You Are Beautiful!

How can a coconut change the colour of a baby inside the mother's womb? My Mama and Nani have dark skin and they are still so biased about the skin colour.

Mama Ji always says in a funny way ” Arre maine tumhari Mami ko bahut nariyal khilae par phir bhi ye kali nikal gayi.” and everyone laughs.

How can a coconut change the colour of a baby inside the mother’s womb? My Mama and Nani have dark skin and they are still so biased about the skin colour. I asked them about it and they said that they didn’t want that their child to suffer the same discrimination that they have suffered.  Since every one will obviously joke about this, they are ensuring that she gets used to it.

I told them that what they are doing will not make her feel better. In fact, it will just make the situation worse; from the beginning and from her own home. Like this, she will grow up with a low self-esteem and inferiority complex. They understood that they themselves have an inferiority complex and hadn’t realized this for so long.

“Oye Kallo o cauva (o black o crow) kal homework karke lena”, one of my sister’s classmates said to her while parting ways to their respective houses. She is a very bright student and always does the homework by herself and other students copy from her notebook.

At night I told her If someone calls you with such derogatory nicknames that she doesn’t like, then she needn’t listen to them. All that she should do is ignore them until they call her by her real name.

She asked sweetly with those innocent beautiful eyes, “Didi, what if they never call me by my real name?”

“Oh my baby you so innocent, they all are stupid, you are so intelligent, they need you”, I said.

“Are haan di, I never thought like that. Since everyone jokes about me, I thought it is the way a dark girl is treated”, she said.

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I felt so bad about the fact that her confidence has been knocked out at such a young age. She doesn’t even appreciate her qualities and it is so scary that she has accepted that this is the way she has to be treated.

Avantika, my cousin is a very bright student and she has a beautiful dark complexion with absolutely crystal clear skin. Most Asians are obsessed with the fair skin but  I find her a breathtakingly beauty.

She has beautiful, large almond-shaped black eyes that looks so innocent and magical.  And her lovely voluminous long curly raven black hair is splendid.

Next day I asked mama Ji to let me drop Avantika to her school. When we reached her school entrance, few girls ran towards her saying “Arre kaali aa gayi”.  She completely ignored them and walked up to her class. Later, I called those girls and told them to remember that she has a name like you all have one.

Then in the evening, my Mami’s college friends came to meet her and one of them looked at Avantika and commented, “Kiran, is she really your daughter? You have to do something dear else she won’t get a good husband. Try puting besan and haldi on her face. Trust me, it works.”

I felt terrible about this. Avantika looked miserable while listening to all this. I really wanted to shout at them and tell them that it’s her natural skin colour. This won’t change and there is no need to change it because she is beautiful the way she is. Her life is not just about getting a good husband because she  also aspires to be an independent and  successful person. But I couldn’t say anything as they were older to me.

This sick mentality is deep rooted in our society but I didn’t want Avantika to suffer. I thought that I can’t stop others but there is something that I can do. I can make her understand her self worth. The night before I left from her house, I told her “Avu, you are really very beautiful and I mean that. Baby, you don’t need anyone’s validation. For me, you are my little doll. A perfect combination of beauty, brains and personality. Just remember these two things always; first, beauty lies in the eyes of beholder and second, be a woman of self-respect, confidence and dignity. And this is how you will always be the most beautiful woman.”

Image source: Pixabay


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