In Bharatpur, lived two friends Seeta and Meera. Born on the same day, they were inseparable. Together they would dance, sing, play and go to school. Both were like sisters, except for one difference. On the one hand, while Seeta was the most beautiful girl in the kingdom, Meera was the opposite, because of which she was often humiliated and rejected by her peer group.

Every day Meera would cry and ask her mother why was she not as pretty as Seeta, to which her mother would say that no human was perfect, or similar to another one, that humans were like the fingers of a hand – all different but equally important and precious to God. Unable to understand God’s work, Meera would sleep after crying for hours. But tonight was different, tonight she knew that tomorrow it would all be gone for she had decided to visit the witch, Mohi, the great sorcerer.

Next day, instead of going to school, Meera went to the forbidden forest and met Mohi. Astonished and nervous, Meera asked for nothing but said, “Oh, dear Mohi, for long have I lived the life of an ugly girl. I wish to be beautiful, and not just beautiful, but to possess beauty that cannot be matched.”

As always Mohi asked her client nothing but one question, “Are you sure? What God does is for the best. Decide and tell me, is it a yes or a no?”

Meera responded with an emphatic, “Yes!”

Mohi began her spells and within a second Meera was the most beautiful girl, not only in the kingdom, but also in every village around, with her hair long and black, her skin as white as milk and her lips as red as rose petals.

That day Meera had the best time of her life. All the people who had always humiliated her for not being pretty enough were now fighting to get her attention and play with her.

This attention made Meera feel overwhelmed with happiness. However, all this came to an end when Meera reached home, for with one look at her transformed daughter, her mother was infuriated. She wanted her real daughter back.

Filled with anger, she took Meera by her hand and walked through the forbidden forest to meet Mohi and asked her to take away the beauty she had given Meera. She wanted Meera to be her true self.

On returning home Meera was more than disappointed. Her mother calmed her down by saying, “What I am going to tell you today is something my mother told me. Remember, your outer beauty matters only to those who do not love you. As for those who love you, they will always be able to see through to the real you…So love yourself and never change.”

And in this way, once and for all, Meera learnt about the concept of real beauty!

Word meanings:

  • Humiliated – made someone feel very ashamed or foolish
  • Sorcerer – a wizard
  • Overwhelmed – affected someone very strongly

 

The real you
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