I stepped out this morning, looking as cheerful as I possibly could! (Whoever feels naturally cheerful on a Thursday knowing that Saturday is working!!!!!!!!!) You know my mood-lift trick na....wear something nice - what you like - when you are not in the best of your moods. So I got me to wear my sparkling white top, another one that gives me a cool and slim feel [ladies reading this would know what I mean :)]. OK, so I get down the stairs and am greeted by no other than my landlady, who smiles and adds in, 'You are looking nice...and white's suiting you....you are so fair, na!' I smile back with a modest Thank you, wishing she had not added that last phrase!!
It seems like a crime sometimes. Well, yes, I really do mean it! Now, don't get me wrong there. But I get that feel. I remember one of those wierd (and unwanted) statements by one of my batch mates, right before our farewell when we were discussing the colors of the saree we would wear on the D-day! Our school had the tradition of holding a beauty contest on similar lines to that of a Miss India contest...and not to mention, it was the only subject to be discussed at that time (who cared about the impending board exams!). Anyways, so while we were discussing who'd become Miss SMC (St. Mary's Convent), this girl walks up, unprovoked, looks straight into my eyes and says, 'What do you have...you are only just too fair!!!' I stood there, shell-shocked! My friends huddled around me with words of consolation, which of course included some words of disgust for my tormentor! But that phrase...too fair...stuck right there!!!
On a more recent occasion, my father took me to this priestess...yes, you guessed it...for match-making! She took a glance at me (and I hated it!!!!), fingered through some 'variety' of folded sheets in an envelope... picked, rather selected, some from them and started supplying information on some probable grooms. And then it came, ' Here, he is a doctor, and they want a fair girl... and she's so fair!' I glared at my father. So being fair meant that I have all the required and expected qualities for being the 'chosen one' for this doctor!!! Now I know why those regular matrimonial ads read Ati gori (extremely fair!). That's like the first and *one of* the biggest criteria! (For those who think I sound outdated, do a reality check again...and I hate to admit, however, modern and educated we might have become, we still have that 'fairness' syndrome in us!)
Coming back to my 'too fair' point, it's more like a sarcasm than a compliment most of the times. Kaneez would know what I'm talking about. In college, whenever my friends teamed up against me and I protested, 'This is not FAIR!"; they'd retort, pointing (yes literally) at me, 'This is FAIR!' I'd fume and walk away.
I got it from my family and I'm proud of being all that I am, and this is something I always say in my defense. And to this, even my own sister has a point to add - No, you are a bit more than us! My own friend Sarah says that we [she shares the gift(??) with me] belong to the white and pale clan! She goes like, we are the whiter ones who look pale, rather than the nicer pink! It's worse when you are all confused and look around for help just before a big occasion or a party with that big question - What should I wear??? And everyone around you come with help (of course) - you can wear any color, you are soo fair!! Don't I now expect that response before making a question! And of course I know that, but I want to look my best too!!!
Now, that's not for you to think I have anything to regret. Like I mentioned, I love being me (the modest me!) and I know I'd also love being me if I wasn't what I am. For in every way, each one of us is unique and special. But for being branded for anything that makes you feel like an outcast is a complete NO! This fairness syndrome is there to stay with all the fairness creams and lotions (meant for men too!)...and so, while you are already blessed with it, not every remark is a compliment.
Aah, I'd just let this ranting of mine stop right here. And I'm sure many of you, my blogdosts, would have similar experiences... now that may be for having a great height, lustrous hair, a fab figure, perfect culinary skills and so on. [None of which that I possess...sob sob]. Yet, I'll revel in my gift for being me. I am 'too fair' (according to people)..so what!! I love me!!!
I hate ending my posts on a sour note, so here's a beautiful poem for all you gorgeous women reading my blog. I picked it from Brittany's post :)
Dear God:The girl reading this is beautiful, classy and strong, and she is very special to me.
Help her live her life to the fullest. Please promote her and cause her to excel above her expectations. Help her shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love.
Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs you the most,
and let her know when she walks with you, she will always be safe. She is my friend!
Take care, blogdosts, and stay precious :)