Lipstick on your collar
Ranjita Biswas | @twfindia | 31 Jul 2020
Lipstick on your collar
When we were at the threshold of teen years, the hugely popular song Lipstick on Your Collar by Connie Francis took over our imagination. It had the delicious tang of tasting a forbidden apple.

Think of how romantic it could be, the hero’s snow white shirt collar smeared with a dash of red lipstick with all its connotations. Those were not days of cable TV, let alone Netflix, and watching English romantic films where the kissing scene was mandatory, for which we waited with bated breath, was rare.


So we confined ourselves to watching Hindi commercial films  with 12 or odd songs thrown in and intimacy symbolised between the lead pair by two roses bending towards each other, or a pair of coochie-cooing .


The yearning for wearing lipstick, forbidden by parents citing the reason as too early an age for it, had to be pushed back and postponed till school was over and college days began.


That was when, alongwith the saree, were allowed a light film of lipstick in a colour almost indistinguishable with its paleness, what today’s generation calls ‘nude’. But it was the beginning of a love affair with the lipstick slowly taking on many hues as we grew older, got married, had children et al- pink, orange, maroon, coffee, red for the evening, etc. Somebody said, lipstick is the statement of boldness, of assertiveness, for a woman. We wholly agreed.


Now in the time of the Corona virus when wearing the face mask is the norm while stepping out, where is the place for the poor lipstick on the dressing table? In fact, many women confess that it’s the lipstick they miss the most in their grooming in this time of the new normal. 


Cosmetics industry researchers have been quick on the uptake and investments in bringing out new shades and advertisements have dwindled.  Their market analysts have suggested that they better concentrate on  eye  enhancing products.


So are the smoky eyes visible above the mask going to be the new statement of  fashion- and allure?  For the young guy romantically oriented, it’s going to be tougher; he has to develop the skills of a decipherer of eye-language, literally. Encouraging? Angry?  What do those eyes say? With the lips that could reflect signs of  an encouraging smile, or even a snub by the turn of the lips, now in absentia, it’s going to be new lesson to learn indeed for the romantically inclined.


Covid-19 as it writes its own language,  has played a spoilsport  in so many ways,  No chatting over a cup of coffee in company of  buddies, no  kitty party lunches  in restaurants, no dashing off to the movie theatre with the latest release announcement, no checking out the ‘summer collection’ of clothes. For the younger generation who love to pose in different Instagram friendly locales, it’s rehash time with no new destination to flaunt. God knows, when...they mourn.


And in the WFH norm, people are finding it hard to declare honestly, ‘home is where the heart is,’ jostling for space to accommodate the double work stations for hubby and wife, not to talk about ‘children’s online school. 


And then, just when the boss is asking a crucial question, the pressure cooker whistles in the background. Or a teenage son suddenly decides to go on a rapping session in his room exploring his creativity around today’s lockdown situation and the vibrations from the music box filters through the thin walls  as  father/ mother is in a Zoom conference session. Already people are talking about Zoom-fatigue and crying, ‘Is there no break/ chhuti day?’


As one witty post by someone said, he/she is going to keep awake no matter what on this New Year’s Eve - not to welcome the new  year but see this year go! A sentiment surely being echoed around the world today.