Tarun Vijay and South Indians: Why racism is not fair and delusion is black

Perhaps we might as well call PV Sindhu the dark queen of badminton?

 |  4-minute read |   07-04-2017
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Hai Ram, I have been living with south Indians all my life. I didn’t even know they were like foreigners and that we were doing them all a favour by calling them Indians in the first place.

As a teenager, I remember overhearing a conversation among the not-so-enlightened aunts that my mother would have to double the gold she buys for me as I was too dark! So basically the yellow metal would have given me my own shine, a hue that would have made a prospective groom overlook the colour of my skin, right?

So now 30 years later, I am the one laughing away to glory because my dark skin hides all flaws, blemishes and crows’ feet. Not a single spot in sight, as they say "black doesn’t crack”. And I save a fortune on botox!

Poor madam minister said attacks (on Nigerians) were not racist! How did one arrive at this conclusion? I should have been attacked all my life since my skin colour closely matches theirs. I remember my father struggling with a matrimonial ad text to describe me since I had blatantly and threateningly refused to get married.

He went through words like a paint palette: wheatish, brown, dark brown, he couldn’t bring himself to write "sanvali" or black… till he gave up and that ad was never sent.

We can start an export revolution selling fairness creams to other countries. Having rubbed tonnes of the stuff on our faces, we aren’t anywhere close to looking white. The bleach just burns and spots the skin and almonds are too expensive for my face, I would rather eat them.

I am sure none of this would even matter. Remember Sandhya, V Shantaram’s muse and an actress whose colour would be what? I would call her a profound artist, a dancer and a diva. Does anyone even dare to define the colour of her skin?

rekha-embed_040717080448.jpg The beautiful Rekha. 

Rekha, Smita Patil, Bipasha Basu, I could go on and on. Perhaps we might as well call Ms PV Sindhu, the dark queen of badminton?  Apologists would argue that beauty and fame surpasses all, then we need to talk about Iman, Tina Turner, Naomi Campbell.

And the droolworthy men: Mohammed Ali in his prime - boxing notwithstanding - was more "beautiful" than a similar specimen of any other colour. I just can’t get over the guy who plays Bishop in The Good Wife.

So please paint me black - oops that song from the Rolling Stones, could perhaps just explain the state of my mind! I would inhabit any of these personalities like a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.

In fact, I want to just point out that our lovely Ms Hema Malini is south Indian too, as is Sridevi and Jayaprada. Given the colour distinction of people from that region, as our leaders would have us believe, we have just denationalised these lovely women! Yes, yes, they are all above board because they have supreme status. But you get the drift?

Prejudice, at the very basic level: be it the family, the mohalla, the panchayat or the city is very much there. I have watched people’s reaction when they see me and my daughter together. Once at the airport, I had to show proof that I was her mother.

In a rural town in the eastern edge of the Hindi heartland, three women discussed our "colours" as if we were invisible and then jointly concluded: the father must be fair! Consoled that the unfathomable conundrum had been explained, they asked me at what age I wanted to get my baby married!

Being dark-skinned, thank god, took away the searchlight above my head and I could build a life I wanted and chose. Unfortunately I cannot even take credit for that. I had no choice you see, but to have a career. I am just too dark to be anything else!

Also read: Tarun Vijay's guide to saying Indians aren't racist by making a racist comment about South Indians


Anjoo Mohun Anjoo Mohun @anjoomohun

The writer is addicted to sports and is indebted to the inventor of the flat screen TV.

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