What Beauty Means To Me

Posted on July 3, 2011 in Specials

By Ateendriya:

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” A saying so extensively overused, a cliché of an idea. And yet, it still rings true for most people. I’m no different. Only in my case, the idea borders on madness perhaps, as people often tend to see it.

So, what does beauty mean to me? A set of predefined parameters does not cover, or even begin to cover, in entirety, this idea– this vague concept. Physical beauty is of course what comes to mind as the first thing that one assumes when talking about beauty. I do not pretend to dismiss the idea of physical beauty. Unlike many people, physical beauty is, for me, something admirable and something just as much deserving of appreciation as any other aspect of a person. What is beauty but a genetic trait? One might argue- genetic trait has no merits of one’s own. But then, isn’t intelligence the same too? One is as much born with beauty without having earned it as is one born with intelligence, with having done nothing to earn it. So, why the unabashed admiration of one and the apprehension for the other? Hard work, of course, is more admirable than any of the two but of beauty and intelligence, I deem them both equal. Both are equally magnificent and awe-inspiring.

But beyond the realm of physical beauty there are things that evoke the same sense of awe in us. The word “beautiful” is relative and applies to a lot more than just physicality, in our minds. For me, I see it in everything, I see beauty in details. Beauty is the clumsy attempts of a little puppy trying to keep up with its mother. Just as much as I see beauty in madness, in battles and in death. The enigma of blood is that it attracts you and repels you at the same time. And bloodshed is not a good thing, so much I concede, but there is beauty in the process- two chevaliers crossing swords, two knights in a duel, two guns pointed at each other- it’s violent and yet beautifully alluring. Nature exemplifies violence; nature has nurture and destruction equally in its system of balance. And what is more beautiful than the workings of nature itself? The dewdrops that glisten on the green leaves and the white unopened buds, the fiery sky on an autumn mornings, the snowflakes resting on grass blades- everything coming together in one perfect symphony.

There is beauty in science too- in facts and reasons. In the how and the why of things. An act in itself might carry no meaning- reflect no beauty of its own. But the intent behind it, the reasons that it happens, and the way that it unfolds- the intricacies are what hold my interest. Beauty proliferates and persists, in everything, every act, every occurrence. In sadness, in grief, and in sacrifice- what one needs is the eye to see it. Beauty need not, in my opinion, always be an extension of good or a result of it, nor need it result in a sense of accomplishment of goodness. The things and events that repulse us or hold our interest and it might be just as well that they happen together- these are the things that are enamoring to the senses. And what is beauty if not that which intrigues us?

So, for me, I’d say, there’s beauty in all things that exist, every little detail that surrounds us. One can choose to see it, or one can choose not to. But there is no thing or act or existence devoid entirely of beauty; this, I believe, is a truth. And a beautiful one, that undeniably permeates through ages, connecting everything, across time and space. And this is what gives some semblance of meaning to our brief, transient existence.