August 13, 2008

I met someone yesterday, who struck me as being outstandingly beautiful; though I do not usually remark on people’s personal appearance, the exclamation was wrung involuntarily out of me…! And then, someone else called me beautiful, when I honestly cannot agree with that estimation…that set me thinking about this strange concept that beauty is.

Beauty is, indeed, most of the time, in the eye of the beholder. “kAkkAkku than kunju, pon kunju”, goes a Tamizh proverb…“to the crow, its young one is golden.” Where we place our affection, we tend to see beauty even if others cannot.

But then, there are things and people and scenes that are beautiful by any yardstick. So what is it in us that responds, at such a basic level, to beauty? It is so sadly true that a beautiful woman gets, in general, much better treated by people than a plain one….

Why does beauty appeal to us so much? Why do we instinctively turn away from ugliness?

Still pondering…and I have no satisfactory answers…!

Here’s something I snapped in Lalbagh this morning, no two opinions about its beauty….

water lily 130808

Are we conditioned to see beauty in certain things as we grow up, or is it hardwired in us?