Tara was judged solely on her dark skin tone, with no thought to what she was as a person. Why is it always so for the girl child in India?
When my aunt had a daughter as her first-born, she was welcomed with comments like “Oh, a really dark baby“, “Poor little girl, how will her parents ever get her married“? by family and friends. My uncle and aunt wished they would rather have no visitors for their princess.
They were determined to raise a confident girl who would cherish her being, her merits, her talents and march ahead in life , undeterred by the derogatory remarks on her dark skin colour. They named her Tara – the bright shining star.
So, the little princess, in due course, became the lady that her parents had dreamt her to be – smart, confident, assertive yet sensitive – a beautiful lady indeed. She had a bright educational career that scored her a handsome job in the corporate sector. Her life was perfect- enviably perfect.
Tara was allowed the freedom to choose almost every aspect of her life – be it her extra-curriculars or her academics. Years progressed and it was time for her parents to start looking for a suitable bridegroom for Tara.
After a few months of search on online matrimonial sites and some unsuccessful rendezvous, they finally found in Gaurav a man they could entrust their beloved princess Tara with. The first interaction between Gaurav and Tara went smoothly. A short courtship followed. It did indeed feel like a match made in heaven to the soon-to-be-couple. They were so alike!
Gaurav and Tara got married. They were happy, my uncle and aunt were happier. A little after her 2nd anniversary , she was thrilled with the delightful discovery of her pregnancy, the whispering victory to the would-be mother.
The end of 39 weeks, along with Tara’s physiological and psychological re-birth marked the arrival of her angelic daughter – the most precious gift that she could ever wish for. Gaurav had decorated their nest with the loving care of an excited dad, in eager anticipation of his daughter’s warm welcome. The walls were in shades of pink and purple and the crib was appropriately adorned in sparkling white. They named her Meera.
The proud parents were excited about each little sound, each little gurgle, each little movement of eyelids, each little attempt at opening the sleepy eyes made by their beloved princess. Soon days turned into a month and Meera’s parents decided to celebrate her precious arrival with friends and acquaintances.
It was a huge party. The party lawn was alive with bejewelled ladies and elegantly dressed men. Little Meera was peacefully napping in her bassinet, with her mother sitting right beside her.
They were surrounded by family members and friends who wanted to meet the angel and greet her mother. Amidst faint murmurs of “Beautiful girl, God bless her,” “gorgeous party,” etc, were many who exclaimed, “Wow Tara! You are so lucky! Your daughter is so fair… just like her dad!”
Tara looked back on her own childhood and how she and her parents were taunted and pitied for her un-fair complexion. How relatives and neighbours seldom failed to pinpoint her only ‘deficiency’ , her dark skin tone, how people knowingly or unknowingly made her realise that she was incomplete because of her un-fair complexion.
Two decades forward, but the mindset was static. Tara looked affectionately at her beautiful princess on the bassinet and softly whispered, “I am lucky and privileged to be your mother and not just because you are fair. You are not the colour of your skin but much more. I will never let un-fair comments of any nature define you. This, I promise to you just like my parents had promised to their little girl two and a half decades back. ”
Published here earlier: