Thursday, 12 July 2012

Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder! (As seen through the lens)

The perception of beauty  varies from person to person and it can be said that no two people will have the same point of view. What is to one beautiful, will be to another, ugly and distasteful! It is with this in mind, that I tried to take photographs of the Water Buffalo, an important source of milk for all of us in India. Although these rather kind animals seem to be rather ugly, I was surprised that at one of the village buffalo fairs in U.P., the buffalos were priced according to their beauty, size, and amount of milk that they produced. Their coats had been brushed and polished to a rather glossy sheen, and some of them even had been adorned by their owners! The colourful beads adorning the neck of this particular Buffalo no doubt enhanced her value! Close up this buffalo seemed to have the most beautiful eyes with rather long curly eyelashes, a veritable study in aesthetics for the village folk at least!

The Yak is another important source of milk in the Himalayan Mountain ranges of India. Ungainly, and rather hulking, it seemed to me a rather strange animal come from outer space. The Yak however seemed to be a tourist favourite at Kuffri near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. There was a pair of Yaks standing patiently, while children and even their parents clambered on them for a fee, to have their photographs taken. One was white while the other was black with really long hair unlike their cousins, the buffaloes from the plains!  This reminds me about the Yak cheese that my brother insisted on purchasing in Manali. The cheese seemed to have a rather strong taste, which he eventually agreed was not to his taste.

Yak on the way to Rohtang Pass

I took a snap of this Yak on the way to Rohtang pass above Manali. The Yak seemed to be shedding hair in ahead of the winter season.
Talking of Creepy Crawlies, take for example the chameleon ugly no doubt, but close up, the chameleon might have something to make it appreciated by at least members of its family or species! This snap was taken of a Chameleon lurking beneath some dead branches and so its reddish tint:


The one I photographed at home had a greenish tint , perhaps because it was hiding among some green twigs:

I guess the rough texture of the bark of the tree complements the rough texture of the skin of the Chameleon rather nicely! Rather beautiful cousins I will bet they are!
Many people like to have odd looking pets, especially canines. Some of the bull dogs might look rather ugly to some. For others however, they are adorable!
Dog Peeping out of Car
In terms of aesthetic proportions, I would say that everything is wrong with this rather mean looking chap! The squat nose ears flapping rather loosely, the rather long tongue lolling out, all make this pet rather odd. But then perceptions of aesthetic beauty do differ from person to person. The owner of this pet positively adores him and this is clear from the fact that the dog is peeping out of the driver’s side window!
The Elephant in all its grace looks majestic and powerful, and without any doubt it is this raw power that give this animal its beauty. However when the elephant  is used as a beast of burden, I dare say it loses all its beauty and grace. Nevertheless, this elephant, still in its age of Infancy still has some aesthetic beauty to it!


If the above pictures seemed to be a mixed bag of aesthetic beauty, then what about the beauty of a butterfly sipping nectar from a flower? I suppose there is something rather beautiful about the flowing motion of the wings of a butterfly beating while hovering before a flower, or, for that effect even perched on a leaf!

Butterfly on a leaf

There is no doubt, however, that flowers are the universally accepted symbols of aesthetic beauty! The buffalo, the yak, and the chameleon might not appear beautiful to everyone, but flowers will.



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