Skip to main content

FEATURED POST

The liberatory power of makeup

Lisa Eldridge’s first book, ‘Face Paint: The Story of Makeup’ is a reminder of human social obligations; of wanting to belong and feel accepted



This book review/feature was first published for The Hans India

"Makeup, as we know it, has only been commercially available in the last 100 years, but applying decoration to the face and body may be one of the oldest global social practices.”
London-based makeup artiste, Lisa Eldridge has added another shade to her palette of achievements with her first book, ‘Face Paint: The Story of Makeup’.

In ‘Face Paint’, the red carpet specialist with over 20 years of experience in the industry reveals the history of makeup, from Egyptian ages through the Victorian age and the golden era of Hollywood, and surveys the science of cosmetics for what lies ahead in it. She narrates a story tracing the origins of makeup to its development over centuries citing anthropological, psychological, evolutionary and sexual significances as she uncovers the answer …

Feature :: Goodbye, Yellow Rosebush

Read time: 3 minutes 30 seconds

-


I find in myself the need to take time and write this goodbye note to a plant. To be clear, I’m not a big fan of rosebushes; I prefer crotons with colourful leaves and (occasionally) some flowers on it.

But this is a good one. No. It was.

It was one of the only two plants remaining from the first lot of pots we had bought about five or six years ago. Every couple of years, we have to replace these plants; the harsh sun does no kindness to them in the summers here. With the temperatures reaching over 44 and 45 degrees, and no shade to cover them, I find it very difficult to nurture them, even with watering the soil twice a day, and rotating it every month. 

But even when other plants had to go, because they couldn’t make it, this one with yellow roses, endured. It was a survivor that stayed blooming through the rain, dry winters, and even in the sun.

I hated its pot. It was so heavy and rough. It scratched my fingers during the monthly garden maintenance activities – fertilising, uprooting weeds, pruning, etc. That won’t be a problem anymore. By the way, the soil for its pot didn’t require much maintenance. When I fertilised our garden, I would always put the mixture in its pot at the very end; sometimes I ignored that as well.

It never complained.

It always bloomed.

I would introduce it to others as a survivor; rightly so. It had long bright green leaves on it throughout the year. When I pruned it (which I did quite regularly, thankfully), it would gush forth with a refreshed energy, and sprout reddish-green leaves before any other rosebush did. The oldest plant in our garden – always proving its beauty. 

It didn’t take long for the yellow rose plant to die. 

Three days ago, I noticed its branches browning.

What happened? I asked it.

I have to go. It is time. It told me.

I couldn’t find it in my heart to make efforts to save it – it never asked me to do that for it. I understood that it wanted to go out on its own terms.

So, I let it.

Two days. That’s all it took to sleep quietly forever. 

I said my goodbyes on that day, and clicked this photo. Because, I want to remember. The yellow rose plant deserves it. It stood surviving through many years, without much care – on its own terms. Bringing a bright beauty in its yellow petals. Sometimes big, other times small. The kids would come every year and stare wide-eyed at its brilliant bloom; the first plant to wake its beauty for them. Others followed it; perhaps it was a silent agreement between the members of the garden.

Now, don’t be mistaken. This wasn’t my favourite plant in the garden. On the contrary, I was quite neutral towards it. But I observed it – a rosebush that I didn’t quite love, the way I loved the croton with purple leaves – and its life taught me endurance. Living the purpose defined for it; its only true companion – the God who created it. Blooming through twelve months in God’s Mercy – what more did it ever need?

That’s what it taught me.

A plant, alone in its pot, surrounded by other bushes in green, purple, red, yellow, and orange – yet, solitary in its survival. Blooming at the Creator’s Mercy, and leaving on His call – an existence simplified, a life lived, a purpose fulfilled.

Goodbye, yellow rosebush.

-

Image: I own the image. Do not duplicate.

Popular Posts