Where is “grace”?




Grace – defined as seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion. A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.When I hear the word “grace” a few faces spring to mind. Amitabh Bachchan has often expressed his admiration for the graceful Waheeda Rehman. Only a spirited, blue blooded man could have described Waheeda Rehman like the way he did. He recollected carrying her sandals in the scorching heat during a shoot for  the 1971 film “Reshma aur Shera”. The gesture of carrying her sandals in the scorching heat made him sound like Benhur traversing the dehydrated terrains , a messiah in search of the oasis.

It is not just the “times” that people often credit this dignity and grace to. It is ” uniqueness” in such wonderful people that makes them conduct themselves in such a way. I have heard many attach the “grace” word to very few people. Waheeda ji and the late Rajmata Gayatri Devi stay prominent. A few more come to mind, Nutan , Grace Kelly ( appropriate name too ) Audrey Hepburn have oozed with the grace appeal. Loudness is diminutive, coyness embeds these wonderful personalities. They radiate an aura that overshadows their external appearances. Grace cannot be acquired, it remains a trait that is firmly embedded in the genes, like those of thoroughbreds.Dignity and grace go hand in hand. Sophistication and class is another term that is linked to it. Grace is not connected to the monetary indicator but connected to the persona. Recollecting a description of Waheeda Rehman by Amitabh Bachchan – “Her performances were pure and clean, without effort and deliberate design. They were just a part of her – simple and soft.”So beautifully worded. It is these innate qualities in the person that would want Amitabh Bachchan, an epitome of grace himself wanting to ” protect ” and ‘ serve ” somebody like Waheeda Rehman.

Can we speak in the same breath of any actor today? Pure and clean performances are a relic, soft is no longer visible and simplicity has been lost forever. Grace does not exist naturally, it takes a talented Director to rub off the coal to reveal the dazzle. There are some movies recently made that have actors who are a shadow of the old block and they have been directed under a Mani Ratnam or a K Balachander to make these qualities stand out.Class versus crass is the debate. Crass is the norm, class is out. Crass has been redefined in Indian cinema today to ebb closer to poorly defined class, for all the wrong reasons. A true lover of Indian cinema would not be able to digest crass even if it is a requirement today to make the box offices spin. That era has been lost forever, the era of simplicity and grace. When one of those rare gems come along, they do not necessarily make the wheel of fortune spin but they at least give us a chance to appreciate the effort.Actors in knitted pullover , sitting in front of a raging fire , amidst the sound of crackling wood , on snow covered peaks , reciting the soulful lyrics of Gulzar’s , the actors tresses played with , a skipety skip to the beat of pleasant melody..irreplaceable. This is what the soul yearns for, the ideology of love to be represented by cinemas in its simplicity and more importantly gracefully.It remains a jocular matter when the “grace” word is using loosely without understanding its true and fair significance. Many voyeuristic efforts later some claim to flirt with grace, they are mistaken. This word can never be associated to all and sundry and especially those in the profession of politics. The last time this word was used in connection with a prominent politician who wears only cotton saris, I almost choked.

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23 Responses to “Where is “grace”?”

  1. Salman Shahid Alvi Says:

    Oh!!! such a precise elaboration.I just love your writing……
    She indeed is a gem of our industry and has every right to be called graceful.

    BTW,where are those little white dots that use to fall in the background 🙂

  2. Salman – There is no option on word press for this. The snow was a special feature.

  3. Sharmila, it is really difficult to spot genuine grace or class in the current breed of celebrities. But the way things are moving, the only saving grace might be that the future generations would be compelled to look back at our generation, and I do hope that they would find some class in us. Let us live in that hope.

  4. Anand Khare Says:

    In contemporary celebrities I find Tabu, Vidya Balan, Deepika, Priyanka Gandhi very graceful. Who is that politician with cotton sarees?

  5. Anand Khare Says:

    Ha Ha my taste is not that bad ma’am..However,I am a fan of Mallika too for different reasons because she has made her place despite not being related to any star dynasty.

    • Anand – Exactly what place has Mallika made?Whatever place she holds is only because of the oomph factor failing which even connections may not have helped. The other good thing she did was to latch on to Jackie Chan.

  6. And you know there was this Rakhi Sawant. “Her performances were to lure and glean, without effort you could deliberate on the design. They were not just a part of her – supple and soft”. I’m sorry if I’ve sounded crass.

  7. Ramanathan Says:

    Hi Sharmila, going by only today’s post I regret that I havent done this earlier. Great thoughts on that rarity called grace. Nandita Das, Smita Patil, Rekha amongst the brownies are in my list (Rekha wouldmake it only if you give some grace marks – pun intended). The times and life of each period dictates grace and as the sexes become more equal to each other, one can see even mild skin show not impacting this perceptive attribute.

    • Hi, thanks and better late than never Ramanathan, great to see you here. I am sure you will enjoy the focus on the tamil stars too. Yes, the “brownies” list is intriguing. Agree with the passage of time being an attributor for redefinitions of the grace factor.

  8. The generation where Waheeda ji belongs had many Graceful figures to remember by. Probably she is the only one alive from that generation if not mistaken. well! can’t forget Vaijayantimala though !
    in following Generation one can consider Rekha,Hema Malini etc.
    can’t find any names from geneation next to it. too bad !…..

  9. However if we talk about Hollywood, the list could be longer than Bollywood for sure in that matter!

  10. superb actresses.

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