#Microblog Mondays 6 : A Caged Mind

A couple of months back, an elderly woman from my extended family came to stay with us in Bangalore for a week. She, along with her husband, has widely traveled all over India visiting holy shrines and temples. They even do it now at the age of 67-68 which amazes us for their sheer energy and strength of mind because visiting the interiors of India can be arduous for various reasons. The younger generation (if we can still call ourselves so) who has spent most of their lives in big cities amidst the comforts will find it very difficult to manage and thrive on any such trips.

So, one evening, the three of us – the elderly woman, Dhruv and I were at the children park area of our apartment which was bustling with happy and chirpy children. She opined with her nose all crinkled up “Yahan ke bachhe kaise kaale kaale hain (the children here are black) pointing to their complexion. And I froze. Our fetish with fair colour does not even spare innocent little children. Why can’t we just see children as children and not through the colour of their skin? Or for that matter even adults? Isn’t apartheid long over? It is said that travelling broadens your horizon and opens your mind. But I guess this does not happen to everyone. A caged mind would require a lot more to break free from its shackles.

I do not have a question to ask today because I believe judging people on the basis of their colour is undebatable.

Linking up with Microblog Mondays at Stirrup Queens.

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23 thoughts on “#Microblog Mondays 6 : A Caged Mind

  1. Vinitha says:

    I don’t know why and how fair skin adds to the beauty and to treat the person with more respect and love!! Throughout my childhood I was under the impression that I was dark skinned and ugly, because I heard remarks like such but no one taunted me because if that. Just that my not so fair skin was known. But how does it matter, I don’t understand, not then not now. I have a post sitting in my draft on this matter. Will post it one day. 🙂

    Like

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      And i thought the fetish for the fair colour is just rampant in North india. Having to hear such remarks as dark skinned and ugly can be so spirit crushing for a child. I wish no child gets to hear such words ever.

      Liked by 1 person

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      I can understand your feelings. I am somewhat glad to hear that the issues are not as impactful today as they used to be. I believe you can stop feeling hurt by reminding yourself that you are more than your colour. I will share with you that I am short in height, shorter than all the short women in my extended families on both my parent’s sides. Everytime they visited us or we went to visit their place, they would always stand besides me shoulder to shoulder comparing their heights to mine and would make fun that she is so short. I don’t remember if I did feel anything at this but my mother used to tell me that I had caused them relative happiness and it is good to become a reason for someone’s else happiness. Period.

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  2. BellyBytes says:

    Alas my own daughter was referred to by an unsavoury epithet albeit ‘lovingly and in jest’ by her own grand uncle who was a respected and respectable civil servant so it is hardly surprising your elderly relative commented on the colour of strangers. Sadly skin colour does seem to matter to many people.

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  3. Mali says:

    I am of Celtic descent, and very pale, and I always felt very out of it in New Zealand in the 1970s, when it was very much the fashion to have a “healthy” tan. (There’s nothing healthy about a tan – as opposed to beautiful natural dark skin – although it seems to be taking a long time for us to accept that.) I then went and spent a year living in Thailand, and was thrilled when I went to the beach for a week or two, and came back with a tan. The Thai family I lived with at the time, on the other hand, were shocked, and told me it was ugly! I am personally quite envious of people with beautiful dark skins, of all hues. Pity we can’t all appreciate not only what we have, but also the differences in others. Variety after all is the spice of life.

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    • the bespectacled mother says:

      For most of the people here variety is all okay and fine provided it is fairer in colour. Thanks Mali for stopping by and sharing your story here.

      Like

  4. Mel says:

    I’m stunned because I thought that the story would twist, that her words would somehow hold a different meaning or that she would come to a place of understanding. Sad that all that travel didn’t broaden the mind.

    Like

  5. Ajay Pai says:

    Aunty ji, purane zamane ki hai! She isn’t aware that in modern times, Girl fall for TDH guys (Tall-dark-handsome). But how rude can one be, I am surprised. She doesn’t know that being black or dark skinned has nothing to do with them being superior or inferior.
    But then as Deepika tells ” It’s her Choice”. I would rather say . “oye Aunty, jump from the roof top”

    Liked by 1 person

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      Girls falling for Tall Dark Handsome guys, do you know how will this be perceived – ‘ladkiyon main achhe sanskaaron ki kami’. The fact goes beyond her being from purana zamana because her children also follow the same mindset, more or less.
      Can we make a difference in this regard since this mindset irks us to the core?

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  6. camanishpurohit says:

    Caged mind as you rightly mentioned and whats more distressing is the same thing permeating through the tender mind of the kids right from the their tender age. You picked up a fair point indeed !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      Parents pass on their belief systems to their children. Therefore, yes this might be permeating to the next generation which means that this is going to continue. And this is indeed distressing.

      Like

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      Discussing about it can make a difference as in we can be conscious in deciding what beliefs we intend to pass on to our children. Is it going to be just noticing the skin colour on the surface or to dig deeper under the skin to appreciate humanity?

      Like

  7. torthúil says:

    Ugh, what an ugly comment. You are right, experience in itself does not open one’s mind; I think a person has to be open to questioning their background, beliefs and prejudices in order for experience such as travel to have any effect. It is also easy enough when travelling to criticize things that are different instead of appreciating a new experience or viewpoint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      I absolutely agree with you that one has to be open to questiong his/her own beliefs and backgrounds to experience any change. People like these think whatever they are and whatever they do is perfectly alright and they are also averse to change. That change could be as insignificant as changing the location of the couch. Thanks for visiting and sharing such an insightful thought.

      Like

  8. Ina Tales says:

    wonder who declared it for the first time that white is better than black. This will not change amongst humansIn the near future. Forget India, even in the USA this is one topic that never seizes to amaze me. Indians who have been living abroad for decades still Pass on snide remarks when they see anIndian girl with a slightly darker skin. They need a big Whack on their head.

    Like

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      These are the same folks who cry out loud and hard when the American administrative machinery mistreats them which they instantly term as racial signalling to their brown skin. The sad part is still they show no signs of changing their own mindsets.

      Like

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