Below is the transcript of my first solo spoken word performance I did in my company’s anniversary celebrations.
No matter what the world wants to make you believe, your belief will be stranded in front of a mirror.
The same mirror that grew with you in your adolescence, will show you, rather magnanimously, your invisible cloak of insecurities.
Insecurities which will be piled upon each other like those bricks in a tall zenga tower, ready to fall at the brink of single small wrong step.
It is very easy to fall. While the gravity does its work,the world around you will leave no stone unturned to ensure your life falls apart.
You cling onto this belief as if your life is dependent on it, hoping that you will reach the nearest island of your dreams making waves do your dirty work.
This belief then becomes your only weapon to face the big bad world, but there is one small tiny winy problem! You don’t believe it.
The belief that beauty comes in different shapes, sizes and colors is my ticket to an insecurity free world, but my flight never really takes off.
How will it? Our collective idea of beauty in this country is unimaginatively one dimensional.
Beauty for us is confined to the boundaries of the colors, has a specific complexion and weighs less than our conscience. Beauty I am told has silky hair which sways to the whims and fancies of the air. Beauty apparently also comes in specific shapes.
Oh wait! I am not here to morally change the definition of beauty for you,
I am here to figure out what beauty should mean to me.
When I see a black or a fat woman on a magazine cover protruding with inner beauty and proclaiming to the world that “I am beautiful” I want to believe it. Yet the definition of beauty that has been thrusted upon me by the society doesn’t let me believe. The cure to this problem isn’t as easy you think it is. It is not just opening our eyes to a new understanding. It is first cleansing the dirt that lies within.
The dirt that gives us labels that help us judge, even before a person comes onto the stage we categorize and put him in the innumerable notional buckets within the confined spaces of our mind.
Our idea of beauty is like a narrow passage of water through which a single boat traverses, whereas it should be an ocean where mammoth ships sail through.
What does this expanded scope of beauty look like? What else in this big bad world can be beautiful?
The art created by a bored woman security guard on a tissue paper is beautiful.
The two line poem written by a mother and sneaked into her daughter’s shoes to help her fight depression is beautiful.
The refugee who wants to be a citizen again and doesn’t want the world to think is over is beautiful.
The adivasis who see themselves on the big screen inside a movie theatre for the first time are beautiful.
The world is more beautiful than you think it is. You are more beautiful than you think you are.
Oh wait! Why am I giving you my definitions? Am I not then doing what the society did to me?
I don’t have an answer. I can only leave you with a question.
When you are standing in front of the mirror Am I beautiful isn’t the question that you should be bothered about. Can I see the beauty around is the question that should give you sleepless nightmares.
These are mere words that I can share. On their own they won’t do anything.
The new definitions are for you to create. The new definitions are for you to create.