Azure light reflected from the pipette necked, discoid bodied, dramatic container. The graphically translucent glass containing a liquid, of course, for which it was exclusively made, is presently being reached by a slender hand. It is a costly affair. No, not the bottle of cologne but the hand itself. It is a hand of a slave, that too, a skilful one. The slave or cosmetae, as she was called in that country, gently lifted the decanter and capping its mouth with the index finger tilted it to 45 degrees. As the fluid landed on her tip it commenced to gradually evaporate, taking all the heat from the surrounding flesh. Placing the bottle down, the cosmetae rubbed the toilet water against her master’s skin, unaware of her power over her master. The master has a beautiful face but for a blemish which is now being concealed with snail’s ashes. The cosmetae continues to brighten up her master’s dusky face by smearing a mixture of crocodile dung and chalk powder. He is now ready and leaves the house for his nightly errand. The slave visits her master’s wife forthwith whose bedtime demands that her face be covered with sheep’s sweat but first she has to remove the almond ash( kajal) from around her eyes. Not many women applied this, as not many could afford such an expensive as well as an efficient cosmetae. She additionally asks her to paint her nails with the shellac that her husband had imported from India. Cosmetae is shocked, ‘how much truth can these elites conceal via makeup, what would they do without me?’ She thinks quietly.

A beautiful thought my dear girl but little do you know that slavery would be banned; i.e. people wouldn’t be allowed to enslave OTHERS. Ohh, but yes, they would commit a greater crime. Nobody would stop them to make themselves a slave to themselves. And little do you know that a word would emerge from your noun, cosmetics. It will assist people to hide their pain, struggle and soul. A person would not know another person, all veiled behind a thick mask, as expensive as you are. That’s the potential you hold my dear. Men would continue to mock women for their love towards cosmetics yet fall for the one who would be most laden. Girls would no longer need a scarf, a yashmak or a mantilla. A thick paste of rose beige, a pink gloss, some highlighter and a pair of fake eyelashes, that’s all and no one would know how a person actually looks!

PS: Shellac is a resin secreted by a certain lac bug found in India. To produce about a Kg of shellac around 200000-500000 bugs are required. Hence, the suffix lac stemmed from lakh – a sum in Indian numbering system.

If you don’t know already, all the historic scriptures on cosmetics were male authored. So, I hope its not a problem if I write this. ; )


One thought on “Cosmetae

  1. Who knew that the roots of modern day facade of beauty and elegance would have its roots all the way back to ancient slavery practices..
    Very well narrated and thought-provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s