We bloggers do stumble upon writing prompts in the unlikeliest of places, don’t we? Like I did, just a while ago. Of course, it isn’t the unlikeliest of places; it’s a blog I just visited where my dear friend, Shailaja, has written a beautiful post – do visit her. But, it was there, that I remembered a time from years ago, which prompted me to write this post!
Let me begin by asking you a fun question.
Do you remember which cosmetics you owned or used for the very first time in your life? How did it make you feel?
Mine has to be a bright orange nail polish my mum bought for me, quite surreptitiously, I must say!
Back then, when I was in school, we weren’t permitted to use cosmetics, jewellery, et al. But, that’s precisely why I loved wearing those things so much! I remember vividly, I had this pair of blue and white studs – the cheap plastic ones we got for a few bucks – that matched with my school uniform. And, every day, as I got ready for school, my hand would fondly reach out to them, pick them up gingerly and yearn to put them on. But, I knew dad would never approve of it.
“You are going to school, not a fashion parade!” he would say.
Scared that I was of the man, I would drop those pretty blue studs back into their box and close the lid, on the box and on my desires. Why couldn’t he be a wee bit indulgent? my young mind would wonder, longingly.
Despite knowing how dad disapproved of all things bling-y, I was in love with it all – jewellery, nail polish, lipstick.
Mum owned a red lipstick, which she never applied, ever. I once stumbled upon it when I was rummaging through mum’s cupboard. My joy knew no bounds! Checking to make sure no one was around, I took some of it on my finger and applied it on my lips. It wasn’t in a tube, but in a small, rectangular case. I could have pocketed the case for myself, if I could, but left it where it was. And, each time my parents went out on some or other errand, I would rush to mum’s cupboard, reach in and grab the lipstick case, dab a bit of it on my lips and keep staring at my reflection in the mirror.
Sadly, as mysteriously as it had appeared, it disappeared, too. I was heartbroken for quite some time, but soon got over it, because there was something new I had laid my eyes on, something I had never owned. I spotted a bottle of nail polish at a friend’s place, and now I craved for it! I did not even know how much a nail polish cost back then, but, oh how I yearned to own one!
I pleaded with mum to buy one for me. But, she refused – at first gently and then a bit firmly- to fulfil my itsy-bitsy wish! Eventually, seeing me crestfallen, she relented and went ahead and bought that much-desired bottle of magic, surreptitiously; I was advised to apply it only during vacations, else I would be at the receiving end of dad’s ire.
The said polish was orange in colour – bright orange, to be precise. A colour I would simply brush aside if placed before me now. But, to the kid in me, back then, it was nothing short of a miracle that I now owned a nail polish! And, I remember very clearly, there was a tiny ball ensconced in the lid of the bottle, so whenever I shook the bottle before applying the paint, it made a tic-tic sound. It was music to my ears, that sweet melody!
I used the polish sparingly, lest it got over quickly. I would wait for the vacations to begin so that I could paint my nails and keep staring at them, admiringly! I did crave to use it oftener, but hesitated; it would amount to blasphemy in dad’s books! Of course, the paint dried up, eventually, and I had to let go of my precious belonging. Sigh. It was a tough decision for the little girl in me to part with an object that had given me immense happiness. It was so dear to me, I remember all about it to this day!
Guess, I am a bit too sentimental a person; I find it difficult to let go of people, too! People, who have been so dear to me, that letting go can be torturous, but I tend to also remember them, for years to come. Ah, well, let’s talk about that in some other post, shall we? For now, I just want to delight in these sweet memories of my distant past. Maybe, I will go paint my nails in a shade of my now-preferred brown, and also call up mum, so we can reminisce about those halcyon days together!
It was mum’s love, unconditional love, that led her to give in to my childish demands. It was her craving for some precious mother – daughter moments that she must have wished to collect and preserve for the future, when her little girl would be all grown up, living a life of her own. Moments that would fill her heart with the joy that nothing else ever can. We never really know how a mother’s heart functions, do we?
Thank you, mum, for these sweet memories! They are still alive within me and bring me endless joy during moments of melancholy that threaten my peace of mind, every once in a while. Thank you for those fun moments; they taught me so much about what goes in making a perfect mother!
Do share with me your sweet memories! I am sure they will take you on a happy stroll in your past and help you return refreshed, rejuvenated!