13 April, 2007
Strange it may be but after watching one of my old pictures my Little one commented, “Ma, you look so different!” A bit taken aback, “Different, yes I have become old now” I replied light heartedly. “NO. it s not about being old, it is something else, the look in your eyes, the expression,” she persisted. “You look more like a woman” she added sheepishly “I don’t have the exact term to explain it, cant place but different than what have ever seen!, I have never seen/perceived you like this!”
I was curious. “Is it a compliment or criticism?” I pestered her to share more. “Well, the look in your eyes is very different from what you have now…the way I have seen ever since I observed you.” Reluctantly at first and animatedly later she added, “Like compare the picture you have on Gtalk and this one, for me the Gtalk picture of yours is my mother and not this picture. And the smile in the old picture is also so different, not the ‘head held high’ kinds!”It was nothing less than a revelation to me. Had I changed in some manner or had I become more open and assertive with the passage of time. Or is it that my Little one saw only what she wanted to see in the picture. Who was the real “I”? I still don’t know. I know just one thing that so far as I remember I have been like this though the picture where I moved my head a little this side or that side and the eyes a little up or down at the direction of the photographer, might not have captured my real essence.Is it not true that while we look at the lens of the Photographer’s camera we suddenly become different. Not better any more but different as we try to be at our best and loose whatever real may be there on our face for others’ to see.
But for my kids I am not a coy or a “head bowed down” kind of a mother and they don’t like me for being shown as such. The remark of my son who writes. “you look more beautiful now” seems to say the same thing but in a subtle manner. Very tactful indeed. It is not the wrinkles on my face and the hollowed cheeks that they seem to notice but the “head held high” attitude that makes them proud of their mother. I suddenly felt like laughing aloud for all the trouble that people take to dress tehmself up for a photographic session when all that the picture would reveal to a perceptive viewer would be the attitude.
I am happy that my kids understand without my telling them explicitly that beauty is but skin deep! And I am more happy for the fact that they see and appreciate my “head held high” Kind of attitude! I am amply rewarded for all that I have stood for in my life, what more a mother can ever ask for!