“What is beauty?”, a friend once casually asked me,
And I thought, “of all the people around, why me?”,
But somehow, the question seemed less casual and more profound,
The answer was something easier understood than found.
With slanted eyebrows above each of his squinted eyelid,
There could be no second assumption about what he did,
But he could see the hard work behind another’s flaw,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he saw.
With wilted ears too small for his oblong head,
There was no mistaking to what amusements they led,
But he could hear the sorrow from a suffering man’s unspoken word,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he heard.
You wondered why his nose was so bulbous and crooked,
There was no doubt about what his palate wanted,
But he could smell the agony a lonely man felt,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he smelt.
You joked that his lips were in a perpetual pout,
There were nasty jokes on what the pout was about,
But he could console someone who’s heart just broke,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he spoke.
You were sure his heart was as black as his face,
There was lot of hope it would soon stop keeping pace,
But he could pray that everyone was happy when alive,
And it was one of the most beautiful reasons to survive.
So I told him, that beauty is not in the features or their perfection,
Beauty is in the acceptance of everybody’s imperfection,
Beauty is not in the age or colour of a person,
Beauty lies in understanding the character of the other person.
This one is for the Mirror. The title is a self-coined anagram of ‘I, Frankenstein‘. Quite often i used to ponder about what really made a person LOOK beautiful. If you hadn’t already noticed, beauty all around you is a combination of one awesome feature with a collection of average features. Take for example, a morphed image with Aishwarya Rai’s eyes, Marilyn Monroe’s nose, and Angelina Jolie’s lips. The result would truly be nightmarish and probably related to Frankenstein. The individual faces of these people look desirable because they have beatiful eyes, set against average noses, and lips etc.
Besides, I wonder if Aishwarya Rai would have the same number of fans if perhaps a little acid fell on her cheeks and forehead right after her first movie, and there weren’t cosmetic surgeons around. Which brings me to the second talking point of this poem, the ephemeral nature of physical beauty, and how most of us discriminate against those with real beauty, inner beauty (myself included). It is a challenge to step out of that stereotyped mindsets about judging a person by their looks.
Personally, though I do not discriminate against someone who doesn’t look appealingly attractive, I do respond favourably to someone who looks attractive, which is still a form of discrimination. So here’s to overcoming our collective weaknesses.