Saturday, March 17, 2012

The color of your rose


Before you read ahead, I would like to say that the views mentioned in this article are the ones I needed lot of courage and acceptance to put into words and then publish on my blog. It’s just what I feel and what I think should and must change in our country. I would also thank Indiblogger and Stayfree for actually reminding me that there are still problems that need solutions and open confessions to those problems is my part to contribute to the change in the larger form.
The direction of life is one for them :)
(Source: Doctor -2, Weblog)


I was 7, until I had my first encounter with what is known as the word ‘black’. I was traveling with my grandparents to Kannad, a small town in Maharashtra. We boarded the train late night at around 10:30. Without disturbing the other passengers, my Nani (my grandmother) put me to sleep on the lower berth. In the morning when I woke up and looked for Nani, I saw her sitting on the opposite birth with deep frowns of on her forehead. Whenever she was worried about something, she got those double completely visible lines on either side of her forehead and a ‘V’ like thinking mark in the center.
My NanaJi(my grandfather) was nowhere to be seen. Apart from the bottom 2 seats, I could see 4 men occupying the upper seats of our compartment. I was hit with a variety of thoughts – these guys were dacoit or or they were ghosts. As I look back now, those were indeed horrifying things to think about anyone and I have felt guilty for having those ideas cross my mind even when you know at a certain age you have no control over your thoughts and emotions. My NaniJi tucked me under the warm blanket and asked me to go back to sleep till NanaJi returns and gets our seats changed.
Few years passed by when I could understand the whole perspective of the color culture. Yes, it should be called a color culture. For even in a free democratic ideal society, your skin color had(Its changed for most, for rest lets attempt to change it) a hand to play in your success a number of times. By this, I do not mean that a shade dark would lead us to failure but that a shade bright could play to an advantage. It is comparative in nature. For people coming from the fairer side of the globe, it is the wheatish skin that is on the other side – the poorer side. For people coming from the South Asian peninsula- it is the darker skin that is on the other side - the land of wild animals.
The acceptance that this is true will not be a candid confession that most of us can make. But, it is or may be there in a small part of our brain or at lest in somebody's brain even today. In some of the countries, decisions of marriages are taken on this aspect. To put in simpler term, ‘Gori ladki’ means beautiful girl( pardon the language here, while some of us may be well off this aspect in today’s world there are people who still cling to it and hence this is my point of a change I would want to bring about on the root basis). How many of us remember scanning TOI or Hindu or Dainik Bhaskar( a leading Hindi newspaper of India) for matrimonial advertisement for daily dose of fun – simply for the language and the attributes demanded by the Groom’s(in general) family or the groom himself :

(Source: PreeOccupied.Blogspot.com)
 
These are the problems that relate to skin in a traditional rural Indian family even today. I remember visiting a village in Madhya Pradesh back in 2006 for we were on a road trip to Shimla. We stopped at a road side Dhaba( a shack serving decent authentic Indian food and beverages often located on either side of the highway road). The place was run by Mr. Shankar Ram Sharma and has the typical name ‘Sharma Ji ka Dhaba’. It was a hot day in and not many people were eating as it was past lunch time. We sat on the plastic chairs and looked around for a Chotu(the waiter boy) to take our order.  There was no Chotu to be seen but a Choti(as we lovingly called her that time) came towards us with a jar of water.  She was tall, lean and cheerful in every way. Sharma Ji came with the food himself, seems like his other daughter was serving it. The food was good. He was in the mood to strike a chit-chat and as there were not many customers he sat down on the side pavement next to where our driver was sitting. We were on a nearby table and I could hear the conversation clearly. Sharma Ji was asking our driver whether he was married and what age he was. Our driver was shy and wanted to skip this conversation knowing where it was leading him to. Sharma Ji called his first daughter, the one who had served us water and told her to sit nearby. I don’t know what happened later as they started conversing in the more traditional dialect but things quite did not work out. When we were leaving, I heard Sharma Ji, scolding Choti for not cleaning the table properly while it was cleaner than I had sat on it the first time. Our driver later told us that he did not like the girl because of the melanin extract proportion on the epidermis (the skin color) but the other daughter was good as a prospective bride option.
 (Flicker Stream from Sim Sam's photos)

