Wabi-Sabi


What is your strength? – A must asked interview question which always gets a well prepared answer.. I’m a perfectionist.. I need everything in and around my life to be perfect.. A perfectly executed stream of life aligned with my perfect line of thinking..

Everything in life ought to be perfect.. A perfect partner, a perfect dog, a perfect job, a perfect lifestyle… A perfect everything.. But are we still 100% happy? No.. because we are still trying to perfect the little imperfect things in life..
Trying to modify everything around our life to suit to our own way of thinking…

I was in Mahabalipuram some time last year.. Immersed in the immense beauty of the art work (mostly sculpture) around, I decided to buy a Buddha statue as a souvenir.. I had a clear picture in my mind on what my Buddha ought to be.. A statue full of wisdom and beauty that draws me right in when I see it.. (Sounds too ambitious, but yes! thats how I wanted my Buddha to be!)

I walked onto the first shop and saw a Buddha.. There he was.. a black granite one.. his closed eyes showering wisdom.. a sharp nose.. beautifully braided hair.. A sense of seeing him brought peace.. What not.. A complete beauty.. hand made.. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life.. He was the perfect absolute sense of what I had in my mind.. But there was one flaw.. His posture was slightly slanted… Its something thats easily fixable.. I could just apply a wax base to it and my Buddha is all set to go..

The owner of this shop was a very old man.. His eyes was gleaming with this master piece he had made.. He told me that I could never find a piece like this anywhere.. Thinking and dismissing it as a sales jargon.. The Ms.Perfect in me
told me to let go of this Buddha as I can get the perfect one (with absolutely no flaws) I imagined of.. I moved on to the next shop.

Little did I know, that my search of Buddha was going to teach such a valuable leason in my life..

I walked to the next shop, the next and the next.. I found Buddha’s in white, green and grey.. Tall & short.. But not even one appealed to me.. Not even one had the eyes I needed.. Not even one had the nose I needed.. Not even one had the presence that my Buddha was supposed to have.. I walked and walked.. I went to the next 30 shops (Yes! I went to every single shop in the whole tourist spot in search of my perfect Buddha).. Well.. Needless to say, I did not find any..

I was so attracted by the purity of the Buddha I missed.. I could not let go of him.. I walked again a mile to the old shop to get the Buddha which I believed it belonged to me.. I went there feeling a bit ashamed.. Feeling a bit unesasy.. But I needed this Buddha statue so badly..

I decided to act like a first time visitor to the shop and asked him how much the Buddha costed.. The old wise man knew it was me.. He gave me a smile.. A smile with so much of pride in his art work, a smile that tossed all my pride away..

A smile.. Just a smile.. Nothing more.. Nothing less..

Its been 6-7 months since this incident had happened.. But till date, when ever I see my Buddha statue.. I see him smiling at me.. I see him telling me to appreciate the non-sensical, non-logical beauty behind everything in life..

After all, the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder…

PS: Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy that embraces the beauty of things that are imperfect and incomplete.

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