As a kid, I always loved looking in the mirror and felt good about what I saw. I always found an attractive soul reflecting from that mirror who looked at me admiringly. I did the same in return, admired the image inside that mirror. I simply didn’t see any flaws.
Two vibrant eyes with all the kindness, an innocent face, and a beautiful smile. I saw what I wanted to see and what was there in my heart. Same I found in others. I saw beauty, inside and outside, because that was the only thing I knew. The world was a beautiful place and all the inmates were beautiful, till the world started exhibiting to me some faults in myself and also in others! Maybe their mirrors were different from what I had. After all, mine was an old, second-hand piece.
That day, I accompanied my mother to her workplace. I wanted to play with the toys of the acquaintances in the house but I wasn’t allowed. They said I was not clean enough and they made me sit outside on the floor. I tried to peep in. It was a beautiful, palatial house. A large mirror was mounted in the living area. I looked at my reflection and didn’t find myself beautiful. “What happened to the girl who accompanied Amma in the morning?” I asked myself.
I picked up a stick from the ground and imagined it was a doll. I often used to play with these kinds of imaginary dolls. They always served the purpose perfectly fine and always made a beautiful toy for me. But today I imagined it was me. It wanted to play with the real me. I scolded it, “you aren’t as clean.” Its surface was so rough and muddy. That day I could only see ugliness in it. The dry rough and grimy. I wanted to but I couldn’t play with it. Then I looked at my hands and found the skin wasn’t as soft as it used to be.
I wanted to go back to my house and have a look in that magic mirror. Surely that was a magic mirror as I always found myself beautiful and clean in it.
Why was Amma taking so long to finish her work? I didn't like it there. I wanted to go back and clean myself first and then have a look at my beautiful reflection. I needed to do that to acquire my self-esteem back.
Amma came back after some time which appeared to me like eons. On reaching home, first I cleaned myself. Amma asked, why was I scrubbing myself so much. I didn’t reply. Just kept on scrubbing.
The mirror wasn't the same, the reflection wasn't the same. I was no longer as beautiful as I used to be. My imaginary toys too lost all the charm and sheen.
What happened? The mirror wasn’t good enough or the eyes staring in it had changed? I was made to notice the unattractive me and the world. I was looking through a curtain of dubiety.
It took a long time to realize that the dirty mirror shows a dirty image. When I was rubbing my eyes to have a clear reflection all I needed to do was free my mirror from that curtain and my reflection would have been as clear and beautiful as it used to be.