Ask me and I’ll say, “So much.”
Compare two people with the exact same IQ levels and competencies. A good looker is likely to have his/her work done faster; they’re more likely to get a better job since there are so many jobs hinged on good looks; and in all probability, they’re more confident people because they have their looks to stand for them. Taking the analogy of the book forward, an attractive book has more chances of being picked off a shelf than a dull, boring one. And a good looking girl/boy has more chances of being picked up for a date than an average looking one.
I’m not condoning this. I’m just observing how looks make a difference. That beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder is true, but conditioning ensures that we all find almost the same things/people beautiful. So much for each of us being unique!
Do talent and hard work compare poorly to good looks? No. But looks come as a bonus with talent and hard work. The dilemma most judges at dance contests have to face is when two great dancers are equal in all other respects except looks, why do the scales tip in favour of the more goodlooking one? Why does a pretty child find it so easy to endear herself to her elders? Why is a goodlooking sportsman more celebrated than his counterparts? Would you hate a lizard even if it was as cute as a rabbit?
Often, what lies beneath a face is only tempting to explore when the face is pretty enough.
Help. Please vote.
By our circumstances and our thoughts –
Those dirty little crevices
We call mind blocks.
By cliches and stereotypes,
By words and world strife,
By hopes and expectations,
Disappointments and disillusionment.
By our gender and genes,
By silly, mundane routines,
By unthinking families and gravity.
By education and ignorance,
By tradition and rebellion,
By the dirty little tricks
Our minds play on us.
By our bodies and biases,
By faith and fear,
By time and year.
By who we are,
And what we aren’t.
By the road we take
And that which we don’t.
Incidentally, these are also the things that set us free!
>Have you ever dreamt a dream
That seems more real than reality?
That when you wake up
It seems you’ve woken into a sleep?
On Sunday too, when my nani underwent a surgery on her fractured pelvic bone, her four daughters took care of her, fretted over her and stood by her like the pillars of strength nani would have expected from her sons.
It was on late Sunday evening that I first saw this huge hoarding in my city welcoming the first woman President of India. In a country that leaves the job of choosing the heads of state – real and constitutional – to a woman (Mrs. G – 2 did after all propel Manmohan Singh to the PM’s chair, before lending her support to Patil as President), and in a state that is lead by another woman, however unflattering she may be to womankind, it’s not too hard to imagine why that hoarding was up there.
But it does seem ironic that despite this celebration of womanhood, I’m not sure being a woman is such a wonderful idea. On Friday last, a girl on the Lucknow railway station was gang raped and thrown out of a moving train, leaving her physically and mentally scarred for life. In another case on a TV channel, a man married twice because his first wife couldn’t beget him a son! In Nagpur, a racquet involving exploitation of aspiring Bollywood actresses was unearthed by the police. Don’t ask me why this should happen in a country where the most important positions are occupied by women.
The question is, apart from proclaiming Patil as a woman achiever, what has Sonia Gandhi done to improve the situation of women in our country? Or Mayawati, or Jaya Lalitha for that matter? As women in power, they could have been powerful agents of change to correct the gender inequalities in our country, but they have chosen to play along with the stereotypes that women must be slotted in caring to break the mould only for their own sake.
How ironical that while women who claim positions of importance in the public sphere do so little for others of their ilk, while common folk make so much of a difference.