Amma said beauty pallor was for aunties and not little twelve year old girls. How she could think of her as little, when she looked so different from all the other girls in her class, she thought. Each morning she would stare at her reflection in the full length mirror appa had recently got fixed in the bathroom and wish she was prettier, less weird…If only amma would relent to her peals about the pallor, she too would look pretty. That’s what Anita said parlors were all about; to make one look beautiful. The tiny pimples on her forehead would disappear…all the hair on her legs and hands would vanish…her hair now oiled and plaited in red ribbons would become all bouncy like Karena’s maybe that lovely brownish red and just maybe he would become friends with her.
Then one Sunday when amma was making dosais and appa was watching news she stole into the bathroom and turned the bucket upside down in order to reach appa’s shelf. She took his razor out and grinned at her reflection.