The acacia tree (kikar) in the neighbourhood is in full bloom. It stands bent, perhaps to watch its yellow, sweet-scented tufts lying strewn on the rain-swept road. The drizzle subsides and morning walkers hit the stretch. Wired to their mobiles or caught in a conversation, they tread on the delicate blossoms unmindful of the beautiful carpet of yellow that nature has laid out.
Like many of us, the kikar too has grown to accept that looks matter the most. It knows that unlike the flaming red bunches of the gulmohar or the lavender flowers of the jacaranda, its yellow roundheads will hardly get noticed, particularly when the surroundings are lush in the rains.
And yet, it seems unmindful and lets go of its flowers at the slightest hint of a breeze. While the morning walkers rush past, a curious schoolgirl stops to pick up a tiny tuft before tossing it on a side not knowing what to do with the tender flower. Yet the kikar senses warmth and is happy that it could bring joy to a heart even if it’s for a fleeting moment.
It calls out to a weaver bird that is planning to nest. At first the bird hesitates on seeing the thorns on the kikar’s branches. It builds a nest to be followed by others of the flock.
The next morning, the other trees wake up to see the beaming, and beautiful, kikar adorned with nests hanging on almost all its branches. In their company, the lonely kikar not only finds acceptance but also its purpose.
Many believe beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder when the truth is that it lies within. An act of kindness or compassion reflects inner beauty. While physical beauty is transient, inner beauty lasts a lifetime. What makes us feel beautiful is the contentment reflected when we share our blessings. Why look for appreciation without when we hold the gift of beauty within.