Is it Fair to hold 7 for fairness?
(for those who know me this is a work of fiction, for those who don’t this is a short story...on fairness)
I remember when I was reading the biodata of my sister which my dad had prepared for her matrimonial ad in one of India’s leading newspapers. It did specify her age, qualification and our family details besides her height and weight, but something was in bold which still haunts me even after 12 years when that ad was published in the newspaper and after 8 years of her marriage and 2 years of mine. Where did I come in the picture? Yes even in my matrimonial ad this one particular data was highlighted, but not bold. Plus there were only two differences, first that my matrimonial ad was written by myself and that the ad was never published. Phew!
But what iteez? Hold your breath my dear. It was the color of the surface on our body called skin.
While I took the liberty to describe myself “wheatish fair” after deliberating for many days on the right words and description, I never got to know if it would have attracted any attention and favour from a similar one or superior one destined for me.
We were born in a “small” middle class family and spending on personal care was a no no. Budgets were the order of the day and personal care products were perceived to be waste of money or luxury of the upper class. I even don’t know which “middle class” we belonged to, though I have stated one just to make a point. Small does not imply income, what did you think? It implies a family of four members. Anyways..
My mom would however take all inputs and inspiration from Sarita, Grihshobha and Grihani and many more which I completely detested in those days right from the cover. These used to get circulated from one house to the other wherever there was a girl child. Oops! No wrong intentions. I respect women. And my mother used to pick them up at the railway station when we used to travel from our place to our grandfather’s place or someplace out of town. Coupled with some inputs from my grandmother who felt that my dad was the brightest (color of the surface, mind it) in our family and would never mind mentioning in front of us, about how she managed to keep him brighter (again color of the surface). Sounds like a detergent!! Anyways..
My sister and many more like her were victims of several concoctions prepared with Indian herbs and ingredients. Sorry sisters.
I was the deprived one as my surface color did not matter. I would get married in any color, that’s what my mother used to say. That was just her belief not an actual truth. Actually when she saw my grooming wardrobe now, she really got upset. Not because she didn’t treat me to the concoctions but that I was wasting so much money on my grooming and looks. Especially when I am married now. Now what can happen and for what, by the way....
Now let’s look at the part outside my family. Enough of laughter!
Even in those days there were fairness creams. Slight correction, one fairness cream that held the responsibility of fairness of all the girls and women in our country in those days. What a burden?
I don’t remember if the product was any different then from what it is today. Except that there are more such creams today than there were women ‘seriously’ conscious of their surface color.
But one thing that frustrates me about these creams is not their ability to transform ‘he or she’ but the fact that they say it can in “seven days”. Who said that first is not important but that every new comer says that now, depresses me.
And then I wonder what can we do in seven days? And if we start thinking, we will be able to do at least 8 out of 10 things in a week if we are determined and dedicated. But never be able to change the color of our surfaces in 7 days. Sometimes I feel as if, if it cannot happen in seven days for you it can never happen in seven weeks, seven months or seven years even. But keep applying....at least seven people will get inspired from you, seven such companies will prosper and magnify their turnover seven times, seventh marriage proposal will get accepted, seventh matrimonial ad will get you a response or you will get married on the 7th of a month....
Sorry boys. That’s why girls have all the fun.
But there is one truth, I have become one shade brighter than when I wrote my first matrimonial ad. I wish I was 7 times brighter...