“..Miss! you sell only bikinis?” a childlike light complexioned girl asked me. Her cheeks were salmon pink and eyes were full of confidence of being gifted with curves of perfection and a mesmerising innocent smile on her face. I grinned back warmly at her and nodded my head. The girl seemed cheerful looking at the contents that filled every corner of my boutique.
“You ask for any kind and you’ll get them. Any shapes, sizes, colours, patterns and prints. I do have some customised flattering swim suits. Here is some of them”, I said showing one brilliant piece of my work. I got the craziest of ideas for new trends like beaded, tiger printed, multicoloured, backless, brazilian, strapless, floral and some elegant abstract printed pieces.
“..I’m Able. I’m here with my sisters and parents in India since last couple of weeks. What’s your name ?“, she asked me while choosing one pair of a pleasant orange shade. “You can call me Neeti“, I replied with a soothed voice. Soon after her sisters joined too. I was feeling lively looking at them. A long hidden smile on my face got unwrapped and I was feeling like my soul woke up preening and being free from wretchedness that bound me for so long. Three months after being released from hospital, I got shifted here to a place like Goa which is one of the most favoured holiday destination for foreigners. Lately I started this boutique that produces only designer swim wears under a modern thatched roof beside this Arambol beach. It was used to be my parental home town and later I chose to come here.
My happiness knew no bounds when I see the crowd of young blonde lasses approaching before me and getting urges to buy swim suits to flaunt their body. There is no wonder the same story gets repeated each day. I meet new girls. I speak to them. Some are just customers and some become good friends. They share with me about what makes them look more sexy and I feel glad to customise designs the way they want.
I always roll into my foregone seeing the gleaming eyes of these girls.
I have some unfaded memories of times past. During my childhood I always loved to accompany my father when he used to go fishing. Boarding school was keeping me occupied until I find time during vacations to play with girls. I grew up with them. The only physical recreation known to us was swimming. The strongest memory from the time forgotten is diving deep into the blue ocean and making a forever bond with the tiny fishes humping on beautiful coral reefs. My mother used to deck me up in a pair of beautiful swimming costumes that she stitched only for me. Those bits and pieces of cloth that she had once named as her daughter’s swimming costume are now displayed as an old decor in my shop. A tiny smile appears on my face when I look at them. I don’t have any pictures of my childhood when I used to feel attractive in swim suits. Only thing I have is a glance of clear memories.
At a very small age, suddenly life changed for me. I stopped wearing those swim suit my mum once stitched for me. I took a transfer and started living with my parents. Sitting by the beach I used to stare at the girls who were looking like ocean fairies while running after the waves. I sat alone everyday on the warm sand at dusk noticing my friends who were growing up being beautiful. They used to play in the pools, enjoy teasing other guys wearing the sarong or flaunting their sexy somas.
After the therapies and treatments done, I was recovered. But the physical recovery wasn’t at all enough for a 21 years old girl to start a second journey of her life. A child’s dream of turning into a beautiful lady got disappeared. Suddenly I started feeling hollow, an incompleteness inside me. Friends and family consoled but I found myself enveloped with a fear of getting lost somewhere. Life seemed an empty oyster shell with a missing exquisite pearl. I started believing then accepting that I could never be one among those girls who appear for the moored standard of beauty. My parents tried their best but I couldn’t find my confidence back. I was lost. The merrimence was no more there. Watching the ocean waves with lifeless pair of eyes was the only thing left to do. With time, the physical scars healed but marks were left forever.
I used to sit in one corner helping my mother with her stitching sessions each day. This fascination took over me and then turned into public attraction in a short while. My thoughts got a new dimension and I got a new reason for life’s acceptance. Though this new passion gave me pleasure and satisfaction still, every moment it was reminding me about the loss. In all those years every morning I got up with an emptiness, struggle with my own self and gather courage to face the curious sympathetic looks in those random eyes. But now I can say I am contented. I’m one of those many young girls who have survived from Breast Cancer. I am one of those brave hearts who struggle through endless pain, questioning sympathies and a feeling of left behind. I was left being unloved and later I gave up on one last dream of getting married. I might have lost my part of being a beautiful woman but I have decided to dedicate myself to brighten up lives and smiles of young women living out there. I stood still, unflinched against the hardest hits of unpredictable life. Its not only about surviving the loss but living again with the newest dreams. Though acceptance is steely but I got my own self back. I am no more attractive according to the typical standard of beauty but now that being Unsexy is something I revere. I cosset my own soul to be flaunted. Now that I smile every time I read the big board fixed elegantly at my shop entrance ” Neeti’s Boutique- Only Bikinis “.