ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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My Elegant Toes

The unravelling elegance of a body part provides for a meditative reflection about life itself.

I have given my body a thought. It’s not a work of art or a novel of perfectly edited words. It is short, lean, sinking into a dot. In the mirror, my face looks like an open book with the spine of my nose visibly prominent. The chest is flat and hairy, but the stomach that hangs above my waist is often a pool of mistaken mess. My legs and crotch exist to hold my attention and direct it to the toes. Here, in my toes, I see my life’s blessing and belonging. I grew up watching my three sisters paint the nails on their toes. They would draw out my mother’s box of nail paints. Tossing the dried ones away, they’d form a circle on the terrace and coat their nails thickly with red, pink, and violet. Under the setting sun, I would watch them do their weekly ritual while I picked up the parched bottles, filled them with a little water and tried my best to apply at least a papery layer on mine. When I failed, I approached them putting my legs in the circle. They laughed together, “You’re a boy, move them away.”

Disappointed, I’d run down to my mother. She would kiss my forehead and promise to buy a separate one for me. In the market, I’d take her to the counter and point to the golden polish glittering under the yellow lights in the shops that jangled with anklets, bangles, and smelled of perfumes. A frown would immediately appear on her face, but my sad face won over it and she would get that one packed.

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Updated On : 8th Jul, 2022
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