We are at my sister’s place, enjoying the holidays. Life has become synonymous with a deep lassitude; a lassitude that comes from having had a crazy year filled with chores and deadlines.
My sister and I unwind by catching up on every conceivable topic. My little niece is always in the vicinity, adding much charm to our conversations, with her sweet thoughts and love.
My mom, her grandmother, has gifted my niece a little-girl nail paint set that has tiny bottles in many colours. My niece spends all her free time applying nail paint to her tiny fingers and toes, and also painting the nails of anyone else at home who agrees to her plans. And when she is not painting her nails, she is busy practicing her dance routine for her school’s soon-to-be Annual Day.
Soon, it is time for my niece to wear her costume and get ready for her dance performance. The entire family is going to attend the show. My niece flits about like a butterfly the whole morning, but sits patiently as my sister and I do her hair and make up. She is very aware of her lipstick and wears a strange pout to ensure that she does not smudge or swallow her lipstick.
All of us tell her that she looks absolutely gorgeous. She smiles and poses for pictures, and then says, “Let me see how I look.” There is a mirror on the inside of one of the wardrobe doors. As she evaluates herself, we are only able to see her tiny fingers holding the door. We await the verdict with bated breath.
After a few minutes, she comes out, all smiles, and announces, “I look beautiful.” We agree in unison and clap. We are soon on our way to a beautiful event and a memorable evening.