On the face of it

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 21:00 hrs

pNot to put too fine appoint on it in this day of television ubiquity a man&rsquos face carries his destiny This thought occurred to me while watching the heads of various sports bodies facing accusations of corruptionppThere on the right side of the screen you had Mr Olympian Sports Body his large visage almost occupying the entire screen and on the left you had a sportsman &mdash the victim of his misconduct Mr Sports Body did all he could to convince his interlocutor and TV viewers of his sincerity his commitment and his scrupulousness the effort distorting the vast oil-field of his face his jelly-like jowls jiggling under the strain And then the camera zoomed in on the sportsman&rsquos countenance lean fresh transparent and earnestppIt was game set match in favour of the sportsman even before he&rsquod opened his mouthpp&ldquoAfter 40 every man gets the face he deserves&rdquo Abraham Lincoln once said On a lighter note he&rsquod also said &ldquoIf I were two-faced would I be wearing this one&rdquo But what he meant by the previous remark was that our good deeds and bad our fame and fortune dreams and disappointments settle onto our faces as the years go byppIn Oscar Wilde&rsquos emDorian Grayem this analogy is given poetic license when Gray&rsquos own face remains unblemished and his portrait hidden away in his attic takes on all the evils of his characterppMany ancient civilisations like the Chinese held that a person&rsquos character is reflected on his face and this belief gave rise to all manners of face-readingppModern science too has investigated this belief Recently a study published by the Royal Society Of Biological Sciences found that people with a particular shape of face were inclined to insincerity Perhaps this gave rise to the term &ldquotwo faced&rdquo in the first place But in an age where billions of dollars and unknown man-hours go into the beauty industry perhaps more needs to be known about the science of appearanceppWhat does it mean for politicians seeking electoral victories or businessmen looking to raise loansppIf it is generally accepted that Richard Nixon partly lost the election to J F Kennedy because of the latter&rsquos youthful &ldquoglow&rdquo and his own 6 o&rsquoclock stubble during the televised presidential debate then face-reading ought to be taken a lot more seriouslyppRecently I had the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama &mdash not a handsome man in the traditional sense of the word but the aura of compassion and calm that he exuded spoke volumes and belied all the claims of the beauty industry Looking at him I thought of Rumi&rsquos words &ldquoAs you live deeper in the heart The mirror gets clearer and cleaner&rdquoppIt occurred to me that afternoon that the halos drawn over the heads of holy men by their followers was an artistic rendition of the glow I saw on the Dalai Lama&rsquos faceppBut of course there is a danger in this simplistic way of judging a book by its coverppNot many years ago gangster Abu Salem&rsquos serene and handsome face appeared regularly in the Mumbai papers It was the face of a saint There goes that theory I thought until a cop informed me that he&rsquod undergone extensive cosmetic surgery Osama Bin Laden&rsquos face too would challenge the theoryppBut for the hapless and hopeless heavyweights on the sports bodies who try and plead their innocence to no avail &mdash I guess that&rsquos what is known as &ldquolosing face&rdquohr pp alignrightstrongMalavika Sangghvistrong emis a Mumbai-based writerem a hrefmailtomalavikasangghvihotmailcommalavikasangghvihotmailcoma  p

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