In ancient cultures, in the places that are still less contaminated by the Internet’s consumerism, sexism, and vulgarism, youth still cradle what are now rare and admirable values. From an old Indian desert village, a singing sensation wins a national competition and is bathed in a massive media blast. The audience is wondering if this incredibly talented young man is single. Just then, the hosts ask. Yes, he says. He is single.

What kind of girl would he like to marry? The young man blushes. I haven’t given it much thought. The hostess persists. Surely, you have thought about how pretty she will be, and what qualities she should have. Haven’t you?

The show was about classical and traditional singing, the kind that requires the kind of tuning of the singing voice that takes long hours of practice for many years. This show was high on quality, relatively tame on flash, and void of filth. Still, this was a talk about a potential bride for a talented young man. The talk hovered on looks and beauty.

The young man from the village speaks. I envision a bride who will bind my family together, make a home where all in my community will feel welcome in our home, and where my family’s honor is lifted because she embodies and embraces my our values.

One host in a tongue and cheek light-hearted joust reached again. You are a celebrity on the national stage now. Isn’t beauty important to you? Now what the young man said caused a raucous roar, thunderous applause, and a standing ovation in the audience. He reminded them of old village culture values that the cheap internet-thrill culture is fast eroding.

The most beautiful woman in my home is my grandmother. She has only love in her heart. Everyone trusts her and she sees that everyone is cared for. The next most beautiful woman is my mother. She has cared for me through my training and has taught me wrong and right. My grandmother looks nothing like a Bollywood starlet, and a Bollywood star would not fit in my home. The audience is already bawling their eyes out. The boy continues…

The beauty I value in my life is one that binds us all. I want a wife who will respect our traditions and create a good life for all. Beauty in my home emerges from making a home happy. The light arises from within. Not like Bollywood where life goes dark the moment the lights turn off. Bollywood paints beauty we cultivate beauty.

The audience was standing, hooting, and cheering. What they knew is in their cultural DNA was shining again, even for a brief moment. All stood tall.

This all happened in the span of 30 seconds. That day, the show ended with all standing a little taller and the village people, often labeled backward and ill informed showed the light to the people lost in the glitz and glamor of media and instant communications.

The most beautiful woman in the world is indeed the one who shines the light on everyone to be the brightest we can be. Even today, in many homes these compassionate souls are grand mothers and mothers.

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