As I liberally dusted myself with Mysore Sandal Talc today morning in what appears to be a recent habit, I couldn’t help thinking back at the days I scorned my amma, appa and athai for coating themselves liberally with talc. I would tease them saying the powder was an inch think on their face and neck and they would dismiss me as silly.
I remember when amma would chide me for sitting curled up with a book when I aught to have, like all good girls washed my face, applied talc and a nice new bindi. It was probably the only piece of ‘beauty’ advice she passed on to me from mom to daughter. Which of course I did not take. “Palichinu irruka vendaamo” she would say.
The talcum powder tales are dime a dozen in any household but some of the sharp memories I have are of my dad pressing the powder pack till a small mound of talc would rest on the palm of his hand. He would replace the box and rub both his hands vigorously and then smooth the powder all over his face, neck and arms. He would then turn back with a smile as I teased him. I also remember my athai pleading with me during weddings and other festivals at home to ‘brighten’ up with a bit of powder.
I also remember airily dismissing them saying I did not need to take recourse to talc to make me look beautiful. I looked just right au naturale I thought. On the wrong side of thirty, I am ready to take anything that will make me feel younger.
Ahh! for the arrogance of youth I thought as I merrily squirted talc all over myself.