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“Aai, help me pull the dress down. I am stuck”, she said raising the alarm.

“Chill. I haven’t gone away”, I replied to silence the girl as I wondered what those standing on other side of the door might think of.

“I called out to you thrice. You did not respond”, she grumbled as I helped her to free her head from the buttoned neck of the dress she was trying.

Actually, what has happened was, I was lost in checking my own reflections in the mirrors surrounding us in the trial room of the retail outlet. Needless to say, then, that I never heard the SOS calls. I love the trial rooms for only one reason. The mirrors in them and multitudes of images they reflect!

While we went ahead with our purchase thereafter, I did not realize that I had embarked on journey about my fascination with mirrors.

I recollected the days when my Ajoba* used to take me for a hair-cut. In those days, there were no unisex salons or beauty parlors in my town. All we had was a barber’s shop. Me being a child then, he would place a wooden plank on the chair, lift me up and place me on it with a thud. A black cloth would then be wrapped around the neck which would encircle the chair too. It gave me the feeling of me being a magician with a black cape. This thought was influenced by none other than Mandrake, The Magician, a famous comic strip from those days.

I so wished to peek into the huge mirror hung on the wall while the barber was at his job. However, all my attempts were in vain. The barber would hold my skull in his giant palm and push it down in front.  In the end, he would move a soft brush around my neck and dust me with a fragrant talcum powder. He would then say, “Baby look up”, in his bristly tone. He would hold a big mirror behind me. I was fascinated by multitude of mirror in mirror images of little girl sitting on high chair!

I still remember having counted the images, on my tiny fingers and shaking my head when I I skipped some while counting!

My Aaji** had a vanity box. She had a small round box of “pinjar” ***, a diminutive box of wax, a comb and a mirror in it. Like her, the mirror also had old world charm. The silver applied at its back had started waning off from its edges, giving it an antique look. I would sit in her lap once and admire her routine of getting ready. To begin with, she would use the mirror for partitioning her hair. She would then tuck her hair in a neat bun. Later she would make a circle of the wax on her forehead, right above the nose bridge and at the centre of forehead. She then would take a pinch of “pinjar” and press it on the wax circle. She would hold the mirror in front of her face while doing this. Once done, she would look at me and smile. That was the prettiest toothless smile, I ever had seen! I would nod in affirmation and would wait for her to hold the mirror in front of my face. Life was simple yet so beautiful.

Zooming back to present, we now have designer mirrors in the washrooms and bedrooms. But none show the reflections like what I had seen back then. I wonder if my fascination for the mirror has roots in search for those long-lost blissful images from the sublime past.  I then end up with a question… Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me where have all the picture-perfect images from life gone?


Ajoba: Marathi for Grandfather; Aaji: Marathi for Grandmother; Pinjar: Marathi for vermilion powder
Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash
This is my #Post2/ #Week3 for #MyFriendAlexa by Blogchatter. My previous posts so far…
#Post 1/#Week 1: Forlorn Notes #Post 2/ #Week2: Happy Surprise
#Post 1/#Week2: Bringing Up a Teen #Post 2/Week 2: See You soon
#Post 1/#Week3: Two Pairs of Mittens
Linking this post to #MondayMusings by Corinne Rodrigues of Everydaygyaan

 

Categories: Musings

41 Comments

magiceye · September 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm

An invigorating walk down memory lane 🙂

    Anagha Yatin · September 18, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you Deepak for the uplifting remark.

Sachin Baikar · September 18, 2018 at 11:16 pm

Nice childhood memories associated with Mirrors. Loved reading it. Very well written one 👍 Anagha. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Anagha Yatin · September 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks Sachin

Ramya · September 19, 2018 at 1:44 am

Nice memories, right? I lvoe mirrors too, especially in trial rooms where I try different dresses and amuse myself :p

    Anagha Yatin · September 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks Ramya

Damyanti Biswas · September 19, 2018 at 10:11 am

So much nostalgia in this post, and so many haunting images.

    Anagha Yatin · September 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Yes, the most beautiful slice of my life…time spent with grandparents! Thanks Damayanti

Mayuri6 · September 19, 2018 at 11:00 am

You took me back in time Anagha. Such a beautiful thought. Your last line is going to stay with me. One of your best posts so far!

    Anagha Yatin · September 19, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Thanks Mayuri. I think, life is all about all such memories that remind us that life is beautiful!

Sonia Chatterjee · September 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Oh Anagha, this brought back so many memories of my own childhood. I would accompany Baba during his haircut and what followed next was exactly the way you have described it here. Amidst fancy parlors and luxury salons, the innocence is really lost.

    Anagha Yatin · September 19, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Same pinch here Sonia! Thanks for visiting and sharing your experience.

vartikasdiary1 · September 20, 2018 at 12:51 am

Nostalgia hit me hard while reading this beautiful post, Anagha. So so so many memories flashed infront of my eyes. Thanks for writing this brilliant piece.

