Beauty Unboxed

Pruthvi Thakur | Updated on January 27, 2021

Slice of Eden: Every morning, right after she woke up, Tara would run to the garden without wasting a single moment   -  ISTOCK.

Tara was a curious little girl who loved to ask questions.

She lived with her parents and her grandmother — whom she called Nanu.

Tara was closest to her Nanu; together they made a wonderful team.

Their house had a huge front yard, where Nanu had planted a beautiful garden.

Tara would spend a lot of her time here, gardening and learning about plants, insects, flowers, and fruits.

The garden had a small lotus pond in the centre, surrounding which there were trees — big and small, that bore different fruits, and then there were shrubs and bushes too — which bore beautiful and fragrant flowers.

She would speak to the garden, and the garden would speak to her in turn.

Every morning, right after she woke up, Tara would run to the garden without wasting a single moment.

One such morning, Tara saw three big red roses blooming in the morning light.

She was delighted!

With a big grin on her face, she leaned to take a closer look at the red roses.

Astounded by their beauty, she asked, “How are you so beautiful?”

The flowers exclaimed, “Because of our beautiful red colour!”

Tara was thrilled and asked herself, “So is it the red colour that makes things beautiful?”

With her thinking cap on, she took a few steps ahead in the garden, inspecting the lilies.

Upon peeking closer, she spotted a shiny red beetle on the lily leaf.

Amidst the morning dew, it looked like a red droplet.

The beetle crawled ever so slowly down the leaf, rippling the droplets around it, creating a wonderful sight.

Tara exclaimed, “Oh dear beetle, you are so beautiful! Wait I know, isn’t it your red colour that makes you so very beautiful?”

“No, it is not the red colour,” said the beetle, “It’s my round shape!”

Perplexed by what the beetle said, Tara moved towards the chikoo tree, which was right next to the tiny lotus pond in the middle of the garden.

Tara looked at the big and round chikoos hanging low from the lush green chikoo tree.

Ripe and fresh, swaying to the tune of the gentle cold breeze, they looked even more beautiful.

Tara said with much confidence, her face beaming:

“Oh dear chikoo, you look so fresh and beautiful! I am sure it is your round shape that makes you so very beautiful.”

The chikoo chuckled and said, “No, it is my sweet taste that makes me beautiful.”

Tara was even more confused bythis answer but continued to move ahead.

At one end of the garden stood an apple tree, it was Tara’s favourite as she loved apples.

It was also the tallest tree in the garden.

With several apples on it, the tree looked enchanting!

Tara strained her neck to catch a glimpse of the tall tree.

With her tiny feet arching, Tara finally felt she was tall enough to speak to her favourite tree.

“Oh my dear apple tree, I am pretty sure the round, red, and sweet apples are what make you so beautiful!”

The tree smiled and said, “No my little girl, it is my strong roots that make me beautiful.”

Just then, Nanu called out for Tara from the front porch, “Taaraa...”

Immediately Tara turned back, running to her Nanu. She quickly sat beside her on the wooden swing.

“Nanu!” she said.

“The roses told me they were beautiful because of their red colour. But then the beetle told me she was beautiful not because she was red, but because of her round shape. The chikoo told me it was beautiful not because of the round shape, but its sweet taste,” Tara said.

“The apple tree told me it was not beautiful because of the sweet, red, and round apples that it bore, but because of its strong roots! How can this be?” exclaimed Tara, utterly confused.

Nanu laughed a little and said:

“Roses are red and the beetles are too,

Their shape is round just like the chikoos,

But chikoos are sweet and so are the apples.

It is all true, even if it is a little difficult to grapple.

Beauty lies in many things,

And it can be different for you and me,

It can lie in the roots even though they’re the ones you cannot see.

Beauty is inside, and beauty is outside,

Beauty is in all colours — white, black or blue.

Most of all you should always remember,

That beauty lies in being you!”


Pruthvi Thakur lives in Nasik, and her debut book for children ‘Urvi’s Playground’ is forthcoming from Tulika

Published on January 27, 2021

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