I saw this today on Facebook and it reminded me immediately of my mother’s aunt, who I called Mayavaram Patti (Patti means grandmom and she lived in Mayavaram when I was a kid).
Patti was not what you would call a classic beauty. She was dusky, with bright shining eyes, a smile that lighted up her entire face, long hair which was black almost till the end of her life and a confident regal bearing. You had to look at her twice, such was the magnetism. I can still vividly recall how she used to dry her hair combing through with her fingers to disentangle them, sitting on the floor with her legs stretched out in front of her.
There was a certain charm to everything she did including the way she would eat, relishing each morsel. She would appreciate even simple things and make you feel wonderful. My amma still uses her as an example for a number of instances.
She wore 9 yards saree, draped so beautifully everyday as was the tradition in Tamil Brahmin households. I especially remember a Kanjeevaram saree in saffron (kesari) colour with a maroon border which looked gorgeous on her. When someone asked her during a family wedding how she managed to wear such a bright saree, she replied ‘I wear it because I like it. I am not wearing something to please anybody else. Just because I am not very fair, doesn’t mean I cannot wear dark and bright colours.’ I was sitting near her and at 18 years of age, that statement took a deep rooting in my mind.
I wear all colours… pastel, dark, bright; anything that catches my eye and I think will look good on me. My blouses are different. I wear jewellery to match my clothes. I feel good about it. I decide, not somebody else. I walk with confidence.
It soesn’t matter if you are young or old, male or female.Be yourself. Live for yourself. You don’t need to please the entire world. Walk tall and proud. Remember, YOU are unique.
After all, it’s all in your mind.