I wander through a maze of empty space. If that seems to you like a contradiction in terms, you haven't been to this place. So that's what I do, wander through great empty spaces with nobody in them, nobody to ask for directions to where I have to go. There's a sort of mobile trailer in one spot, with some giggles floating out from within. I consider sticking my head in and asking, but there's a quality to the giggles that make me hesitate.
But eventually I find my way through an upstairs corridor and to a small room with rexine sofas and varnished fake wood cabinets on the wall. One of the latter has several hundred tiny blue, green and red labels stuck on it, sort of like the ones you find on apples, only not those -- and the effect is like the cabinet has been intentionally decorated that way.
I'm sitting there alone for many long minutes, reading my Havana Bay. Then a man and woman enter. In the hip pocket of her painfully tight jeans is what looks like a slim screwdriver. I cannot stifle a wince as she sits.
Then a woman in very high heels and stuffed into her shirt prances in and sits down. At some point, wordlessly unless I missed something, she moves to a chair in front of a mirror and the couple gets up and starts making her up. She asks, "Is this necessary?", and they say in soft unison, "Yes." The woman has also brought a big bag of clothes that someone plonks on the rexine sofa behind me when I get up to say hello to the person who asked me to come here, so that when I sit again, I sit right on the bag. No random screwdrivers in it, I think.
Another woman comes in, radiant and famous smile, and another bag of clothes. An assistant rifles through this bag, muttering "Our sofa is beige", and then picks a green outfit from in there. The woman nods her assent. The first woman is still being made up, over twenty minutes now. The man is brushing delicately at her eyes.
Three smart bags labeled "Arrow" sit on the shelf above the decorated cabinet. I haven't brought any bag of clothes. Will I be stuffed into something from one of those?
The first woman is done. The man motions to me to the chair she has just vacated. In trepidation, I sit there. He picks up some implement, brushes my eyebrows softly and motions me off. I'm done with my makeup, sum total of 3.783 seconds.
The second woman returns, radiant smile and warm demeanour, now clothed in green.
In the studio, wires are everywhere. When I ask for water, someone shouts "Spot, paani de!" Someone else shouts "Plasma, plasma!" I don't know if that second shout is connected to my request, but it is timed just then. I ask someone if I can wear my bowtie. She looks startled and says "No!"
The show begins. And yes, I'll be on TV. One of these days, no idea when. Send me a note if you see me on your small screen, because I won't. (See myself). Not that I'm complaining, because the shooting was fun enough.