I was on my way to work today morning, walking along the winding little lane peppered with tiny little houses that connects my house to the main road. I take that same road every morning, and everyday, I see a lot of activity along that route. Women washing vessels and clothes, men leaving for work on their cycles, little girls with neatly plaited hair setting out for school, goats, chickens, an eerie little wayside temple with a black-stone idol of Shiva, kirana stores (a quintessentially Indian phenomena), etc.
Today morning, while I was walking, I saw one little girl, with a blue colour dupatta on her head, tied into a neat long plait. She must’ve been about 5-6 years old.
Pretty much the same age, that I used to do such stuff. You wouldn’t believe if I said it now, but as a kid, I loved dressing up and doing girly stuff. I was 5 when I cried to dad to buy me my first lipstick. And the doting dad that he is, he got me one. I still remember it, it was red in colour, and it used to act as my lipstick cum eyeshadow cum blush, and sometimes my sketchpen and crayon when I wanted to draw (err..alrite! scribble) on the walls. I had such a tough time throwing away the empty tube..sigh..
I used to have chocolate boxes filled with my accessories- earrings, chains, bangles, hairclips and what not. Every dress had matching accessories. There was a red and gold chappal that I really took a fancy to, bought from a street in Pune all those years ago. I used to believe that it went with any dress that I wore. It was hideous, when I look back at the photos now! But that was an age where I felt that anything bright and shiny was beautiful. :)
Sunday afternoons, when mom, dad and my sis were having their routine siesta, I used to get to work. Anyone who used to come down from the US or Dubai, used to get me a make-up kit, so well-known was my fondness for it. So on Sunday afternoons, I would take out these boxes, meticulously put on the make-up (and trust me, I was pretty good at it. I knew what all had to be applied where, and in what amount), then I would take out my favourite green dupatta with the gold sequins at the edges, pin it up safely on to my hair, and plait it. That dupatta was like a friend, I always had it with me. Boredom was never an option for me, as long as I had my dupatta and make-up boxes and ‘other accessories’, as my mom used to call it. :)…
I miss that girl…somewhere along the way, adolescence took its toll, and scorn for that little girl set in. I abandoned all those accessories that were part of my girlhood, and opted to go for what was in style. I stopped wearing bangles and bindis and big earrings. My mom still asks me, why I stopped wearing all that…When I saw that girl today, all those memories just rushed back, and the first thing I did was call up my mom and tell her. Because that lady has put up with all that the most, and nobody would understand it better. And you know, my mom has not thrown away a single one of those things that I cherished- right from the boxes of ‘fancy items’(just like supermarkets give me a high today, fancy stores used to be my fascination then), ribbons, hair-bands, clips, beads, to the bag of clothes that I’d stitched for my Barbie dolls( I was an aspiring fashion designer at one time)- everything is intact. She never asked me whether she can throw them away or not- she just continues to preserve them for me. For what reason, I know not.
This post is dedicated to mom, and to my dad and sis, for never making fun of that little girl or forcing her to grow up sooner than she ought to have.
Sometimes I wish I never had...