by Shloka Shankar

A mother’s fashion accessories become a little girl’s source of fascination and temptation. Fashionista is the fashion (mis)adventure of that child. Shloka Shankar captures it in a poem.

The perfume bottles
were arranged from tallest to shortest,
and thinnest to fattest,
with a note of rose here,
and a hint of jasmine there.

Bindis in every hue bedecked
the mirror –
bright reds, browns,
rupee-sized ones,
vertical and squiggly lines
that snaked through
mother’s forehead

blunt lipsticks and kohl pencils
filled the little jute basket
that sat beside hairpins
and rubber bands.

I remember playing dress-up
on days when I was home alone;
sneaking into her bedroom

and smudging on some lipstick,
placing a crooked third-eye,
draping a dupatta loosely
and strutting about with a pout:
a fashion disaster waiting to happen.


Shloka Shankar is a freelance writer residing in India. She is a contributing author in two dozen anthologies including, Chronicles of Urban Nomads, The Dance of the Peacock, Emanations IV, The Living Haiku Anthology, Family Matters, The Traversal of Lines, and Eastern Voices among others. Her free verse poems, haiku, tanka, haiga and haibun, have appeared in numerous renowned print and online journals.

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