I started reading a book that I had been meaning to in a very long time. It was written with a warm heart that had a simple tale to tell. It turned out to be heartbreakingly sad, but the words flowed like a river, and the tale, as sad as it was, was so beautiful that I thought about it the whole night.
I remember having a conversation with friend that night, who knew how much I had been wanting to read it. He asked me, “How was it?”
“It was beautiful”, I replied.
I quoted a few lines from the book, the ones that felt like revelations in the truest form of the things that we know are the only persistent things in life, like death. We all know its coming, but we live like its not. Is it ignorance or just fear like the one a day before the d-day, the one when your life’s gonna change. which even though drives sleep away, but you tug under the blanket, nevertheless, until dawn breaks, and its time.
When he heard them, he asked me, “You think this is beautiful? I think very sad.”
“I think all sad things are beautiful”, I replied.
This is when I asked him, “What does beauty mean to you?”
“It means something peaceful. Something pure. I think of a face. I think of a river. And you? What does it mean to you?”, he asked, a little agitated at the fact that I found sad things beautiful, a little intrigued too, about what else totally bizarre thing appeared beautiful to me.
“To me, beauty is much more than something peaceful. Much than a face. It is never pure, but something raw and unmasked. It is not something that I can seek by looking for it, for every direction I look towards will be the wrong direction. Its more felt than seen.”
“I don’t think I understand what you’re saying.”
He clearly sounded annoyed.
“I am talking about all the things that hit me hard. It’s in the silence, late in the night, when you can hear the sound of your own breathing, and the melody of your beating heart. It’s in the electricity that runs through your body when you hold your partners hand. It’s in the memories of a distant past when you struggled so much, and you beautifully won against all odds and even if you didn’t you tried. You gave it all.
It’s in acknowledging the fact that how much we seek happiness, life has sad bits too, and it is this acceptance of what is the inevitable, is what makes it beautiful.
Beauty, for me, is not a face.
It is an emotion, perhaps one of the most powerful emotions of all.
But in the end, its all a matter of perspectives. Just like the picture that you sent me this morning of the girl standing in a haze of bright pink light, with streaks of turquoise and yellow. It is what draws your attention, her pretty face, or the light that shines around her, through her, in her.”