Imperfection Is Your Uniqueness
This bird which comes to my backyard daily, is a special one with a distorted beak. There is another thing which makes it special, and that is its fearlessness. Without any fear it comes near my feet to pick up the grains, seeds and random peanut. It boldly hops around my dog’s food bowl to pick on some leftovers and then finally drink water pecking on the dripping water from the tap. Everything it does with expertise with its half open twisted beak. How! Oh, please don’t ask me that because even I am trying to figure that out. There is something so intense in its eyes that doesn’t let me try it’s readiness to fight. Surely this one bird has a strange connect with my life.
That imperfect face…
Since the day I was born, till the year 1983, I was known as the girl with beautiful eyes. Looking at my eyes, the day I was born, my grandmother named me ‘Kanan’ as she believed that my eyes were like the vintage Indian actress Kanan Devi’s. Here comes a confession… My eyes gave a kind of boost to my whole being, which shamelessly bordered on vanity. My honey colour eyes made me a vain young girl.
It was during summer of 1983 that I got diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism with Graves disease. Over the period of few months my eyes began to bulge and my whole being came crashing down. After the diagnosis, overnight I was into the deep dungeon of depression. I hid them behind those big photo-chromatic lenses so that no one could comment on them. I was afraid of people’s comments; some full of pity for my ‘once beautiful eyes’ and some nasty ones like, “Have you borrowed goat’s eyes?” It all hurt me but what hurt most when my mind repeated, “Pride hath a fall.” It hurt when I thought of my autoimmune disease as a punishment for my vanity. I wasn’t able to accept it.
I hated everyone around me but more than that I hated myself. Seeing my confidence dying my father decided to visit KGMC, Lucknow. The senior doctor who met us asked me, “Are you upset about your looks?”
“I want my eyes back…” I choked.
“Cosmetic surgery is a possibility but even after spending a lot, there is no guarantee of you getting them back. Go and concentrate on your life goals. And remember, No one is perfect. If you won’t accept yourself the way you are, you have no right to expect that from others. You have big and beautiful eyes and that is what makes you unique. Learn to celebrate it because what you think is your imperfection, that is your uniqueness.”
I wasn’t convinced at that moment but somewhere his words hit me hard. Wasn’t he right in saying that if I am not ready to accept myself with my imperfection, how do I expect people to accept me! It took me a few months to come to terms with my reality but eventually I did. Then a magic happened. Once I accepted myself, it seemed the whole universe accepted and began to appreciate. The “Goat eyes” became “Devi’s Netra” and “eyes straight out of the ancient Indian murals and miniature paintings”.
Now whenever I see that bird with distorted beak, it empowers me. Every time, I dare to look into its eyes, I see that confidence which announces bold and clear…. “F*** you and your distorted vision. I am content with my being different and unique.”
And why not! Isn’t it that uniqueness which makes me so different and special!
Whenever you find unique people around you, don’t make them uncomfortable by your stare like an idiot. Pass on a smile of appreciation, because imperfection is uniqueness.