‘Don’t you use even lipstick?’

‘Huh’, I said raising my eyebrow.

‘Don’t raise your eyebrows,’ and then with an ugh expression, ‘as such they are bushy’.

I sat in shock and then I rushed into the kitchen, ‘Didi, listen to me. Your daughter has become very haughty.’

‘What happened?, she asked.

I narrated. She smiled and then said. ‘She is not entirely wrong, Is she? Agreed that you are the creative types and can be as messy as you want  but then….. can’t you do something to smarten yourself.’

I was about to say something smart but then she immediately added, ‘Nitin ( my husband)brings so many cosmetics for you and you keep distributing them, at least use some of them. For his sake, Saru.’

I glared at her, stamped my feet, banged the door and left.

My anger was not exactly at  her but at the world in general. My team at WriteOn take my help for media presentations but do not let me come to the forefront Why? Because I am not presentable enough. My husband does not take me to office get- togethers. I thought you would be tired, he says.

I rushed inside the next door saloon and asked for manicure, pedicure, all the works. The lady who looked like a teenager to me said ‘ But, for you we need an appointment.’

‘But there is no one here right now’, I said

‘Yes but for you two three people are needed. If someone comes in, it will be difficult’, she said.

‘I am from the Press. Do you want me to write about YOU and how you behaved with me’.

‘Please be seated, Madam’, she said. I tell you  people I can speak!! I was not telling the truth but then sometimes you do need to lie to get things done.

For  hours they struggled on me. And after the peeling and the baking and the soothing I emerged a new person. After that I went and spent some more on some new clothes and shoes and clip clopped my way home.

I didn’t use my keys to enter home and instead rang the bell.

‘Yes …., said Nitin,’ How can I help you’.

I took off my sunglasses and smiled at him. And held him in my arms lest he fell down with shock.

Life changed!!

I was here; there, everywhere. Media presentations, press conference, party and …..my niece even decided that it is me who is going to attend the open day of her school.


‘Saru, can you please help me with the edit’, it was our co-editor who always had personal problems and always had backlogs at work.

‘Sorry Amita, I have my own backlogs, media presentations do take so much time,’ I said.


‘Let us go to a resort on Saturday,’ my husband said.

‘Saturday? Sorry I have an appointment at the saloon.’


My niece called up and said,’ Maasi, I need help for my school project’.

‘I am so sorry dear but I am soooo busy’, I said


The phone vibrated, I checked to see it was my sis. I cut her call. She called me four times and then I picked it,’ Can’t you understand that I am in a meeting’.

‘And today is what  day, do you remember?’, and after a pause,’We have a Satyanarayan Vrat at our place. I had told you three months back’, she said and banged the phone.’

I had kept a reminder on my mobile but then because of the changed circumstances I had bought recently a smartphone but had forgotten to add the reminder.

I went to Didi’s place in the evening in all traditional finery with a box of ladoos and made a dazzling entry.

Nitin was there too but everyone looked the other way.

‘I am sorry’, I said.

After a good 30 minutes, my sis could not control herself and said, ‘ Why are you acting so busy. You are at a meeting, a conference or a saloon but  never with us’.

‘But’, I said, wasn’t it you who wanted me to smarten up’.

‘Yes I did but I did not want you to be a fashion plate.’

‘Fashion plate?? I thought it is you people who wanted me to be like this’

Nitin jumped up and came near me, ‘Please Saru I want the same old Saru who had plenty of time for me, who would climb mountains with me not worrying about broken nails, who saw movies with me  and cried without worrying about runny mascaras.’

‘And I want the mausi who had time for science projects not this mausi who needs reminders’, added my niece.

People, I ask you, is it possible to satisfy anybody?

But then to tell the truth I was pleased. I was tired of being prim and proper and was longing to be my old self of chipped nails and bushy eyebrows.

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

* Fiction

21 thoughts on “‘Made-up’

  1. Hahaha….very nice..if make up is not your thing, you can never own it. I myself is an example of your story. I can never ever maintain finger nails. Though I get a manicure done, I can’t wait for the day I cut them off…:) so, these days when I go to get my nails done, the lady asks me mani, pedi both? I reply, nah..pedi is good…no need of mani..I do too much work, my nails will break anyways..omg…sorry for such a long comment…anyways, that’s not the moral of the story..yes, once can’t satisfy all…:)

    • He he. I personally have never quite understood what is to be done and how. Thankfully my partner is the same and we both can be as messy as we want. But then our professions are such too. Yes any person has to be presentable but no, no cosmetics for me. I am happy the way I am 🙂

  2. One should look smart and facial helps.But the point in the story is about others demands on her time and assistance no matter she looks great or otherwise.I liked the narration.

  3. Bhagyashree,

    Good one. Be what one is, should be the best policy but with little care for self is also needed. So a compromise formula is needed.

    Take care

  4. Make-up or no make-up, one should be be comfortable in one’s own skin and thats what should matter. But unfortunately we give way too much importance to how others perceive us.

    Very well written story!

  5. I think there is certain basic grooming that every man and woman must do. I find it amusing when women are ready with full make-up early in the morning. But at least basic threading, waxing and skin looking clear with decent hands and feet is important. Whether you work or not, one should take pride in the way they look. It adds immensely to the self confidence and is easy on the eyes of the onlookers :).

  6. Agree with Rachna. Basic grooming is a must for all. This not only helps build self-esteem and confidence but also gives a wonderful feel-good factor! Nice narration! 🙂

  7. Well written but I frankly feel that overnite change in appearance the way it happens in reality shows or movies is not practically possible…People who like being themselves without too much aid of accessories and make up and style will tend to remain so and would usually be happy the way they are rt?

    • I never thought that this post will evoke so many different reactions 🙂 You are right absolutely but then I have seen many who were simple and then finally decide to go all the way …. And frankly they looked out of place. Maybe it was because they were never been seen earlier with make up. Reality show…. are they really real, that is the question.

  8. Having said that basic grooming differs from person to person and region to region….To city-bred modern ladies waxing, threading etc are basic grooming…There are folks in rural areas for whom basic grooming is well oiled and combed hair, face a little yellow with all the turmeric that went on and a big vermillion mark on the forehead and they do look well groomed in their own circles 🙂 Guess thats a totally different topic 😀

    • Yes deinitely. It differs for families too. Like in my parental home, basic things are agreed upon like threading, waxing etc. Make up- lipstick, eyeliner but not so in my marital home. Before my arrival going to the saloon was like a crime and make up meant applying ‘powder’ and ‘mallige’ for the oiled and plaited hair 😀

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