Thursday, February 9, 2012

Copper Maiden

 A fair skinned girl arrived, in an unpompous fashion, at a bus stop. But still, it made some men and few aunties look obliquely or directly at her. I was a mere spectator waiting to become a passenger in a bus that was so late that it seemed to be coming straight from a tour around the moon. Anyway, not getting digressed like the ‘Lost Bus’, I’ll come back to the bus-stop scene. So, I then ran my bored imagination to analyze that ‘Fair Maiden’s face. I toned down her skin complexion in my mind, and I realized that she wouldn’t have been attractive otherwise. I then saw another pretty-faced female with a dusky complexion standing a little far from the ‘Fair Maiden’, who had attracted some stares but not as much as the ‘Fair-Maiden’. And I was wonder-struck.

 I then recalled how every time,  my parents shower go-gaga-like appreciation on fair skinned females. “Itni gori hai ki haath lagao toh maili ho jaogi. Itni sunder hai wo.”(“So fair she is that if touched, her skin will get dirty. So beautiful she is.”)
Now I may comply, not literally, with their first phrase-like-statement on the degree of her fairness, but not always on the second statement. My parents here actually represent a large strata of our society having such mindset regarding beauty. In India, there’s an inexplicable nexus between fairness and beauty. No wonder, ubiquitous skin-lightening beauty products like ‘Fair & Lovely’, ‘Ponds White’ and now even 'Fair & Handsome’ flourish in market. Their advertisements depict depressed, dark-complexioned women, who had been ignored by employers and men, suddenly finding new boyfriends and glamorous careers after the cream had lightened their skin. And many such racist advertisements which further promote color based racism. And this is how the desperation to get fair prevails in the bourgeois. In here we come up with anti-tanning lotions and creams, whereas in west, they proudly boast their holiday-tan, sun beach-tan, artificial tan….

My grand grand father was a domineering 'zamindaar' (landlord) with three wives and many sons. But he got my grand-father married to my grand-mom just because she had a fair complexion. She in fact hailed from the poorest of the families residing in his village.
Though many Bollywood actresses have successfully fostered dark-beauty relationship, the long-living marriage of fairness-beauty is yet to be divorced!!

Fair skin is a traditional standard of beauty in many parts of the world. Often, those of upper class in past ages were not exposed to sunlight, as they didn't have to work in fields, thus, fair skin was associate with wealth, and since the wealth set the standards for beauty, pale skin was in. Also, probably it’s about the basic human nature; wanting something which we do not have.
In India people are usually dark-skinned or even dusky and so they aspire to become fair, whereas in west where people are fair skinned, they go for tanning for some reason. May be to look less pale. Similarly females with wavy or curly hair aspire to have straight hair and get them artificially straightened and those with straight hair, at times get bored and get them curled up!! That’s why, perhaps even in relationships, people have come up with ‘opposites attract’ logic.

Sadly even I fall in the category of those females who complain of getting tanned under the sun.
Nevertheless, this doesn't stop me from looking outwards towards those who promote such attitude towards complexion. 
In matrimonial section, one can find many advertisements wanting a fair bride. In fact beauty is supposed to be only skin deep. But I guess it’s just a proverb. What makes those adds more ridiculous is the fairness-beauty-lovely relation!!

Now, another thought flashes across my restless mind. Though Taj Mahal is known for its architecture, I still wonder what if it were coal-black? Would the ‘Copper-Maiden’ still be proudly boasted of as one of the wonders of the world then? 
                                              How grateful I am to the man, his kith and kin
                                                    To his gods and goddesses, all fair-skinned
                                                How much I appreciate the flowers, the sky
                                                    All of it is colorful and not just white
                                                How feeble I would be without the dark in the night
                                                    Everything need not be only bright
                                                How graceful I look in this mirror
                                                    Then why is it just my complexion that is noticed by those eyes?
                                                I too can be an angel and fly high
                                       I’m a Copper Maiden and virtuous, all right!!

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  1. amazing one..... i like bold writings specially by a girl bcoz our narrow minded society needs to watch it..... good the way...wats ur job profession....just want to read u..its my hobby so dont mind

  2. r u on twitter.... sakshi is very common name so i dint try to find out...if u wish u can find me with my username kumar_nm .....i really liked ur thoughts....i like to analyze everything around me,.... so dont mind...and reading blogs is my new hobby now a days....cheers :P

  3. @Kumar: Thank You :) And you can go on reading my blogs; that will suffice your hobby of reading ppl..cheers:P!!
    PS:my job profile is teaching

  4. Once again written beautifully. And really very true. :) keep going!!

  5. Thank you for stopping by my blog, Sakshi.

    And what a lovely, thought-provoking post you have written.

  6. Well written!

    I blame it on the media to some extent for selling the idea of being dark is almost the reason for being unsuccessful which is by no means true.

    1. Thank you :) and yes media only sold the idea or should i say propagated it because this idea unfortunately has been existent for a long time in the society..some way media can be blamed definitely..

  7. Hmm very true..well written!

  8. We will accept any colour as long as it's fair!

    Is that concept ever going to change, I wonder? It's tougher for the women, for sure.

    Relevant questions raised.

    1. Well the answer is definitely difficult to be obtained!
      And the concept might change with time, at least it will get diluted for sure!