GROWING UP!!! Part – I


I am very strict when it comes to my own younger sis. Many a times she has to undergo the brunt of my conservatism. I admit, m fairly conservative when it comes to things like children and their upbringing. I don’t have any but this doesn’t stop me from having opinions. It’s the last remnant of my conservative childhood and I hang on to it, because nothing I’ve seen out there has really challenged it or made me even come close to changing my mind. 😉

In my early teens, I wanted to get my eyes brows plucked the moment I saw a classmate sashay down the corridor in her short skirt and that arched eye-look at age thirteen. I had the skirt, but I wanted those eyes courtesy eyebrow-plucking. Those clean face and big eyes that looked so very adult. 🙂

“I think m ready!!” I told my mum as she got her pedicure done at the salon. 🙂

“Girls are doing it very early these days” said the chinky lady who usually did hers. My mum looked at me and laughed and laughed. When she finally caught her breath, she said: “Cheeee!!!!” EOD. 😦

I had graduated high school much before my mom would let me pluck anything at all. And when I got my eyebrows done for the first time at age eighteen for my cousin’s wedding, it was a family affair with one of my Kakis standing over the poor parlor assistant’s shoulder and whispering “Don’t cry, don’t cry!!!” as my eyes watered. 😦

Of course, my mum being a good mother, we did have talks about personal grooming. From manicure to pedicures, cosmetics to accessories, the best part of growing up with a mom and a hoard of aunts is that there’s no dearth of advice on anything, and everything from acne treatments to what is the correct way to apply an eye liner. 🙂

And we eventually talked about growing up – but the emphasis was always on hygiene, not sexuality. In our house, grooming wasn’t just about being attractive. Every summer my Ajji (my mum’s grand mom) would repeatedly remind me that good grooming is about having pride in oneself. You take care of yourself because you deserve it, not to impress other people.

“This is not the way for good girls to walk around the house before the evening lamp is lit” my Ajji would say “You should first wash your face, then powder, put on a kajal-bindi, comb and tie your hair neatly, change into freshly pressed clothes, and then come to the DEVARA to see the lamp. That’s what a gharachi-mulgi does”.

There was a time in my teens, when I totally refused to comb my hair, and become a Scary Spice (I totally adored Spice Girls), nobody pulled me down and forcibly combed my hair or oiled my hair, nor did anyone force me to change my style. At the time, I thought it a victory over the Establishment 😉 Later I was quite puzzled because the Establishment at our home is quite capable of breaking the backs of ‘little guerrilla’ efforts like that. 😦

It took me years before I realized that part of the lesson my Ajji and mom were trying to teach me was that, self-worth is something only you can determine for yourself. If they’d forced me to look presentable according to their stringent standards, as they well could have at the time, it would only have appeased their sense of worth, their image of a family member, not mine.

They had let me be ME. More importantly they instilled the values of “self-confidence” much before the invention of such classes around my house. My Ajji is not with me today, but I miss her immensely. She never got down to bashing us up and making us understand. She always had her ways of making us learn life’s lessons.

My poor-yet-to-be-born-kids, will have an Infantry-Drill with me around for sure 😉



25 responses »

  1. that was refreshing.i rem all of certainly has its pros growing up with you..have i told u how much i love to hear u blabber with those heavy doses of social service gyan n girly stuff.. miss it tho..keep it up..

  2. heya girl.i know ur conservatism very well.n pity sweety that she has to undergo the you really are a strong headed person,very difficult to convince and an eye for on wat U want in life HEENA.u wil do awesome.n trust me ur kids wil be the blessed souls wid u around, i have seen how much u care for each and everyone.loads of luck for future heena

    • lol..poor sweety i know.. 😉 i will for sure..the efforts are on..n kids are already famous in the talks of frnds before even hitting the earth..lucky fellas 😀

  3. than ya for sharing the link..the blog is a beauty..i couldn’t believe it was yours..not that you don’t have the ability but for the lack of patience syndrome you and i suffer from..all the best keep writing and i am surely subscribing to your post.

    • heheh.. i know.. but i enjoy writing as much as i enjoy screaming-out-load in ur ears 😛 thank you 🙂

  4. i always wondered if people who talk well have the ability to write well as well?and you proved me right.its a beautiful blog heena,i remember discussing the child labour issue with you once and how beautiful you had suggestions to tackle it.i would have loved to see you write all that empowered a lot of people through helpage,there blessing will always be with you.

    • hey sushant..good to catch up wid u over here..m glad u read it.. n thank you.. you were an encouragement and inspiration for all of that social service drives.. i hve been writing abt all of it just that its very close to my heart so miss words to correctly express it..i’l give it to you once i complete it for proof reading..n thank you so much for the kind words..even i believe blessings of elderly go in a long way than pure luck.. 🙂

  5. The picture up there are so lovely. I remember opening that bag full of your growing up snaps when I and my mother would drop in to meet you all. and Ajji was a blessing. how can I forget when she would take me and you to our KG school and on our way back home would buy us so many toffees. One of the best memories you brought forth. I miss you my chuddy-buddy(like you always screamed at Barista). I wish to see you married soon to someone you’ve so faithfully been waiting for.. 🙂

    • m glad u rem all of it..n ajji ws so much fun na..miss her loads..:( n i never screamed at u..its only when u do the disappearance act i hv to raise my voise jus so tht it reached ur towering figure.. 😛 n pls… can u all give me a B-R-E-A-K!!!!!! HUH!!!!!

      • Lol..towering -figure!!! isn’t it that you just stopped growing since the time you started hitting me on my neck 😛 poor stilletoes of yours.. 😛

  6. very funny sean.. btw i rem how ppl wud pronounce ur name.. lol.. seeen..hahaha.. n the i-will-break-your-jaw-look u gv them ws ROFL… 😛

  7. Your Ajji always rocked. I rem how she would give me so much of goodies when I would visit your place. I was always envious of you for having such an Ajji. I am sure God up there is very happy with her around.

  8. Aayega aayega aayega aanewala. Say yes to the Londonwala and stop hating doctors. Lol. I hope you remember the bet.

  9. You are actually conservative. I mean you hold on to so much of what your parents ask you to do which is nice in a way but i could never listen to everything they have to say. I remember how starkly different you and your sister are. I dont have a sibling so I never get to compare stuff here but you both are like poles apart. Though she’s been my close friend I would still say she’s a satan and you an angel. I love the way you talk and now i am falling in love with the way you write. Why didn’t I read this before.

  10. awwww!! my memory is so poor..unlike i don’t remember much, the time i spent with my beloved AJJiiiii…just i remember the act which i used to do before mum arrives from skul (the sleeping act) and then making mom scare with ajji:D

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