Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Keats did not have the whole picture, maybe because he died young, unmarried and childless. Children often have the disconcerting habit of hitting not-so-welcome 'truth-nails' right on our heads, puncturing the notions of 'beauty' buoying our middle-age-ing egos.
Take a case in point. My elder daughter attended her new class today, and returned voluble with stories of her first day, new friends and new class-teacher. Warmly interested, I asked whether she thought her teacher was good. Taking me at face-value, my daughter relplied that she was very good-looking.
Rushing in where angels fear to tread, I teasingly asked whether the teacher was more beautiful than me, and was promptly put in my place when she shot back, "onek beshi (much more) beautiful, ma" (in an emphatic, how-can-you-think-otherwise tone). As they say, from the mouth of babes...and here I was, over-confidently assuming that all little girls look up to their mothers as icons of beauty/accomplishment/whatever. (Just goes to prove that when the physics is solid, the psychology is suspect!)
I admit that when it comes to me, there is quite a LOT to look up to (all of size XL). But I felt very much deflated by my daughter's TRUTH-fulness. You could say it served me right, after all it is April Fool's Day... and no fool like a self-deluding, way-overweight BEAUTY-fool.


Random me said...

I love how kids just say it as they see it so bluntly! Though it is sad when you realise that you are no longer the pinnacle of perfection in their eyes,

To quote Yeats, (albeit out of context)

"All changed, changed utterly: / A terrible beauty is born"

jyotsana said...

hi loved reading your blog. and you've put the point so wonderfully well. children can be brutally honest coz they are so innocent. nobody to please. no gains to make. being just as they are...our sophistication spoils our innocence.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

To quote from Yeats (like you, out of context), children, with all the "ceremony of innocence" undo all our pretenses till "things fall apart/the centre cannot hold". We learn that an "aged (or middle-aged) man (or woman)is but a paltry thing" and we have to re-adjust our egos, re-construct our self-esteem and re-teach our soul to "clap its hands and sing" and laugh at "every tatter in its mortal dress".