When the beautiful face of a woman wearing large sunglasses popped up in my view in the courtyard of Sri Aurobindo Ashram where I was into my weekly contemplation last Sunday, as usual I ignored her as one of the numerous tourists visiting Puducherry. But as she went around the Samadhi, I sensed that her face seemed well known. Still it didn’t interrupt my contemplation which at that moment was focused on inner detachment from surroundings. As she turned around to guide an aged woman with her, who seemed to be accompanying her, I saw her better and it occurred that the tall and graceful woman in light orange sari was the acclaimed Indian movie actor Tabu (Tabassum Hashmi) – an actor I admired much for her intelligent and sublime acting. Her last notable success was Cheeni Kum, a Hindi movie that was well received in 2007 by critics and viewers. She also acted in many movies in other languages and had some successes. At one stage in her career she was considered as one of the 50 most beautiful women in India and, though approaching middle age now, she looked quite young and had a remarkable aura of beauty which seemed to get accentuated by the dynamic peace of the ashram courtyard. I couldn’t but recall the words of the sages about beauty, that it is in essence a divine quality. She was smiling and glanced around – probably anxious if she was going to be mobbed but also relieved that there was no such danger. She then quietly walked towards the exit. I thought the lack of any fan attention was possibly because people there didn’t recognize her or everyone’s mind was filled with thoughts about the eternal stars that Sri Aurobindo and The Mother were that they were not distracted by the movie star in their midst. With that humorous thought my attention gladly turned back to concentrate on the spiritual atmosphere radiating from the invisible presence of the divine super stars.
Tabu amid Tapa