Musing over last thirty years
This post won the Indiblogger Dove Guessing Game with my friend contest
I had returned home early from work. Early in the software world means 5:30 in the evening with the sun having already set on a wintry eventide. I had clients visiting us and had to take them out for dinner.
As I stepped into a knee length skirt, lined my eyes with kohl my four year old daughter sat looking at me intently. I applied a final dash of lipstick and she gazed at me with inquisitive, intriguing eyes. They never stopped following me. She peeped into my cupboard to find a stash of jewelry and cosmetic items. The look on her face was that of a child drooling over a box of his favorite sweets placed in front of him. She couldn’t fathom which item should be tried first and was making up her mind when I caught her fiddling with one of my lipsticks. The sound of rummage had made me turn around and catch her off guard. She could read the look on my face, she had to stay at arms length from those items. But then she was amazed as well as perturbed. Hard as she tried she couldn’t refrain herself from looking at the treasure in front of her. Gently she asked me, “Mama, can I try one of those lipsticks, please?” I gave her a firm negation in response. She pleaded if she could touch my lips to get a feel of the red hue adorning the edges of my mouth. When she found nothing could work out she cuddled close to me and purred, ” Mama you look amazing, shall I dress you up?” with that she gave me a peck on my lips and rushed out. The complete act left me stunned for few seconds I didn’t know whether I should get angry or laugh at the cheekiness of the four year old. I smiled to myself and rushed for the dinner party.
I drove my beloved Santro through the traffic and reminiscent my childhood days. Memories flooded as I remembered my misadventures, silly pranks, foolery and buffoonery. It brought a smile on my face. Wait till you get an insight into it.
As a five year old I would always watch my father shave his stubble every morning while getting ready for office. At that age I was unaware that this cleaning act was only meant for the male gender. This daily act was more of a beauty regime in my eyes that would go with any sex. One weekend my partner in crimes Sudha visited me as every other. I took her to my room and whilst playing with our dolls suggested to try our hands in the act of shearing? She was game for it. Out came the razor, the shaving brush and the soap. I was full of beans and was the first to get into action. I placed a stool in front of the basin, opened the cupboard and brought an arm full of towels. I climbed on to the stool opened the faucet and left it running. I lathered my cheeks and then looked at my friend who gave me the approval to proceed ahead. It was afternoon time and my mother was lying on the bed in the adjacent room thumbing through a magazine. Scared that she might get suspicious of our operation we ensured that the whole exercise was carried out without any noise. I took a tissue paper and cleared my hands of the foam. But it didn’t suffice as the area around the basin also had been messed up. We didn’t know how much soap was required and had managed to litter the area around the basin with lather and bubbles. I took the towels and cleaned the whole area. The towels had gotten dirty so I dumped them along with the used tissue papers into the basin. Water kept running through the tap. I cleared the lather of my cheeks with the razor. The first stroke went well. My friend gave her nod and gazed at me intently as I carried on with the crime.
By now water had started to percolate in the basin as the paper and towels had clogged the drain. We both were unaware of the situation and continued with our misdeed. The shaving was almost done when suddenly the razor cut through my delicate skin and blood trickled down my chin. I was aghast and screamed in pain. My mother came running into the bathroom. She saw a teary eyed kid standing on a stool with razor in one hand and a basin overflowing with water. That was my first taste of the elaborate dressing up session.
My endeavors in getting dressed up didn’t end there. In fact it kicked off at that very instant. Experiments like using sketch pen to color the nails was very common amongst the two of us. We even went to the extent of using them on our lips as well as our cheeks. I must say it was a major disaster as the lips and our entire face was painted red. The Kajal had just not been used to line the eyes but was smudged on the eyelids and the under eye area. We looked maniac probably like Red Indians. Dressing up our dolls was another interesting game that we played frequently. If our faces didn’t suffice we painted our dolls as well. Over a period they lost their attractiveness and rather turned into zombies. We got them married in a fake wedding.
Sharing each other’s cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, dresses and shoes has become our way of life. Sudha has always been a member of my family. Well I still remember us helping each other drape a sari when we were in class five me being Bharat Mata and she Jhansi ki Rani. For that matter the first experience of wearing a salwar kameez and carrying a dupatta is one that can’t be easily forgotten. I was so very fascinated with the dupatta that I simply had to have one in my wardrobe. Wearing the dupatta as a half sari and walking around the house with Sudha, both playing the role of a teacher, teaching invisible kids in an imaginary class was a weekend activity. Down would go the canes thrashing on the floor followed by shouting the kids for not having completed their homework or talking with each other in the so called class.
We have always been together,
For we are partners in all endeavor
Our mishaps and buffoonery;
Are talks of the town certainly
Lipstick smudged over the face,
Colors adorn the make up case
Draping dupattas and sarees;
Cat-walking together was a hit story
Elaborate wedding of the dolls,
Decked up in make up and golden foils
Our first hand in shaving;
Left us together crying
Ooh Sudha these thirty years with you were a blast,
As I muse over the past
Over the years our understanding on dressing sense improved but I didn’t stop being experimental. One evening Sudha was getting ready for her date with Pradeep. She looked gorgeous in a halter top with a pair of jeans. Her long flowing hair was left open I suggested she should get a hair cut and go the short way. The change in hair length could bring out the magic. Well you might have guessed by now what would have been the next course of action well I did offer to cut her tresses. I wanted this affair to be something that would be remembered for long so I asked her to close her eyes. I pulled out the Dove Elixir bottle and gave her a heavenly massage for the next fifteen minutes. She was in a bliss, I then asked her to wash her hair. Once this was done I blindfolded her with the pink satin ribbon. Then I applied soap on her left cheek and Dove soap on the other. Post washing I asked her to feel her cheeks. By this time she was in seventh heaven and couldn’t get her hands off her right cheek. She insisted I apply the same soap to her left cheek. Out came the scissors and I cut her tresses short. I blow dried them and out walked a confident, glowing Sudha with no make up giving me a thumbs up sign.
Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchange praise.