The Secrets of Fingernails

Devika Raghave

Devika Raghave

Devika loves to embark on new experiences, meet people, and walk the unexplored paths. Then, she puts her memories into writing to share with the world.
Devika Raghave

Latest posts by Devika Raghave (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at fingernails and the secrets they reveal by Devika.

Overload of thoughts and thinking leaves me baffled. That, in turn, boomerangs at the end of the day. So, it might probably be wise to say that I am never going to look at another person with a chipped fingernail or half done nail art. I will look away from someone’s effort of scratching the few remnant strands of Pink nail paint off the surreptitious looking hands with decidedly – what-do-I feel.

This is going to be a year of compassionate acceptability. I need to practice on a daily basis. A zone, wherein I ponder; put a pause to my otherwise horse-whipped speed of flashing thoughts in all severity. Sometimes it’s okay. But, most of the times it says, “Oh my goodness! For heaven’s sake do something about it!” Not to forget mentioning here that I land up mumbling under breath, “Don’t just don that well tailored garb and the diamond studded platinum! Look at the abomination too….” I will refrain from such thoughts.

My chaffed hands, dotted with callous bits, look over-worked and prompt comes the justification – these are labour-class, working, stubby fingered proud hands. What’s wrong with everyone!

Well, the nail paint, which either never happened or was about to happen but didn’t quite make it, is primarily due to the fact that I didn’t have much thought about myself in my state of existence. It just wasn’t at the top of my priorities. Somehow, the ‘I’ always comes last. Even when I do get a breather I am so busy texting. How in the world is a manicurist going to get a hold of those !

My grey cells, underneath the crown of flourishing grey hair may not know in exact approximation where the sock has been put away. But, it sure does know which letter comes where without looking at it on the tiny keys on my cell phone. This leads me to mention slightly that sometimes I do commit a blunder when my stocky, knobby, fat fingers make total fool of me by sending typos, which are horrendously embarrassing by all standards.

Whilst visiting the land of gompas and lofty mountains, I would sit watching the monks twirl the prayer wheels. The sunburnt fingers counted the prayer beads, as they went about the chores. The constant whir brought on by the wheels, presumably restores the faith within. Fingers are supposed to be the measure of serenity, according to me. When unkempt I feel its chaos. It reflects the renegade in a person so to speak. Deserted; it’s left to fend for itself, even after being intrinsic part of each activity. It reminds me of an instance. A few years back, my sister reprimanded me after looking at my hands sympathetically. Saying, “A farmer need not look like a downtrodden farmer, given the look at the fingers darling!” Well, something to remember her by!

It is completely prismatic a factor, when the walls light up with flickering bits and pieces of sun-kissed-rainbow on display. Nothing enigmatic about it! I get to blame name – the ; Ah! The ! It’s the spirit of art-deco on ‘slender wonders’, as I prefer to call them. Polished, nurtured to perfection, they do dwell well on jeweller’s pride. So very tempting to think the bling would look just as well on mine!

Given the fact that fingers come in all shapes and sizes and looks, one is bound to wonder at what attracts the other to them. Why doesn’t the lover look at them before holding them so gingerly, intertwining it with their fingers. In all supposition, one may presume it has little to do with the look and more to do with what one feels within. How lovingly the potter caresses the soft malleability of earth rendering it alive…

Having said so, one does wonder which artist hasn’t ever given the hands and fingers their due attention. It’s not Da Vinci’s code. Hands joined in prayers, fingers protruding, asking for alms, seeking refuge behind bars, knitting and weaving on a loom, mudras of a dancer emoting, long slender fingers on a musical instrument. There are but nth number of references.

Neatly clipped, soft hands of a mother clasped by tiny podgy infant fingers; reminiscent of baby lotion I guess. Why upon being grasped by tiny fingers the parent is filled with such joy! It’s only a matter of time that the fingers go knobby.

The Indian bride arrives at her new found abode, accompanied by faces peering at her with great expectation. She daintily dips her palms in the bright vermillion platter and imprints the fresh white-washed wall with her palms n finger prints. Fingers, they hunt the ring, under milky sea…

The need of it all is to glance at them at the opportune moment, without any refute or regret lining the dead cells. Dead they are indeed; decorated bits to manicured perfection till death- do-us-part! I’m entranced by it.

Here’s an excerpt from one of my poems.


Fingers, they click,

Summoning an order.

Fingers they play

gingerly on the key,

They fill ones soul with reverie…


Scooped it tastes,

a lick of the curry.

Fingers held out

for one to take.


Ringed by the other

promised to last.

Fingers joined in prayer,

Forgiveness from past.


Fingers, they

Gently hold the veil,

Tucking in teeth at the edge

Like a musician

How nimbly they play


Fingers, they speak

When you beckon me

Running them gingerly

Digits they are in all profundity ….


Pix and Text by author