Red Lipstick 💄of little hope – another good write up by Twinkle Khanna.
My grandmother is 77. She has perfectly coloured hair with not a root in sight, her nails artfully manicured and her clothes always immaculate. I tease her about her interest in all these superficial things and she exclaims that I, in my dal-stained jeans, have always been a total disgrace to the family. Every Friday, she goes for her prayers in the prettiest cotton saris with a string of pearls around her neck.
What is so extraordinary about her story, you may wonder? She is a woman who has seen three out of her four children die before her very eyes.
Sometimes I think the tiny joy she gets from her little indulgences is what keeps her going and distracts her from the anguish she must have gone through seeing what she has.
My childhood friends – two lovely sisters – lost their mother a few years ago. When I went for the prayer meeting, I was slightly taken aback to see them wearing a lot of makeup. I would have judged them as very shallow if I had not been close to their family and knew how much they had loved their mother and how devastated they were at her demise. Maybe this was their way of getting through this terrible day, maybe they needed a mask to keep everything together, maybe their mom who I had never seen without a large bright bindi on her forehead, would be the only one who understood
My friend recently separated from her husband. She now lives alone with her young daughter, goes to the gym every single day and is looking like a million bucks. Her wardrobe has changed dramatically from kurtas to pretty dresses. Every once in a while, we catch up for coffee and each time I see her, she seems to look leaner, fitter and happier.
I go to visit a family friend in the hospital. She has been dealing with cancer for a while now and though she is lucky to have tremendous family support, only she knows what it is like to deal with fear and pain on a daily basis. She is sitting in her hospital bed in her pajamas, with a turban jauntily perched on her head. And on her lips, she is wearing the brightest, happiest red lipstick. When I ask her about it, she says that whenever she feels low and run down, she puts on her lipstick and it just cheers her up tremendously.
A pretty dress, a new haircut, a string of pearls are all trivial material things that should not matter because they have nothing to do with our inner self, but we forget that our physical form is strongly connected to our identity. It is how we interact with the world around us.
When my family friend puts on her red lipstick, she is telling the world that she still has HOPE. Sometimes, the only thing you have left is hope. Hope that every tomorrow hurts a little less than yesterday..