As I was watching television yesterday, I happened to view this new soap called ‘Khubsoorat’ (meaning Beautiful) and the first episode shows a very sweet looking small girl, perhaps 5-6 years old if I am not wrong, along with her classmates who are as old as she. There was talk of a play that was to be done for annual day, and kids were being selected. The play was titled “The Frog Prince” and it was about how the princess kisses this frog and he turns out into a handsome prince.
Now, this little girl is treated as a princess at her home. Her parents dote over her like she is some fairy come down straight from heaven, and a blessing to this whole wide world. She watches television and gets scared of scenes that have a darker cartoon character. And she runs to her mum, shivering and whimpering about how the brown bhoot (demon) scares her so much. And her mum so nicely hugs her, saying, don’t worry, “All princesses always get their handsome princes at the end.”
From there starts the story of this make-believe girl, the stereotype dreamer who dreams of her prince who will come one day, driving a white horse, and take her away to a dreamland where there will be love and only love.
O mere sapno ke saudagar, mujhe aisi jagah le jaao,
Main chaahti hun mere humsafar, mujhe pariyon ki duniya dikhao
Pyar hi pyar ho jis jagah, mujhe aisi jagah dikhao
That this prince would be fair and handsome is a given.
That the girl herself is a petite fair beauty is another given.
That she is allowed to discriminate between fair and dark is also given.
That she can think of herself as a fairy from heaven, and a God’s gift to the Universe is also given, no matter if none of her actions have changed the world, no matter if she never helped anyone, no matter if she hasn’t proved her ‘goodness’ in any way… she is God’s gift .. an anmol tauhfa.
That there is a small cute boy – a fair and handsome prototype, who will obviously grow into the fabled prince charming… what is amazing is that there is another dark skinned boy, with pimples on his face, looking like a measles patient, who will obviously turn into a bearded shabby looking anti-hero.
picture how this girl grows into a beauty, completely concentrating on keeping herself perfect for her perfect partner to come along and choose her. Then comes this handsome guy who she falls in love with and projects all that she “desires” in her partner, on to this person, without knowing what he is, without knowing his truth.
Several movies were made on these lines. Yeh Dillagi was one such movie. In many cases, these handsome princes picture themselves as the perfect guys by flaunting how many girls want to fall for them, but they have eyes only for one girl – their next target. In this case, our petite little khubsoorat heroine. In the movie in mention, it was Kajol who fell for flirty Saif, and lost everything to him. In most cases, these princesses have fallen in their “first love” and they dote on it like they would sacrifice their life and everything else for them. Then follows the typical pattern of break ups as the perfect bubble of the princess bursts because her prince charming suddenly turns out to be a demon in the “tall-fair-handsome hero” garb.
And thus starts the process of denial, sorrow, pain, tears and endless suffering. Denial is the biggest issue here. They just can’t believe that their perfect love story did not end perfectly. What went wrong? What could they have done to save it? What should they have done to make it better?
If only the princess’s parents taught their princess that human beings come in all forms and colours, but the same coloured blood runs in their veins.
If only the princess’s parents taught her to do good for the society, so that she can love herself, to understand that good and bad, is deceptive when one goes by appearance, and that to find a good heart is as difficult as finding a pearl in the ocean bed.
If only she was told, that if she donated her eyes like Aishwarya Rai, would she be deemed a real beauty – for Aishwarya’s beautiful light eyes are going to light up some body’s life some day.
If only she was told, that compassion and kindness are far greater virtues to have, than fair-glowing skin, kohl-lined eyes, and pink pouted lips.
If only she was told, that going by looks and outward appearances, her heart is bound to be broken into a million pieces, because she did not have the wisdom to see the heart of her handsome prince.
If only she was told, that the little dark-skinned boy with pimples on his face is smarter and could hold a great heart in his chest.
If only she was told, that life is not a fairy tale and all love stories do not end in “happily ever after”, for it takes a real man to possess qualities of honor, respect and honesty, and that such men are hardly found in the real world.
If only she was pushed to burst her fantasy bubbles in her childhood innocence, with wisdom passed on by her parents, showing her that kindness, compassion, good deeds, honesty and loving nature will automatically bring her to her prince, but that she should not weave dreams around imaginary people and match real life characters into her fantasy images.
If only she understood that no matter how much “goodness” she projects on to a person, who she wants as her dream partner, will not turn his reality into that “good” projection.
If only she could rewind into her child hood and see the dark boy for what he was, and also the fair boy for what he was. The fair boy was in fact a good friend. He kept his friendship intact. He did not discriminate between dark and fair.
Cut to Bachpan:
God has given you beauty. But your real beauty is within you, if you allow yourself to grow into a kind, helping, compassionate girl, who treats everyone with equal respect and who is known for her integrity. Cultivate that inner beauty, more than concentrating on your face and figure.
Once you are kind and compassionate, and have passed on good deeds into this world, you will learn to love yourself. And with that self love you will learn to value yourself, so that you are wise enough to know who will love you what you are worth, and who will love you superficially.
One day, along will come a man, who will walk beside you and hold your hand when you are strong,
Along will come a man, who will stand behind you when you need a push,
Along will come a man, who will wrap his hands around you when you want to be protected,
Along will come a man, who will carry you when you fall down,
Along will come a man, who will not solve your problems for you, but will not let you face them alone,
Along will come a man, who will love you unconditionally, and not when the condition is right for him,
A man for whom, love is the only excuse to be with you, respect and trust, the only conditions,
A man, who cares about your dignity more than everything else,
A man, who will be afraid of losing you, yet he will let you go if that’s best for you,
A man, who will nurse your wounds and heal your past to build his future with you,
A man, who will find you when you hide, only because you want to be found,
A man, whose life will be affected equally, both by your presence as well as absence
Remember, his face might be ugly, he may have a scar,
His smile might be cocky but he will take you far.
Remember, he might be fair or not, he might be tall or short,
Do not put him in buckets, and make your choices short.
Remember, to be as humble as I taught you to be,
For if you remain high-handed and in fantasy,
He might pass you by and you will never know,
It’s only with kind goggles that he will come to show.
Remember to love yourself, for that will make him appear
And not only appear, he is deemed to stay
He knows what he has got, a gem precious and rare.
Be that gem, be that girl he has been in search of,
That moment of realization, may you have that soon!