"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." True. Agreed.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Sorry, can't agree to this. Beauty is beauty and ugly is ugly. And the ugly is always at the receiving end!
I should know this since I am anything but beautiful. A good exterior commands respect and a shabby exterior invites contempt. This is what I have realized.
Believe me I have a kind heart; but my exterior does not reveal this facet. I don't care to dress well, and I wear anything that comes my way. What, you may ask, has that got to do with "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? I will explain.
A few days ago, I was sipping tea at a roadside tea-stall. There was quite a crowd, and almost all the tea sippers were well-dressed and good-looking.
"Psssssst," a man approached me. I was thrilled. Here was a man, a complete stranger at that, who had singled me out of the crowd and chosen me to tell a secret. I lent him my ears.
The man looked around to make sure no one else was listening and dropping his voice to a whisper asked, "Where is the liqour shop here?"
The cheek! He comes to me to ask where is the liqour shop as though I looked like a drunkard. Believe me I am a teetotaler. "I don't know," I replied shortly and the man went away giving me a meaningful look that conveyed, "Just let me catch you in the bar."
Another day, another cup of tea and another man approaches me. I am singled out from the crowd. Isn't that thrilling? The man doesn't "psssst" me but does talk in a low whisper. "Can you tell me where is the nearest lavatory?" he asks me. I did not have the heart to disappoint him because I know the urge to ease can be very great. I directed him to the nearby state transport bus depot where there was sure to be a lavatory.
I have not had anyone come to me asking directions to a book store, or a library or a museum, or ..... you know, to any of these nice places. When people come to me I can be sure I will have to direct them to liqour shops or loos.
I give another example of a childhood friend. This friend has known me since we were school kids. We work in different offices. He came up to me the other day and wanted to know from where he could obtain medical bills to reclaim from his office. I had never ever claimed a single extra rupee from my office, but here was my childhood friend who knew me through and through and yet was sure that I spent my working hours collecting medical bills fraudulently!
So, I have concluded that a good exterior really matters. I don't think any good-looking and well-dressed person would ever be asked the sort of questions I have been asked. Now, I cannot change my looks, but at least I can be more careful about the way I dress. I have now started spending more time on becoming a well-dressed man!