I walked into a salon one Sunday morning. It was time for the girls’ quarterly haircut. The six year old tried hard to convince me not to chop off her unruly locks and the younger one had an indifferent look on her face, as if to say, “Get it over with it, shall we?”.

After explaining to the lovely hairdresser the length, look and style (as dictated by the elder one) and carefully whispering what I actually wanted, I settled down on the nearest sofa armed with a story, nursery rhyme and perfect stare to manage them. Not that I needed it off late.

When silence took over, my attention was drawn to two women who were chatting. I could not tell straight away if they were friends from before or they had just met. Their conversation was guarded, but friendly. They talked about daily schedules, children, corporate life…that was until they discovered a common acquaintance. Down went the guard, the voices got louder and they gushed with excitement. I was just going to drift into my thoughts when one sentence caught my attention. The older one (senior by around 5-7 years) said, “Ah, she has it so easy! I am sure she has an army of maids to help her at home. No wonder she is able to juggle work, kids and home so effortlessly. Have you seen her manicured nails? Always a different colour!”

I then looked down at my nails – neatly trimmed, polished (at home) with a colour matching my dress and thought, Did the world judge me based on my nails? Was it an indication of my comforts or the lack of it? Were people secretly certifying my ability to manage a successful career and a happy home going by my appearance?

We live in times where first impressions are important, but does that mean we have to dress a certain way to show that there are days we run around like headless chickens getting work deliverables done or the times we have washed a tub full of vessels because we had no help at home?

If we chose to colour our lips or pierce it, get a tattoo or remove it, shave our hair or grow it – these are personal decisions that we take for a myriad of reasons and if you use only that to judge one’s lifestyle, income, capability or character – I assure you it will never be accurate.

As for me and my manicured nails, whether I have an army of help at home or I am just someone who is superbly efficient at balancing life (and all it throws at me) is for me to know and for you not to worry about!


Feel free to send in your entries to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *