Last week I bought Aquashine lipstick in Scarlet, after a lot of deliberation. And I love it. I think it makes me look hot (of course, the clothes have to be right, and also the face should be devoid of other heavy makeup).

I remember when I was in college, I wore bright red nail polish, and one of my classmates, a “proper” “girly” girl, looked at my nails, and kept exclaiming to her friends: “Look at her nail polish!” In contrast, a stylish girl in my class went home and tried the colour.

Another time, I went to a party organised by my parents’ friends. A girl I know was wearing a black top and a red skirt, and looking very pretty. But I noticed she went for dark brown lipstick. I bet she wasn’t wearing red because she thought it would look over-the-top or too sexy.

A couple of years back, my cousin bought me bright red lipstick from Mauritius. Pinkish-red! I don’t know how on earth she expected me to wear it. But I managed to put it to good use. A few months later I got a haircut, and my cousin in US wanted to see the new style. I sent her pictures of me looking like a vampire, with 2 coats of the red lipstick on my lips, and heavily kohl-ed eyes.

Ok I’ll jump to the present…
I plan to wear the red lipstick for weddings (probably every wedding, if it goes with my outfit – I won’t care when people gape at me), parties (family parties included) and fun evenings (and hot dates if I find Mr. Right). And I will love it, forever. Hail red lipstick!

Cheap date ideas

1. Share a brownie at Pizza Corner. (Go to RA Puram Pizza Corner, and take the
semi-circular seat, which offers a great view of Indian Bank, RA Puram. You can also stare at people who come and park their bikes below, apart from looking at your girl or guy.)

2. Adventure date – Go to Central Station. Leap from one parked train to another and to the platform – right when the trains start moving. Then buy food, go to a train that will depart only in an hour or so, and feed each other, looking into each other’s eyes lovingly. After this, start the leaping game again. Or, have a three course meal and do the leaping in between the courses.

3. Blow balloons and play ball with them. Or tie a giant helium balloon to yourselves. Wrap the string tightly around the two of you. You may float too high, but it will put you in a light mood.

4. Wear blood red costumes with capes, with the words “Mosquito Murderers” printed on them. Spend an evening hitting mosquitoes. Use rolled up newspapers. Take care not to hit each other by mistake.

After hitting at least 25 mosquitoes, have a budget meal at Sweet Chariot, to congratulate yourselves. Don’t forget to change clothes before dinner.

5. Play some sport (mud wrestling and boxing not recommended).

6. Put on a Ramarajan style costume. Get a cow and milk her, with your date sitting on a stool at the other side, at eye-level with you. Sing "Shenbagame.. Shenbagame..", looking deeply and romantically into her eyes (remember to blink every now and then so that your eyes don’t get dry). Drink half of the milk, from a tumbler, and let your date drink the other half.

7. Take a bus to a village. Go without tickets, sitting on the roof of the bus, singing “Chaiyya Chaiyya…”. In the village, spend some time hanging like bats from a tree near some beautiful fields, and hold hands. It will give you a different perspective of your date, and the village.

8. Are you two at a party and feel like spending some time alone? Offer to make food (along with your girl). Cook the worst meal ever. Then force the food down the throats of the others; they’ll probably run away. You can have a great time with your girlfriend (the plan can also backfire, so have something planned, in case you’re chased out.)

9. Go to a thalluvandi food shop and have biryani (make sure it’s not kaakka biryani – to do this, test it on some unsuspecting passer-by who likes a treat from strangers). End the meal with Rasna from a nearby pottikadai (for her) and coffee and a cigarette (for you).

10. Go to a village. Take a long bullock cart ride. Try your hand at farming. Tuck some jasmine flowers affectionately in your girl’s hair. Spend the evening in a hut, drinking kanji, and follow it up with strong nattu sarakku.

11. Phone date - Call her up and serenade her over the phone. Sing love songs of her favourite music directors and bands. She might be floored, or might be put off if your singing isn’t great. So take, some training beforehand. In any case, have a back up plan. When she gets irritated, you can suggest a better date idea.

12. Teach your date car driving. He / she can also opt to be the backseat driver. Don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt.

An even better idea – hire a water lorry and teach him / her.

13. Rummage through your loft and take out your childhood toys – GiJoe soldiers, toy trains, guns – the whole lot. Ask your date to get her Barbies. For added fun, suck your thumbs. Have a wonderful time revisiting your childhood.

14. Take huge water pistols. Have a fun fight, or barge into the nearest house and shoot away! It is bound to become more exciting, with them chasing you out and shouting at you.

15. Buy a pack of the cheapest dates available and munch away.