Appearance Count7 mins 12.6K 7 mins 12.6K
It isn't possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal. E.M. Forster
"Why should I be blamed for things that are not under my control?" Meena wondered. The whole family sneered at her if anything went wrong either inside or outside their home.
"I think I am not fit to live here in this world." But, she is not ready to give up. Her matured mind ignored all the pain she encountered on a day. She smiled and smiled to hide her pain and made it as a habit to laugh louder and be happy all the time.
"Who gave them permission to talk like that?" Tears would stream down on her cheeks.
Meena looked plain and unattractive. "Never judge a book by its cover" may be a famous quote that asks everyone not to judge by looking at a person. Whatever it may be, the world never stops doing like that. Educated, literate, illiterate or a dumb person judges a person with the first look or appearance. The same person who feels low, with the complaint that he or she doesn't look good, also judges a person from the way he or she looks at the first instance.
What does the world mean by looking normal? If knowledge is going to be secondary, how could one survive in this world? One needs to be physically fit, mentally alert, and also know how to judge people around them.
Everyone at home treated her like dirt. She was nothing to her siblings. Even though she was doing her graduation, they expected her to do all the household chores. During exams, she could read her books only after 11 p.m.
The day started with sweeping the front-yard and then sprinkling it with water. Then, Meena would draw kolams of her choice. Within ten minutes, she would draw intricate designs with ease. Once completed, she will spend a few minutes admiring its beauty and the message it carried to her. During festival days, she will take time to do her best by drawing new designs that will spring up at that moment and made her feel the warmth of love generating from the dots and lines to her heart. No one at home was ready to seize this opportunity from her as they all preferred to sleep and never wanted to accompany her early morning routines.
Next, Meena watered the flowering plants that lined the front yard. She collected hibiscus flowers for the pictures of deities that lined the pooja space. After that she would spend few minutes praying to the Sun god. The morning rays of the sun are usually warm and it helped her to absorb some positive energy for her day. She always loved to looked at the warm, nascent sun that did not irritate her eyes but made her eyes shine bright. Then, started her usual household chores. After that she helped her mother in preparing the morning breakfast. She never failed to snatch few minutes to do her yoga and meditate for a while.
The same routine started in the evening also. Helping her mother to complete all the household chores, and after dinner, she would snatch some time to sit and read her textbooks. If not, she will read the books she took from the library. Next to books, she loved bird watching.
For Meena, birds are the blessed souls that are gifted with wings to fly and roam around the earth. They are the wonderful neighbors who coexist with human and their lives teach invaluable lessons to mankind. The birds teach us to be content, happy, and live comfortable in their nests. God has given them the power to build their own nests in the place of their choice.
Unlike humans, the birds never complain but they do have rivalry to establish their territory and win their love life. Every bird has an interesting history to observe and it is always worth watching them if we want to have peace of mind. Meena enjoyed their company though they don't talk to her or they understand each other's language. But the gestures between her and the bird that visit her backyard regularly built a bond of friendship. The birds that visited her home understood she will not do harm to them and she is only a silent observer of their activities.
The day birds and night birds are equally intriguing for they have a different lifestyle, food habits, and even their courting rituals are different. Enjoying an avian orchestra during the day time or at night does not make much difference for they ultimately bring peace at heart.
Bulbuls are her morning alarms. Until she hears them squeak, she will not be convinced that the Sun hasn't risen yet. Much to her surprise, it became a ritual for the little birds to hold their morning get-together on the Papaya tree in her neighbor's garden. Meena cherished the pleasure of hearing them engaged in animated bird banter. After the recent summer showers, the chitchat grew louder. Following the bulbuls, common Mynahs and a flock of yellow-billed babblers have become regular visitors to the tree. The elusive Asian Koel always kept her company in the morning that sings so loudly that it fills the place with the music of love. If Meena, tip-toed into the backyard to see, it will disappear within seconds.
After discussing with a birding expert, she planted flower-bearing shrubs along the compound wall that brought small nectar-feeding birds like purple, purple-rumped and Loten's sunbirds. Very soon, she found that birds usually loved red-colored flowers. The Hibiscus, the Indian Cork Tree (maram malli), Paneer tree, and mul-murungai or kalyana murungai produced bright red flowers. She felt proud to think that the birds that visit her garden ranged from the common crow and mynas to the Paradise Flycatcher and Rufus Treepie.
At times, Meena wondered is that only the human beings who lacked humaneness and compassion judged others from their appearance. If a person with all his senses perfect, his limbs strong, and with a sharp knowledge is judged under zero category, by his colour or appearance, she believed it will question his or her survival fitness also.
She also believed that the ability to understand the deeper meaning in our lives is positively correlated with the amount of time we choose to spend in nature.
We spend our time in front of smartphones, computers, and television screens, at least 90 percent of our time indoors at work and at home. Though we know this is an unhealthy way to live, we prefer to live.in this artificial world. High levels of vibration, stress, and anxiety, negatively affect our bodies. But, we rarely make the effort to shift our lifestyles, to connect and recharge with nature.
Connecting with nature is one of the best ways to strengthen our bodies – breathing fresh air, receiving vitamins through the warmth of the sunlight, and challenging our muscles with walks on uneven wilderness paths. But more importantly, on a metaphysical level, nature is a wonderful teacher and guide for finding deeper meaning in our lives.Nature has its own rhythm, its own pace, and its own seasons. This teaches us to slow down, to be more patient, and to know that there is a cycle of life, a right time for everything (instead of always wanting to force things to happen on our schedule.)
Nature has its own plan, its own patterns, its own connections. This teaches us to trust in a higher universe, that there are connections forming which we might not see yet today, and that our place within the whole is becoming and will be revealed over time. Nature has its own harmony. This teaches us to observe life around us, to understand what we resonate with and what we do not, where we find deeper meaning and where we do not.
Looking plain didn't favor her efforts. Unfortunately, she met people who didn't value her real efficiency but rated her by looking at her flesh and bones. Appearance counted most than your ability.