“Mona Lisa”, I first heard this name when I was in 5 th standard, I was unaware who she was or what she was then. But when I was studying in 7 th standard I learnt that “Mona Lisa” was an art work by a renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci, this was the only knowledge I had about her till then. Later I got to know that she is popular for her smile. Being haunted by this thought that “How beautiful her smile could be…? to clear this myself, I searched for her over the internet and hit the jackpot. There were numerous images of her on net. But then my first impression was that she looks like an evil spirit’s painting as shown in 1930’s English movie (well what else can a 7 th standard student with no knowledge of art can think of…?)

From childhood, I had a deep inbuilt passion for art locked up within me in some corner of my heart, but I never got a chance to learn or practice art systematically. Although after looking at Mona Lisa my eagerness to know more about art grew silently within me. I would regularly consider the art gallery column that would be provided once in a week in a newspaper. There I did learn more about her (I mean how the painting was stolen and then again secured safely.) But I always wondered what made others consider her smile beautiful? After all it is just a slight curve over her lips, which looks like a smile just as any other woman.

But I always admired art, artist, their ideas, and work. Therefore, whenever wherever I hear a name Mona Lisa my sense would get awakened. Recently while watching TV (which I do often) I came across a movie named “Mona Lisa Smile”. The name of the movie intrigued me and grab my attention. That’s the habit with me I choose novels and movies based on name although I am very much aware not to judge a book by cover. At the end, was impressed by the idea behind the movie that made me to write about it. I often choose to write rather than share with others since not always we come across like minded people and most of the time I was looked upon as an outcast because of my not so conventional thoughts.

Mona Lisa Smile is a wonderful story to be watched by everyone (esp. women). It is about an Artist, a Teacher, a Lady who excepts something more from her students other than settling with marriage. She desired to see each one of her students to rise in life beyond the ties of marriage, a picture-perfect family or being a trophy wife.

Well, story begins like this – Katherine is a woman well passed 27 joins an institution of Girls as an art teacher (Cannot recollect the details). Let me tell something about the students there, every student there are highly gifted with intellect, beauty (I felt so since the cast was pretty) and capable of doing what they strongly felt for. But the problem with them was they were orthodox, not only with the believes but also with their practices. They were thoroughly blended with the idea of getting married to handsome educated guy (whom they consider Prince Charming), making a well-furnished home, raising family was their only intention of life. They were all a good follower, who followed Art rather than discovering it.

Miss Katherine tries to encourage students to realize their dreams, but as always, every good intention towards change is opposed and is tried to suppress. There comes a student named Betty who is outwardly conservative and believes Katherine is influencing students to follow life out of norms. This sparks difference in opinions and Katherine will be warned to stick to the syllabus if she had to keep her job. As movie takes several course Betty realizes marriage should not be the ultimatum in life. As an academic year soon approaches to closure, many girls find their true love, some advances towards becoming a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer etc., to leave a mark on this world. By graduation, a strong bond is formed between Katherine and her students. Betty who shamed Katherine in a college daily, now again writes about Katherine stating that Katherine is leading the students in the new direction of tradition. Katherine gets transferred leaving behind a trail for her students to follow. As Katherine’s taxi moves towards the main entrance out of the institution, all her students follow her with a broad smile on their faces giggling at each other, but one student follows her beyond trying to get hold of her hand, yes, its Betty, who opposed the idea of modernization. When Betty finally holds Katherine’s hand and skips it in a second, there you can see a prettiest, enchanting smile with no fears or worries or sorrow.

This is the moment I had been waiting for, all the while watching this movie I was curious to witness it myself, “What is Mona Lisa smile is made of?” Marriage is one of the LEAST desirable choices a young woman should make. Woman is a sun with enormous energy in her but sometimes led in wrong path. It’s pathetic! I personally question the roles women are expected to play in the society, because I too am a woman waiting to witness that smile on my face.

Smile of worthy,

Smile of Wonder,

Smile of a woman…

MONA LISA