Why do we associate all things lively and interesting with sunshine? Talk to a dad gushing to his 4-year old daughter and he will be quick to add, “There goes my sunshine girl”. Talk to a boyfriend head over heels in love with his girl, and he will remind you that she is his ‘sunshine girl’. I figured it’s because we look forward to a new day as the sun rises and shines and lights up our days. It’s the nature’s alarm, telling us to leave our failures of the past just there, and move to a new beginning.
Cut to reality. Come summers and we all like to hide ourselves and our priceless white glowing skin behind closed doors to prevent it from sun burn and tanning. We curse the sun and pray for rain. Even the schools and colleges close down for a good two months. On a typical summer afternoon, if you ever decide to go down the road (God forbid you should do so!), all you get to see is the lonely road, the sound of whirring coolers in homes and a looming silence with not a soul in sight. Well, except Kyra.
Kyra is my childhood buddy. We have shared our secrets and stories of success, failure, hopes, anxiety and aspirations. She always knows how to cheer me up when I am feeling down or doubting my talent or self-worth. She has always been there when I needed her, and is the most jovial person I have known all my life. She is the kind of person everyone wanted to be friends with, but I took and still take great pride in the fact that she is MY best friend, My sunshine girl, my Ky.
A few years later, this little sunshine joke of ours turned quite literal for us, as I developed skin problems which worsened if I as much as stepped out in the sun. And imagine that for a girl living in Delhi where the summer temperatures hover around a harsh 40 degrees and threateningly close to 48 degrees. I had tried various sun screen lotions off the rack but nothing worked for me. My skin was too sensitive to them. It would break out even before I stepped out in the sun.
One day, Ky and I had a huge fight. Apparently, she had planned an outing to Rishikesh with a bunch of our other friends. We could go for river rafting, cliff jumping and other such adventurous activities, or just laze around on the beach. I being myself was so horrified at the idea, as if she was suggesting going to a graveyard at 12 in the night! She tried convincing me but I was in no mood to listen. We both huffed and puffed and Ky left, sensing that I was too worked up about my skin “problem” and all that!
A few days later, I received an anonymous courier. As soon as I opened it, I laughed heartily.
This was my “make-up” gift from Ky, who apparently had taken up my malady too seriously.
|My “make-up” gift !
I was almost determined to not go on an experimentation session again when my eyes fell on another thing in the courier packet. Ky, knowing me well, had written me a letter too.
I know you are feeling very distressed because of your skin issues, what with it turning dark and getting those burnt patches. But let me tell you that you are still the same sweet G for me who is my confidante and best friend. Nothing, absolutely nothing, not even the sun with all its mighty powers can make me change my feelings for you. But G, I tried to tell you something the other day too, but you just wouldn’t listen. And that is when I realized that the sun was not only playing havoc with your skin, but with your character too.
In all these years, I have never seen you so worked up or talking so rudely with me. Not only has you appearance changed, but your beautiful inside too. My gentle G has suddenly become this aggressive G who is only safeguarding her skin, while our friendship is withering away in your hostility.
Tears were rolling down my cheeks. I couldn’t read any further. The letter lay crumpled in my hands. I had not realized how much I had hurt Ky, who had been there for me always. And that day I decided that enough was enough. How long could I go on sitting inside the house, fearing my demons? I had to go out and face them.
And so the next day, doused with a liberal portion of the
Lakme Sun expert
with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 50, I went to Ky’s house to surprise her. We both hugged each other, and decided to go for a movie! Ky and I stepped out, oblivious of the harsh sun. We were reveling in the joys of our once again blooming friendship. A few hours later, as we entered the house, laughing and joking about the movie, I began to panic. I was so happy that I hadn’t checked on my skin even once. What if it had broken out again? What if? What if?
And with a thousand questions on my mind, I dashed off to the bathroom to check my appearance. As I looked at my face incredulously, Ky walked up from behind and gave me a smile. Eureka! It had worked. And so, one by one, I started using the other products like the face wash and sun mask too. And slowly, my damaged skin started returning to its glorious old self.
My sunshine girl literally brought back the sunshine in my life. I can never thank her enough for not only making my skin better, and empowering me to step out at any time of the day, but also making me a better human being. Because I might not be able to get a
Lakme Sun Expert
for all the obstacles that I will face in life, and yet I will always have the comfort of knowing that Ky will always be my side without ever judging me.
And now for the SURPRISE! I am writing this post from Rishikesh where Ky and I are vacationing with our third sunshine buddy. Guess who?
That’s my story. Who is your sunshine buddy?