Just as I was about to sneak out of my home in the afternoon to play in the ground with friends who were standing for me waiting impatiently, I was caught by the Bad Cop, my Mother and she almost had a sun stroke herself in the cool confinement of home when she learned about my plans of going out and playing in that bright sunlight of a summer afternoon. She grounded me for 3 days because I laughed out loud when she said I would turn charcoal black if I continue with my afternoon adventures. So while I was grounded, I had lot of time at my disposal to think why would I turn charcoal black and even if I do, what differences will that make? I will still be me, the same naughty, nerdy, book worm, ME. But I wondered if I express this philosophy to my Mom chances were high that 3 days of my imprisonment would become 7 days, so for that time being I kept silent, but that incident affected me in a lot of ways.

I grew up eventually, crossed teen age and people always told me that I have taken after my Mom’s fair complexion, I never quite understood was that the parameter I was being weighed in the scale of being an individual with intellect who has her own opinions, can take her own decisions, has her own professional credentials? I mean why we do, have this penchant and a strange obsession with fair skin? Does that make a person beautiful or good looking as per common parlance?  NO. Beauty is skin deep, a person who has a beautiful soul and a compassionate mind is beauty personified, be it a man r woman. I truly admire Kangana Ranaut, the firebrand Bollywood actress for taking a strong stand of not endorsing any fairness cream, no one truly needs any fairness cream to indulge in unnatural way of beautification.

We worship Kaali, the ultimate symbol of Shakti and she is dusky, still we look for fair brides whenever we log into matrimonial sites or put an advertisement in newspapers! Shree Krishna had satiny ink blue skin tone and still we look for fair grooms, unless someone like me who is totally engrossed and besotted with the TALL, DARK AND HANDSOME KINDS (read the effect of Mills and Boons)! Why this double-dealing and pretense? Why this sanctimoniousness ? There are people we all have come across in life who are extremely alluring, prepossessing and absolutely gorgeous to look at, they are ravishing, they are dreamy and easy on the eye but when time comes these people (NOT ALL THOUGH) never fail to exhibit their spiteful, rancorous and malignant side of nature, their harmful, venomous side of character hurt others, but yet we go by looks, we go by that SPECIFIC parameter of weighing beauty – FAIR SKIN. 

The FMCG companies take full advantage of this medieval mindset and preconceived notion of ours and come up with different brands of fairness cream, lotions, face wash, face powder, foundation and what not!!!! But let me here ask all of you, where is the harm if I am dusky? If I have a skin tone which is not fair, well I am happy with it, I can carry myself with stupendous phlegmatic confidence, I can take on the world with my assertive , sure-fire certitude and conviction, then why do the world have a problem with me being fair or dark? I certainly do not have any issues. I know I am a good soul and that reflects on my personality, a quality enough to make me happy.  

And if we take a look at the world the ex First Lady of The United States Mrs. Michelle Obama, according to me is truly a fashion icon, an exemplary mother, a true help mate to her famous husband , widely known for her philanthropy and has her own roaring legal career, which certainly makes her a woman of great substance. 

Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011 in Chicago. Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire, and has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history. She has also been sometimes ranked as the most influential woman in the world. And still we act as if BLACK OR DARK COMPLEXIONED HUMAN BEINGS ARE UNTOUCHABLES!!!!

 The Duchess of Sussex Her Highness Megan Markel, a new mother and not so old bride to Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, with mixed blood has shown the world how beautiful she is with her compassionate role of a royal she carried on with panache and élan, even when she was heavily pregnant. 

Back home we have this gifted actress and film maker Aparna Sen who has presented Indian Cinema with some masterpieces of art like 36,Chowringhee Lane, Parama, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, 15 Park Avenue , Iti Mrinalini, Goynar Baksho et al. The way she carries herself with that poise and validity that she over shadows everyone around her; we can’t still take our eyes off her, that’s how her magic works. Even her daughter Konkona Sen Sharma have a complexion which can only be compared with twilight and she already has proved her mettle in acting chops winning a National Award for her role in Page 3 and bagged Film fare Award for best Debut director for her directorial venture   A Death in The Gunj, she was appreciated for her characterization of the critically acclaimed film Lipstick Under My Burkha, who says DARKNESS DOES NOT EMANATE LIGHT???

P.T, Usha, P.V. Sindhu, Mithali Raj, Saina Newal, Jhulan Goswami, Mary Kom none of these sports stars who have made our nation extremely proud and have put us back on the global map after a long hiatus are not conventionally beautiful with crème and peaches complexion, but did that stop them from achieving their goals? They are not only gifted, they are accomplished in their own fields and carry their aura with aplomb. Kudos to these ladies. I can’t end without mentioning the Indian diva Rekha with comet eyes who still take the nation by storm whenever she makes an appearance, i.e. when she is not in her reclusive mode. I don’t need to list hundreds of her movies where she has taught us what acting really is, my favourite being Umrao Jaan, Utsav, Izzazat and Kalyug. Nandita Das too is another example who is dusky yet supremely talented and who can not mention Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil whose face off in Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth is not only a piece of art but have proved time and again what kind of acting prowess and artistic adroit these two dusky beauties are endowed with, hats off to them.

Really you don’t need to grace the red carpet of the happening MET GALA OR THE CANNES, but yes we do need to gracefully embrace our own personal beauty in any form it comes, please come out off this fixation of FAIR SKIN and next time a fair skinned groom or bride gets hunted for you, put your foot down and raise your voice or someone mocking you for your special beautiful skin tone give it back to that person in his or her own coin. We all are beautiful in our own special way, only we need to recognize it and as the saying goes, “Beauty Lies in the eyes of its Beholder”, let us be our own beholder, to hell with the world with its suffocating pre historic ideas, let us celebrate our own beauty.

An archer by heart and a writer by passion. Have had a decade long career in Human Resources with reputed organizations like Simplex Infrastructures Ltd, GPT Infrastructures Ltd and Emami Realty Ltd, but the role I enjoy the most is that of a mother to my 9 year old daughter.Reading enriches me, travelling rejuvenates me.
Educational Qualufication -MBA (HR) and M.COM (Banking and Insurance). You can ask any question to the author on this mail: [email protected]