She twisted her heel bearing ankle while turning around to correct a colleague on the colour of her new love.
The deep colour of it reflected her sombre soul, but the twirls it made reverberated the joy she carried when she wore; the skirt.
The time she saw it online on her favourite shopping portal, just a few days before her 21st birthday, she had imagined herself dressed in it; gleaming around making birthday Boomerangs.
The order was delivered just in time. The day came and she wore the skirt. But the photographs did not happen. The glee was never felt. Another birthday gone kaput.
Nevertheless, she knew the skirt deserved its moment of glory and she would thus keep it safe for the next special occasion.
It came seven months later. Her farewell party.
She was leaving the city to pursue her dreams and out came the skirt from the safest corner of her closet. Determined to make the day memorable; she put on her maroon lipstick, strapped her saviour heels (a birthday gift from dad) and paired the skirt with a dreamy white crepe chiffon blouse.
The mirror winked “seize the day, darling”.
She entered the party venue in full fairytale fashion. Holding the dear skirt by both ends while making sure to not trip on the heels which could not match up to her confidence right now. But life is not a fairytale.
The guests hadn’t turned up yet. Still, she was not going to let anything take away the moment of the skirt. It deserved its glory. So, out came the phone and pop opened the camera. 46 selfies later, one friend showed up.
And slowly the rest. The gathering was coming alive; and finally the colour of the skirt matched the blush on her cheeks. Dated Cherry.
The skirt twirled back home and was once again gently packed for the next big occasion. This time it came out of the closet in a new city. Exactly a year later to the disaster that was. The 21st birthday had demanded an apology and the 22nd birthday agreed to forgive and forget. The skirts’ birthday wish was about to be fulfilled.
The place was new and so were the people. Her first birthday outside home, without family, but second with the skirt.
Her new friends sweetly surprised her at midnight with room decorations and a ‘Best Roomie’ satchel. Finally, this was going to be a Happy Birthday.
The mirror hung in awe as she got ready to go down for breakfast in the college mess. Today, she walked in like she owned the aura around her. Like she had bought the air of confidence she exuded. Like she was a Elsa in Cinderella’s avatar.
Mystical. Magical. Mad making Merry.
All eyes on her and the skirt flared to take a bow. The heels, golden today, proved no hindrance as she jumped in joy and jived around the whole campus. True happiness had visited the birthday girl and she was hosting her well so far.
At lunch, another surprise awaited. A chorus birthday song. So much love! The Maroon of the skirt turned Burgundy as it flushed in honour. The camera pleaded to be of service today and the skirt obliged. The day demanded a photoshoot and the skirt anyway loved the click of the shutter.
She was not changing the skirt until the day got over and thus was put off the plan to take a humble stroll to the nearby temple, saving the skirt from being looked down upon or letched at. The skirt’s length wasn’t long enough to stand up to eve teasers. It fell short of shame. It rather dance in the hostel room; perfect to the turns it made the waist take. One swig there and two swirls there. Flirty, frivolous, free.
But dinner had to follow, so, a hearty meal amidst a pleasantly lit setting later, the skirt wondered- What Next?
Freedom, the hem answered.
Plop went the heels, and the hem rejoiced with a flared jump; as she strutted down the bare streets, ignoring the noise around. The city lights watched as she walked on teeny lanes at night wearing the skirt.
The burgundy was now glowing a tingy rust shade. But the undertones of cherry and wine were still at play when the skirt was neatly folded and put on the pink hanger of the Godrej almirah in the tiny hostel room.
23rd next? She asked before being locked away.
“You never know darling. You command only special occasions and birthdays are just one of them”, she answered as her cheeks borrowed the skirt’s crimson.
Ruffle Button-Down Top- Mast & Harbour (Myntra)- Rs. 525
Scuba Skater Skirt- Faballey- Rs. 900
Golden Heels- Jabong- Rs. 1200
On the Face:
Eyeliner- Lakme Absolute Liquid Precision Liner in Black
Lipstick- Lotus Make-up (Purple Daisy- 429)
Location: Asian College of Journalism Photography: B. Pradeep Date: 28.11.2016