There was a time when men were kind, And their voices were soft, And their words inviting...

...the very words have me crying tears, tears of shame and pride, as I watch a frumpy old lady take over a dais even amidst ridicule and mockery. To watch the audience look at her with contempt for even daring to come on and take part in a talent show, to witness the judges shake their heads with barely hidden contempt again. I mean so much of contempt.

And then she just sings the first line and you feel the hair on your arms stand out.

You must be wondering why I am reacting a tad bit late. I mean I guess it is several hours late! But you see, I have almost given up watching news AND reading news. So I am pretty cut off from all that is going on in the world except for when I happen to glance up at the giant plasma screens in the gym showing snippets of the news on CNN or NDTV, or of course when my colleagues happen to be discussing current events (and I happen not to have my ears plugged with my ipod headphones). I am pretty much insulated from the world at large. Not a good thing I know for one who is in the business of reporting. But hey, I write for lifestyle! Thank god for some mercies.

So it was only yesterday or the day before maybe (I am not so sure) that I watched CNN reports on singing sensation Susan Boyle. Initially I thought it was a spoof. And I kinda forgot about it. Tonight however as I finished watching a film and started surfing, I suddenly remembered. I keyed her name into YouTube.

And I couldn't stop the tears as I heard her beautiful voice pouring out the words I Dreamed a Dream. I felt incredibly proud of her at that moment.

Why do we almost always judge a book by its cover? I know I am guilty of it too many a time. So what if a person is frumpy or fat or ugly or not perfect looking? Does it really take away from her personality?

And how did Susan indeed answer that. I am overwhelmed.