When I Look Into The Mirror

When I Look Into The Mirror

Written by Nandini Sethi


When I look into the mirror, 

I see: 

Frizzy hair and textured skin, 

Broken nails and a crooked grin. 

When I look into the mirror, 

I see: 

A fat nose and unshaped brows, 

Crow’s feet and fine lines. 

Yesterday, 

As my 5 -year-old son and I flicked through old photo albums, 

I realized the days of my youthful exuberance were gone;

I was no longer the thinnest, prettiest, most fashionable person in the room. 

“Mom! You were so boo-yoo-ti-ful”, 

My son enunciated every syllable carefully, 

Pointing towards my flat stomach and glowing skin,

In the faded photograph that I wished to tear. 

I preoccupied myself with productive thoughts:

There was laundry left to do and dinner was left undone. 

In a haste I cleaned the kitchen, the living room, 

And the bathroom, where I broke down. 

The good and bad thing about time,

Is that it passes too quickly;

The overwhelming sense of nostalgia can be choking,

But it does heal old wounds. 

One bad day becomes a long night, 

One long night changes into a mild week,

And one mild week becomes a happy month;

In the overall scheme of things, I truly did get over my insecurities. 

That’s why when I was knitting in the bedroom today,

I didn’t expect my son to come up to me,

Stuff a flat pillow under his shirt and say to me, 

“Look mommy, I’m as boo-yoo-ti-ful as you!” 

I was mesmerized by the way his mind works,

And also a little proud of myself for teaching him this,

That when you look into the mirror, 

Beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder. 


Nandini Sethi
Nandini Sethi

Sometimes dolefully insightful, sometimes plain distressed state of mind, but always love. I think there’s a bit of love in everything we write. 

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