Onthu Looky !

This happened when I was in the 7th Std. The one and only interesting aspect of my life at that time were the events happening at the CSI church. I practically spent all of my Saturday evening ( Choir and Piano practice) and most of Sunday ( 9AM service choir followed by practice for next week, rush home for lunch and then return to church for the  afternoon Sunday school and every alternate Sunday take my grandmother for the early morning English service and then stay back for the usual 9 AM service choir ) at the church.

I was practicing the piano one Saturday before the choir practice and a friend walked in accompanied by a stranger. He was wearing a sunglasses.. Phew !! You must understand only handful of the Gulf returned Appachans wore sunglasses at that time and not a single youngester, so it really was a big deal. My friend was acting all hoity toity all of a sudden and she announced that her cousin bro ( the sunglass wala) was an actor. He was one of the background dancers for some song in some mallu movie. My first film star!  Phew. I looked at him all doe eyed and this resulted in him telling something to those around him and they all laughed. Before the choir practice began, I learned that he named me “onthu looky” I apparently look like an onthu . ( Garden gecko/Chameleon)
One word could describe my feelings.”Devastated”. Until then, I never ever considered how I looked. I was 12 years old and my physical appearance was only becoming apparent to me slowly. So this was a massive put down. When I got back home, I stood in front of the mirror and all I could see was an onthu and there was nothing I could do. I believed I was ugly as hell !
Years later, I was with Beautiful Eyes on his bike in Bangalore ( signal before St. Mark’s church, ? Cubbon road )and we were waiting for the light to turn green and when the light turned, the bike rider next to us revved his engine and waved at me and pushed off. I had no idea who it was and thought perhaps it was a friend of Beautiful Eyes, before I could ask, he too was speeding trying to catch up with the other rider while swearing. Traffic was heavy and he couldn’t. I was completely lost by now trying to figure what the hell was happening, so when he finally parked the bike at our destination ( Mac Fast food ), I asked him “What was all that about?” He was still seething when he replied ” Bastard, he gets excited when he sees a beautiful woman, can’t he see that you are with me and  already taken?”
I was often told by the same guy that I have zero common sense and to prove it further I asked again “Beautiful? Who?”
Let us just say that the outing that day didn’t turn out the way either of us envisaged. He was angry with the bike rider and I was clueless as to what was going on. Beautiful? Me? I didn’t think so. I looked like an Onthu!, It took a while for me to believe that I really really was beautiful ! No one ever bothered to tell me that I am beautiful until that day.
I tell my girls that they are drop dead gorgeous/beautiful and my son that he is drop dead handsome!  In my eyes, they will always be beautiful and handsome. I don’t want my children to stand in front of the mirror and be tormented by the view of another person. I want them to see their own beauty..
Btw, just in case you think that children will become vain when you tell them  they are beautiful.. Yaya told me this when she was 13 and I told her she looks gorgeous ” You are my mother, you are supposed to say that”

14 thoughts on “Onthu Looky !

  1. I think everyone is beautiful in their own. Personal looks/style IMO is one of the least important things in life. Everyone is different and I feel should embrace for who they are, and others in return should embrace for who they are and respect them regardless.

    • J1206: I beg to differ. I strongly believe that it is the way you carry yourself ( the way you dress, your appearance, the way you talk) that will set you apart from your peers. I absolutely believe in power dressing and high heels. I am smart, intelligent and I carry myself well..so I can conquer the world.

  2. Poor Sarah. Took 7 years to realise she is no more the onthu looking 12 year old girl. You were not romantic or sexy in the sweet seventeens. OK afterwards you enojoyed.

  3. Funny story, but it rang a bell. Through most of childhood and teenage I also believed I was ugly thanks to favoritism by teachers in nursery and lower primary classes, and a few thoughtless comments. I got my first compliment about looks when I was 13, but I didn’t believe them. I did not change my opinion till I was around 17, and actually started getting compliments. It’s unfortunate how much thoughtless comments can affect a child’s self esteem. I think all people should be taught not to comment on anyone’s appearance unless it is something positive or constructive. Like J1206 hinted, it would be wonderful if people are valued solely based on who they are on the inside, but we live in a shallow world where this is not the case. So presenting yourself well usually makes a difference.

  4. This remind me of my incident. If you were called on thou I was called mop

    While in college when guys turn around I thought it was to see the girl next to me
    Until some senior guys asked me how come u never had a boyfriend ?

    • Nitha: I had a stalker who followed me from church to my house every sunday in 10th..then from my home to my college and back every day during pre degree.. I didn’t think it could be because I was beautiful.. That thought never came in my mind because I was sure I was an onthu looky.

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