Sep 21, 2016

The Idea of Grace

Anil Vaidya

A long time ago, someone had asked me what I liked. I had responded: planes, cars and computers. All those have something in common – they are very graceful. I want to talk about this grace today.

If you have ever stood on the Western Express highway across the Mumbai airport runway opposite Milan subway, you would have noticed the majestic 747 taking off. It seems so slow that one would doubt if it would climb at all. And it does; invariably it goes up. These planes were being called ‘flying fortresses’ in their hey day. The first time that I got in the plane was to the US, on Air India 747 in 1980. I still recollect how stable the plane was.

When I ride the BMW, I admire it for the smoothness with which it sails, more than the acceleration or power that it can generate. Similar characteristics I find in computers.

I have come across people who can be enormously graceful. Watch Roger Moore, Richard Gere, Robert Redford, Gregory Peck (I hope I have spelt these names correctly). All these people seem so graceful.

What is grace?

Grace stands for poise, confidence, ease, calm, smoothness, attractiveness, elegance and so on. It’s an important quality to be acquired.

There are multiple facets of grace:
1. Stance, poise, walk – the way a person stands, walks, runs, gets up, sits down and so on
2. Expressions, body language – the way one smiles, looks at another person, the handshake, facial and body movements
3. Clothing – appropriateness of attire, be it formal, informal, casual, smart casual etc.
4. Communication – speech, language, diction, pitch, tone, politeness, assertiveness, listening abilities.

Each of above needs to be developed with careful observation, awareness, practice. Efforts and desire are the most important ingredients of being graceful. And it is perfectly possible to become graceful without having to spend a lot of money. The only thing we really need is some more effort.

I always think – if inanimate objects like planes, cars, computers, mobile phones can look so graceful, why can’t we?

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