The difference is not quite evident for some, for others they might not seem to be sisters at all.
This women’s day I wish to change this particular aspect starting from our country – the rural areas, the more conservative sections and the educated minds that often associate beauty with only color in their deep and not so dark hearts. It’s the people to people and heart to heart connection that should be made the basis of any relationship.
I promise to keep my preferences or any opinions not based only on the outer beauty of the person (however there might not be any harm in appreciating it).
I promise to live a life marked with beauty that knows no boundaries on the VIBGYOR spectrum
I promise to treat with respect every creature that God has created in its purest form
I promise to see as much beauty in black as in white…

I promise to inculcate these ideas in any life I bring to earth ever


(From Google Images - Source unknown)


The environment J

This article is part of ‘It’s time to change’. If you want to change something around you, what would that be? Write IndiBlogger: Your ideas, Your passion.

Also, read what Stayfree is trying to change here: http://facebook.com/sftimetochange



39 comments:

  1. beautifully written.
    100% agree...
    Real beauty is unseen and cant be seen with eyes but can be felt by experiencing.
    Lovely post yaar.. SALUTE !

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  2. Thanks Deepak... i believe that people are biased in their hearts towards certain aspects and its time to loose them for good.. :)

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  3. Very nice and thought provoking post. Happy to have found your blog and thanks for adding my blog to your network. Wish you all the best for the contest.

    I too wrote something similar to what you have addressed in this post and thought I would drop the link here, for you and your readers.

    The Secret Secret

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  4. Read yours .. yes its a hit on this game of colors and whites .. nicely done post ..

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  5. Noble thoughts. It's a difficult task though, we Indians are intrinsically biased.

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  6. Yeah .. that's the whole scenario we are born biased for some reason … and if someone decides to take it out after a hard trail from within the head, it ends for his/her progeny as well..

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  7. Hmmm this colour thing is still so prevalent.. even kids are aware of it colouring the Rakshasas black... sad.

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  8. It will take generations to change this bias as we were ruled by Gora sahibs and memshibs:)Well written!Best of luck for the contest

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  9. I never knew someone could write with such depth about a cause I feel so strongly about. Absolutely thought provoking :)

    Please change the spelling of birth to berth :)

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  10. Yes, it is a matter of changing mindset of a critical mass that lays down social norms that is accepted and adopted by rest of the society. I wish the print media stops accepting matrimonial ads. theat refer to colour preference; wish TV channels stop telecasting serials showing heavily made-up ladies in a bid to colour their complexion; and stop showing fair & lovely ads.

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  11. @All Thanks for appreciating the depth of this topic ..

    @Serendipity : yeah , just corrected an intelisense word check should be done especially when you write in a flow :)

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  12. Very true.
    Couple of days back i remember our neighbour aunt discussing her daughter's wheatish complession being a reason for not getting marriage proposals.
    Noble thought scribbled very beautifully.

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  13. beauty is in the hand of the beholder... and the beauty that really matters in the inner beauty.. how pure your mind is and how genuine your love is... :) Beautifully written..! :)

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  14. @Mak- Thanks ..that is the whole reason marriage strings should no way be attached to amount of melanin in your outer layer ..

    @Gayathri: Thanks for dropping by ..appreciate your concern..

