My clean relationship with my nails will survive umpteen lockdowns

I may not be missing the monthly salon trip, pandemic upheavals et al, but my mani hasn’t lost its mojo for sure!

Going sheer and buff is what I prefer, in nails. It is a way of life. Believe me, I have looked at myself firmly in the eye time and again and reasoned that au naturale is most definitely the way to be, especially as I belong to the minion class. That explains my clean relationship with my nails…


I have a finely tuned aesthetic sense, undoubtedly, and exclaim in appreciation when I sight a set of superbly painted talons – those pretty enamelled ones that look as if they haven’t done a day’s work in their life. At this point, if at all I experience a stab of green, I ask myself clearly, whether I would choose to invest time in a gel-manicure at the nail-bar to poetise mine. Then glance at my weathered stubs, and shrug in sheer realisation that gushes in wonderfully. Just like a bone-warming kiss of the sun on a misty morning.

Keenly filed, shapely and germ-free: that is how I prefer my nails, as my hooves are constantly hammering away on the keyboard all the time, arranging Scrabble letters on the board, pulling up obstinate zips, shoving 100 items into their relevant spaces each day, prying open knotted bag handles, phone charger wires… Honestly, I find myself ranking lower on patience as days roll on.

Nail nipping never worked for me in my relationship with my nails, but finding the time and inclination to maintain nails does languish rock bottom on my list of priorities. The last time I did get my nails done, squinting back to the pre-kid era, I remember streaking the polish as I sped away thirty seconds too soon, without letting the paint dry completely, or had forgotten to wear open-toed footwear while zipping in for a pedicure. Colossal errors that didn’t really leave me teary-eyed, as I looked at my mom dipping her nails in iced water to ‘fix’ the polish.

In retrospect, I feel there has always been a zilch scope of bringing on the glossy, transparent, matte, psychedelic varnish on my ends. The truth is, I dislike cracked nails, chipped nail polish, haywire cuticles… and the dichotomy is, I am unable to make time for bathing tips in liquid remover to ease out the paint when the inevitable damage sets in. Too soon. Those champagne metallic tones on talons look stunning but are completely misdirected for hands that are making beds, yanking linen out of the washing machine, sorting papers, hugging gregarious kids…

Shilpi Madan for DailyO

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