Sad and negative thoughts can be really tiring. They weigh down my spirits, I can’t sleep well, I can’t eat well, and everything seems bleak. (I know that’s exactly how negative thoughts are supposed to be, but still.) The thing is, if I firmly decide to snap out of it, then they become large films of cobweb that can be pierced and torn away. They cease to be huge boulders, too heavy to move. It is not easy to snap out of it though. Because most times, I just enjoy staring at the cobwebs.
Winter time, and I suddenly become aware of the fact that I have skin. Ordinarily, I don’t apply sunscreen or any kind of lotion. But come September (I love that melody), words such as hydrate, nourish, indulge, savor become appealing tasks to undertake when it comes to caring for the cappuccino-colored skin that cloaks my bones. My mom is very much a potions and creams aficionado. She prepares some umpteen little bowls of pastes – honey and curd, grated apples, haldi, and cucumber, besan and milk, squashed papaya and grape peels, almond paste and methi seeds, olive oil and wheatgerm, etc. etc. Her skin, therefore, is radiant. Sometimes, when I look at her, I realize that skin really does reciprocate in kind when you nurture it. Of course, she has the added advantage of having a fabulous first-born. (She doesn’t think so this morning because I argued with her.)
It is my plan to look stunning in the next two months. Not pretty or charming but head-turning sort of stunning. I mean I really do like myself now. If you looked at my face or hands or body, you wouldn’t be able to gauge the extent of my unhealthy lifestyle; but I want more. I want to have the look where happiness dribbles out of every pore – the kind of body that is fit and supple; and the skin that looks cared for – with love and consideration.
There’s a girl in my office who, in my eyes, is a consummate stunner. She has such a healthy bounce. She has beautiful, thick hair and fabulous posture. Her skin looks like she is perpetually standing under a tender moon. I think the first time I saw her, my heart stopped still. She was the message of my scaly hands and rough elbows to my crusty heart. She was the vocabulary of my unbidden tactile aspirations. She was my final beckoning into light.
Anyway, nowadays I slather something light but very enriching from a Nivea bottle. It is royal blue (the bottle, not the lotion) and has avocado oil (the lotion, not the bottle), and whatever else, my skin feels like it’s been seeped in moist rose petals.
Sometimes, it is difficult to go through moment after labored moment when the heart is heavy. And just before I get the full import of the disquiet, there it goes feeling light and larky again. It is such a capricious reed. Perhaps the only thing to remember at such times is that there is more lotion in the bottle.
I am, in essence, a summer girl, but having seen winter splendor in Delhi and the Midwest, I believe that there is more poetry in fog. Gems that rise from poignant missing. Desultory waiting and sliding moments into quiet screams and fitful dreams. And this is called the festive season.
Winters are for musing.
I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me.
Summer has the song, though.