Beauty Lies Within

Posted: July 3, 2014 by Ankur in Contest, Writes...
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As the rays of the rising sun, touched her lashes, she woke up looking forward to the day ahead. Sundays had always been special. A day with her family, different from the daily activity of schooldays and exams, venturing the hotspots of New Delhi. Being the first Sunday of December, her favourite month, made it all-the-more exhilarating. She loved how the seemingly warming rays of the sun would coalesce with the surrounding haze to give a twinge of chill, marking the welcome of Winters. To her dismay, her parents were working that day. She dragged herself through the corridor with dampened spirit and hopes, thinking about her lashed down plans. Without further fussing, she grabbed her laptop, sat on the couch and logged into Facebook. The only interesting, current hot topic had been Delhi Elections. Scrolling down through the news feed filled with aimless and meaningless posts by people, she came across a poem. Unlike pieces of writing, this rare one gave her mind a good exercise. It talked of a girl, who got a box of crayons for Christmas. The girls started filling the paper with her unparalleled, imaginative world of colours and dreams, similar to other kids, yet unique in her own way. She then came across a crayon, “SKIN”, that didn’t match her own colour. 
The girl in this poem reminded her of the comments and taunts she had endured while growing up.

“Don’t play too much in the sun! You’ll grow darker and no boy would marry you!”

“Kaali ho rahi hai tu. Go and take bath!”

“Is colour me kaali lag rahi hai. Change the dress!”

This, she came across a boy telling his mates.

“I would date a girl who is fair and tall, like Hollywood Actresses.”

The wounds of the past lay open, fresh, as she struggled through her memory of the childhood, that she realised, was shared by many other girls of this fine country. A scene of her childhood set staging before her eyes, where she was going to a toy store hand-in-hand with her Dad. He jokingly asked her to buy the Indian Bride Barbie and laughed. Even the child in her preferred a sleek, fair Barbie. All the cartoons, Disney princesses she loved during childhood had been fair! She reminisced the times when she was told, how her brown,tanned skin had been a set back in compared to her lean body, long straight hair and sharp mind. Stepping back to reality, she questioned, if it was the society to be blamed for not accepting their brown complexion or herself for being quiet about the rants she grew up hearing. Where the minds of children are shaped at a tender age, why are they made to realize that having a brown skin is an insult? Wouldn’t this carry on to the coming generat ions? 
She switched the laptop off. Got up, and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Apart from the baggy oversized sweater and her hair, undone, suddenly the brown skin she always loathed, seemed astonishingly pristine. Suddenly she thought how beautifully it merged with the golden of the Sun, and her brown eyes. All the taunts seemed irrelevant. All the logics seemed useless. 

“Beauty lies within the eyes and soul of a person, not in the colour of skin.”
With this thought she walked out to bring a change, feeling ecstatic about her newly found dignity. 

Anushka Anand

Brown n’ Proud

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