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Honestly, I’m a sucker for clean, pretty feet- something like the rather famous dialogue of yesteryears from the movie Pakeezah – “Aapke paon dekhe, bahut haseen hain … inhe zameen par mat utaariega … maile ho jayenge (Saw your feet, they are very beautiful … don’t place them on the ground … they will get dirty`)The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the movie ages ago was- “How the hell is this woman supposed to move about if not place her feet on the ground?” And then-“Wah! What a pedicure and what nicely kept feet!”


Unlike this above ode to pretty feet, this picture of my toenails is a rather ghastly one and it is here precisely because of this reason- the ugly, yellow stain marks on the nails. No it’s not henna or some such external reason. Neither is it fungal infection or anything medical. This is what I’ve done to my toe nails in my quest for “Pakeezah” feet (as I call neat, nicely kept feet) that led me to incessantly use nail paints.  And the picture was not even taken in the immediate aftermath of this “nail paint onslaught”. This is a picture taken a month after I had let go off all nail paints.


While cleanliness and hygiene is all very well but these yellow stains happened because I subjected my nails to abuse by keeping them continuously covered with nail paint.Not just any new vibrant colour in the market but any colour at all- I just had to have nail paint on my toenails. They looked, to my mind, a lot better with nail paint on than without. The moment one colour would come off, another would go on, month after month. Yes I took all due “care” and “precautions”- good branded nail paints ( Maybelline, Revlon, Lakme, MAC), none of those road side Rs 30/- stuff ; I used a base coat and Sally Hansen at that; and my nail paint remover too is Sally Hansen fortified with what not. Nothing against any of these brands-the blame rests solely on me. I did not do the one thing that I should have done- let them be, let them breathe specially after a pedicure. Why I did not do that, despite being aware of the possibility of my nails turning yellow? Well I just did not.


And why am I posting all of this along with a rather unsavoury picture? Just to caution anyone who may care that no matter what the product, what the brand, excessive use will cause damage. Lakme has a pretty collection called “Manish Malhotra Metallics” while Revlon has come up with something very tempting called Nail Art Moon Candy. While I would have loved to pick up the latter, the sight of these “un Pakeezah” feet has kept me in check. My advice – no matter what the product or its lavish launch, exercise caution and restraint. This damage is visible. Most of it goes unnoticed. Be kind to yourself, your body and be natural. Lotus Herbals has come up with nail paints as well. How “herbal” those are I don’t know but I am determined to let my toenails breathe back to health. And I hope many of you will do the same as well.