It was a regular morning and I started off on my usual walk routine. I treaded across the thoroughfare and saw the concrete black beauty basking bare in the warm rays of the sun; as it was too early a sight to see, countless wheels with metal bodies, standing in irregular rows and columns, waiting to zoom past their contenders. A few metres ahead was the park, which looked like a walkers’ Paradise, where I regularly happen to see the same familiar yet unfamiliar faces, set on a walking spree for reasons of their own. As I entered the park rambling lazily, the mystic incense of the greenery, made me nostalgic. Needless to put on my earphones, there was natural music around, of the birds chirping, loud and soft voices conversing, the nearby vendors screeching, and the morning vehicles occasionally honking. I took a quick look across and started off on my walk. With a few rounds to go, as I checked the time, I heard someone say from behind, “Isn’t she beautiful? The one in that black tracksuit?”, to which the other voice responded, “Yeah! she is …Beautiful”. I scanned around, to spot the beauty in the black suit, but there was none. Those two guys went ahead of me possibly on a more serious discussion on the beautiful black suit lady. I sat down looking for the black suit but instead I found a very shy middle-aged woman passing by. She was comfortably clad in a printed silk sari with her walking shoes on. Her eyes on her steps and the ground and she avoided any eye contact with people. She was challenging the gravity, as she was broad in the beam. She had a serious but determined look on her face as she plodded ahead. And then I realised that she’s the local physician with a considerably good track record, treating her patients with a smile. I smiled at her and she threw it back to me. For me she looked beautiful. She was determined and service minded. Yes, I thought, “she is beautiful”. My eyes shifted to another young lass beside her. She was in her pyjamas and a loose T-shirt that said, “mind you”, hair tied up like a messy bun. She was continuously on call and I overheard her saying, “Happy birthday dadu, how did you think I would forget your birthday?”, and she giggled all the way. I thought that was a really cute gesture. I found her beautiful. She was bold but caring and beautiful.
I was no longer looking out for that beautiful lady, rather I was discovering the unseen beauty of women around. I left the park smiling and while I was crossing the road, I saw a young mother hurrying with her kid to reach the bus stop, in time. Her hair looked clumsy, sporting a sombre look and she was in her most casual outfit. She smiled at her daughter and kissed her goodbye as the bus appeared. She displayed the beautiful quality of being a responsible and an affectionate woman and that’s why she is beautiful too. I neared home thinking about my pleasant encounters and then I saw a young woman in black track suit. “Ah! So this was the lady the guys were talking about”, I thought. Of course she got good looks and obviously she made heads turn.
The day streamed quick and I got ready for an evening party in the neighbourhood. A few houses ahead, as I was striding in a hurry, I saw my maid, who stayed nearby, limping and walking along with her kids. When I enquired, she said that she got injured but she didn’t want her daughters to miss their tuitions. I was moved by her concern and tenacity and decided to drop the kids. She is beautiful too. Her will power and love for her daughters overpowered her pain and the feeling of her inability to walk. I finally reached the party venue where I met an acquaintance, who looked pretty simple with almost no flaunt of regalia. But all her eyes were on her teenage daughter who was decked up in a bright coloured sari covered with every possible glittery accessory and the lady was beaming with pride. Maybe she looked dull amidst everyone and noticeably beside her daughter, but she looked elegant and content. Her simplicity impressed me as much as her attribute of being a devoted and selflessly loving mother did. She appeared beautiful to me. Done with the party, I was rushing back home and there was every chance of rain lashing down, as it was windy and cloudy. Suddenly a lady bumped into me and I realised that she was the same black track beauty, who then was dressed in all formals, with a rather worn out look after a tiresome day. She apologised and went ahead. I saw her talking to a pauper with tattered clothes and asked him to follow her. She took him to the nearby shop and told the shopkeeper, “Bhaiyya! please give him whatever he wants to eat, I will pay. It’s almost about to rain and he might be left out hungry tonight”. My respect for her heightened. Yes now she is truly beautiful, she is compassionate and thoughtful and undeniably beautiful.
After reaching home I sat tired in the sofa to repose. My husband adjusted the wind speed and pushed a chair under my feet to rest. (Yes, exactly the same way, the ad goes) I felt good, and thought, like beautiful women, there are handsome men too. For me, he is a handsome man.
A few hours of a day and a few incidents that I stumbled into, pushed me into a plethora of thoughts, about all the women in my life and the rapport I shared with them. I remembered a few other instances as I rested, in which a friend of mine, an ex-colleague and a relative, showed up great courage and strength, standing up for a cause, be in the society, at work place or within the family. I cognized, that’s the beauty of being a woman.
By the end of such a beautiful day, I realised that looks and appearance don’t matter, neither the sphere of work or interest. It’s only the emotions that you carry and the qualities that you exhibit, that define you. So carry no guilt or burden of looks and appearance. Every woman is something more beyond a beautiful face and an enviable body. As someone rightly said and I quote, “There is nothing more rare nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty”. (by Steve Maraboli, an author).
Every woman is strong in her own capability and when she understands the true essence of being a woman, every woman is beautiful.
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