15 Mar 2013

Make up

It was a hot humid day in March, and we were almost nearing the end of our ten day holiday in this beautiful country. Soaking in the architectural splendour of a few 13th century pagodas, I sat down under the shade of a banyan tree exhausted from the long walk. He was busy trying to capture every single corner of the grandeur around us with his tiny box

I saw her as I turned my face away from the scorching sun. A mild hunch on her back from the bamboo basket she was carrying. Was she returning from a long and tiring day at the fields nearby, I pondered?

Her clothes hand woven covering her frail body and a colourful turban draped artistically around her hair. There was something very magical about her only enhanced by the sparkle in her eyes. She smiled at me and I saw those wrinkles like sand dunes across her face. She was a picture of charm and grace.

Something prompted me to walk up to her and request her for a picture with me. Maybe, it was me trying to capture the beauty in her face for posterity.

After a few clicks, I offered her some small money. She declined and started walking away. I insisted and she very reluctantly tucked it in.

As I moved away, she muttered some words in Burmese language. I hesitatingly turn around to ask our guide about the meaning of her words. He replied politely “She is blessing both of you from the bottom of her heart for your generosity”. I was touched and my eyes welled up.

 In a flash, this simple, cheerful, elderly peasant lady taught me a thing or two about life. True beauty was within her soul. And it wore no make up.