It happened very long ago and I suddenly remembered the incident that was buried in my heart for all these years. I was not intending to remember it but my heart is not too good at building a dam on hurtful things that I have heard till date. Keeping it buried for too long would have hurt me more so this needs to come out.
So a very long time ago, I knew this guy. I would not go into the details of how I know him and why he said what he said but whatever he suggested confused me. It hurt me for sure but it confused me more. He told me that he was seeing a girl who was ‘a 1000 times more beautiful than me’. My response was a cold and confused ‘oh!’ It did not come with a sigh. My mind was blocked completely after he uttered these words. I do not remember what he said next. I don’t remember how and when I hung up the phone. I kept thinking for a few minutes, lying on my bed and staring at the fan, quietly rotating above my head. Then I buried those words, forever, so I do not find them for a lifetime.
So what was I thinking for those 10 minutes?
He said that she was a 1000 times more beautiful… a 1000 times. So, on a scale of beauty, if she stood on a 1000, I was… I scored a mere, meagre, small and insignificant 1. Just 1. Oh! So that was the thing. I was not beautiful, not even close to being beautiful. Did he say it on purpose? Did he wish for me to feel humiliated? Was it just a chance remark?
I knew that I was not one of the prettiest faces around but I thought my face was good enough. Not that bad, just average if nothing else. The shape of my face, the complexion of my skin, the way my lips pouted just a little naturally and the way my hair was neither black nor brown, neither straight nor curly… I thought these things were unique and even if I don’t appeal to people’s beauty standards, I would at least not be overlooked. I was not ugly.
But a score of 1? It all starts at 0 and I scored just 1. Why? I could have scored better. How does she look? Now that he has told me my score, I know what 1 looks like. I want to know what a 1000 looks like. Maybe she is… I don’t know.
I started rating women and girls I knew…
What would her score be? Maybe 10. And what about that girl…? Umm… maybe a 100… no maybe 200. Yeah! She is so strikingly beautiful. She just drives men crazy. No… No… she must be a 500. I am wrong.
Strange, he was using my face as a standard of beauty. Like I was a Lego brick. He had to keep 999 more of ‘me’ to define that 1 girl because she was a 1000 times more beautiful… yes, a 1000 times.
Shame! Just 1? I should have paid more attention to myself. I should have read beauty magazines instead of literature. I should have worked hard on my body instead of working hard on ‘being someone’. I am a girl. No one cares if I have a career or if I am successful but people do care about my beauty. I should have paid attention. How could I do such injustice to myself? How could I ignore it? Why do I not apply mascara? Why are my eyes adorned with large nerdy glasses instead of beautiful and thick lashes and some beautiful kohl to make those eyes… those eyes look more beautiful…? I could have scored at least a 100.
What is strange about this? Nothing. Suddenly, I heard someone knocking. It was the courier boy. He had brought some books. Oh! I finally got a coffee table book about Hindu Gods! Not that I am super religious, but I find mythology interesting. My brain started processing his remarks as ‘junk’ while I was busy checking out the books and see how I remember these things now…