If you are born dark it is like a curse in India. It is one of the biggest drawbacks you can have. Anyone girl who is not so fair knows this everlasting torture. Does is ever go away? Listen to my latest story Kaanta by Kahanibaaz Anupma
In fact I am dusky , always was and it was not easy! A memoir. ( Special Thanks for the content idea and conceptualisation of this story and post to our intern Ananya Prakash who was bold enough to share her experience and take a stand on this issue right on the spot of incident. Literary liberty has been taken to combine my own experience with dusky complexion, I wish some Ananya had intervened when I was 25 too. Thank You Ananya. }
A ghost came stumbling out from the past today and in a very soft footed , stealthy way; in a place I never expected it to jump on my shoulders like a Betaal .
It happened in a glitzy , hot and happening Ambience Mall. i had just entered a women’s wear shop that I saw a young girl may be 25 – 26 years old accompanied by 3 older women who seemed to be the Mother, Aunt and Grandmother. The girl did not look very comfortable to be in the shop. She was hardly looking at any of the dresses , certainly not choosing anything to try while the older women were pushing her to pick something.
Her reluctance seemed bit strange. I mean she was young, well dressed and in a very fabulous and tempting shop. Which woman can resist that?
I moved a little closer to listen to whatever was transpiring between the 4 ladies. The first sentence I heard came from the GrandMa , “pick something in a light colour considering your complexion”
Immediately the ghost from my past attacked me full throttle.
I grew up with my BETAAL, my dusky complexion ! How many times I had heard , don’t wear purple it makes you look dark! try using a fairness cream , don’t step in sun, drink haldi milk, apply ubtan, and so on…….. not one day passed when I did not hear about my complexion or the lack of it. i grew up believing i had a handicap, my dusky complexion.
I could imagine what was going on inside the head of that young girl, how dejected she must be feeling, how helpless, how inadequate , how supposedly incomplete……
I watched in horror as my ghost tortured its new victim ,
the girl was shaking her head at the choice of clothes being picked by the older ladies. I could hear an argument. Oh! the dress to be picked up was for the engagement function of the girl.
Beta a very bright will make your colour look darker! The boy is fairer than you , we can’t risk to lose such a match. The Aunt said.
Stay indoors this week and we will engage a gook beautician , these days they make up the arms too. You will look much whiter , chipped in the Mom.
I could feel the ghost almost choking her!
What will she do ? Give in like me long years ago ?
I decided I could no longer keep quiet and I walked up to the girl and said go for pink its your wedding after all. Why should your colour matter?
The young girl by now totally fed up smiled at my intervention, picked a bright , hot pink churidar set and said I am wearing this and if drives the guy away so be it. She walked determinedly to the cash counter.
None of the other women spoke.I guess they knew there was no point, the ghost had been exorcised, whoof gone!
She was free of her BETAAL and finally I felt free too!
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