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 :
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