Beauty, thy name is womanhood
Women are beautiful. The fairer sex really is the fairer sex. I know this has been common knowledge for years but the full meaning hit me just today. I was in the ladies compartment of a train…for a change not squeezed into a crowd but with enough space to look around at my co-passangers. Every single face vied for my attention and captivated me.
First I noticed a short, bouncy hairdo topping a pair of big eyes that could probably make any human being melt. Then I noticed that the ‘child-woman’ I’d been looking at, was dressed in a neat (and sexy) business suit and carrying a file of important looking papers. Superwoman continues to be as magically attractive as her historical counterparts.
Then I looked at a woman of indeterminate age sitting across the corridor from me. Her still-damp hair clung to the sides of her face with one persistant lock dangling by her ear. Dark lipstick, vibrant coloured kurta…all traits of the stereotypal ‘bitch’…but ah, what a captivating bitch! Even the slightly flabby tummy was attractive in the way she subconsciously covered it up with her flashy handbag as she chatted nonchalently on her cell.
Opposite to me was a thirty-ish prim little lady. Her salwar kameez was an odd mix-up that I would never wear but wasn’t quite ugly either…just captivating (there’s the word again!) Neatly combed hair, clean face adorned by only talcum powder but her clothes seemed to show off a slight rebellious streak. She was wearing an insipid dull-white, Garden kurta and a matching dupatta with tiny meaningless flowers over it. Her chudidaar however was a deep, rich red cotton (that’s ultimate urban Indian chic)and it was bordered with thread-work zari. The whole effect was startling to say the very least.
There was another woman near the entrance who’s face and clothes I don’t remember at all. But she was holding on to the handrail at the top of the last seat and that is what I noticed. She had straight fingers with fingernails just long enough to be delicate and not enough to be claw-like. You could tell just by looking, that her hands would be soft and that she probably didn’t shake hands much but perhaps a few people very close to her had clasped that palm.
Women, are a completely different species altogether. Yes, women are really beautiful. Physically beautiful. And captivating. Compellingly so. Today I had a glimpse into what the poets wrote about when they described the ‘mystery of a woman’. There is strength and vulnerability molded into the same person. There is beauty…such breath-taking beauty that is also cold and cruel in the knowledge of its power. There is silent, seething resentment buried under layers of submissiveness and devotion. There is gruff sternness which somehow encompasses gentle caring too. There is the tendency to be broken over one man’s indiscretion entwined with the ability to carry the burdens of ten other men.
Men are simple creatures. I always know whether I like a man or not and why. I like him because he is:
1…2…3…it is always some combination of these things.
I can never be sure whether I like a woman or not. The few women, whom I do acknowledge that I like, exhibit very ‘macho’ traits which makes the analysis easier. But really, I have no clue.
I thought for awhile about what it would be like to fall in love with a woman. Somehow the minute I got to that thought, all my fascination vanished. To be able to equate that appreciation of beauty with sexual attraction is beyond me. I can admire, as from an artist’s eye, critically, aesthetically. But to really, completely experience a woman, I would have to be a man. What a pity….