her break-up, 'The only time I displayed good taste is when I dumped him.' Smart women do have a weakness for emotional slobs. Roger that. We hit an air pocket. My Mac eyelids blink double fast. Have to re-check my one-day session at Hideaway Spa in Hawaii. Do a double-check on pretty Pierre who simply loves doing my toes and his divine milk soaks I’m completely hooked on to. Then, mint herbal tea with Richard Gere at the sauna…. Now here's a man God made, then retired. My pocket diary flashes. You cannot discount the privileges of satellite technology. The cell jumps, buzzing… ''Hello!'' ''Jay Z? I would be delighted.'' Disconnect cell. How on earth does he manage to find time to launch a special edition T-shirt series despite a world tour with Mrs. Carter, beats me. Flash SMS: Bieber caught at a Brazil bordello again. Tsk, tsk, he don't get it, does he? There's another phone shrill in the distance...''What!! Declined? But that’s not possible…I paid a ransom for those ladies?! Manuel? Who is Manuel? I want Manolo…''


A rude shoulder shake wakes me from my reverie… ahem... The noise hits me like a tsunami. There is no jet. But there is a visibly upset Manuel staring hard at me. I'm on a boring Valentine date that caused an instant brain shutdown, right in the middle of the World Cup. Yes, Manuel is my date. And, I'm sorry to report, a dud to boot. He likes to hear himself talk far more than anyone likes to listen to him… and his understanding of modern women is, shall we say, more under-developed than Lalu's  village itself. Ho hum… I can see the ice disintegrating in my Single Malt, letting out sighs as water meets ethyl, dissolving into oblivion. Very much like some of the voices of our local NGO women — otherwise into robust chest banging — who did not dare a sneeze when provoked by politicians who turned 'foot-in-the-mouth' into a syndrome and, in the process, Goa into a laughing stock that women should be banned from wearing bikinis on the beach. Like, Hello!! Wake up much?!! Far from pulling out a referee whistle in the middle of a recent television debate I was invited to speak, I realise that it is now up to us women to make our stand clear. We take no bull. Surely Manuel needs to understand that women who wear Manolos know the difference between an original and a mock-up? And that bikini-wearing does nothing to strip away intelligence, integrity or any traditional virtues we possess. Manuel waxes nostalgic about the land tillers who plucked mangoes from his great grandfather's trees. He, and a certain Goan minister, might want to remember that those tillers barely covered their modesty in homespun fabrics, which today are an International ramp rage. The price of being a thinking woman!  Manuel rants about how he just cannot 'get me'. The date, as I predicted, is a disaster. This filly has bolted the stable, so fetter your mules elsewhere, I tell Manuel. A girl in a Manolo is a gale in motion. The Manuels of our Goa ministry and Indian population had better take note!!

Ethel Da Costa
Lesle Lewis and Ethel Da Costa at a recent event in Goa
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