    Anagha Yatin · September 20, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Would love to hear your stories Vartika. When can I expect that?
    Thanks for visiting.

      vartikasdiary1 · September 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      Will share soon Anagha 🙂

      vartikasdiary1 · September 20, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      I am raised between all the boys in my family, the only girl child I was. All my elder sisters (cousins) were married or of marriageable age when I was born. So, I was a pampered little girl of everyone. I had very long tresses those days, still remember every Sunday I used to sit in my mother or Taiji (Aunty) or sister’s lap, holding a mirror in my hand, and ask them to make a “Fashion wali choti (ponytail)”. I used to wrap myself in my mother’s dupatta like a saree and dance in front of the mirror for hours. Every new frock, I used to wear, I never missed flaunting it to my mirror. I also had the similar barber shop incident like yours, when went with my father and he chopped my tresses to a blunt cut as it was trending those days and I wanted to be like any other girl in my class. I can see the same love in my daughters now. Many more stories I have but will put a stop here, sometime later 😉 Btw I still talk to mirrors 😉

        Anagha Yatin · September 20, 2018 at 2:53 pm

        Oh that was adorable! So sweet of you to share this sepia tonned memory here. I could see the lil girl, swirling in her frilled frock. I’m sure, you would have loved super cute in saree, draped using dupatta.
        And finally, I agree, mirrors do talk…so dont stop conversing with them. God bless you dear!

          vartikasdiary1 · September 20, 2018 at 2:56 pm

          Yes Anagha, I have shared some really precious memories here and I am happy I did, sometimes you relive those moments by sharing them 🙂 Thanks for writing this post and bringing back those joyful memoirs

            Anagha Yatin · September 20, 2018 at 3:33 pm

            I’m so honoured that you shared it here.

Meenakshi · September 20, 2018 at 10:09 am

Ana, not again….another wonderful narration, how do you do this? You create an imagery that stays long, post-reading, and rekindles old memories. Loved it!

    Anagha Yatin · September 20, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Meenu… luv u for this! Thanks dear.

Bhavna Saurabh Sharma · September 20, 2018 at 12:48 pm

I could see my mom again dressing in front of the big mirror at my nani’s place.
You know Anagha what mirror would have replied?
That people prefer filtered selfies over me. They prefer made up faces than those beautiful naked souls reflected in me.
Love & Hugs
Bhavna 🙂

    Anagha Yatin · September 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Happy that you could connect with the post Bhavana. Thanks for visiting and musing about the mirror’s feelings. Mirror for sure will tow your line of thought.

xhobdo · September 20, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Beautiful

    Anagha Yatin · September 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you.

neerajme · September 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm

Mopping mist from mirror of past and conjuring up a wonderful tale to relish. Only you are capable of doing this Anagha.

    Anagha Yatin · September 21, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Overwhelmed with your kind words Nrreaj. Thanks!

Anshu Bhojnagarwala · September 25, 2018 at 9:24 am

Wow..such a beautiful nostalgic story. I liked the idea of Pinjar and wax circle, didn’t know that’s how people get those perfect round bindis. My mother had an ochre vanity box too, she got it in her bridal trousseau, that box held much attraction for me when I was small.

    Anagha Yatin · September 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Few things remain ensconced in our hearts forever, just like the vanity box of your mother! Thanks Anshu for sharing this piece of nostalgia from your life.

Huma Masood · September 25, 2018 at 10:09 am

Childhood memories are most endearing. Nice narrative Anagha.

    Anagha Yatin · September 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    True that Huma. Thanks for visiting.

Ranjini · September 25, 2018 at 10:36 pm

Ahh grandmothers and the way they dress up! Only they can pull of what they do 🙂

    Anagha Yatin · September 26, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I so agree you on this! And they are the best chefs and story tellers in the world! Thanks Ranjini for visiting and sharing your thought on the topic.

Deepa · September 25, 2018 at 11:29 pm

That is such a sweet post and took me back to my childhood too. Loved the last line the most.

    Anagha Yatin · September 26, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Thanks Deepa for visiting and appreciating

JayanthyGovindarajan (@JayanthyG) · September 26, 2018 at 1:36 am

I remembered my own haircuts and times with my grandparents. Indeed those days were the best. The simplicity of those times is what I long for sometimes. Lovely story Anagha

    Anagha Yatin · September 26, 2018 at 11:20 am

    So agree with you… those were the days Jayanthi. Thanks for visiting and appreciating.

blogitwithsurabhi · September 26, 2018 at 3:45 am

How do you do this Anagha! Beautifylly written which most of us could relate to. Kudos to you!

    Anagha Yatin · September 26, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Thanks Surabhi for encouraging, kind words.

Holly J · September 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm

I thought at first we were in for a tale of narcissism, and you took us by the hand and led us right down Memory Lane. I used to play dress-up in my grandmother’s old formals and frothy, layered chiffon nighties. The haircuts were bad, as I recall, and I didn’t play with make-up as much, but I used to cast her into all the supporting roles to my make-believe princesses: the prince, the frog, the billy goats gruff – and she would play them all with such talent!

    Anagha Yatin · September 26, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Granny the supporting actress! Wow thats cool. Thanks Holly for visiting and sharing this nostalgia from your diary.

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