Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beauty and the Beast

As a child I used to believe that only the good-looking were nice people. The others were shrewd and existed on earth only to exploit you.

I thought it was God's way of helping man realise which of his peers could be trusted. And the formula was often put to the test.

Juggy, who had a particularly striking mole on his nose, was the one who bullied me the most. Prahlad, who was cute in a television commercial kind of way, helped me with my homework. And Ehsaas, who fell midway in the looks department, didn't bother me too much.

Then one day, I read Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. This dude, who could easily have won a modern day personality contest, turned out to be such a horrible person.

Things changed after that.

I viewed all beauty queens with suspicion. Surely Aishwarya Rai had a painting hidden somewhere in her house which portrayed her as a hideous leper. Surely Sushmita Sen had bonded with the devil to keep her looks intact.

Years later, I still have no concrete idea how to gauge people. Sometimes I rely on the eyes to judge character. If kindness doesn't seep through the eyes or words, I usually wait for the inevitable moment when their actions harm me. Not a fool-proof test but it usually proves me right.

Beauty and Beast are now viewed with equal suspicion. Flawless cheekbones and scarred forehead are treated alike. Till they pass the kindness-in-eyes test and I begin to trust them. What do you think?
How can you gauge a person's character?
Appearances can be deceptive
Eyes are windows to the soul
You can't trust anyone
Philosophical crap
By spending a year with them
  
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