“Oh, wow! Gorgeous!” said the young chap as his eyes ogled at the newly downloaded image in his friend’s mobile.
“Yeah, man, a real beauty, isn’t she?” his friend replied, flicking his thumb on his phone’s screen to bring forth another image, most probably of the same beauty.
“As if looking pretty was all there was to real beauty,” one of the girls sitting with them said. And she gave her eyeballs a full 360˚ rotation in their sockets.
I looked at her from my table. She very obviously was of the group who needed to rely mostly on the mysterious non-physical aspects of beauty, to have any chance of being thought beautiful by anyone.
“Oh, yeah? Do you mean to say that this lovely face is not a real beauty? Is it a lie then?” the first guy on the neighbouring table in the cafe asked. “And what is this real beauty, anyway?”
“That’s just like asking what real India is,” I thought to myself as I watched the group. Those two words always irk me. Real India. What is real India, anyway? Real India lives in villages, I have often heard. ‘Yeah?’ I feel like saying in response. ‘I live in a city. What am I then? An imaginary Indian? Or a false one?’
I guess the question of real beauty is really much the same. While beauty is not constricted to physical attractiveness, we can’t discredit a charming face either, just for being too pretty. The beauty of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can’t be called false, can it?
I guess the antagonism against physical attractiveness rises because we often become too focused on it and start using it, consciously or unconsciously, as a touchstone of worthiness.
But the realm of beauty is much wider. And the physical attractiveness is its mere part. From the marvellous wonders of the Universe to the shape and shade of a microorganism, beauty is all-pervasive. In fact, the very definition of beauty says that it is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction.
So, again we come to the question, what does real beauty mean?
Well, I wish I could expound upon the topic like a seasoned philosopher, measuring one aspect against the other, teaching, preaching, and beseeching people to recognize the real beauty and not to get caught in the snares of physical charms.
But I’m no philosopher. I myself am just an ordinary girl, living and enjoying myself in this highly sensuous world and often ending up favouring the pretty against the simple or ugly. I love the idea of true beauty, just as much as I admire the beauty of true love. But when it comes to describing it, all I can say is that anything that gives me pleasure, anything that inspires in my heart a positive warmth, a positive thought, is beautiful for me.
So, while I don’t question Katrina Kaif’s or Aishwarya Rai’s claim at having real beauty, I also see the beauty in my mother’s wrinkled cheek. Why? Because it inspires me with love and respect. Simple. And while I can, and do think that John Abraham is awesome, well, so is my father, even with his grey hair and aging shoulders. While I would surely enjoy supping at the splendours of Venice or Paris, I think my home is beautiful too. It is one place where I feel most secure. And just the thought of my home fills me with a sense of comfort and joy.
In simplest of terms, everything that is good in some way is beautiful in its own way. And it does not matter whether it looks good or not. Beauty is not constrained in just looks. If that were true, we would never have called a melody or a fragrance beautiful. Beauty is all around us. And it is all real. We just can’t see all of it because it requires a ready heart, conditioned with understanding and familiarity, to recognize the beauty of something that typically lacks in good looks.
That reminds me of this joke that’s being very popular on the net these days.
A woman climbs onto a bus. She has her baby held securely in her arms.
The bus driver looks at it and says, “That’s the ugliest baby that I’ve ever seen. Ugh!”
The woman stomps to the rear of the bus. There she sits down, cursing the rude driver.
“What’s wrong, Ma’am?” the man sitting next to her asks.
“The driver just insulted me!” she tells him.
The man says, “You must not tolerate that. You go right up there and make him apologise. Go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”
The baby in question here is clearly one of the ugliest specimens of human species. But do you think the mother thinks it ugly? I bet her it is beautiful too. And its beauty is just as much real to her as of the cutest kid ever born.
And the beauty of that cutest kid stays as much real too, at least till the time he or she decides to puke on your shoulder, pee in your palms and poo on your skirt!
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