A sexagenarian now, she still wears the same bright colors. And unsurprisingly, that makes some people uncomfortable as it does not confine to their rotten age-old beliefs.
Many times I have overheard people talking not so positively about her choice of being colorful all the time, be her bright lipsticks or her colorful sarees. I could sense a subtle disapproval in their words.
But being her daughter, I know the struggles that she has gone through, the troubles she has faced, and the lipsticks she has been wearing. For her, lipstick was always something more than just make-up. She wore these colors as a mask for the pretense of happiness and contentment. She never wanted the world, including her family, to catch even a glimpse of her struggles.
I have seen her wearing bright colors when she had a high fever and she had to go to school. She never missed wearing those colorful sarees when she had to attend PTMs at our school and her school on the same day. It was as if this simple act of wearing a lipstick gave her some sort of superpower. For her, lipstick is the essence of being a supportive wife and an encouraging mother. She reminds me of the beautiful lines in Sanskrit: असतो मा सद्गमय । तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय । मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।”