“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