My Lone Baby– Ma was next to me on the bed and about to doze off. Some movie played on the television next to the bed. The room arrangement was not very familiar to me- the house seemed different, we never stayed in such arrangement. Mom’s handbag was what I was fiddling with; a small mirror case, a red lipstick and some- makeup set cases. I was waiting for her to snooze off while I kept trying to see the color of the lipper..
After a long wait and my constant trial to peek at the boxes one by one, she tossed to my side and fell asleep.. a perfect time for me to finally lift up the lip crayon and check the shade. The small plastic wrappers rustled by her side, damn that would wake her up, she too slept as lightly as I do. I did finally manage to check- and it was a brilliant red- somewhat of a Revlon Burgundy (that I actually had used for some years, before I had developed lip allergy and stopped applying lippers and switched brands). Infact, it was better than that- the texture was oh so smooth and not sticky, it glided just so well- that’s right I dabbed the applicator tip on my pout. As I looked myself at the mirror and thought, that how nice it was of her- to have finally “changed” to buy a lipper for herself after she had started working; I woke up.
My Dream ended.
How so ever badly she had wanted to be independent; she could not be. She was made to slog her entire life in service to my dad and uncle. By the time I was born, she had lost it all; within 6 years of her marriage itself. She was never let to join any work, she was a Textile Designer just like me- (co- incidence) and had always wanted to work and be financially and emotionally independent. Fate had something else in store and because of me- her only child, she was bound in obligation or relation or feelings or all of these, to stick to her ever growing helpless situation. I mean, how healthy is it that dad and uncle never spoke with each other? And that a small child gets to witness that and understand the fact- and is to never insist on getting “her family” seated all together or talking?
Ma had never applied a lipper before because she was guilty of stealing one in her childhood- she was fascinated with that container lifting itself up with windings. I had seen that metal case; it may still be lying in the buttons box. I had managed to deck her up a few times but never insisted on lipper; lip gloss she had gladly applied. Her face was full of pox marks and that was another reason why she shied away from getting “made- up”. She had been pleasantly surprised when she noticed that the foundation had taken all the marks away at least till the application lasted. We were invited to Parul’s younger brother’s 1st birthday; I may have been in 6th or 7th maybe. That was the 1st time she had let me dress her up, and yes, she was glad. I was very young then and I understand that now; but people’s compliments to her says that I must have done a great job and for my age. Ever since then, she had let me do all that “jazz” to her for the socializing events. She would patiently sit till I would smear her face and neck with various applications and do my magical wand upgrade. I would make her drape the “pallu” in certain manner. I had noticed tears in her eyes when I did that the 1st time.
I was able to make her see the point and make her apply the forbidden lip- stick a few times before I was left alone to buy my lip- colors on my own. I wish my mom were alive.. Besides anything else, I would have then adopted her as my daughter and doted on her the way she could not on me because of her own physical and health limitations. I would have let her explore some work possibilities whatever her health would have allowed and take her to the fanciest of the handbag shops and definitely made her as much independent as I am if not more.