Beauty . The word conjures up many images , that’s right, when anyone talks about or mentions the word, the mind starts throwing up vignettes of people and not scenes, landscapes, objects, animals, stories, poems etc. May be these pictures emerge as a secondary facet when we delve deeper but definitely not impromptu. Now whether this is a conditioning of the brain based on a person’s unique life experiences or the brains inherent wiring , it would be a debate worth having between a neuroscientist and a social scientist perhaps. For now, I prefer surmising what Beauty means to me and how I have seen it over the years.
Someone in the recent past called me the right kind of feminist ( shall park the meaning of that for a later time ), I am not sure whether I can call myself one and if being a feminist means caring more about your female colleague at work, lending an ear to the everyday juggles of a woman doing the balancing act, be it my maid at work or the co passenger in an Uber pool drive , then I take pride in being that right kind of feminist. Hey ,did I lose the Beauty part here , not really, rather its the beauty of everyday life which is the common string here. However clichéd it may seem, how many of us urban dwellers really look up the sky everyday, to catch the glimpse of that sole pigeon in flight, which has evolved to take shelter in the window sills of dilapidated walls. Have you ever noticed the ubiquitous flower seller in any Indian city , who invariably happens to be a middle aged lady with greying hair sporting vermillion , they all seem to have the same quaint demeanour selling strings of jasmine with an uncanny pious fervour. The cities may change but the visage of the lady seems constant.
Walk around any Street of any city across any country and you shall never miss that street corner shop, most of the times it is either a shop selling trinkets, a patisserie or a bakery or always so familiar bookshop ( right out of “When Harry met Sally ” . I have always felt that these corner shops have a strange pull and seem always welcoming. You notice these shops across the traffic signal while waiting at the bus stop or while hailing a cab or during one of your aimless solitary walks on a dull Sunday evening. They seem to have the quirkiest of doors which beckon you to enter their mystical world.None of the other shops in the row seem to have the same kind of magnetism. And then you have one those old buildings which seem to be enveloped in some old world charm which instantly rubs on you every time you pass by. It crosses my mind then , how many families would have been it’s inhabitants , how many churnings of history would they have witnessed, stories which remain buried within its greying walls.
Each city has its share of heritage , a part of its roots still evident , its beauty flaunted through a an annual fete in honour of a saint patron or a festival heralding its unique culture, a day when the city resonates with a fervour of radiant smiles . That day the grey facades illuminate in multiple hues of colours , a day celebrating belonging and bonding. The trees and the lamp posts that jostle for every inch of the sky , seem to bask in the glow of togetherness. The cemetery with its shrubbery growing amok and the epitaphs on the tomb stones losing their sheen regale in the beauty of life amidst the dead. So to say, beauty is present in every nook and corner ; in each breath of human life ; in the alleyways of mazy cityscapes , it just searches for the right beholder to lift it’s eyes and look for it. Beauty is Life and Life is Beautiful.