During the now trending tell-all interview where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was interviewed by Oprah, Meghan Markle revealed that there were concerns about her baby’s colour, and at least one person in the palace expressed concerns about the skin colour of the unborn child. Netizens have taken Twitter by storm since apparently they were appalled by the impending racism in that statement.
Reading this I could not help but wonder why Indians are going wild or be ‘appalled’ over this statement. Ever since I have known one of the first things that a newborn baby hears is – kochu karuthittanalloo or penkuttiyan , bhagyam colour und! (translating to oh no, the baby is dark; it’s a girl child, but hey luckily she is fair!) . The sickness of these statements and yet they chose to be appalled because someone else in a far way place said so! The funniest fact is that it is not ‘at least’ one person who says this here, but almost everyone who comes to visit.
Honestly, during these times one should feel more than elated if they are blessed with a baby who is completely healthy with fully functional organs and 10 fingers and toes. But Noooo! people have to talk about colour. And if it is a girl and she is born dark then she is doomed for her life. Her future is written then and there, right at the hospital wing.
Imagine the state of the mother who is lying half-conscious, who has gone through the worst pain one can ever imagine, and, is finally resting feeling happy that she managed to deliver her child successfully when she’s now subjected to this discussion about her baby’s colour. I cannot even think what might be going through her head. She might even consider pushing out all of these people and just be alone!
Let me ask you my fellow Indians, are all white girls born with the best character? How long would this, Oh, she is fair, let’s make her our bahu (daughter-in-law) drama go on?. Know this – fairness is not equivalent to a good person always. There are goons who are fair and beautiful as well. Frankly, I don’t mind if I have a brown girl and she stays unmarried instead of having a white girl who got married to a household that would in the future cut her wings. I am tired of hearing the tale of how a brown girl settled for a groom she did not like because she has to accept the fact that she is not beautiful enough to deserve a good husband.
I think it is high time we stopped describing the colour of the prospective bride/ groom in the matrimony ads. Because sorry to break this, but wheatish is not a universally used colour. I mean I don’t know if it is a colour even, do we compare every other food item with a colour? If you search wheatish on Google you would see that the origin of the usage is – ‘INDIAN’. And don’t forget to notice how the usage has gone up and still continues to grow at a steady peak. Points out how the mentality has not changed but has just grown worse over the years!.
People should realize and learn some biology because how do they expect a baby born to brown parents to be white? What is the logic? And if by chance, she is born white, why do you have to go back in the family tree and try to figure who contributed to the fairness. To be frank I would rather be happy if our baby looks like one of us than resemble some great great grandmother/grandfather who was fair.
And then comes the worst case, when she is actually born white and as she grows up, she gets tanned and loses that fair skin. Then these same people who praised her for being born white say – Oh, poor thing, janichapo enthu colour aayirnu, ipo athellam poyi, are you going out in the sun too much? (translating to, oh she was so fair when she was a baby, but it is all gone now). Why don’t you use a face pack, let me give you my secret mix? Don’t these people actually hear themselves, don’t they realize how much they are hurting the one who is listening to this shit?! And these same people go ahead and attend religious sermons and come preach to others, about not hurting or talking bad about others.
I myself was born a fat plump kid who weighed around 4kg at the time of birth. And I used to be a plump kid until I think Kg 2. After which I lost weight. Because firstly, my parents are both not the type who gain weight and secondly, I started playing and running around! So I lost weight, what is the big deal?. Kids who go to school are active- it is a simple fact! Also, when I look a tad bit fairer I know it is only temporary and that I would soon lose it once I am out in the sun consecutively for two days.
While I am on this subject let me tell you, we haven’t heard the good news yet, (If by ‘good news’ you meant pregnancy because otherwise yeah I do have good news and that is that I recently got promoted!.). We know it is going to be 4 years since our marriage, you don’t have to remind us. Because we do celebrate our anniversaries. And no we do not need a doctor (at least not yet, but if and when we do, we might go, and if needed a number we will come to you, Thank you.
Who made this notion that marriage is successful only when there is a baby? A baby is a blessing and it should be a mutual decision by the husband and wife (not because everyone else is having one, not because you like watching cute babies on Instagram and definitely not because someone asked you “kochonnum aayille, randennathine undakanulla time aayalo” (translating to don’t you have a baby yet, it is time you had two babies!). A baby is born when both husband and wife are ready. Ready to take care and nurture another human being. It is a living breathing being who needs to taken care of for a long time , and that requires a good amount of commitment. It is not like once the cute baby phase is over, you can dump it and run off.
One more thing, God forbid if by any chance you know a couple who have been trying and haven’t had a child yet, please refrain yourself from asking them the same question that’s haunting them all day, “enthayi vishesham aayo, doctor enthu paranju” (translating to what’s the news, what did the doctor recommend). Clearly, they do not need you reminding them again.
I would like to end with a prayer that when we have a child (god willingly and if he blesses us with one), the only thing we wish for is a healthy child with a strong heart to withstand these illogical and heartless comments around him/her.
Keeping up with the theme of this year’s women’s day, I choose to challenge this custom. I choose to question how and why must a person’s skin color decide their future?