Monday, June 6, 2011

Sleeping beauty!

There was once a little girl, let’s name her A, who was quite the worrier. Among the many things she kept thinking about, she worried about not being beautiful enough.  She fretted over the size of her feet and her unruly curly hair. She was much loved in her family but she still suffered from low self-esteem. Why oh why did she not have her sister’s natural grace, she often thought.

One summer holiday, in the lethargic mood induced by the heat, she watched her grandma wash her face with soap and water. After smoothing talc on her face, she dipped her finger into the red kumkum powder and made a perfect red dot in the center of her forehead. A thought that her grandma, must have been the most beautiful looking person on earth.

“Ajji” she said adoringly, “you look so beautiful”.

“Child”, Ajji said, “Beauty is in the mind and heart. As long as you nurture a healthy mind, you will look lovely on the outside too. Always remember that.”

She paused.

“Of course you must grow your hair, oil it and plait it tight. Eat healthy and laugh lots. Live your life well and believe in your dreams” She hurriedly added, not wanting to waste a rare teachable moment.

Having said that, she called A over and expertly put the eyetex (kajal as it used to be called in those days) on her eyelids.

“That’s confusing“ the little girl thought, as she widened her eyes to avoid the stinging which followed.

As A grew, she slowly understood what her grandmom must have been trying to tell her. It took a few unpleasant experiences to drive home the point, but she understood. She now knew what Confucius meant when he said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. “

She realized that beauty had so many interpretations. Life was so full of beauty. She just needed to open her eyes wide.

It surely was present in a face lined with wrinkles and laugh lines, each one sharing a tale.

It must be in those folds of cellulite too, perhaps the scars speak of the life nurtured inside?

It could be the first rain on a dry parched land.

It could describe that scene where a bird carries a morsel of food for the newborn chicks in her nest.

It is definitely that moment when the butterfly emerges from its cocooned existence.

It is evident in the uninhibited laughter of a child.

It is in that nurturing spirit with which a 6 year old adopts an 80 year old great grandmother, pampering her making the latter feel loved and wanted.

It is in living healthy and enjoying life.

Beauty was within A too. She just needed to know that. It is in the laying of a strong foundation of positive attitude, self assurance and inner peace (yes, Panda Po is quite influential). 

It does not matter who A is. It could have been me, it could be you, it could be the girl next door.

Beauty is how YOU look at the world, not how the world sees you.

In a society, which lauds a pencil thin figure and perfect face and hold pageants glorifying the same, it is easy to forget the value of the beauty within.

But, to me,

Real beauty is living life on your terms, with a smile, spending time with the ones you love, and living every moment, like A fortunately found out.

It is not a crime to look beautiful.  Go on, pamper the outside you with those gorgeous smelling creams and oils. Perhaps they do work. But age is just an increasing number. The challenge is to be beautiful inside. 

So wake up that sleeping beauty within and go charm yourself.

Now that would be real beauty, wouldn’t it?

This post was written for Yahoo! Real Beauty - 'what does real beauty mean to you?' contest.

Dove Real Beauty on Yahoo! India


Shachi said...

Amen! LOVED the post. Hope it wins the contest.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Welcome back Suma, & that too with a post which is bang on.Wish you good luck in the competition.
The inner beauty always radiates out irrespective of age,cellulose folds & wrinkles included..
Keep writing..Bengaluru now I guess

Swati said...

lovely post !

Monika said...

lovely thats called being back with a bang

Sumana said...

Perfect post Suma. We so miss you in the blog world. After you are back in India looks like you have become super busy. Anyways how are things your side? This post of your gets out that internal beauty. Loved the post and am sure it will win the contest.

Asha said...

Awesome story!. hope you win the contest.

Love the warmth and genuiness of your posts!. keep posting often.

Deepali said...

:) nice - especially -

'Beauty is how YOU look at the world, not how the world sees you.'

We often forget the most simple and true things.

Reflections said...

Sooo beautiful.....just loved the post...maybe bcoz I identified with A so much:-).

U write so well Suma and its a pity u dont...wont let urself write more over here;-(.

m.flowerr said...

Super-cool post!!Cheers!