The enlightened call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.

— Krishna in The Gita

The mind is everything. What you think you become.
— Buddha

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

How do I look?

My daughter is coming home for vacation and I have my job cut out for a month. Apart from watching films, eating out, visiting bookshops and art galleries, shopping and socialising, listening to endless prattle about her boarding school, I’ll also have to be the Glamour Girl.

Because in the one month that she’ll spend in Dubai she’ll subject me to scrutiny like “a blue scarf with a blue shirt?”, “Ma, you need to urgently lose 5 kg, you’re looking F-A-T,” “oh God, not pink lipstick at your age!”
At 15, she’s a young woman in her own right, who thinks she can teach her mother a thing or two about fashion. It’s fine by me, all this newfound confidence or sense of fashion or whatever. It’s also a fun way to cement the mother-daughter bond. At her age I remember handing a few tips to my female relatives about the right sari or jewellery.

But there is a difference, isn’t there? While we all took interest in looking good, the present generation seems to be rather preoccupied with it. Mercifully my girl is no airhead and has a lot of meaningful interests to keep her grounded and well-balanced (hopefully), but in general I do see a trend among the young people that is tilted heavily in favour of looking good, whatever it takes. Shopping, primping, gymming, dieting…And if you are older and can afford, it’d be chemical peel, botox, surgery…

There is this young Lebanese girl in the gym I’ve joined. She has an hourglass figure and oozes fitness. She’s also the one who works out the hardest. The other day I asked her casually why she needed to put in so much effort. “My stomach is fat, my arms are fat,” she said. I was like which stomach, which arms? To convince me she lifted her T shirt a bit, pinched her stomach, which was flat and hard like an orthopaedic-mattress, and said, “See? All this has to go.”

What has to go? The skin? Give me a break!


  1. Very nice to read...wishing some fun loving days.

  2. Completely relate to it!! I know, kids now-a-days are too savvy in beauty and fashion. My 8 year old kid needs the shampoo and hair gel which is advertised for kids (with chocolate flavor et al). While I have given in to his demand for the shampoo, hair gel is still on his wish list!!
    Have a great time!
    Cheers :)

  3. Definitely a good way to bond with your daughter.
    Enjoy the holidays with her. It is good to know that she aware of the latest trends.
    My daughter is so simple, that I have to keep bugging her about various things, that she could do to further enhance her beauty.
    Sometimes, I get fed up. However, I feel her simplicity itself adds its own kind of beauty to her. I feel if she is happy being herself,I must not force my views on her.

  4. Does that come under obssesive compulsive dissorder?
    Oh yes I have seen many like that. Some guys in rippling muscles - V shape body - and still pumping it out on a regular basis.
    Maybe they want to retain that shape.

  5. So true. Kids are so 7 year old daughter tells me which top matches her skirt or pants better. My yet-to-be-2 year old daughter stands on her toes to check herself in the mirror after I dress her up and loves accessories. I guess it's the easy access to multi-brands and the exposure to global fashion & entertainment that influence them!

    Have a wonderful time bonding with your daughter:)

  6. I am glad your daughter is coming for vacation. You will certainly have a very good time. Nowadays, some youngsters or even some adults are obsessed with physical fitness. Yes, we have to be physically fit but no point in killing ourselves to achieve that.

  7. Guess its the order of the day
    Kids have so much exposure to the
    trends and news these days that
    they are wiser for their age.
    As long as it doesn't become an
    obsession, its ok I guess.

  8. My daughters 27, 23 are the same. While they are not preoccupied with the mirror, they are extra critical about the way I dress. I wonder why, for at my age, I can stop bothering about my appearance. For someone who has never used make up, I have painted toe-nails, and maybe a touch of lipstick when I go out these days!! But I guess, I dress better now than I did in my younger days!! Thanks to them.

  9. Hi Neena:)

    This clearly shows that times have changed and the youngsters of today are ready to compete with the best of their counter parts and score a victory.This shows that girls are doing everything to out do the boys. This shows the freedom they enjoy with present day parents who are willing to compromise their old beliefs for the happiness of their children and to go to any amount of expenses to feed their children's vanity and spoil them. This clearly shows that parents are frightened that they will lose their children's love and affection if they don't give in to them and pamper them.

    The bond between parents and children in the modern days is very fragile and parents go the extra mile to keep that bond in tact. I understand that children working in IT industries have no time for their parents and the parents have to go to their work places if they want to see them.Early days children used to come home to spend some time with their parents at least during festival holidays.

    This clearly reminds me of Jim Corbet who wrote in Man Eaters of Kumaon "Times have changed,uncle." I read this when I was in school and it keeps ringing in my ears whenever I see drastic changes taking place all around me. I am happy and consoled because the younger generation will rule the world and they have to be properly equipped for it.

    Very interesting thought provoking post.Enjoy your holidays with your lovely daughter.These are very precious moments.

    Best wishes:)

  10. :) Thats a very sweet post and youre a wonderful mom!!Enjoy yourself with her!!

  11. Good, bond with your children. They.. er will be deciding which old folks' home we go to.LOL

  12. Seems you are getting jittery with the visit. :D

  13. Your post brought a smile to my face. Loved the gym episode.
    Enjoy time with your daughter....

  14. I did post a comment but it seems to have disappered

  15. As long as we don’t go nuts about fitness rules I guess we can rule our lives…but again the other has V shape and Hour glass figure, long hair or glossy skin … oops…

    well, your daughter must know what s best for you… as you say, she s a young woman already… so better heed to her tips :p and have a fun-filled month ahead

  16. You have to feel good about yourself! So, whatever people do for that, I endorse it. :)

    Have fun with your daughter! Hope you guys have a great time during her vacation.

  17. :) yeah it has to go .. I feel the same way I need to do at least a million sit ups eveyr hour to get what i have out .. :)

    wowo i ma sure you two ladies are going to paint the town red.. :) Have fun and enjoyyyyy

    I agree with the new generation being too much fashinable.. I am very non fashined .. end of the day if you wear good clothes clean ones thats about it ..
    but then each one to there's if they can afford spendign a 1000 pound on a Gucci suit then good luck to them I can only afford a 200 one that too after lots of saving ..

    All the best have loads fo fun ..

  18. It is natural to feel good about oneself and desire to look good.
    Of course new generations are always one step ahead of the previous one and they have a right to be so. This 'ahead' is subjective: it could be fashion, liberal thoughts, even aggressiveness.
    Wish you good times with her.

  19. My daughter is also very close her mom...good reading.

  20. hi iam new to this blog ..but i read this particular post and like it. i agree with today's generation thoughts. and gym episode was real funny. even sometimes i wonder about some really fit people striving hard at the gym and question myself about them.