You google for India’s most beautiful women and you have a list of lists. Beauty is such a thing; everyone has his own parameters to judge it. When I am asked of beauty, I can not just keep it to looks and color and dress and appearance. Beauty to me is always much more than outer appearance. I would say it lies in the warmth of the smile, in the kindness of the eyes, in the dignity of the walk and the simplicity of the drapes.
The list below may well disappoint a few readers who classify beauty and personality separately but to erase any possible areas of conflict and arguments, I have titled the post as ‘A compilation of beauties with brains’.
This is my personally picked list and you are free to add or remove your takes.
1. Sonia Gandhi
Undoubtedly she is one of the most beautiful Indian women and probably the most powerful too. In the hot season of elections, it may not be appropriate to discuss about her but I am here solely talking about the dignity and soberness this fair woman exhibits. Always clad in white, creamy cotton sarees, she hardly talks and whenever she does, it is quite sensible. In the playground of dirty politics, we have a woman who, despite several allegations, have always managed to remain dignified and has always made womanhood proud.
2. Arundhati Roy
I like her long, dark curls as much as I love ‘The God of Small Things’. Having written a cult book like the one mentioned here, she has written many essays that have been time to time published in various leading newspapers and magazines. She holds strong opinions on things and this is what I like about her the most. What makes her truly beautiful is the coyish, shy-ish way she smiles and speaks her mind, thus never crossing the minimum decibel level.
3. Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal
Many would immediately pick Sania over Saina in the area of beauty but I have put them at the same post deliberately. While Sania is a star in her appearance (remember the glasses and the nose ring), Saina is our sweet, bubbly girl-next-door. Both of them have taken sports to a next level altogether much like the way P.T. Usha and Malleshwari did. While Sania increased the sale of eye glasses (she really did) and those funky T-shirts, Saina silently made sports a respectable subject in academics.
4. Aishwarya Rai
Often cited as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’, she has been criticized for being too plastic and fake. But her beauty lies in the fact that no list of beautiful women in the world is complete without our Aish and that’s the truth. She took Indian beauty to an international stage and is rightly India’s ambassador. She has achieved a position and acclaim that no other woman in the industry has managed to touch. Being put up in Madame Tussauds to frequent visits to Cannes and Torontos and many respectable talks shows world wide is her real beauty.
5. Neeta Ambani
Though many may not like the plump figure but I am a big fan of hers. India’s most influential business tycoon reaches out to her in case of every small and big decisions and that is her beauty. She had advised Mr. Ambani to wait for few months before launching Reliance Telecom and we all now know how intelligent that suggestion was. Neeta runs the chain of schools and spends a lot of time with NGOs and yes, she speaks warmth, politeness and class.
6. Kiran Bedi
When I was growing up i.e. in 1990s, most of the girls of my age called Kiran Bedi as their role models. I was no exception. Though I have few grunts against her recently but I must admit that I was truly inspired by her boy cut and the kurtas and the khadi jacket. India’s first IPS officer and Remen Magsaysay award winner has a personality full of confidence that many envy of.
7. Madhuri Dixit
When I added Aishwarya Rai to this list and called her as the true ambassador of Indian film fraternity, I thought for a while that if I had to pick another actress for the list, who it would be. And pat came the reply – our Chief Smile Officer, Mrs. Nene. Madhuri is one actress who is what no other actress can be, not even Aishwarya. Her million dollar smile and graceful dancing moves gave her a stature of magnanimous respect and awe. A super intelligent woman who took break from a career to build a family life, she is still our pretty, beautiful, polite Madhuri who we love to watch. Hers is a smile that is contagious. She smiles and the world smiles with her.
8. Lata Mangeshkar
Budding singers kind of worship Lataji. Such is her aura. There was a time when even the scientists thought of researching on her cuckoo voice. Never married, she hardly makes public appearances but whenever she does, you usually find her with head slight bent down, a smile on the face and hands folded. This is her beauty.
9.Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar
These two women who embody the picture of middle aged women in cotton sarees and a big bindi on forehead exuberate an indomitable spirit. I often look at them and then look at myself in a mirror and wonder, can I ever look so calm, peaceful and beautiful after years of hardwork, struggle, sun and dust? And I disgustingly move away from the mirror. Beauty is in what you say and what you do.
10. Gauri Khan
Okay, I am ready for brick bats if there are any. But I have to put her on the list. In this compile, I wanted to pick women from all genres and areas. So, I thought let me pick some housewife as well and that’s when I thought of Gauri Khan. The man whose name is synonymous with romance is deeply in love with this woman, so we can imagine she must definitely be something. See her on the cover page of Vogue magazine and we know why SRK is still mad about her. Gauri is married to the Badshah of Bollywood and brings up two kids and also takes care of her sister in law. Always dressed in stylish attires, she looks very confident and composed. Good thing is she has got them on her own!
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