No. I am not talking of the retail giant.

This weekend K and I were invited to a puja at a friend’s house. There was to be some chanting followed by bhajans. It has been a while since I was part of a group prayer and I was looking forward to it. Saturday also being Karadaiyan Nonbu aka Savitri Vratham, I was up early making botching the adais. As I looked in despair at the clock and the gooey adai sitting in my idli plate I gave up. Leaving it to cool down, I rushed upstairs with five minutes to spare and changed into a silk saree. My very first one. The one my mom bought for me with much love in the summer of 1995. In the hopes that the maroon silk would entice some unwitting guy to fall for me.

Shaking the memories back, I looked into the mirror after sticking my maroon and black bindhi on. Something was missing. Rummaging around in my cluttered vanity cabinet, I drew out the pencil eye liner I bugged K to get for me from India. Lakme brand. Carefully lining both my eyelids I blinked and prayed that the kohl would not stick to my contacts. Opening my eyes and no blurry black lines impeding my vision, I smiled. Satisfied with the image beaming back from the mirror, I rushed downstairs. Stuffing the box of freshly made sundal into a plastic bag, I scooped out the gooey adai and did a quick offering to the goddess before tying my charadu.

Sitting in the car, I prodded K. Notice anything different I asked? He looked at my face, my ears my neck to see if I had anything new on me. What is it he asked? After teasing him for a bit, I pointed to the kohl lined eyes on my face. The look of realization passed over his face. Looks good he said.

The rest of the day passed in a blur. Starting for work yesterday, I felt blue and needing a lift I reached for the pencil again. My steps were a little lighter as I walked the aisle to my cube. My neighbor wished me a Good Morning, paused a bit and said “You have mascara on!”. Shaking my head I explained it was kajal. I did not know what mascara was. Grinning she understood. I have it on too she said and I realized she did.

Applying oil at night to remove the black shadow caused by my new found love, I realized how rediscovering some of my old fads was renewing. I am not sure how long this love affair with kajal will last but for the few days I am enamoured with it, I realize it works its magic in mysterious ways.

Mom to three. Open adoption advocate. Writer.

13 Comment on “The Magic of Kohls.

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