As I sipped my Margarita, sitting in this new lounge that had recently opened on the street of my house; I couldn’t help but notice the cute guy sitting diagonally opposite to me on another table. I can’t say for sure if it was his dense beard, or his dreamy eyes- but I couldn’t stop looking in his direction. And then, our eyes met, he smiled- and I stopped looking! Why did I do that? I should’ve smiled back, and maybe then we could have exchanged numbers, and maybe we would have liked each other, fallen in love, gotten married, had sweet little babies with his dreamy eyes- but no, I didn’t smile back.
Gasping back to reality, with the Margarita still in my hand, I realized I didn’t like to smile much in general. Yes, that’s true, I always feel that my nose further broadens when I smile, and I don’t like that about myself. I think it makes me look really disgusting. But what had I just done? I had averted the chances of what could have been my fairy-tale love story, just because I didn’t like the way I smiled. How stupid was I? Turns out, I wasn’t the only one.
My friend Sunaina, who was sitting right next to me, never wore cut sleeves clothing because she thought she had flabby arms. My colleague Rajan, in spite of having a really charming personality, never approached girls he liked, because he was balding. Priya, a friend’s friend, thought people wouldn’t like her because she was really dark and had visible freckles. My friend Rohit, never wanted to be in pictures, because he was always conscious of his double chin. And me? I liked all of them, despite of what they thought about themselves.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, they say. Is it true though? If it is true, why do we find ourselves hating the way we look, at times? Why do we dislike certain bodily features of our own? Where does all the beauty in our eyes disappear when we look at our own self in the mirror?
This is the thing with people. We like each other, or connect to someone, or even fall for them because of a set of characteristics which draw us towards them- and in the process, we don’t even notice their flaws and imperfections. So then, why is it, that we all are so overly self-critical? Why do we feel that we’re supposed to look a certain way? Why do we go on hiding our imperfections like they make us less of a person? And most importantly, why do we lose chances at something great because of our apprehensions pertaining to how we look?
My cousin Sanya, always dreamt of being an air hostess, but settled with doing a business management degree once she passed out of school, because she thought she was too dark to be in that profession. She presumed a rejection was on the cards, and didn’t even take a chance at it- just like I presumed my Mr. Dreamy wouldn’t like me if I smiled back at him. The entire problem lied with presumptions. What we fail to realize is, that people in general, including us, don’t care much about how we look and how ‘imperfect’ we are. What they really care about is the smile we bring on their faces, the happiness we bring in their lives and the warmth that we bring in their hearts. And when someone truly likes us, they like us for our flaws too, because without those we wouldn’t be the same person.
As I made my peace with that fact, and mustered some courage, I did walk up to Mr. Dreamy that night! I just smiled, and before I knew it, we exchanged numbers. His first ever text to me was- ‘Hey there with the pretty smile’! We never got to having the babies with dreamy eyes, or any of the things before that- maybe that had something to do with the fact that he was already married and was only looking for some side action (Men, I tell you!).
But yes, I did start smiling more; and the world did start to seem better and more benevolent. And I felt more hopeful, of finding someone who’d maybe fall in love with the way my nose broadens when I smile; who won’t have as much of an issue as I have with my dark circles, who’ll maybe be accepting towards my chubby ankles! Isn’t that what life is all about? Finding someone imperfect, who makes your life perfect? Maybe it is; and maybe, just maybe, my fairy-tale would really start with a smile.