"I was busy reminiscing the previous night and nursing aching feet from all the dancing."
It was the evening of Shams’ mom’s party and I was still at Becca’s, being slobbered upon by Nawab, Becca’s dog, whom I tried dodging but in vain. It was a wonder how she managed to live in a crammed matchbox of a 1-BHK with 2 other girls… according to her, this was all she could afford at the moment. She had even refused to pool in for aunty’s gift. We left and she carried no gift. I would add her name to mine, she did not need to know.
The venue was the impressive sea-facing Villa #7. Shams had outdone herself. Aunty looked resplendent and as I handed her the gift, I was about to tell her that it was from Becca and me, when Becca smiled and told aunty, “Your gift will arrive soon.”
We found Shams in the lawn, laughing and chatting with Akhil aka Becca’s on-and-off boyfriend of 8 years and Samar. I hugged Akhil and gave Samar a nod. Just then, the DJ called for everyone’s attention and announced a special gift for aunty from… Rebecca Thomas! He tuned into a LIVE radio show which had been specially curated with all of aunty’s favourite songs! Laughter filled the air as beautiful music took over. Shams and I looked at Becca; what a unique gift.
Becca was revelling in all the attention when a lady walked over to her and asked if she was related to the renowned lawyer, Thomas. Becca seemed startled but relaxed when Shams clarified on her behalf that her dad no one famous. As the woman walked away, we teased Becca about being a rich man’s daughter. Becca said she needed to retouch her lipstick and we accompanied her.
We were praising Becca for her fab surprise when a teenage girl walked in. Shams introduced us to her cousin, Anu, who gushed upon seeing me. “So cool to finally meet you. I’ve heard you simplify beauty concepts.” I blushed.
The girl gave a pleading look to Shams, who assured, “Anu… tu pooch le.” Self-consciously, with her fingers over her lips, Anu asked, “My braces will be out soon. I’ve been… hiding my lips for long. I want beautiful lips.”
“Something is not right. Shamita is hiding something.”
I smiled as I shared, “5 rules, Anu. #1 — Hydrate… drinking water is key to soft, moisturised lips.”
Anu subconsciously licked her lips and I immediately stopped her. “#2 — no lip licking. What feels like moisture now will soon leave your lips drier than before.” Habits die slowly, unconsciously Anu was about to lick her lips again when Shams stopped her.
Anu had a pretty lipstick on and I asked if she was a regular user. She darted a glance at Shams who advised, “Bata de.” “Sometimes, but all my friends do.” I said, “Lipstick is okay but follow rule #3. Never ever forget to remove every trace of lipstick or any makeup before going to bed.” Looking pleased, Anu said, “I do this already, so mom won’t know.” The three of us laughed remembering our teens.
Remember these rules, and the pain that you’ve endured all this while, thanks to your braces will be worth it.” Anu agreed. “What’s #4?” “Buy a lip serum with SPF.” At everyone’s questioning looks, I continued, “Because lips burn too.” Anu smiled and thanking me rushed out to someone’s call.
“Oops, I forgot to mention #5, that’s my DIY lip scrub. Please pass it to Anu.” I said to Shams who rolled her eyes, “You and your DIYs.”
As Shams again thanked Becca for her special gift, I pulled her leg, “Especially since your mom was so accommodating of your sexual preferences.” Shams let out a hoot.
The next morning, as I nursed aching feet from all the dancing of the previous night, I got a call from Shams’ mom asking if she was serious about Samar.
I told her about my discussion with Shams where she had mentioned that they were just friends. “She would have told me aunty, she always tells me everything”, I reassured her. Aunty seemed unconvinced and sounded worried, “Something is not right. Shamita is hiding something. She is never interested in any guy somehow.” Teasingly I added, “Not in girls, either.” Aunty laughed but her concern remained.
I called Shams, but her phone was switched off, which made me wonder where she could be.
Unbeknownst to me, at that very moment, Shams was sobbing her eyes out in front of her psychiatrist.
‘Lip Love’ by Megha:
Ep01: When I got yelled at and exfoliation was a vacuum cleaner
TBH no one had ever asked me about ‘exfoliation’ in an interview before.
Ep02: When Pinot Noir gave life and Becca learnt about non-touring
We were in high spirits, both literally and figuratively.
Ep03: When I scored at a work meeting, but failed miserably at beauty sleep
"I had stayed up late researching the effects of blue light on beauty sleep. Ah, the irony!"
Ep04: When I big-sissied Divs and cleared the MO of night creams
"If I can't get my sister to understand skincare better, what chance do I have at explaining this to other women?"
Ep05: When a (delicious) man joined the trio and tutored them on glass skin
"Most women did not realise how simple it really was to make the skin underneath makeup the real star."
Ep06: When I successfully woke up tired skin, only for it to lose colour at work
"All I wanted was to shove Samar’s face into a bucket of ice, all I did was dunk my face in it."
Ep07: When my disappointing night was as trending as the French manicure
Everyone assumed that it was a case of ‘Netflix & Chill’ gone wrong!
Ep08: When Zumba helped my soul and pre-workout cleansing helped my skin
"I began tying my hair away from my face. No way was I going to let a guy give me a zit."
Ep09: When I won at skin fasting, but mom won in life
"My mom was ready with her next plan. She already had the look of victory on her face."