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  15. Beautifully written, Beauty is not always skin deep .. Loved the post

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  16. @Imran: thnx for dropping here :)

    @Bharathi: Thanks for appreciating this subject .. hopefully the world will change as we change :)

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  17. Well written...sensitive topic but beautifully written. I believe that true beauty lies in the heart instead of the outer look. So i feel its absurd to categorize ppl on the basis of their colors...Bookmarked your blog.. Liked ,promoted!! 5t3

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  18. Beautifully written and very well expressed,
    I can only say the real beauty is in the eyes of the beholder..Yes people are biased but we cant help ...This was nice post from you

    Hey I have also tagged you here .,
    Please see...
    http://xs2rahulz.blogspot.in/2012/03/tagged.html

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  19. Thanks Solitary writer .. appreciate your concern on this topic ..

    @Rahul: we can help it .. if I decide today not to inculcate in my mind such thoughts .. then never will my child follow this thing .. and if everyone does that then we can make a great impact :)

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  20. and if someone decides to take it out after a hard trail from within the head, it ends for his/her progeny as well

    I know it to be true. Our society is quite unforgiving. We sometimes see some people go beyond the norm and set an example. Marriages across religions is an example. But later their kids sometimes bear the burnt for most of their life.

    Hopefully, we will get to see better times...a better and more humane breed of Indians.

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  21. Yeah, it should get better :) .. 'The rose should always be beautiful irrespective of the color'..

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  22. Great post Poorvi! I am afraid reading your post gave me the idea for my own 'Black is also good', though if you read it you will agree that it is quite different in content from yours. Still, I did not want to write in such a manner as to put it for the same contest so I haven't. Anyway, had to acknowledge the origins of the idea

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  23. Hey Thanks for dropping by Suresh. Read your post .. its actually different than mine :) but leading to the same path.. I would say go ahead and put it in the contest.. :) ..

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  24. Yeah - The obsession with fair complexion should go.

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  25. You are right !!, its very common to correlate beauty to external looks not with the internal heartily thinking. a golden pot with poison is not preferred when compared with mud pot with honey. its we have to decide on how to choose !! Good post and eye opener for many ..

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  26. @Fool: Its a passing on attribute from one generation to the next..

    @Satish : I am glad this did open some eyes ..

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  27. I totally agree with you..unfortunately nowadays people tend to judge others more & more by the externals rather than their values & convictions.

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  28. True Indu .. the beauty in black is lost ..

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  29. Youngsters dwell on what they think are their shortcomings - I am fat/thin, too tall/short, too dark/brown/yellow/ghostly white. Here’s a strategy - think about it if you want but don't obsess about it. Give yourself a time limit - I will think about my “ugliness” only from - to - time and then make a determined effort to forget it for the rest of the day. Scold yourself if necessary but keep pushing your obsessed thoughts about yourself determinedly away. Look around and enjoy your time with others. They will respond to you more positively too.

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  30. Good thought, But hard to change. Talk to the company producing the "Fair and Handsome" or "Fair and lovely products" they thrive because of this.

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  31. When I had pimples, my Mom was worried that I may get depressed but I assured her that I was beyond what I looked like. I have never been bothered with appearance much but I have known people whose moods swings with the way their hair sets that particular day. Lovely post.

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  32. @Rayyan : Appearances can be deceptive as they say. Although, I believe there is no harm in dressing up to the occasion and being presentable but forming perceptions on outer beauty is what I dislike .. PIMPLES .. I always thought girls were the ones who were worried about them :)

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  33. ohh my, what a post. real mind opener.
    excellent penmanship.

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  34. @Pramod: Thanks .. I must you appreciate wholeheartedly :)

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  35. your post coloured my day- reminded of the song " black or white" by MJ!

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  36. You have come up with another amazing post, I would demand change in the way people look at the physical appearance as whole. Thinking about the short, stout and other characteristics that are branded ugly in the society along with the dark skin discrimination, I think we definitely need a change.

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  37. @Specs: I did? that's something very nice to hear :)

    @Farida Ji: yes, I am sure the changes would come slowly as we progress out of the inhibitions and thinking boundaries we have made around us..

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  38. Nicely written
    Well done yaar..cheers for the article :).
    Also Check out mine.Give your comment on it.
    Are Hijra's(TransGender) not a Human being.?

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