‘Apply some Haldi, Besan and Milk Cream on your face, Leaving Aloe Vera overnight on your face will give you a glowing skin, Drink some syrup for your skin, Don’t take up sports, you will get tan and ultimately nobody will marry you, if you are dark your husband will have an affair with some white woman”.

These are some of the common statements that Ananya had to listen through out her childhood because of her complexion. Even though she was dark, she had some radiance about her, there was something very special about her looks. Infact a couple of times when she was at a coffee shop a reputed fashion designer had walked upto her and asked her to be a part of his show. She still laughs at that incidence.

Today is the yearly mandatory family get together. Ananya hates going to this function because all her relatives keep discussing about her dark complexion over looking her achievements or rather taking interest in their own children’s lives. Her cousin Tana who was the most beautiful (Fair Skin, Almond Eyes, Pink Perfect Pout (thanks to the cosmetic surgeon and the multiple trips to parlor ever week)), despite her beauty had got divorced for the second time. This had made all the relatives worried for Ananya because if a swan cannot have a happy life even despite its looks then a crow would be out of question. Really from when did Fair Complexion = good looks = good rich husband = happy life formula exist. Wait Actually always.

Ananya was more concerned about the presentation she had tomorrow, it would mean a lot for her Company. Oh By the way Ananya had studied in a Premier Management College and was working as Director – Client Servicing for a leading Ad Agency in Mumbai. She was confident on her presentation that she would not only get this contract from the brand but also her concept would win an award. As usual Ananya and her sister Kajal left for their respective offices, Ananya’s mother would always put a kaala teeka behind her Kajal’s ears (because she was fair and everyone would always have their eyes on her and anyways dark skin itself is a protection from Buri Nazar as nobody looks at a Dark Skin Girl, thought Ananya’s Mother). Initially this ritual would hurt Ananya but then later on somewhere deep down in her heart she accepted that she was not worth the second look. Only her work spoke for her.

Ananya’s Presentation convinced the client to handover the Brand to their Agency, which made her Boss Siddharth happy. Infact, from last few days Siddharth has been trying to have a word with her but due to this presentation, they were all hyper busy. Finally he decided to take the entire team out for lunch as a treat.

The team was at their favourite restaurant, when suddenly Siddharth abandoned the table on the pretext of a call. Their table was till now the noiseist. Even though the average age of the table was around 26, they all behaved like teenagers, when the entire Client Servicing Department went out for lunch. Suddenly, Siddharth arrived with a bouquet and a card, he was all dressed up, looking dapper in a suit, suddenly going down on his knees he said,

Every moment when I saw you, my heart skipped a beat. I have been waiting to get one peaceful moment with you, but all I get is her in the middle of chaos. Still you manage to look so calm and serene with the mess and chaos.

I have seen your different moods, from anger to disappointment to pain to frustration. Sometimes, she’s scary, when angry, sometimes strict llike an Army Officer, sometimes like a baby curled up in a fetal position. This is what made me fall in love with her and keep her to myself forever.

Now if you all may behave yourself, so that I can take your boss away from you to spend my lifetime with her, I would be the luckiest man alive right now. I want to grow old with her and bless the world with beautiful children like her and naughty grandchildren like her. I want to create a new world together. Will you marry me ?”

Everyone at the table was awestuck. A few of them almost cried. Ananya was shocked and surprised. Siddharth was her best friend and her mentor. A millions of questions ran inside her brain. Would her parents accept this love marriage. Nobody had a love marriage in her family till now. Would Siddharth’s parents accept it ? Was he actually sure to spend this lifetime together or was it just a rush of the moment ?

There was pin drop silence. The smile on Siddharth’s face was vanishing. Marriage is a huge decision and Ananya was startled by the question asked by Siddharth. Every matrimony proposal that she had received was rejected due to her skin colour, would Siddharth’s parents also reject her when they meet her in person ? Millions of questions were running in her mind. Siddharth asked her to take a break and continue with their lunch in silence.

That evening Ananya was exceptionally quiet, she came home, went directly to her and was staring at the ceiling. Her parents felt that it was due to work pressure and that she would join them back in a couple of hours. Her phone beeped and she ignored it. Within minutes she heard the doorbell ring.

Siddharth had reached her house, the confident boss, was now a timid teenager. Her parents had only seen him in photographs and presumed there was some work crisis, may be that is the reason why Ananya was strange and Siddharth had come home to meet her. Her father guided Siddharth to Ananya’s room.

Ananya was not only shocked to see Siddharth at 9 pm at her house, worse she was scared that he saw her in her PJ’s and messy hair. They decided to step out of her house to have a calm talk. Siddharth expressed his feelings for Ananya and requested her to have an open conversation with the him. Ananya expressed all he doubts and Siddharth patiently listened to it. When she said her biggest fear was that if his family would accept her because of her skin colour, he just laughed it off and said,

Marriage is a union of souls, skin colour has got no role to play. We all change with time externally but what does not change is our beautiful heart and feelings. The chemistry between us is what matters and not the chemical composition of your skin type.

This small talk relaxed Ananya and she told Siddharth that she would answer him when she met him the next morning.

Sidharth could not sleep that night, this was a gamble for life. He was unsure if he was going to loose a friend for life or gain a partner for life. Without asking this question, it was next to impossible. It has been tough on him to keep it to himself now. The last thing that expected as Ananya’s hesitation was about her skin colour. She was an amazing woman, who’s company was most sought after. He just could not understand why was she so conscious about her skin colour. Thinking about the same the night passed.

Ananya woke up in the morning and headed to her office as usual. Siddharth had reached the office earlier than the office hours.

They met in the conference room. The nervousness on Siddharth’s face and the smile on Ananya’s face spoke volumes.

The same day in the evening Siddharth along with his parents went to Ananya’s house with a formal proposal. Her parents were shocked because they liked Siddharth but they never expected all this to happen so suddenly. The most eligible bachelor in town has come down to ask their daughter’s hand. Soon the wedding preparations began in both houses. Whilst, Tana had divorced her third husband and was now looking for a new husband.

The relatives who commented on Ananya’s dark skin had two opinions now:

  1. Either she has done some black magic on the boy and his family to get married into such a rich house
  2. They started to consider Ananya’s qualities beyond her skin colour.

A person cannot be judged just because he or she is dark. You cannot get a good job or a good husband or deliver a good presentation just because of your skin colour. Your skin colour is just a part of your personality but not your entire personality.

Cosmetic companies show that Fairness creams can change your entire life, but things like that are far from reality. If only in reality Fairness creams would have changed your lives then we would have not had schools and colleges.

With the new stupidity by HUL to rename its Fairness Cream Fair and Lovely as Glow Cream. They are indirectly promoting the superiority and obsession with the fair skin amongst Indians.

Being born Brown in India, I had personally faced a lot of criticism for my skin colour. This is my old photograph. I had previously written this story on momspresso, wherein it was appreciated a lot.

I had also performed this story for an open mic at my favourite venue, The Habitat, Khar.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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