I am a big believer of natural beauty. Long before Dove came up with their campaign, I knew the potential and strength of natural beauty.
But that wasn’t always the case. When I was young and naive, I absolutely loved makeup. I thought it was the one thing that assured beauty. Back then we hardly had money for such luxurious items. So not owning makeup made it all the more appealing and novel to me.
Then one fine day, Aai got a job. So she bought a really expensive and beautiful Oriflame lipstick. Since it was the only one she had, we weren’t even allowed to touch it. But I absolutely had to try it on. And then I found the perfect partner in crime. Nupuri! Who knew she also wanted to try it on. So one fine day, after school was done, we first draped Aai’s sarees (not that we knew how to drape it) and then took out Aai’s lipstick.
Since we didn’t know how to apply it, we even helped each other out (a rare phenomenon). Our joy knew no bounds. We were draped in Aai’s prettiest sarees and were wearing the prettiest shade of lipstick. Our joy blinded us to the fact that there was someone watching us closely.
As the evening drew closer, we folded Aai’s sarees and kept them in the wardrobe and wiped our lips clean to leave no proof of what we had done. And thank God we did so, because Baba came home in a really bad mood and a temper. In order to not get yelled at, we chose to stay away until we heard this,
“PILU, NUPURI!! IN THE LIVING ROOM, RIGHT NOW!!”
With the best possible innocent faces we walked into the living room. There he was, sitting on the bed, an infuriated look on his face and in his hand – the lipstick!
“Did you use it?”
“Don’t you dare lie!”
And that’s when I noticed her. The one who ruthlessly ratted us out. Heartlessly threw us under the bus. There she stood, right by the door, probably realising that the joke was turning into something really bad! That’s when I knew we were in for a real treat!
Not only did Baba take out all of his anger by yelling at us, but by the time he was done, Nupuri and I were looking like a couple of Red Indians.
Oh no no, he didn’t hit us. He did something much worse. He painted our little faces, hands and legs with Aai’s lipstick!
Embarrassed and insulted, we wanted to run to the bathroom to clean it up but he made us sit in the living room for everyone to see how “pretty” we looked. We sat there crying, hoping Aai wouldn’t get this mad.
When she came home, she did get angry at first but then looking at our monkey faces, broke into laughter. And with her, so did everyone else in the house.
Since that day, I have had absolute faith in the strength of natural beauty. Because unlike makeup, it has never embarrassed me!