My Grandmother’s Favourite Nail Paint

“Face pe kitne pimples aagaye hai. Multani mitti kyun nahi apply karti?”

“Manicure and pedicure kyun nahi kar waleti?”

Don’t be mistaken; these words aren’t uttered by a random parlor aunty who keeps reminding me to visit the parlor frequently for beautification. These are the wise words of my 82-year-old grandmother, who feels I don’t look after myself. Her exact words to me are: “You aren’t as old as me, then why do you want to look and feel that way?” “Heck, even I take better care of myself than you at this age.”

Born during an era where beauty was literally in the eyes of the beholder. Fashion as a concept didn’t exist much, my grandmother has always tried to be ahead of her time. Mind you, she still believes that keeping it simple is always the best way. But she feels small things like applying multani mitti on your face and applying good nail paint can work wonders.

Being a friend more than a grandmother, she has been quite vocal about some of my fashion choices. There have been times when she has been blatantly critical about my choices and questioned me where my lack of fashion sense comes from.

Recalling one such instance, I remember being in college, and in those days, black was a rage when it came to nail paint. To keep up with fashion, I remember flaunting that nail paint wherever I went. During one such visit to my grandmother’s place, as she laid eyes on my nail paint colour, she said, “Don’t you have any colour in your life? What kind of colour is that on your nails? I hate that colour. It’s an awful colour to look at.”

Although my grandmother does not know all the nail paint brands, her favourite shade has to be Turquoise Blue. Not the brighter shade of blue or the lighter shade of blue—her preferred choice of nail paint is the one that is the perfect Turquoise Blue shade.

I still remember this incident when I was moving out of the home to live separately. Amidst the crazy packing and ensuring that I take my things with me, my eyes fell on my grandmother. She was thinking about something deeply and contemplating whether this was the right time to ask me or not.

As I finished with the last of my packing, she came up to me and said in Tamil, “Nee poittenayennakuyaaru online nail paint order panni taruva?” This loosely translates to – “if you leave, who will order my favourite nail paint for me online?

This left me amused and speechless because while I thought she was down because I was leaving, she was actually worried about ordering her favourite nail paint.

But that’s my grandmother for you. She’s one-of-a-kind.

If I am even one percent fashion conscious, the credit goes to my grandmother. Be it my wardrobe or my accessories. From how I look and what I wear to which nail paint looks good on me, she’s been my fashion police all along.

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