On days that my granny was super happy, she would dole out blessings in tonnes. Quite a few revolved around me getting a beautiful wife. A kid that I was then, I would ask her how beautiful my future wife would be. Would she be as beautiful as Ma, I would ask. The answer was always in affirmative and I started imagining the wife as someone having the same eyes and face as Ma, but a bit younger.
Then Neelanjana came in my life. In fact I was trying very hard to come onto her life. She had light blue eyes that had me hooked every time I passed by her classroom. No way similar to my mother in looks, the definition of beauty suddenly changed for me; until one day when she complained to my class teacher that I was stalking her. She actually didn’t appear as beautiful after that.
Days passed and beauty came to acquire many names. One such name was Nirja. We were in the same class for over six years, but never did I feel something for her, until one day.
She used to talk a lot and so had been shifted from her group to a vacant seat near me. But talkative as she was, the change in seat did little good. I didn’t like this sudden change in seating arrangement; that too a girl like Nirja, who wore heavy specs, was taller for her age, and would have needed quite a lot of makeup to hide the black heads all over her face.
But this changed in less than a week. Yes, I started loving her silly jokes, her way of laughing and even disliked it when the teacher made her kneel down on the floor.
Years passed. My parents finally found a suitable girl for me to marry. When I reached home on one of the occasions, I managed to get a passing glance of the girl’s picture. As is the custom in our caste, I wasn’t allowed to meet the girl before everything got fixed. I haven’t met her until now. Both of us are in different cities, some 2000 kms away. But we talk to each other. And I have already fallen in love with her, without having looked at her in physical person even once. Strange as it may sound, but I love the way she addresses me as ‘aap’, with the way she scolds me if I miss calling her someday, with the way she patiently listens to my monologues about the happenings at office, and with the way she is always there for me.
So as can be gathered from the above, real beauty doesn’t actually mean good looks. Had it been so, why did Neelanjana not appear as beautiful after that incident? Had looks been the parameter to define beauty, why was I attracted to Nirja? As they say real beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, or as in my case, in the ears of the beholder.
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