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Conscience check

Mia sent me a message this morning saying how she couldn’t wait to see me and remembered how large-hearted and humble I was, writes Lara Dutta.

entertainment Updated: Mar 09, 2010 01:32 IST
Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta
Hindustan Times

As I hastily put on my lipstick and check myself out one last time in the mirror, I stand back to asses myself and see if I like what I am seeing. The outside, with the grace of God doesn’t bother me too much, yet! I can’t see any lines that I am worried about, skin still looks pretty decent and the face looks like it has survived the ravages of the constant battle to stay fit and fabulous in the world of glamour and stardom. But it’s not the outside that I am worried about, it’s the inside.

Salim uncle, Salman Khan’s father, once told me that a man by the age of 40 has his character firmly etched on his face. I agree with him. The kind of person you are eventually shines through any visage. How many times have you met at an ordinary looking person and thought he appeared immensely attractive because of a certain inner radiance and a kindness that shows on his face. Sometimes an extremely attractive person may have a cunningness or arrogance that renders him unapproachable.

The reason I am taking such stock of myself is because Mia, one of my fellow contestants in the Miss Universe contest, reached out to me after 10 long years and we renewed our ties that grew so strong during that life-altering process. Mia (Miss Namibia), Mayu (Miss Japan) and I were like three peas in a pod during the contest. One was studying to be a lawyer, and the other was a student of business administration at Harvard. They were elegant and intelligent people. They were my kind of people — funny, articulate, possessing a certain joie de vivre. and most importantly extremely loving.

Mia sent me a message this morning saying how she couldn’t wait to see me and remembered how large-hearted and humble I was. Those are big words! “Large-hearted” and “Humble.” I looked at my reflection to see if I could spot those qualities in my face. Have they grown in the last 10 years? Diminished? Was I still humble? Ten years later will my friend still find in me that good person she met ten years ago?

Every few years, I do what I call “a conscience check.” I ask myself — if my ten-year-old self took an adult me out to dinner would she be happy with what she saw. Would she be proud of what I’ve become? Not of my material achievements, but the kind of person that I am.

As I grow older, what are the attributes that my face will take on? I’ve always imagined myself growing older gracefully. With the lines and wrinkles (that are inevitable), being reminders of where laughter once was. More importantly though, I hope that life will not leave me cynical and that I will still wake up and face every day with the same excitement and hope that I had at the onset of my adult life.

So I head out of the door, to pick up where Mia and I left. I’m happy and I think I’ll pass the test! Have a great week!!

First Published: Mar 08, 2010 17:35 IST