I am writing here after several months , being provoked by finely manicured feet with nice nail paint. Goes without saying that the feet in question don’t belong to me. Now that would have been unusual enough as well actually, to qualify for a blog post. Sadly, that unusual event is yet to occur. Though, I hope that someday, living in such a grooming – obsessed country as Indonesia, I will begin to really try at least, the things such as hairdo/hairstyles other than bun, various styled earrings other than the studs and formal wear other than trousers and shirts. Well, I don’t really want to write about my lack of fashion – sense in this post, though of course, that has been giving me inferiority complex in this country where all the women I come across seem to be the walking examples of runway models, women that have been gifted with naturally lithe yet slim bodies and smaller frames (Especially, my female colleagues who are 20 years older to me, are much better groomed and stylish than I ever could be in my life and take a 15 minute loo-break daily in the afternoon to touch-up their make – up and curl their eyebrows. By the way, I saw eye-brow curler for the first time in my life here…again, I am digressing … )
So, coming to my point – yesterday, I met a bunch of Indian women my age (though have kids in class 1/2 now! , makes me feel super old, I know, though they got married super early and shifted here…again, I am digressing) – we had all gathered to discuss what to showcase at the upcoming expat ‘Diwali Mela’. Last year, we had performed a group dance, complete with traditional costumes, stage property and so on.
At one point, they started discussing their schedules. Some of them are housewives with kids and others are working women with kids. All of their lives outside of office / house work revolve around kids – their homework, school projects, their performances, activities, various hobby classes. The kind of burden that 6-7 year old kids have on themselves is unimaginable actually. My generation I guess was one of the last few generations that could play at the ‘age of playing’. Sounds funny to say – but that’s true. These expat 6-7 year old kids seem to be just moving – out of school into some activity class, out of that class into a hobby class and so on. From what I’ve been reading about India, I guess similar things are happening back home too…
Anyhow, I noticed the shining red nail-paint on the feet of one of these 4.30 am waking – numerous lunches- packing, numerous home-made -things- making working Mum. And I took a deep breath. Slowly, I took in the feet of all the other women at the venue. Only colour changed. Light pink, maroon, magenta, brown… whatever the colour, but the feet were well manicured (or pedicured – not sure what to call it), looked smooth, soft with a shining coat of nail paint. And I sighed. For myself. I didn’t have to look down at my feet – I knew exactly how ugly, rough, hideous mine would look. Then I spent few moments wondering how on the earth they could manage all their work AND getting their manicure??? That 4.30 am club looked to me as if they were totally in control of their time… what have I been doing with MY time??
When was the last time I really applied anything to my feet? Cream even? Almost 2 years back. At my wedding. When was the last time I did anything to my face? – that was in January 2013, when I was in India. When was the last time I styled my hair – in India again. In January 2012!! It’s not like I HAVE to do or HAVE to confirm to this standard of expat Indian woman in Indonesia. It’s just that I WANT to improve my grooming and nobody’s really been stopping me. Just that I NEVER FOUND THE TIME to do it! TILL NOW. More so, after I began working here. It is so weird. Actually it is not. I am tardy. Never taking the trouble really and just wanting to change things about myself….
Planning meals, organizing house, keeping things in order etc have never been my forte, but I had never imagined before marrying, how much of the married life means only this – especially if you don’t live with in-laws and have to entertain guests from time to time. Though, even if you don’t have anyone over at your place, living with a second person, the significant other, means that several things have to be acceptable to the both – including food. I never had imagined that thinking about laundry, meals, cleaning etc will be an important part of my daily thought process and so having not been much interested in all the domestic management before marriage, I find my hands full just with the two of us, short of containers to stock groceries with, all the times, overstuffed fridge and short of place to put clothes. I am guessing (Correctly) that life will get even more dramatic whenever we plan to start a family!! I can imagine how our life would have been in Mumbai currently, had we not quit our jobs there and continued to work wherever we were working. We probably wouldn’t have had any time together – what’s with the super long working hours, commuting and family obligations. Since both of us belong to extremely traditional and large families, the obligations would have taken precedence over everything. Here, while we are away from these aspects, we still are in short of time – we always have unfinished chores at hand. I guess, we need to learn a lot. It takes a lot of planning I suppose to have your feet manicured….