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There were hundreds of real humans who loved her, she glowed with confidence. She had long given up examining herself on the mirror, but of late, when she saw her reflection, her radiant self smiled back.
She draped the sari deftly. It was her first time, she felt special. Her long hair was braided, kajal and bindi in place. Casting a final glance at the mirror in the Ladies Common Room, she walked out to the auditorium, contented. She seated herself with her classmates, it was ‘Rose Day’ in college, a day she had heard of in movies, but was about to witness for the first time. There were balloons and festoons galore, and in a short while, the most awaited day commenced, with the anchor reading out the messages, calling out the ‘rose contributors’, and the respective acceptors.
After what seemed like an eternity, the ‘Day’ concluded, but her hands were empty. Many had ascended the decorated stage, many had been serenaded. Her best of friends had managed one rose at least, but she had ended up being the lone non-receiver.
Back home, she locked herself up in her room and wept. Wept for her plain appearance, her disbelief in make-up, her stocky built, her “ugliness”. It wasn’t as if her parents didn’t notice, her mother reprimanded her for sobbing about something so silly.
Her mother would often come up with the inner beauty sermon, how it was only a kind heart that mattered, and beauty was in the eyes of the beholder, but none of that appealed to her. All that was pure hogwash, created to comfort folks like her. The truth was, physical appearance counted and there was no love without looks.
It wasn’t as if she hadn’t been a victim of this discrimination before. Even in school, despite being a good dancer, she would never be placed at the front in the stage shows. Many a teachers preferred beautiful, fair complexioned girls as the face of the performance.
Rose Days came and Rose Days went, year after year. But all her enthusiasm had faded after the first. That day of the year, she would not attend college on purpose, she found the whole exercise of dressing up for Rose Day, futile.
A brilliant student, she had no difficulty graduating with flying colours, but her parents seemed to be in a perpetual hurry to get her married. She realised that her horoscope and photos were all over the matrimonial websites since long, but a suitable response was yet to arrive. The relatives played their part too. “She’s dark, she’s fat, hope she finds a good job. Her qualification is the only asset she has.”
She would shed copious tears in her pillow, she wouldn’t let anyone see her agony.
As far as the delay in her marriage was concerned, she wasn’t surprised, and for once she didn’t care. These websites had made a joke of arranged marriages anyways. Marry a person whose photograph and credentials looked the best and with zero knowledge about the person’s nature or character, spend an entire lifetime with him.
The world, in her eyes had turned awfully superficial, there was no place for people like her here. Beauty contests, fairness creams, beauty salons, friends, foes, family, media, all seemed to be shouting from roof tops, “Lose weight, get fair, apply make-up, look beautiful. On the outside, we might brag about inner beauty and such nonsense, but deep inside, all we care for, is your outer appearance.”
She was done trying to make others happy, she was smart, qualified and intelligent. The marriage market was ruthless, and she refused to be a part of the fiasco. A teaching job in a far away city was a blessing in disguise, she grabbed it at the very first opportunity.
A change of surroundings did her good, at least she had left the regular crowd of boring advisers behind. Plus, she somehow discovered, teaching was what she had wanted to do all this time. People often showed concern about a teacher’s salary and future prospects, if only she could tell them how much she enjoyed what she was doing. The school was one place where she wasn’t judged for her face and body. She was great with children, possessed excellent communication skills, she was impartial and caring. The love she spread was always reciprocated. Within months, she was their most favourite teacher, popular for her involvement in their activities, loved for her connect with parents.
Gone were her days of inner turmoil, she felt accepted and respected all the time. There were hundreds of real humans who loved her, she glowed with confidence. She had long given up examining herself on the mirror, but of late, when she saw her reflection, her radiant self smiled back.
Come Teachers’ Day and once the cultural activities ended, a few students approached her.
“Maam, here’s a gift for you.” They presented her a rose. Soon, some other classes walked in with their representatives, gifting her several roses.
Memories flooded her mind, she sat back, reminiscing about how a rose had been an object of utmost hate in her life, how a rose had ruined her adolescence forever.
Tears flowed unheeded down her cheeks as she held the roses in her hands now, she couldn’t express in words as to how important they were to her. They symbolized her students’ unconditional love, irrespective of her beauty, built or complexion.
This was HER ROSE DAY eventually, she realized, a day of true appreciation. She now wished to scream out loud from the rooftops too, she had her fair share of ‘Roses’. All other shallow forms of love could wait, she was capable of being respected and she was going to cherish this moment forever.
Editor’s note: This story was shortlisted for the June 2019 Muse of the Month contest.
Image source: pixabay
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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