Late nights and early mornings

“There are no ugly women. Only lazy women.”

Helena Rubenstein

So I quoted to the husband when he’d asked me for the nth time whether I was quite done with creaming my face and my hands and my legs and oiling my hair and could he use the bathroom, or I would be responsible for a grown man regressing to infantile behaviour and wet spots on the floor.

I dont think he was amused. Nor does he appreciate the amount of effort it takes to keep oneself looking from the creature one sees in the mirror in the bathroom, during sleep drugged blurry middle of the night bathroom visitations that almost have one going down on ones hands and knees and begging for mercy, and promising to sign away one’s soul in triplicate, before realising that it is the self which is being reflected.

On a bad day, a good scrubbing of the face, oiling the hair and plaiting it tight, and slathering on the night cream can actually make me go off to la la land in a trice. I guess it is the adult equivalent to the bed time story for me.  Can actually feel my eyes droop as I do the rub a dub routine. The husband, who has been criminally blessed with genetically great skin, snorts in derision. Of course, one is programmed to ignore such snorts, and continue with mauling one’s skin. “Just let your skin breathe sometimes,” he says, well meaningly. Maybe he doesnt quite like ending up with a mouthful of goop and antiwrinkling his tongue. What he doesnt know is that I’m terrified of seeing myself without the goop on. Either of make up or of cream. Maybe I should just wear a mask and be Superwoman.

Been getting up early these days for an early morning walk. How early you ask, with arched brow? Five am. Okay okay. Five am is the alarm. It rings, I shut it. Open one eye. Look outside, pray it is raining. See that the horizon is cloudless. Cloudless till the distant horizon four suburbs away. Yup. I can see till four suburbs away. I snooze some more. Until a determined hand shakes my shoulders. “Lemme sleep.”

Tis the loving husband. “Get up and go walk.” The unsaid accusation being that tis time the butt got trimmed to proportions where it didnt need its own zip code. Of course, on being virulently confronted with this assumption when I am more awake and coherent he denies it completely and goes off on a tangent about some drivel about health and well being and such, but I remember days when he would be only too happy if I got up early and went nowhere from the bed. Alas and alack. How the mighty have fallen.

In between all this shaking of shoulder and hissing, and ignoring, the child will mutter in his sleep and we will freeze in deathly silence rather than risk waking said fruit of our womb and sperm combined. Visions of rolls of muffin top hanging over my jeans waistline will make rude faces at me, and I will drag myself to the bathroom. I am very organised. I keep all my walking gear out the previous night so dressing takes me five minutes. What eats up the time is the hyperventilation that happens when I confront my groggy self in the bathroom mirror.

Surely those are not suitcases under my eyes? What happened to my nose, did it grow a mile while I slept, and who is this fat aunty, and those cant be my hips alone, where’s the rest of the person they belong to, show yerself, and how dare you stick your fat on me etc, etc.

Therefore, confronted by this horrific vision, I run out, put on the walking shoes and start to leave the house. Then realise perhaps, I should change into track pants and a tee. A nightgown, no matter how conducive to free movement, doesnt quite cut it on the jogging track.

This morning, I reached down at 5.30 am, as usual. The air was dark and hushed. The lights of the garden were still on. A pack of strays had made themselves very comfortable at various intermissions along the track and were loathe to move for this fat, asinine woman insisting on torturing her bones while the rest of her race populating the stacked homes slept and snored.

An hour and a half later, I am awake. Finally. When you’re walking at a point, you feel that one step more and your family will have to scrape you from the road with a spatula. But you take that next step and find you’ve got some double dose of oxygen floating in your bloodstream making you go on and on and on. Yup, yup. Energiser bunny, thats just what I am. Stick on the furry ears, and the bobtail. Though the spouse might not prefer that on track pants and tee. Sort of doesn’t go with the look, right?


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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13 Responses to Late nights and early mornings

  1. Kiran says:

    Hey Kiran,

    Absolutely agree with your opening line – no ugly women only lazy women !! I drag myself to work everyday in an awful sweater which looks more like a housecoat, with hair unkempt and no makeup which I attribute to little R grabbing at my lipsticks and foundation to try to primp herself up hence I have given up trying to put any on myself too……….well anyways long story short, I wish I were in India and stayed close by, would have joined you on your 5 am walk….I really need to shake myself up and start looking and feeling like I did pre baby times 😦


  2. sraikh says:

    ROFL. I am going to use that quote now onwards
    5.30a/m.That’s just admirable.


  3. mayG says:

    you have such a way with words K! just can’t quit ROFLing 😀


  4. aneela says:

    God you are disciplined!! The bed time regime, the morning walk AND FULL TIME Brat patrol (and posting us the ‘treasures’ from your day)…this as Gman and me ‘pass the responsibility parcel’ about who’s turn it is to reach out to pick up the TV remote from the floor…excuse me as I hide under the bed in shame.


  5. kbpm says:

    wow! thats a great routine. never mind the men, what do they know. HMPH.


  6. Priyanka says:

    Rotfl… “butt got trimmed to proportions where it didnt need its own zip code”
    5:30?? Wow…
    You should be proud. No amount of beer gut and muffin top ballooning shames me into getting outta bed at that time!! Hmm… maybe I should shouldn’t get out of bed but hide in the bed after saying that….


  7. LOL! Love the way you write, Kiran! 🙂

    Thankie dear.


  8. childwoman says:

    530???? whoaaa woman!! you inspire me…

    Not reading my blog are you? 😦


  9. childwoman says:

    Blocked you out my blog?? Never!!!! Infact you were the first one I gave access to…mere blog ke darwaze aap ke liye hamesha khule rahenge…! 😛



  10. Chikki says:

    Longtime lurker – You are hilarious!

    Welcome welcome, glad you delurked.


  11. Payal says:

    ..and there are some women obsessed with keeping their feet sparkling! I hate to admit that i wear these ugly ‘ladies socks’ which are essentially some ugly shade of brown designed with a room for ur big toe..and i wear them daily with my sandals/chappals or anything to work 😦 i have to.. i want my feet clean and beautiful and with zero tan! I need to walk a lot during my day since the place i work at is huge and to go for lunch/from/to bus etc i have to walk in sun and dust.
    I get these occasional stares from ppl when they see a perfectly dressed girl with not so perfect socks! But I am satisfied that my feet are “touchwood” the fairest most beautiful part of my body..complete with a red hot nail enamel 😀 and when i wear my gold stilletoes my feet still look the hottest part..albeit only i can appreciate and admire them as much..becoz only i know what goes behind maintaining them feet!



  12. Raghuvir says:

    “Let your skin breathe” – haha. Kiran, you write so well. It seemed the event happened right in front of my eyes.

    And yeah, the furry ears might not go well with the track pants, though bobtail might! I’m going to come here again!


  13. Abha says:


    Kiran if i hadnt seen you i would have actually believed all fat and bad skin stories!!

    but then i dont care because i get a laugh anywayz!

    and now to re-start my walking! i am actually the fat woman you keep calling yourself!! 🙂



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