I was touring Europe, when the guide curiously asked me,
“Are you all from the same place?”
“Ohh yes we all are from India.”
He continued, “and different regions within India is it? How vast is the country?”
Now I am one enthu cutlet no, so I start to explain him the geography and culture, “Oh yes, India is super vast. I am from the southern most part of India! Most of the others are from northern part.”
He gave a relieved look like the fog has been cleared and said, “Ohh, so is that why your color and hair looks different?! You do look different from the rest of the crowd!”
I had no idea how to react. I moved away and when I turned to punch him, he was gone.. Cha, chance missed. Hmmm well, may be I should feel happy that for once some one noticed me.
When I moved to Bangalore, it treated me no different than that European guy. Bangalore has people from all over the country. You know how these malls are designed no, they have a small wall running around so you can sit and watch as the girls do ramp walk into the mall. Man, even if I wax my legs am not going to get that polished look! Enter into the shops in the mall and the sales girl would start, “madam I have a product for your pores, for your dark circle, for your oily skin, for the dull hair, for the uneven lip tone, blah blah blah..” The nanny next door would come out in her chic T shirt and capris; for a long time I thought she was the house owner. And then one day one aunty stopped me, “kaana pakhana ke liye aa sakthe ho kyaa!” I have coolers on my head, wearing a kurta and patiala and she calls me to check if I can join as cook at her home! I have been mistook as sales girl in a mall. And the security always looked at me like a suspect.. Why? All because am dark and my hair frizzes out crazily! Bangalore people were no where looking like their heroes from their movies. What a disappointment. There were also life lessons learnt – It was not enough to be just intelligent, smart, bold, good at English and good at work, it was required to sway your silky hair and battle your eyeliner defined eyelids.
Does your life get any easier if you are in Tamil Nadu? No!! Wanted, fair good looking bride.. Why aunty, have you seen your son? Oh at least the child will be born fair no! But you know what is the fun part, couple of aunties who told such dialogues and painstakingly found fair bride have grand kids resembling them! Buhahaha, karma effect. And then there are these guys who dream of having Aishwarya Rai as their girl friend. Their full time job is too woo the fair and lovely. But karma keeps a check point there too! These guys will get flipped for someone better but anyways no lesson learnt, they will again go in search of fair and lovely. Life is so easy for those girls, it is like doing choose the best answer, no wonder why rest of the girls want to look like them. Oh yes, maybe you are right am talking of jealousy.
If adolescent is tough, growing up is not any easy either. Eat that saffron so the baby will be born fair. Give it a little bit of gold so it turns fair! Poor thing it has not even learnt to sit straight and the discussion on how to make it fair begins! If you are Brahmin but dark then you are doomed. Don’t wear this color, it will show you more dark. Push her to the back row of the choir, voice is enough face is not needed. Make way for the sun shine and let the darkness fade away. Haven’t I seen the fair kids walking with proud and growing up with attitude. From very young age you feed her how important her skin is! Somehow even size doesn’t matter if you are fair! If you are fair and fat you will be called oh cutey, bubbly, butter ball, amul baby, maida maavu.. But dark and fat; buffalo, hippopotamus and pig! Forget kids and babies, are we ready to embrace a black puppy in spite of its cuteness being same as any other puppy?
Put this fairness cream you will get job! Put that shampoo, your husband cannot move away from you. Put that face pack, prince charming will marry you. Like this idiocy has no limits, there is a product to make your private parts fair. Banging my head on a wall!! Like all this is not enough, guys have also joined this race with their range of fairness creams and beauty products.
For all you people wondering why Tamils are ugly, first you tell me how dark complexion and ugly are related. Even if that is what is termed as ugly, please come here and roam in this scorching sun. Apples cannot be grown here ok! So stop asking why we are dark, why my skin is not supple, why not straighten that frizzy hair, why I should take laser treatment to peel the skin, why diamond facial might help, why eating roti will help, why have I tanned, all that nonsense. Am I asking you, why you are so anemic? No na.. Why at all the skin color be given so much importance?? We are descendants of Lord Krishna and we will be dark beauties. That is it.
People who want to become fair! You cannot.. I have tried hair straightening and lost all my hair. I have applied all kinds of creams and spent fortune. But realised, how can it change who you are? Just like how you cannot chose your parents, you cannot chose the skin color they pass on to you too. Is it not absurd to try not to look like your parents? All you aunties, we have not committed any sin to be born dark, so keep your sympathies to yourselves. Don’t give a damn to these people who try to put you down. Our confidence should radiate through our skin to make us look good. If you are desperate to turn fair just so for the society to accept you, then yes you are ugly. Unless this attitude of ours change, there is never gonna be a beautiful society.