I Am Black

How many of you at any one point of your life have ever considered or still consider black as your favourite colour? Whenever I raise this question to a couple of individuals all I end up getting is same sort of reactions. Many regard other colours their favourite while a few who actually like colour black is also only because black provides them a bold outlook and that they look good in it. This majority somehow activates the interrogative side of me where I end up asking myself as for why is it so? And no matter how much thinking I do, at the end of the day all I can come up with is just a small sentenced answer and that is because it’s dark.

Every obsession has a story behind it. Accordingly I too have a long history behind my fascination. 18 years earlier I was welcomed to this new world. Actually I had a twin who unfortunately couldn’t make it and so it was just me. My parents were really happy because I was born healthy and normal. Although I cannot recall all my childhood memories there are definitely some that I can cherish. I remember that I was born bold and that I even tried entertaining people through my babbling talks. I loved dancing and even had a great a passion in singing. I used to take part in competitions and therefore showed enthusiasm to learn and succeed even more. In short I loved myself.

My parents were really proud of me and that everything was going smooth until then when my relatives stated a comment about my colour. Although I loved my appearance and that I had no complaints with the way I looked, my so called relatives felt that I wasn’t good enough. It was basically because I was born in the land of whites. Everyone except me had a fair complexion. Growing up with this fact was never a problem until the time when on my thirteenth birthday my so called   well-wishers, gifted me a pack of fair and lovely and compacts. Basically among the gifts received many comprised of products that by application of it would make me fair. I was shocked at that moment. I didn’t express this feeling to anyone but somehow this thing remained in my sub conscious mind. After then every joke cracked regarding my colour started hurting me. Comments that didn’t matter to me earlier started being the reason for my tears. I wasn’t even able to overcome this situation when only after a couple of months a same sort of incident took place. So I was on my first periods and that due to over bleeding my haemoglobin had gone down. Since I had less blood in my body, my face turned yellowish pale. And even at that critical moment there were some who expressed their satisfaction and hence congratulated me for finally getting a pinch of fairness. This reaction clearly broke the leftover confidence in me and hence succeeded in turning myself from a bold interactive child to a shy introvert child.

Days passed by and same sort of small incidents took place after a certain period of time. From then Alangkrita, who was once known for her bold appearance and performance started being known for her silence. This transformation in me was unexpected but people blamed it to my adolescence.I started being conscious about my looks. I started doing make-up. Not to look glamorous but so as to look fair. I felt as if being dark is a curse. I still remember, I being an atheist by nature never used to believe in god and its existence. So I felt as if this was the reason I was born dark and that I was cursed by him. I even wished for my pale yellowish colour to return as if all I wanted in my life was to get rid of my dark skin. To shorten it up, I ultimately started hating myself.

With the pace of time, eventually my identity revolved around my looks only. In this big world, all I cared about was about my appearances and more specifically my fairness. Years passed and finally I gave my grade 10 boards. My parents were really worried about me being introvert and shy. So they kind of forced me to take part in a beauty pageant. I agreed later only because there was a term beauty noted in it. It felt as if the only purpose in my life is to look fair until that one fine day. It was the final day of the pageant. That day as I had used the best products, I was looking fair and pretty. It was just like a dream come true moment for me. However in the first session that day we had to introduce ourselves. I went up there, with the artificial light skin and held the microphone. At the instant all I had to do was introduce myself in the fancy way possible. I went blank. I wasn’t able to utter a word. All I could realise at that moment were my dark hands holding the microphone and my artificially made fair skin facing the mass. With god’s grace finally I said my name out loud and said the remaining that I had prepared. My feet were trembling because every word I said reminded me that it wasn’t me. My introduction was incomplete as I felt as if I was inside a mask. Fair skin wasn’t my colour and all I had to do was accept it.

That moment was a mirror to me. It was just a silver lining to my dark cloud. I wasn’t able to see the light inside my darkness. And only because of some stupid remarks, I wasted a large and a very momentous portion of my life. We all are a random mix of imperfections. All we have to do is accept it because our imperfections are just perfect. And even today people pass comments about my colour and also about my height. Well now I take it as a joke or I simply realise the importance of being short and dark. It is not like I do not do makeup. But I do not do makeup to look fair. I do it to look glamorous and smart. Today all I have is guilt which I want to get rid of soon by doing something fruitful with my life and I am trying my level best for it. So all I want to state at the end is that in order to love yourself the way you are, you should be yourself.

By : Alangkrita Upadhayay