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The Stiletto Diaries

Lessons for a boring date, and a certain Goan minister

Certain women have been known to embrace dumbness and not know what hit them.  A girl in a Manolo does not, especially with the Manuels of Goa stuck in a time-trap. Goa’s Fashion and Lifestyle writer Ethel Da Costa 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 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 summer 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-enthu strictly 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 am 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 am 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 the Vogue Fashion Awards in Los Angeles, Sting promises to party with me till dawn…

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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 aging 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 the 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.

Models wear shoes by Spanish fashion designer Manolo Blahnik at a central London venue.

My pocket diary flashes. You cannot discount the privileges of satellite technology. There’s an email from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Says Dharamsala needs publicity because the Chinese are cutting off his funds. `Could I be kind to do a karma re-adjustment with my pen?’ Yeah, I could do some closet cleaning, so I reply back. Probably get supermodel pal Christy Turlington to do a bikini shoot in his dining hall…. Hmm! Then leave, karma adjusted, to Australia for the Grand Prix Formula One. The all new Schumi wants to cook Italian pasta and discuss the stock market.  Old habits do not disappear with the white light…

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`…

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A rude shoulder shake wakes me from my reverie… Ahem… The noise hits like a tsunami. There is no jet. But there is a visibly upset Manuel staring hard at me.  I’m on a boring date that caused an instant brain shutdown, right in the middle of a semi-FIFA game.  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 underdeveloped than India 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. Far from pulling out a referee whistle in the middle of a recent TV debate, I realize that it is up to us women now to make our stand very 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 other traditional virtue. Manuel waxes nostalgically 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 cannot `get me.’ The date, as I predicted, is a disaster.  Hello! 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 population had better take note.



Writer’s Profile:

Ethel  Da Costa: Is a Goa based Fashion, Lifestyle, Music writer-journalist, Radio Head, Creative Entrepreneur, Media and PR Consultant, Fashion Stylist, commentator and columnist of all things political and socially incorrect. She is a published poet-author of Eve’s Revenge: Stories of Nemesis (2008), with a sequel in the making.  Founder, Creator of Think Geek Media Entertainment (a label for Music. Fashion. Lifestyle. Media), she is passionate about music, fashion and travel.  She can be reached at



Ethel - by Prasad Pankar


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  1. Wonderful post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!

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