I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.
Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman. Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF
So, there I stood on the terrace, sipping on to my favourite cup of tea in the morning. I lazily flipped through some magazines and scanned the horizon only to be greeted by jarring hoarding designs that sold dreams. The magazines screamed for my attention by displaying the latest colour I need to have on my lips and how I can look a whole lot sleeker if I bought this new ensemble from the house of “so and so”.
Now, I walk over to the edge of the terrace and look around. As I look on, I see this woman in the house next door. I can see her daily. There she is, rolling the dough into neat round shapes and roasting them over the pan, and then the flame. She gently wraps them into a foil. She picks up a heavy cooker with great deftness and fills up three water bottles alongside. Even in the cold Bangalore weather, I can see she is sweating profusely, first completing the breakfast routine and then followed by a super-fast lunch session. I can see her running around to tidy up her two daughters, as both the siblings squabble over a petty issue. “Keep quiet,” she yells, while neatly pinning their hair. Her husband saunters after his breakfast by roughly demanding if the dabba (Tiffin) is ready. She wipes her brow now heavy with sweat and rushes to fill 3 tiffins. She hands over the tiffins at exactly the same hour every day while being squeezed by her two daughters with love. They soon leave for school. She walks over to the mirror once they all leave only to see herself with a frown. Tousled hair, unkempt looks, and lips that once had a pretty pout. She shrugs promising herself a luxurious beauty session someday with a quick smile that lights up her eyes. I’ve often met this woman at local get-togethers and she always has a ready smile. I’m really amazed by this woman. She unrelentlessly does this every day with utter selflessness. I know she sometimes gets exhausted. We all do. But, her willingness to smile and her happy attitude is sure infectious.
As I begin my day at work, later on, I bump into this impeccably dressed lady. The right kind of formals, the perfect walk and a gloss on her lips. Hair tied neatly into a high ponytail, she often arrives at work in a frenzied state. She’s been around here for a while and loves her family with all her heart. She juggles all her duties with equal class. Sometimes, she may forget her kohl only to be asked by everyone if she is feeling ill. I’ve seen her gobble her lunch quite quickly while instructing her domestic help on the phone for the next round of tasks and talking to her children post their school hours. She is a go-getter who leaves no stone unturned at work and her family life. It’s no wonder she has many awards to her credit, but, she’s definitely tired. “There are days I wish I could live for myself,” she once said to me while trying to fit in an office meeting and her son’s PTA meeting at school. Despite her goodness, I hear office gossip about a woman who is “barely there for her family” as she is “busy chasing goals.” I roll my eyes at the kind of fictitious stories being generated every day as I know her to be a loving mother, a great wife, and a fantastic colleague at work.
As my day unfolds, I meet this very bubbly, effervescent lady. A scarf tied loosely around her neck, she gets off her scooter to greet me warmly. She’s dropped by at my workplace, to give me a bear hug just like before. She’s become older, and the lines around her eyes amplify the life she’s led – one of great strength, character, resilience, and struggle. She’s seen tough times, yes, she has. A divorcee at 30 and now, a single mother, she’s a successful professional but has to deal with daily gossip. “I wish all this would have never happened, I wish it would stop,” she says. “But, I’ve always seen you as a woman of strength and you can’t back down now,” I gently remind her. She barely has time for herself every day and yet she makes a pretty picture with a quirky blue eyeliner over her eyelids and a bright pink pout. Flaunting her curls, she mentions she’s never felt more beautiful after a trip to the local Naturals salon which she felt was long due. “I’ve been through hard times, and I felt I deserved this at least once and it’s pocket-friendly,” she adds with a cute smile. I see her as a picture of empowerment, a woman who is still standing strong despite all odds. And, someone who loves to indulge in herself every once in a while. There’s nothing wrong in that.
As I finish my day at work, I walk over to the nearest coffee shop to wait for a friend of mine. Being single at 40, she is an epitome of a strong woman, one who is unfazed by all the negative talk that surrounds her. She greets me warmly after alighting from a local cab looking as radiant as she always did. Long straightened hair, brows in good shape, perfectly lined mouth, and earrings that kiss her shoulders over a loose off-shoulder top ensures she grabs attention in the local cafe. Her heels click on the floor as we seat ourselves by the window. We laugh over old times and her eyes sadden soon. A life without love, is not a life well-lived, is something she has to listen to every single day. “Being single is a curse, at any age in a country like ours. It doesn’t matter how successful you are, it will never be enough if you do not have a partner to flaunt or children to love,” she cries in despair. The worst thing she says is that she feels ugly. I look at her pretty eyes with a hint of mascara now smudged with her tears. As they roll down gently over her porcelain skin, I feel appalled how someone so beautiful can find herself ugly. Is it because she hasn’t found a partner yet and is made to feel so? I wonder as I hug her gently reminding her she is beautiful, the way she is and the awards she has received bear testimony to the fact that she is one smart woman! “It’s one of those days where I had an emotional breakdown as I’ve been strong for too long,” she laughs an apologetic laugh and we step out, aware that we all need to cry sometimes.
We walk down the footpath carefully as she sashays in her heels. Here, we pause to see an elderly woman sitting in a stall by the footpath and working relentlessly to serve tea and snacks to her evening customers. A pair of grubby twins cling to her as she deftly hands out the evening orders. I watch her eyes, quite intense with concentration while she keeps her twins away from the burning flame. Her face is tense yet beautiful, here is a woman who is supporting her family without giving up and doing the same thing every day. Every single day. With renewed hope for a better tomorrow. I’ve seen her before and often sipped her elaichi tea as she tells her story of having left a drunk husband to find a better life for her children. She is never the one to cry but always thanks God for building that strength in her to fight for a living. I gently remind my friend that we all have problems and we must embrace our struggle instead of crying over it. We part ways for the evening as I return home, tired, and look out of the window to see the same woman rolling rotis just like she did in the morning, appearing beautiful, and serene amidst all the chaos, lovingly whipping up food for her family.
There have been many women who have inspired me with their true beauty – beauty that radiates from within, beauty in glossy lips, beauty that lies in eyes that smile, beauty that reflects from doing things for people you love, beauty that shines from carving your own niche in an industry you love, and finding your own path amidst all odds. All these women have been a part of my life as a mother, as a sister, as a friend, as a domestic help, and as a teacher. They have essayed the role of a woman by being a good daughter, a great wife, a super sibling, a mother, a colleague, and much more. Most importantly, they braved the storms even when they felt like giving up with stories that inspire me every single day to push ahead without any fears. To me, these are the women who radiate natural beauty to light up every room they step in leaving their echo behind even after they have stepped out. Beauty definitely comes in all shapes and sizes, age groups, and varied personalities and true beauty is something that is within all of us. We only have to find it, nurture it, and cherish it forever. For, we all are unique, we all are beautiful and nothing can stop us if we decide to forge ahead without worrying about the obstacles. Because that is the true essence of a woman and there lies her natural beauty.
This blog is written for the True Beauty contest organized by Naturals Salon and Women’s Web.