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Sweet memories.

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 fascination 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 my crestfallen visage, she relented and went ahead and got 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, so what if it was orange? And, I remember very clearly, there was a tiny ball ensconced at the base of 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!




  1. How absolutely adorable this was to read, Shilpa :) That love for your mom, the hankering for the polish, the sentimentality and nostalgia of this post all washed over me. Beautiful! Thank you for the shout out.

  2. I don't remember any cosmetics that have sweer memories. But I have an old wrist watch that holds a sweet memory. That watch was gifted by my daddy who is no more today for my goof marks in 10th standard.

  3. What a lovely story! Indeed, cosmetics-our youth - and our mothers - all are tied in with some sweet memories.

  4. What a sweet and fun journey into the past, Shilpa. I so enjoyed reading it. You made me smile with your recollections about makeup and your experiences. Too bad your dad was so strict about it but I can tell your mom was with you and on your side.

    It made me remember my beginnings with makeup, too. I remember trying out my mother's black mascara and stabbing myself in the eye with it. OUCH! Later I read the magazines and found out redheads should use brown black mascara. And the foundation she used was way too dark for her fair colouring. Didn't she read the advice in the magazines? What was wrong with her? My mother was not amused when I told her she was doing it wrong either. Hahah!

    I tried nail polish as a young girl but didn't like it all that much and the smell was enough to knock you out. It would always chip or I'd bang it against something and wreck it. I've never had my nails done and don't plan on it either. My thumb nails are strange and bumpy anyhow. Guess I won't be a hand model in this lifetime! Too bad!

    I wasn't into jewelry that much though I did have a silver charm bracelet that I still have to this day. I only have to look at those charms and it takes me back.

    I do remember one funny memory of junior high girls in the washroom gluing small beads to their ears with white glue. Pretty weird doing that, now that I recall.

  5. Oh, thats is so wonderful my dear friend. Shilpa, you are a true reading your memories... keep them coming my dear. Lots of love my dear friend. XXXXX

  6. Such a lovely nostalgic post with wonderful memories of your childhood and your mum. I did like lipstick and nail polish and would try my mum's stuff. Unfortunately, with the nail polish, because I bit my nails a lot, it rarely stayed. I also remember I participated in a dance for school when I was 5 or 6 and wouldn't close my mouth because I was worried the lipstick would rub off! :P

    Home is where the heart is

  7. What a sweet story of a memories with your mom. I really enjoyed the sentiment and the description of that lipstick and your sadness when the lipstick disappeared. The orange nail polish was funny. What a goofy color. That was very funny!

  8. wonderful one!
    I remember that my mom has only applied nail polish that was on her wedding day


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