Why does color matter?

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I can write hundreds of Blogs about this subject. The main reason is that I am dark in complexion. I am the darkest in my family. I was not that conscious about it until I heard from my mother. She was worried about my color and was thinking way ahead about my future. I have heard her thinking out loud about my color. She got hold of anything which could make her dark-skinned girl more beautiful. She bought different necklaces of stones, gold and pearls, beautiful ribbons for my hair and Bangles of all colors available in the market at that time she could afford. There were no ready-made dresses at that time. So she designed and stitched elegant clothes for me to wear from her imagination… all to make me even more beautiful. She made sure I was presentable at any time of the day to anybody.

She taught me the importance of wearing beautiful clothes. She said,

“When you wear something  it should add beauty to you and it should not diminish it. Same with your ornaments, they should increase your beauty…”

She never bought me black or very dark clothes. In her opinion those colors diminished my beauty.

I had very long straight hair. I was short and my hair was up to my knees. Mother took time to comb my hair off the knots every day and braided it before I went to School. My Mother had curly hair. I liked her curly hair more than my straight hair.

One kid in my school always dressed as Krishna on the stage for her “Radha and Krishna” dance. She had long curly hair and she left it loose for that occasion. It looked very pretty to me. When my mother knew that I was very fond of curly hair like my classmate’s she did something very special for me. One evening, she washed my hair with native shampoo “Chemparathi Thali” to remove all the oil. Then she dried it and braided it to about thirty braids. The next morning, she opened all the braids and lightly combed my hair. Oh my God, my hair looked curly and more beautiful. I went to school with my long curly hair left loose. All my classmates came to see it and they complimented me. Even children from the other Divisions came to see my hair…

I was the Star of the School for the day. Even the Teachers noticed the style and complimented me.  I felt as if I was at the top of the world. But towards the evening, all of the curls disappeared. It was just like a dog’s tail trying to be straightened…

Even though she came up with all kinds of ideas to make me more beautiful, my mother was still worried about my future. She would have imagined how many rejections I would have to face in the market, when it was time to find a suitable boy for me.

Mother dreamed,

“May be by the time she is old enough to get married somebody would have found something to make dark skin to white, since modern medicine is developing so fast”.

But no miracle or medicine happened to change my color, by the time I reached the age to get married. But I was not allowed to fall in love with anybody, even though I came across few desirable characters in my life, before my marriage.

When I was in fourth grade, I had a friend, Vijayalakshmi. She lived very near to the School and was from a well-known family. She was very fair, beautiful and soft-spoken. Her eyes reminded me of Lotus’ petal. In the class, when the Malayalam teacher described the beauty of the Heroine in any lesson, I always looked back to make sure that it should be exactly like Vijayalakshmi’s eyes.

One day, Vijayalakshmi saw me walking on my way back home. She was in their private Boat with her parents on their way to her father’s home or “Tharavadu” in “Kavalam”. She waved to me from the Boat. Her parents also acknowledged me and waved to me. The very next day when I saw Vijayalakshmi, she told me,

“Amma was surprised yesterday to see you still walking to your house… such a long way to walk? Also my Amma said that you are so cute and beautiful”

Oh my God, Vijayalaksmi’s Mom giving me a compliment like that! I felt like I was at the top of the world, for getting a compliment from the mother of the most beautiful girl in my class. That’s the first compliment I got about my dark-beauty from somebody I thought very highly about. After all these years, my memories are still vivid.

After forty seven years, I tried to find out where Vijayalakshmi is, and at last found where she was settled. One day I went to her house. Her children had all grown up and moved to different places. She lived in a beautiful Mansion with her husband and her Mother. Her father had passed away a few years back. Her mother recognized me. I was happier to see her mother than her.

I described to her mother about the incident above and how much her compliment made a little dark-girl so happy and gave her the confidence about her own beauty, otherwise how low she would have thought about herself.

I will write more about this in my future blogs..



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