Saturday, May 06, 2006

What is beauty?

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
Kahlil Gibran -- Lebanese poet, artist and philosopher

It has been haunting me since many moons. I am conflicted in my mind. A little Confused. Something stirs in me like a reed in the wind. Tugs at me on lonely nights. Frightens me. I doodle about the most beautiful eyes I've seen. Taken by them. Something in me moves, shifts and settles down. Moves again. I begin to ask questions -- to my own soul. Answer myself. An emotional whirlpool draws me in and out!

Are we enchanted by beauty? Don't heads turn -- and hearts tip -- when something beautiful walks down the ramp or anything graceful meanders by. It is all natural. Within the obvious brackets of human perception. Whatever impinges my heart hides somewhere in this precarious zone. The thought. Can eyes deceive? Can nice faces cheat on you? What really is beauty?

I am no Confucius. I cannot truly comment on this. I am not even able to understand the only person I liked in a long while. I think 'what is striking and beautiful' is not always good, but 'what is good' is always beautiful, as Ninon would aver. Beauty may mesmerise us. Eyes may rake a small flood in the viens. Physical appearance may overwhelm. Still the heart must conquer and not the face. True beauty is what's found inside, what is in our hearts. Humility is beautiful. So is sincerity. So is truthfulness. Goodness of soul. Self-esteem too. In the end it is the love in your heart -- and belly -- that subdues everything else.

Eye-candy, beautiful, sizzling. Can these characteristics ever compare to compassion, care and the love in you. No. The reason is simple. Things transient and temporary cannot outlast the eternal.
Looks flee. Love remains.

Bernard Shaw was an influential thinker of his times and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. He wrote to his friend:

I hope you have lost your good looks, for while they last any fool can adore you, and the adoration of fools is bad for the soul. No, give me a ruined complexion and a lost figure and sixteen chins on a farmyard of Crow's feet and an obvious wig. Then you shall see me coming out strong.

I guess that sums it up!



Ken Snelson said...

Soulful, masterly, beautiful.

Josh, Madrid, Spain said...

Goodness me. You write so damn well. All I can say is keep on writing like this.


Asim Choudhury said...

Hi Sam!

You talked of 'humility'. That's the real essence of beauty. Anything beautiful looses its sheen the moment it becomes boisterous. Great men and woemn also had this virtue of humility embedded inside their personality. I have come across several such GREAT MEN here in Delhi who are down to earth creatures and lead a simple life. The President of Inda A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is one such individual. I hail him as the best president in India ever. Contrast to this the umpteen number of boisterous men and women in Delhi who are all airs just because of some petty job they are doing in some media organization or have assets that are enough for their lifetime. They are all over the place. They claim to be intellectuals, they showcase that they are the best in everything they do and say. Yet for me their position is worse than whores. At least whores have the courage to reveal who they are. India has a grim future buddy and its will be aeons till we become a great civilization. And perhaps that is a far-fetched dream.

Tara Grady said...

sam, A person is only beautiful, when their own beauty, is reflecting on to others.

Nice write-up.

yonis said...

Beauty lies in the specific looks of a person, rather than the object, because different people feel beauty in differnt things.

Cliff Richard, Massachusets said...

You have a nice blog, friend. I think once in a lifetime a really beautiful song comes along ... Until it does, I'd like to do this one.

Gisis Khajawi said...

It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.

As always: Good.


Dr Anil K Jha, Ranchi said...

You remember John Kenneth Galbraith. He was one of world's best economist and former USA Ambassador to India. He once famously remarked: There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.
Very good, sameer.


wafa said...

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. you are so very right in your write-up.

I truly like the way you express yourself.

Jatin said...

I am always at loss of words when I have to express myself. Guess u have that power to mould the words that you can express anything.

I simply loved the beautiful way u have captured ur thoughts. Way to go. :)


Anonymous said...

For Asim choudry,

Asim:I think you need to actually try and re-assess wat you are trying to say here. I do not say that you are wrong or something, just that this makes you come across as a person who is not happy or let us say satified with what you have. My dear Friend, non of us are satisfied and we should never be, but most of us, have learnt to pay attention to the better things in life, things that make us and the people around us happy.

You can do little to change the people around you,and using strong words where they cannot read you, does not help too. What helps is how you deal with them, in front of them. And believe me, having a positive attitude and a smile helps, even in the darkest of the times.

Just some words from an old bloke. Hope to read some positive remarks from you next time.

Nice wrds Sam darling. Keep it up. Bless you.

William Trevor said...

Beauty is this, beauty is that. people often say that but I think you got it bang right, when you say...Beauty is humility.

That is an absolutley delightful thought. Food-for-soul.