Got a crazy thought the other day. I think I have figured out the Monalisa smile.
Imagine a group of friends, arguing whether your shirt is green or blue. You see them blabbering away at each other. Each putting in their guesses. One even goes so far to say that he is a painter and hence you just trust what he says.
It turns out, your shirt is actually both because of the velvet texture. You know it. But, oh, you are enjoying this quarrel, and you wouldn’t want to give away this secret right?
Oh, you get the Monalisa smile.
A smile where you have a secret to hide, but you can’t give it away because people will conider you stupid. So you sit there holding it in your stomach, till it comes out on your face as an awkward smile.
I think its the Monalisa smile.
So here’s my story:
I think the Monalisa has a secret to hide. She cannot reveal it as no one is going to accept it. (Maybe something of her time when the authority discouraged free thinking.) She hides it, and it brings her a smile.
Guess what, knowing this, as I see the painting, I smile. Just the same way. Oh, how others admire it but never understand this secret about it!
Originally published at paramaggarwal.com.