Just the other day, I was on the way back from office. On the seat opposite mine on the bus was a woman in a yellow skirt, a faded red blouse and a multi-coloured dupatta. She had on heavy silver jewellery. Her hair was graying along the edge of her forehead. She looked like a Rajasthani woman to me. She had dirt below her finger nails. Her face was dirty and so were her clothes. But she was one of the most beautiful women I have seen in recent times.
You know why? Because the many many wrinkles on her face showed the many many travails she had gone through in life. Because her dull grey eyes reflected the burden of having lived a life. Because she emanated the life of a human being who was like millions of others in the world, whose chief concern was not government policies, not the elections, not the bombs, but that of feeding herself and her family. She was beautiful because she survived this world for so long. Because sans lipstick, thick mascara and a touch of blush, this woman was real; for beauty is not what you can see in a person, but what you feel reflecting from someone.