We were in class three, the parents day, our class was to perform the folk dance called Koravanji.
The checked cotton sari’s collected beads chains and ear hoops, colourful flowers, bells on the feet. Mothers had diligently packed the list the teachers gave and we went to school “half day” on reaching the school in “colour dress’ we were huddled into the van “according to class and height.” Finally we reached the KMC physiology auditorium where the event was to take place.
The class teacher assisted by some mothers and “Bhasha” the make-up man were busy getting ready. Our faces done and hold your breath, that bright red gooey stuff that went on our lips called the lipstick the excitement ran high. Once the lipstick was applied, we had to ensure that it stayed so we ate such that our lips didn’t touch or else our “lif-tick” would fade.
There was something very enticing about the lipstick, a forbidden charm. Kajal in the eyes was acceptable but lipstick screamed “fast girls” Older girls did apply lipsticks on occasions so that they would look more dressed up than every day.
Lakme in the early 80’s went plebeian they came up with a range of nail colours of sober pinks and baby blushes which the mother’s of teenagers found acceptable. It made them feel progressive “oh! I allow my daughters wear nail polish but it has to be sober colours.” Baby blush was the colour.
Once lipstick gained acceptability and respectability it has become indispensable, I remember using it as a blusher substitute, or eye shadow substitute, there were times it helped out as a bindi too, remember the original Golmaal?