Look for the beautiful in everyday life

Whilst we note what is wrong around us in an effort to sensitize citizens and authorities so that conditions may be improved for everyone’s benefit, we often fail to note what is beautiful around us. And there is so much beauty in Chennai. The dramatic clouds, gentle rains and pleasant breezes of late; the wild flowers by the side of the roads; the rain trees that shade us on so many of the city’s avenues; the beaches; some of the old buildings in Chennai that add so much to its character; the rivers and the open spaces they provide in the heart of the city; the Adyar estuary area; the Guindy National Park and so much more.

In our daily rush, we also fail to notice the people around us. Many of them are notable for the character writ on their countenances, their freshness or beauty: the freshness of the little girl waiting by the side of the road for her school van; the weather beaten, lined face of the milk man leading his cow home in the morning; the sparkle in the eyes of the twenty something girls hurrying to catch the office van; the strength and energy evident in the face of the young man riding a two wheeler down a busy road and the serenity on the face of the retired senior taking his dog for a walk. All have a story to tell, if only we pause to notice them.

What brought this on? Well, while walking early in the morning the other day, I was pre-occupied as usual, until I chanced upon a young dog barking suspiciously at the owner of a house who happened to be leaning over his gate, peering down the road. The dog may have felt that the man’s posture was threatening, or it may have been an ill tempered dog, so I didn’t want to take any chances (having been bitten twice in the past by rabid dogs!). So I passed the animal, keeping a wary eye on it, until I espied some movement ahead of me from the corner of my eye. I glanced up, fearing I may collide with some oncoming vehicle, to find it was only a bicycle headed my way.

It was fairly close, and passed by me in a moment, but in that moment I caught site of the face of the rider, and it absolutely arrested me. She was a thirty something woman, saree clad, probably on her way to work. Her face had a hint of sadness to it, but also a firm, determined set, but it was her beauty that was worth noting. Beautifully shaped eyebrows arched above a pair of striking eyes, while high cheek bones, a finely formed nose and a pointed, dainty chin made for an exotic beauty. What made it even more arresting was that she had very short hair, obviously growing out after having had her head shaved. I went into deduction mode a la Sherlock Holmes- a young widow, having to set forth to work for an income to support the family I concluded.

A woman of some spirit, independent minded (riding a bicycle to work), strong and determined, despite the terrible set back to her life. If anything, her response to the tragedy had only added to her beauty because of the strength and determination that were evident in her countenance. I walked on, marveling at this chance encounter, and the beauty that it had revealed in just a fleeting moment. From that moment on, I became sensitized to more such evidences of beauty around me, and there was so much to savour! Try it, and you will suddenly find so much to see and appreciate around you that it will enrich your life! As it has mine.

4 Comments so far

  1. arbit (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 5:00 am

    Beauty is relative


  2. manikandaprabhu (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

    will try this. the article was good too.

  3. Karthik (unregistered) on July 12th, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

    Good post. I really enjoyed reading it. Starting with your post to keep an open eye on beauty around me.

    – Karthik

  4. SUNIL (unregistered) on July 24th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    Very good post. Really appreciate it.

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